Hastings starts with his update: "We wrapped production on August 25th after a fantastic 23 day shoot! Our FANTASTIC crew were amazing and we couldn’t have asked for a better team! Every one of them gave it 110% and we couldn’t have done it without them! And that also applies to our AMAZING cast, who brought our script and stories to life more than we could have ever dreamed! They are stunning, each and every one of them!”
He continues; “we also had our amazing locations, which helped us bring to life all the atmospheric and eerie locations we needed for the differing segments. Each story you’ll see is set in a different time period, from the 1800s through to modern day, and the support and encouragement we have had from local communities and businesses has just been overwhelming to us all!” Locations include The Aston Manor Road Transport Museum (http://www.amrtm.org/), the beautiful Park Lime Pits in Walsall, which helps the film house certain creatures of the night, the scrumptious Mickys Steakaway (http://www.mickyssteakaway.co.uk/), as well as the breathtaking grounds of the Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel located also in Walsall (http://www.rushallparish.org/), which saw a cast of 34 and a crew of 32 at one point on the grounds shooting part of the dramatic finale of The Vampyre. The local Grange Playhouse (http://www.grangeplayers.co.uk/), as well as Emma Speake & Trevor Faulkner, also kindly provided the production with a host of vintage costumes to help tell the scary stories which the team have filmed!
Fellow producer Kaush Patel adds “It has been one of the best experiences of my life, I enjoyed every day and late night there. Some nights we weren’t finishing till 4.30am but it was worth it for all the fantastic footage we’re seeing now. I can’t wait to start sharing this frightening and gothic journey with audiences. And it isn’t over yet! We are also prepping our week of shooting back at the glorious Manor House in February for phase 2 of production where we’ll be piecing the segments together with our mysterious Architect character, who will be sharing more than these terrifying tales with you all!”
He continues, “The Manor House has been such a supportive and helpful establishment and the team there were superb. The building is amazing and has such character, a character that helped us bring our wonderfully gothic and scary tales to life easily! We are completely in their debt as they are a credit to helping further the Arts in the West Midlands!” But it wasn’t just the staff helping! “It certainly held up to its most haunted claim, as we had lots of spooky goings on while filming was happening, from ghostly shapes and shadows being seen, footsteps being recorded and the most creepy thing we had was a voice on a stairway we were filming around. The sound team heard the sentence ‘Free me’ numerous times from a disturbing ghostly male voice down the mic. Suffice to say, we were all glad to wrap filming in that part of the house!” concludes Kaush.
So what is next for the team? “We’re diving straight into the cutting room with our editors, Sam Woodhall and Kieth Cartwright, who are doing all kinds of amazing things with what we’ve shot already!” explains Dave. “We’re meeting regularly from now until December to get a rough assembly cut, to see whether we need to do any pick ups and to get a feel for what we have, before we get The Architect segments shot in February. But prior to then, we’re be hitting some UK sci-fi and horror conventions that we’ll be announcing soon, where visitors will be able to meet some of the cast and crew who will be doing Q&As as well as premiering the world exclusive trailer we’ll be readying for this Halloween! As well as this, the Blog of Screaming Death has amassed over 3 hours of behind the scenes material over the shoot, that we’ll be sifting through between now and next year to release, showing you all the fun and excitement every one had while making The House of Screaming Death!”
Charlie Clarke (Jenny, The Lady In Grey) “I was so excited to see the whole project come together and to have worked with such talent here in the Midlands. We should get more of a spotlight here because there is so much talent in the area! Also, I was so excited to have worked with a team inspired so much by some of my favourite films, that being Hammer of course!!!”
“I was very excited to be part of what I think will be a Neo-Gothic masterpiece. Being brought up with Hammer movies galore, I loved the whole retro vibe to the script, and the way it plays upon already present facets of your subconscious demons to really encapsulate the very best in folk horror. It was particularly wonderful to be filming locally; as film making in the Midlands is one of the hottest areas of creativity in the country and I'm sure this film will further put it on the map. UK independent and mainstream film making as a whole is amongst the best in the world and I feel very honoured to have been a part of that here."
Cameron Moon (The Solicitor’s Assistant, The Witch In The Mirror) “I was thrilled to be part of it as it means I get to act in the style of the old classic Hammer films of which I'm a huge admirer! I'd been re-watching old Hammer movies for research! The tale I am in itself has a 'classic' feel to it, in that it's like a tale from many years ago! It's going to be a remarkable work as it will not only attract those who know Hammer well but also introduce the genre to a new generation. With an award winning team behind the project it's sure to be successful and will once again prove that film-making in the Midlands is thriving!”
Brett Dewsbury (Thomas Burlington, The Vampyre) “I was super excited about the sheer enormity of the project and all the ambition that the team had with the film. I was also excited about the format and trying something new as the script is well written and fits the genre. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the role of Thomas as he was someone I saw as a challenge, which interests me and will make me a better actor and more versatile. It is what I live for, to push myself as far as I can when performing. I liked the time period and the aspects of old Hammer Horror it has, those little links to previous great films of yester year. Audiences should be excited by the great talent on show both behind and in front of the cameras. If you like chills and gore, this will be for you. The Midlands region gave it a homely setting for me as well as it has always been my stomping ground and the locations were wonderful and full of character. The UK filming industry needs more projects like this and we can bring back great UK horror once more."
Richard Buck (Frederick, The Diabolique) "I was really looking forward to taking on the role of Fredrick - it's a character type I'd never taken on before, so I was thoroughly enjoying exploring the role and enjoying the challenges that the script threw my way. The character leaves the mortal world very early on in the story (trust me, that’s not a big spoiler!), and there was blood and superb makeup effects everywhere, which was something else I was really looking forward to shooting. Audiences should look forward to the film for a number of reasons, but one good one for me was that it's a British made independent movie: it's made true to the vision of the production team, a film that holds integrity to the original imagining, love it or hate it: and I hope you love it - it's been made with love, passion, sweat and in this case (fake) blood! We have fantastic places to film in the UK, and it was great to be setting the full film in one really great location in the Midlands, it shows the creativity of the writers & production team and allowed the team to really focus in on telling the stories. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the end product of The House of Screaming Death and I hope you are too!"
To keep up to date on all the latest developments of this terrifying new horror anthology, please follow the film through Facebook/Twitter or at the official website at www.screamingdeath.co.uk or use #WhoIsTheArchitect