Saturday, October 23, 2010

Castle speaks... from the grave... about film screenings

I'm no Alison DuBois (Medium), but I've received a message from a famous Castle, and I'm not talking about the hunky mystery writer Castle played by Nathan Fillion.

I'm talking about William Castle, the B-movie shockmeister who treated fans to such fare as The Tingler and House on Haunted Hill. "Yes, I am fully aware that I died in 1977," Castle says. "But you didn't think a little thing like rigor mortis would prevent me from attending the upcoming William Castle's Shockers retrospective in LA did you? Of course you didn't."

William Castle's Shockers, presented by the very undead folks from Cinefamily at Hollywood's iconic Silent Movie Theatre, is running Saturday nights in October. There's a double feature Halloween night, Sunday, October 31, 2010. The Silent Movie Theatre is located at 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90048; phone: (323) 655-2520.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my daughter Terry there," Castle advises. "We've been having a little trouble connecting these past few years. She always loved my story about coming up with the idea for The Tingler while standing in line outside ... The Silent Movie Theatre!  Terry's got a few tricks of her own up her pretty sleeves. It's in the genes. Maybe I'll see you there too."

Castle continues, "You know, I made over forty B movies following a formula for box office success: low-budget chillers geared to the burgeoning boomers. The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill, Thirteen Ghosts, Macabre, Strait-Jacket (scripted by Psycho's Robert Bloch), and Homicidal – which TIME magazine liked better than Psycho."

"But they called me a master of ballyhoo who shamelessly promoted his pictures with gimmicks like The Coward's Corner and Percepto seat buzzers," Castle says. "Gimmicks!  What utter nonsense."

Castle notes that getting ready for Halloween was always one of his favorite things when he was alive.

"Still is," Castle says. "This year I decided to write a horror novel ... with a little help from 30 writer friends. I wrote Chapter One of Scare It Forward and posted it on October 1. Every day this month, one of my friends will post a new, sequential chapter. The final chapter, 31, will be posted on Halloween night. I guarantee it will scare a corpse out of his own grave. If you dare, you can read each day's installment of Scare It Forward.

To read the latest messages from, leave a message for,William Castle, or buy his recently re-released autobiography, Step Right Up! I’m Gonna Scare the Pants Off America, check out:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Comics fans wanted in UK - Indy feature PULP shoots October 16, 17

Dare Productions reports that British Indy feature film Pulp will begin filming at the British International Comics Show (BICS) at the Birmingham Thinktank this weekend (October 16 and 17).
Pulp is a comedy feature film set in the irreverent world of comic book publishing and its producers, Dare Productions and Reels in Motion, are ensuring an authentic feel by inviting all comic book and movie fans to come along to BICS this weekend to be be part of the filming.

Pulp is a homage to comic books and movies. We’re asking fans to come to the British International Comic Show and be part of this exciting independent feature film,” said producer Adam Hamdy.

In addition to being part of the crowd, fans will have the opportunity to be featured in Pulp. Using a technique similar to that used in When Harry Met Sally, the narrative story will be punctuated with real interviews with fans.

“We’re going to be intercutting the film with fan interviews. It’s a great opportunity for the world to hear your views on comic books and movies,” said producer Phil Bland.

Written by newcomer Bode O’Toole, and directed by award-winning commercials and animation director, Shaun Magher, Pulp will be produced by Adam Hamdy for Dare Productions, and Phil Bland for Reels In Motion. It is the first of three ‘Geek Trilogy’ films. The second feature, The Mystic, is scheduled for production in 2011.

Director Shaun Magher is excited about the shoot. “Bode O’Toole has done a great job. We’ve got a script that treats the subject matter with just the right blend of love and irreverence.”

In Pulp, Tony Leary is the nice-guy owner of Junk Comics who is gearing up for one last roll of the dice. Nothing will stop his new superhero comic The Sodomizer from being a success except a gang of Geordie criminals who are using another comic company to launder their dirty money. Aided by his trusty geek sidekicks, Rick and Keith, Tony must defy the odds if he is to become a real life hero.

Born out of the madness that is the world’s largest comic fair, San Diego Comic Con, Pulp raced from inception to shooting in three months. Produced using a collaborative approach, it will be shot on Red camera in the West Midlands with Birmingham’s striking Thinktank playing centre stage.

Hamdy said, “Comic fans should love it, as should anyone who likes to laugh at irreverent comedies like The Hangover, Kingpin and The Big Lebowski. The film is packed with comic book and movie references for fans to discover.”

British International Comic Show organizer Shane Chebsey said, “Our show is dedicated to celebrating comic books as an art form. We’re very excited that the producers have chosen to shoot Pulp at the British International Comic Show. It’s a rare opportunity for comic fans to see a work of art being created, and to be part of the filmmaking process.”

The British International Comic Show takes place at the Thinktank in Birmingham on October 16 and 17, 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

OIAF 2010 - Ottawa Gets Animated

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is offering a variety of activities for all ages at this year’s festival, which runs from October 20 to 24, 2010.

More than 27,000 film buffs, art lovers, producers, and cartoon fans from around the world are descending on the nation’s capital to attend the OIAF 2010.   

OIAF 2010 features the best new animated movies, short films, and music videos from Canada and around the world, and a guest list to match.  This year’s extravaganza of screenings, workshops, and special events are taking place at venues such as Bytowne, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Arts Court, and Empire Theatres – Rideau Centre. 

Selected from this year’s 2091 entries, the Official Competition screenings collect 90 of the top, new animated works. Attendees of the festival get a chance to view Oscar-winning films such as, Logorama, an entertaining film that illustrates everyone and everything as advertising logos.  

This year, the “Feature Competition” includes: The Illusionist (France) by Sylvain Chomet, a follow-up to Chomet’s Oscar-nominated film, The Triplets of Belleville; Goodbye Mister Christie (Canadian Premiere) by Phil Mulloy (United Kingdom); One Piece Film – Strong World (Canadian Premiere) by Munehisa Sakai (Japan); Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then (Canadian Premiere) by Brent Green (U.S.A.); and Midori-Ko (World Premiere) by Keita Kurosaka (Japan).

There are also many great films that are not in competition but are being shown through the OIAF’s “Out-of-Competition” Showcase.  Audiences have a chance to view films such as the National Film Board of Canada’s award-winning Lipsett Diaries by Theodore Ushev; Pixar’s acclaimed new short, Day and Night; and the ever-popular Walt Disney’s latest short, Tick Tock Tale.

Also this year, the OIAF is paying homage to Japanese animation with a four-part program showcasing independent filmmakers, including the godfather of anime, Osamu Tezuka. 
The following are other highlights of the OIAF 2010 “Special Screenings:”
  • “Furniture of My Mind,” an engaging look at our relationship with our furniture;
  • “Let’s Go Crazy,” a selection of films and new independent shorts about mental health;
  • “XX in Animation: Taking a Peek at Work by Women,” a collection of films by women, about women;
  • “Winnipeg DIY Animation: Improvised Art Explosions or Cheap Skates,” focuses on Winnipeg’s overlooked animators, those who chose to improvise and create animation on the cheap rather than get left behind;
  • “The Inappropriate for Children Show,” a midnight movie collection of wild and unsettling cartoons originally meant for kids, but almost too strange for adults; 
  • “Solve Et Coagula: Surrealism and Magic Realism in Czech Animation,” a unique collection of films by Czech animators who infuse personal style, political and social beliefs into their work;
  • “Under the Sun: BravoFACT! at 15,” features highlights from Bravo!FACT’s animation oeuvre, from breakout hits like the Oscar-nominated I Met The Walrus through mobile phone delights like Theodore Ushev’s Sou.
OIAF 2010 Family Activities

The OIAF is offering an Animation School Fair for anyone interested in a career in animation on Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24 at the Arts Court.  Teens are FREE on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can also attend a FREE hands-on workshop presented by the National Film Board of Canada, “Introduction to Animation.”  Teens must obtain an Adobe Toon Apprentice pass in advance by contacting the OIAF before October 14 or they can pick up a pass in-person at the OIAF box office on October 18. Pre-registration is required for the workshop by calling: (613) 232-8769.

Bring your kids to the “Short Films for Kids” competition (October 23 and 24), the “TV for Kids” competition (October 21 and 23), and the FREE hands-on workshop at the Arts Court on October 24.  Pre-registration is required by calling: (613) 232-8769. 

Plus, get a free sneak peak of the new Teletoon series, Skatoony, and participate in an interactive activity, “Get Your Skatoony Game On,” on Sunday, October 24 at the Arts Court. 

Tickets to the festival are $12 (adults) and $7 (children) at the door.  You can also purchase a flexible animation six-pack (6 tickets at the cost of 5 tickets) to avoid the line-ups. 

For more information or a complete list of films, schedules, special screenings, workshops, and events at this year’s festival, please visit the OIAF website at: or call: (613) 232-8769.

About the Ottawa International Animation Festival

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976. OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub. More than 27,000 film buffs, art lovers, producers, and cartoon fans are expected to attend the OIAF, the largest animation event in North America. OIAF 2010 is taking place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada from October 20 to 24.