‘We regret to inform you that you have not been successful for this job vacancy’

These words are becoming all too regular in my day-to-day life and it is these words that have caused me, on many occasions, to really think about my potential career choice.

I have been writing for a long time and have always enjoyed it and, please correct me if I am wrong, but I am not bad at it.

Therefore, constantly reading these words is slightly degrading to someone who has aspirations as I do.

People keep telling me ‘it will come’ and ‘there will be other jobs’ and despite as much as I agree with them it is becoming tougher and tougher to get up the nerve to apply for more jobs.

I am currently doing so and it is tedious writing cover letters after cover letters but I am doing it and I know that one day, eventually, I will be a working writer.

The one thing that bothers me more is when a potential job states ‘unfortunately due to the high number of applications, we are unable to give feedback’… This should be mandatory by law.

How can someone improve their cover letter, CV and develop their skills if no one tells them how they could have been better suited for the position?

I apply for jobs that I am qualified for. Nothing that I cannot possibly produce good work but I feel that, especially in this current climate and the current government, there should be a push for more feedback on applications.

In addition, I am someone who works better under pressure and I find that I produce work better when I have been given a chance to write. Even my local newspaper are not letting people go in for work experience.

It does not make sense in my eyes. The government seem to be pushing for internships which are all well and good if you have the money to live in London on the minimum wage but there are some people who cannot afford this.

People need to give others more of a chance to prove that they are the right candidate.

I have also had experiences where jobs will not hire someone who doesn’t live in the area. I understand that it must be difficult for a publication to wait one week for a person to know the area but why then advertise the job on a national scale?

By doing so, people will apply only to be rejected.

If you want someone who knows the area, narrow down your search and only ask for people who can work in that specific place.

There is nothing more down-hearting when you know you can be great at a job and all you get are those words that just don’t mean anything.

What is worse, is when publications just don’t reply at all. That is just plain rude! I would prefer the generic lines than nothing at all.

Rudeness is vile and there is no call for it.

This is just a little rant about the ridiculous society that expects a fully trained, needing no advice or help candidate who will fit into the role without a second hesitation. But what about those who bring character to a role?

We get left behind.

Sinister 2: A typical horror film

To make a successful paranormal film without using the typical horror conventions is difficult and Sinister 2 does not fail to follow them through.

Directed by: Ciaran Foy

Starring: James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan

Certificate: 15

The sequel in the Sinister franchise follows the ex-Deputy (James Ransone) from the first film who sets about burning houses that have been marked by death.

He turns up at a rural house where a mother (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two twin boys, Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan) live.

Little does he know, but it soon becomes apparent, that both boys have spoken with a group of dead children who show film reels of how they murdered their families.

To say that this film did not make me jumpy and cover my eyes would be an understatement. It is true, there were parts that made the whole cinema jump and scream.

Yet, by using the conventional horror elements including a house in the middle of nowhere, creepy children and figures emerging and then swiftly disappearing it was easy to tell when not to look.

Making a horror film without using the traditional conventions is difficult especially during a sequel. Sequels are always difficult to produce as an original film without regurgitating the same plot devices, horror techniques and creating the same film but slightly different.

Nevertheless, they do work and it films director, Ciaran Foy knew what he was doing to produce a jumpy film that will leave you scared and frightened.

There is an unexpected twist that you will not see coming, which was something that was a breath of fresh air during a typical horror. It worked well and it is foreseeable during to the limited character development.

There is an underlying narrative that surfaces throughout this film and it takes a darker tone towards the end. Not because of the ghostly apparitions but because of the domestic abuse storyline.

After watching the film, it is slightly understandable as to why it was added but then again, there are always other possibilities to build on character development.

Speaking of which, there is none. The only character that really gets any development is Dylan, the young, naïve and ‘ghost-whisperer’ of the two boys. Despite the slight character depth, he becomes a more submissive character towards the finale of the film making one wonder the purpose of his role.

Like many horror films, the ending will leave a sour taste and will make you ask more questions than you wish.

After the climatic, or anti-climatic, ending horror fans will know that there is always something that makes you catch your breath and Sinister 2 leaves it open for a possible third in the franchise.

Whether or not they can finally stop Bughuul (or commonly known as the Boogie Man) is something that we will have to wait and see for.

The jumpy sequel does refer back to incidents and characters from the first and although it’s not necessary, it is advisable to watch the prequel before seeing this one.

Overall, it was a film that is not for the faint hearted and definitely not to watch alone. The spooky sequel is in cinemas now.

Let’s Talk Daggers Announce UK Tour

In support of their debut album A Beautiful Life, Let’s Talk Daggers head out on tour this October.

Starting in Brighton on October 10, the band will visit other venues around the country including London, Bristol and Cambridge and will finish their tour in Manchester.

See below the list of dates and venues:

October:

10 – Brighton – Green Door Store *

13 – London – Old Blue Last *

14 – Bristol – Red Lion

15 – Worcester – The Pig And Drum

16 – Bedford – Esquires

17 – Cambridge – The Portland Arms

18 – Manchester – A Carefully Planned Fest

On the 10th and 13th, Palm Reader will join the band.

A Beautiful Life will be released on October 23 on Tangled Talk Records.
Watch the new video for ‘I Love You Dad, But I’m Mental’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxxldWcIeVA

The band recently launched a PledgeMusic pre-order campaign which you can find out more about here:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/letstalkdaggers

Interview with director Joe Lynch

With the upcoming DVD release of the new film Everly, director Joe Lynch took time out of his busy schedule to have a quick chat.

1) How did you get into directing? Was it something you have always wanted to do?

I’ve wanted to formally direct movies while I was IN the movies. It was seeing Chuck Russell’s THE BLOB remake (that Frank Darabont co-wrote) that made me decide this. Before then I wanted to do special effects or act or work with makeup…basically I wanted to be Tom Savini. But when I discovered that the director got to play in all of those fields and more, working with every department that works to making a movie moment work to tell the larger story unfolding, I was like “Yes I wanna be THAT person on set”. I got into directing the best way…I pushed and shoved my way in doing my own things, from using my parents VHS camera and editing on 2 VCR’s to making shorts & music videos with friends and a crappy DV recorder. I learned by just doing it, getting into it and moving forward, leaving a trail of content in my wake!

2) What other directors inspired/inspire you to start a career in directing?

There’s too many directors to list here, but if I had a gun to my head and had to pick 3 for back then when I was just thinking about making movies, it would be Spielberg (of course), John Carpenter & Sam Raimi. Spielberg showed me how to tell a story purely through the actors eyes and their heart, Carpenter showed how genre can elevated to an art form and Raimi showed me how to install a camera on a wood board or a motorcycle and truly “Unleash The Camera”. But again, those are only 3!

3) Your new film, Everly, is due to be released in cinemas, how would you best describe the film to audiences?

Well it enjoyed a brief run in Cinemas (critics be damned!) but I’m excited that it will find a larger audience at home. EVERLY is best described as a crazy, gonzo action/thrilller/horror/holiday movie about a woman who is trapped in one room and must not only survive the night from a wild variety of ruthless foes, but also save her mother and daughter who have been put in harm’s way by her former lover, a powerful Yakuza crime boss. Did I mention this takes place during Christmas time? You know…perfect Holiday fare! Get ready to replace your LOVE ACTUALLY copies come December!

4) You seem to have a love for the horror/thriller genre. Where do you think this came from? What makes you want to direct this genre?

My mother was always a fan so that rubbed off on me I guess. She was always going to horror movies and that introduced me to so many wonderful nightmares. She was also slick enough to buy me copies of FANGORIA and STARLOG to show me HOW they did the effects so I was fascinated by movie magic. Plus, my favourite director as a kid, Spielberg, was making his own brand of horror movies or slyly putting horror elements into his films, like JAWS, POLTERGEIST, RAIDERS OF THE LOTT ARK, GREMLINS, etc, so that kinda validated it to me as well. And I’ve been loving the genre ever since. Horror taps into a “safe danger”, where you can push a viewer’s buttons emotionally and if you do it right, you’re affecting them but in a way they would appreciate, hopefully. Horror likes to push a lot of buttons so consider me that kid in the arcade button-mashing with reckless abandon. There’s nothing more satisfying than being in a theatre, be it your own film or just a film to enjoy, when an audience is into a movie, especially a Horror or Comedy. Its infectious when the audience laughs or screams (or both) and that’s a fix every filmmaker is chasing.

5) Are you currently working on any new projects?

Who isn’t these days? But yes, I have a few things coming up but nothing I can talk about or the internet will explode. Seriously. I’m doing this for you!

6) What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?

Yes. Stop saying you want to be a filmmaker. That starts with ownership. Say “I am a filmmaker”. That’s the first start. Then, after puffing your chest up an owning up to the title, go watch your favourite movie, get inspired and either write something on paper down or pull out your phone and shoot it. What’s that? That sounds too complicated and why waste the time using a phone? Well, see Sean Baker’s TANGERINE, which was all shot on an iPhone and in theatres in the US now, so no excuses!

7) You have been described as a cult film enthusiast. Would you agree with this description?

I never liked the word “Cult” to describe a love for a movie, way too many sinister connotations, but I to get the intention. “Cult” in cinema usually means “smaller, dedicated following and appreciation” and I agree, those are usually movies I tend to love and laud. I guess when you see as many movies as I have, always chasing a reaction or an experience, you tend to start searching in the fringes, looking to international cinema or indie film, all the places NOT playing on 10000 screens this weekend which are made for the largest common denominator, which can ultimately dilute any edge or danger, things I love seeing in movies. Since high school, I’ve been importing and seeking out harder to find films and most times discovering real gems, everything from Lars Von Trier & John Waters to Takaski Miike and Gaspar Noe, to name a few. If those films are considered “cult” or not, fine. But the term bothers me a little because it compartmentalizes the general consensus of a film, and many times that film isn’t seeing general acceptance. Those are the films I usually love, and that’s how we made EVERLY. I knew not everyone was gonna love it, but we held firm to our aspirations, making an “elevated B movie” (or a “B+ movie”) where we take the tropes of exploitation flicks and add some style, some heart, some quirk that you don’t see every day. Some people who have seen it love that, some people hate it, and you are both right because Cinema is subjective. But I’d rather that response than “Meh” or that it was just mediocre. I love the response EVERLY gets, good or bad, and if that is what constitutes a “cult” film, I hope EVERLY gets the title someday to the fan base at least…and a few more midnight movie screenings. See you at the Prince Charles someday I hope!

8) What is your favourite film and why?

WAY too hard a question to ask since there’s so many, but surprisingly my favourite film is SCHINDLER’S LIST. Buy me a pint someday and I’ll bend your ear for 2 hours why I love that film so much, but it’s always the first film I think of when asked.

9) Your other films include Knights of Badassdom and Wrong Turn 2, what made you want to work on these films?

WRONG TURN 2 was not only my gateway into my ultimate goal since childhood, making features, but was a love letter to the splatter films I grew up with reading about in FANGORIA and renting at the video store…and hey it got me my first formal trip to the UK when WT2 premiered at FrightFest in London! I’m really proud of WT2 as my first movie and my foot in the feature door. KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM was a really cool script and played in the adventure & horror comedy world, which I love with films like ARMY OF DARKNESSS and even GOONIES to an extent. It’s unfortunate that the end product didn’t come out the way we wanted, but live and learn!

10) Would you ever direct TV?

I’ve loved the TV form telling cinematic stories since TALES FROM THE CRYPT, OZ and SOPRANOS, so since then I’ve been following TV as a viable medium to work in for a long time. Funny you should ask that….I’m working on something now that could answer that question very soon. Stay tuned!

Everly will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on August 10.

1984 Review: A Powerful Book. A Powerful Play

‘Individualism is dead.’ The haunting and powerful words of Orwell are brought to the Playhouse Theatre in London and what a performance.

Adapted and directed by: Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan

Starring: Simon Coates, Tim Dutton, Stephen Fewell, Janine Harouni, Christopher Patrick Nolan, Ben Porter, Matthew Spencer, Mandi Symonds & Verity Firth, Harriet Turnbull, Jemima Wright

Running until: 5 September 2015

Whilst seating in my seat before the production started, the other audience members were murmuring to each other about the upcoming play.

The murmurs began to quiet down as more and more people began to realise that there was some unnerving clink-clank sounds that subtlety started. This was a first hint that we were about to watch a serious production.

As an Orwellian, I was sceptical at first with the concept of this infamous novel had been turned into a play but I was pleasantly surprised.

The sheer quality of the whole production from the brilliant performances through to the lighting and stage direction reinforced the notions featured In Orwell’s original text.

The book itself is a powerful text and for those who haven’t read it, it gives an unnerving feel and makes you look at the world around you, even today.

This production did not fail to up hold to these feelings and left a lasting thought in the mind of the audience.

The play (and novel) follows Winston Smith who thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. Big Brother is watching him, however, and the door to Room 101 can open at any time.

The ideas that we are being constantly watched by an undefeatable force is reinforced through the stage directions.

There are parts of the production that follow Winston and Julia in an external room but through the use of filming techniques it emphasises the idea that Big Brother are constantly watching people without them knowing.

Adapted and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, it is clear that a lot of time and effort has gone into creating a dystopian world.

The frequent use of strobe lighting reinforced the mind of Winston and the whole theatre, including the fire exit signs, were cut with power leaving only the blinding bright lights.

This gave the actors a split second longer to get to their positions on stage whilst the vision of the audience was blurred.

This technique is a truly extraordinary one and, as previously stated, emphasised the mind of the Winston.

What else stood out? The whole production is cleverly fixed together with the repetition of scenes, events and dialogue but with different parts and characters missing.

Matthew Spencer, who played the lead role of Winston Smith, brought to life the role of someone struggling to understand his own mind.

His final words ‘Thank you’ are haunting and that final scene will be a vivid image in your mind for days after.

The rest of cast including the role of Julia (Janine Harouni) and O’Brien (Tim Dutton) all added to production that, through their actions, had a sort of rhythmic dance to it.

It must be hard for an actor to repeat similar, if not exactly the same scenes one after another but they should their abilities as actors.

The child actors should be mentioned. Despite only having minor roles and a few lines of dialogue, they successful created an uneasy atmosphere and their ghostly rendition of Oranges and Lemons is exceptionally spooky and uneasy.

You do not need to be an avid reader of Orwell to fully appreciate and understand the themes and elements that make up the narrative of the production.

Plus the programme has a definition of the words and phrases used throughout including Newspeak, Facecrime and Goodthinker.

If you do enjoy a story that makes you think and leaves a lasting thought in your head, then 1984 is one to see.

Running for only 12 weeks this summer, it is a must-see!