After a hiatus of nearly 3 years!! With COVID and the world coming to a halt, we had to shut down all productions - with exception of those we could do remotely - our Film Show Podcast and our first audio drama, A Christmas Carol!
There were lockdowns, Christmas being cancelled, then society crashing to a halt again, again... and again! So, after numerous attempts trying to get productions going once more, in 2021 we decided to take a step back and wait, prepare, and now we are indeed BACK!!
For most of 2022 we have been in pre-production on a number of Strange Tales.
Behind the curtains we have been writing, casting and prepping the return of Strange Tales. We have some older pre-pandemic Tales that are finally reaching shooting, we have some fresh ideas, and also had to reassess, postpone, or cancel a number of ideas.
But before we get into what’s new and what’s coming very soon, let’s look at what has happened in the last 12 months or so since we shut down production.
We have had success in numerous Film Festivals around the world. To name a few highlights.:
Schrodinger, written by Xander Grant, was selected to be screened over in the big apple at the Lift Off New York Film Festival.
Deliver Us From GEE, has grown strength to strength and continues to be selected, such as being part of the Swansea Fringe Festival and nominated for Best Comedy, and Best Sci-Fi at the Cannes Short Film Festival.
During the time away from all things Watchers, us producers have been busy with other projects. Terrance Marshman-Edwards has recently directed a production of Alice in Wonderland for Peculiar Productions, and was involved in rehearsed readings in Newport and Worcester for a new play called One Night With Marilyn. At the end of 2021 and the beginning of this year, Rhys Jones worked with Moonlight Productions as Associate Producer / Post-Production Supervisor and helped them release the first series of Long Shots. And Matthew Ford has had a script commissioned to be produced as part of the BBC's next season of It's My Shout short films.
SO now the Watchers are back, what do we have coming up? A lot, and enough news to finally share.
Season 3 of Strange Tales will see at least 5 new stories.
The first three planned to go into production are each written and directed by one of the Watchers.
They are called - All Alone, Not by Myself, Just Meat, and Mortification
All Alone, Not by Myself
Written & directed by Matthew Ford.
Starring Linda Bailey & Ben Wilson
June 2013. A Cardiff Council employee visits a tenant whose Housing Benefit has stopped, as she did not return her Single Person Discount form. The tenant, however, is not alone.
Influenced by the writing of M.R. James and Susan Hill, All Alone, Not by Myself is atmospheric, dread-fueled horror set in a Welsh capital hit by austerity and Welfare Reform.
All Alone, Not by Myself is in production now. This is very different creative step for Watchers. The short film is a first for us, it’s animation, a moving graphic novel.
The Cast has already wrapped, recorded all their dialogue, and the film has moved into post-production.
Written & directed by Rhys Jones
Starring Victoria George-Veale, Hannah Celyn-Griffiths and Samuel Rush
Tommy, a Pizza bike delivery driver, is held hostage at the hands of a disturbed woman called Catrin and her girlfriend Zoe. But not all is as it seems…
Just Meat is based on an old student film by Rhys Jones; he is producing this film, and cameras are set to roll in mid-September.
Written & directed by Terrance Marshman-Edwards
How well do you know your friends? Who’s most likely to get drunk, tell a lie, or even steal from you? A new online game will help you find out... but do you really want to know?
Based on an idea Terrance had to try and get something made during lockdown, Mortification is currently in pre-production.
Looking to film in early 2023, we have two long in pre-production shorts (both of which were planned to film way back in 2020): Dinner Date and LOCKED.
Written by Christopher Maxwell and directed by Terrance Marshman-Edwards.
David lives alone and is trying to get himself out into the dating world. He’s invited Jen around for dinner to show off his cooking skills and to please his pestering mother. As the night rolls on, the two laugh and bond, but Jen suspects David might be keeping something from her.
Dinner Date is written by Christopher Maxwell of Dramatic Moose Productions, who will also co-produce this film. Unfortunately, due to the time this project spent waiting for the pandemic to ease, we have lost the original director, but Terrance Marshman-Edwards will now co-produce and direct this tale.
Written by Eleonora Mignoli and directed by Teddy Smith.
Starring Angharad L Ford as Kay Starr, Thom Robins as Peter, and Rob Murphy as Alfred Wyre.
In the future, Justice is delegated to machines: infallible and objective, these AI dispense fair punishments. Kay is accused by her neighbour of dropping trash on their lawn. It's a civil infraction, and while it was only an oversight on Kay's part, she's charged with a small fine. Kay is about to leave when her hand is locked, and the machine accuses her of murder – of somebody Kay has never met. Her only chance at survival is to prove her innocence, but while the AI begins drawing a net of guilt around her, we're left asking ourselves if she’s as innocent as she looks.
The long awaited LOCKED, from a script by the talented Eleonora Mignoli. Eleonora is a writer and director based in Sheffield. Before moving to the UK in 2014, she lived for three years in Australia, where she gained an Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting at the Sydney Film School. When not reading, drawing or patting strangers’ dogs, she can be found working on her most recent projects, which include directing short films as one half of the collective Leo and The Bears, writing sci-fi screenplays (like the award-winning BBC short, Rory Romantic) and editing her debut novel, Oneirika.
Teddy Smith returns to Strange Tales (having previously directed Second Chances). Over the past few years, Ted has focused and dealt with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and loss. The highlight of his time behind the camera was working on Whovians with Watchers Productions and on STFU and Bitten with Big Rich Productions.
For now, that’s all the news we have, and a slate of content that brings us up to the end of 2023! STAND BY FOR ACTION........