When I decided I wanted to make a feature film, my thought process was very much that of a producer. Horrors and thrillers are statistically better selling genres, particularly in the ancillary markets. I was always being realistic with my expectations of how the film would reach an audience based on the fact that it was going to be shot on a micro-budget. A straight-to-DVD, high-concept genre movie was the obvious choice.
However I was also aware that this market is absolutely flooded right now. I needed a film that could stand out above the rest. It needed individuality, something unique. I was also realistic about what sort of budget we were looking at. Locations cost money, as do travel and multiple unit moves. Cast also cost money. If we were going to make a good film we had to keep locations and cast to a minimum. So this was my brief to Ollie (the writer/director), and off he went to immerse himself in a world of possibilities.
Our winning concept was a ‘vampire revenge movie’ – The Harsh Light of Day. The story follows a man who turns into a vampire to avenge the brutal murder of his wife.
Death Wish meets Interview with a Vampire. I loved it straight away. Vampires had once again become the cool new thing on screen, but this story was no Twilight. It had mature themes and a gritty sub-plot involving a gang, who are essentially a far worse threat to our protagonist than the notion of Vampirism. Furthermore, it was our opportunity to offer a different take the Vampire myth. Ollie wanted to represent Vampires as something very biological, and I was happy because it was predominantly set in one house!
Useful tips and links:
A. Do your research:
– UK Film Council Statistic book offers an overview of the UK and Ireland film market. http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/article/16894/Statistical-Yearbook-10
– British Video Association provides great advice and practical information about the DVD market
A great book: