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Lights, camera, action: Black Country horror film sure to be a scream

Staffordshire | News | Published:

It's lights, camera, action for a horror movie being produced by a pair of award-winning film-makers.

Shooting has started on the Black Country set of The House of Screaming Death after £3,000 of the production costs was raised by crowd funding.

Talented Walsall duo Dave Hastings and Kaush Patel last year won the Best British Film category at The London Film Awards for their film Checking In that was shot at the town's Baron's Court Hotel.

Now the pair are rolling the cameras again at the landmark Manor House visitor attraction, in West Bromwich, for their latest offering. It is a nod to the classic Hammer and Amicus gothic series of the 1960s and 1970s that is costing £8,000 to make.

Director Rebecca Harris-Smith on set

They set up an online fundraising appeal to complete their latest shoestring project that saw donors put up £3,000 through the website Indiegogo and that money has been spent on production gear.

There are also plans to apply to funding bodies to cover the total cost for the effort which sees 24 cast and 36 crew taking part.

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The storylines include an adaptation of the ghostly Lady in Grey story, blood curdling events in a village terrorised by a chilling vampire, as well as rituals that have grave consequences for the characters involved.

Dave Hastings

Mr Hastings, a media lecturer, said: "We managed to get just under £3,000 in the end which wasn't our intended aim but is still amazing and every penny has gone into equipment hire, locations and special effects. It's all very exciting.

"Building on our previous award-winning film Checking In, we have now set our sights on bringing Gothic British Horror back to the screen, like the old Hammer and Amicus studios used to and people's continued support will only help us further that aim as well as demonstrate the wealth of untapped talent that the Midlands has, but is never seen."

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Mr Hastings works at Stafford College while Mr Patel, 49, a technician, works at Walsall College. They held auditions for the cast that include Sarah Gain and Tom Loone who were being put through their paces on set for scenes in The Witch in the Mirror segment.

Thirty-two-year-old Mr Hastings added."Echoing the eerie and distinctive British style, tone and atmosphere of past celebrated UK Gothic Horror, The House of Screaming Death is a unique anthology chiller that will run shivers down audiences of today.

"The film employs elements of 1960 to 1970s terror and involves four eerie stories each with different characters and events, but all told by a mysterious stranger, the Architect, a mysterious stranger and collector of books.

The character is the core part of the film, and introduces the tales we see in the movie in front of a silent audience in an old abandoned house one stormy evening."

Filming is being done mainly at The Manor House, in Hall Green Road, along with other sites in the area. The premises featured on TV series Great British Ghosts.

Mr Hastings and Mr Patel were on cloud nine after their first movie Checking In scooped the Best British Film a top prize at the prestigious international London Film Awards last year.

The critically acclaimed anthology delves into the lives of a range of characters staying at a hotel during 24-hour period. It was filmed at the Baron's Court Hotel, in Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood, and the stories include a humorous look at a couple at war with each other, a singer looking for inspiration, a pair of costume fanatics examining their place in society, an Asian wedding where the bride goes on the run, while the final segment is a study of a one night stand.

They spent three years filming it on a shoestring budget of £2,500. Earlier this year they attended a bash where they were presented with a trophy.

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