Wednesday, 31 October 2012



Today is the day. Finally after a very long time and much hard work my award winning 1st feature film psychological horror THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS is released on DVD.

Click the links for your copy:

It's been a long road with very little money to try and achieve the same thing that most films have massive budgets for. Not an easy task but I've been amazed at just how much support is out there especially on Twitter. Tweeps you've been awesome and truly inspiring. I remain absolutely convinced that SELF-D is the way forward for all us indie folks and film lovers.

Now comes the hard part finding the funding for the next one.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Self-D.


Monday, 15 October 2012


Here's the 2nd trailer for THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Directed by Craig Griffith the award winning film is to be released on DVD 31st October 2012.


Here's a great review for THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS to be released on DVD 31st October. Thanks to Movies In Focus for some great questions.


Here's an interview I gave with The Evil Eye about the forthcoming DVD release of horrorfilm THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. Well worth a read.

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Through The Looking Glass

DVD Release Date:  October 31st 2012.
Written & Directed: Craig Griffith
Executive Producers:  Mike Pringle & Mark Stevenson
Produced: Craig Griffith, William Charles & May Gwen
Actors: Paul McCarthy, Jonathan Rhodes, Mike Langridge, Ros Povey
Production Company: The Workshop Presents…


Friday, 31 August 2012

DVD release date for award winning horror film Through the Looking Glass is confirmed.

OCTOBER 31st 2012:

The award winning indie horror film Through the Looking Glass will be released on DVD on October 31st 2012. It is being self distributed by The Workshop Presents… the company set up by the film’s director.

The film was made on a micro-budget of £6000k and lots of favours from everyone involved. It was a real group effort. Basically we locked ourselves into a real haunted house called Compton House in Dorset, UK (which is a 1000 years old and mentioned in the Doomsday book) and didn't leave for about 45 days slowly becoming more terrorised by the house as we filmed in the cold February air with no heating or hot water. 

It was an incredible shoot taking a hardened cynical London crew to this crazy old house in the country and watching them slowly fall apart as they became more terrified by their experiences. It was unlike anything anyone had ever been involved in before. We worked long hard nights filming late into the small hours and averaging 18-19 hour days often running around cold deserted cellars or attics scaring the be-Jesus out of each other. 

There was a real sense of community on the film and everyone no matter what their role big or small chipped in and made this happen. Cast and crew all slept on camp beds in the same room, as the rest of the house was too scary to be alone in at night and we spent the time before sleep drinking whiskey and telling each other spooky stories of our experiences around the house. It’s fair to say not much sleeping got done in those 45 days.

However it was all worth it when we finally emerged, gaunt, bedraggled, bordering on insanity, all having managed to keep it together long enough to get the film in the can. 

Then the harsh realities of being an indie film maker kicked in and it took a couple of years of shitty jobs to pay for post production but finally the film was ready.

It has screened at festivals around the world and has won awards as well as being nominated for several others. It has been picked up by US distrib Goliath Arts who are taking care of the VOD but I have been determined right from the beginning to self distribute the DVD as I am fully convinced that SELF-D is the future for indie film makers such as myself (ask me again next year if I still think the same). The aim is to make enough money on this release to fund my next project and so on.

It’s an incredibly hard time to get indie films made in the current financial climate and the film really is a testament to everyone's hard work and dedication to the project that it is now a reality. Any support you can show us will be greatly appreciated. The more people you can tell about the film the better. As an indie I really don’t have the clout behind my small film that even the most low budget of Hollywood films have so it all does really help.

For further tales from the film shoot please visit the film’s website
We have also released the film’s soundtrack on CD via the film’s website and Amazon.

For more info check out:

"A terrifying horror, an atmospheric shocker" - Festival Director SBFF 2007, winner of Best Horror

What’s Your Reflection?

Monday, 27 August 2012


Like the many of you I’ve had to hold down all kinds of rubbish jobs in my time to pay for this obsession I have to make films (the worst standing in the snow all day while being shouted at by the public, it’s a long story). As the years have rolled by and many projects come and gone, through it all thanks to the wonders of modern technology I have managed to find a digital workflow that means making my films is fairly easy and in expensive. But like every other filmmaker whose ever dreamed of actually making a living from these filums the main problem has always been how do I get my film seen by the masses? I have bashed my head against the brick wall of Hollywood for a long time and never really found a way through…that is until now. Again thanks to the wonders of modern technology and social media I am now discovering a workflow for self-distribution that seems like it might actually work. I really believe that self-distribution is fast becoming the only viable option for independent filmmakers.

The decision to go the route of SELF-D really began when developing a film project a few years back opened my eyes to the real problem every filmmaker faces. Making a film is relatively easy but how do you get distribution? When I first started to put the project together the only real option was to try and get a distributor interested and pre-sales in place.  This traditional method had served the industry very well for an awfully long time and nothing was about to change anytime soon. We knew that the script was really strong as was everyone involved but none of us had any previous track record so to speak in the eyes of the industry although the production team was incredibly experienced. In short no one knew who we were and therefore no one was willing to invest the budget of $5.5 million. To be honest I can’t blame them because I wouldn’t invest that kind of money in an untried product. This meant our only option was to put together a cast that would sell the film to the distributors, the exhibitors and the audience. So this is what we did and several months later we had a very strong cast in place of well-known film and TV stars. We then took this package back to the money people.

Now this is where the main problem of doing things the old fashioned way reared its ugly head. The problem is that those within the traditional distribution model take forever to say yes or no to your film and by the time they got around to saying yes to us our lead actress (a fairly successful Hollywood name) had died of a prescribed drug over-dose and the project fell apart.

At this point the project was dead in the water for 2 main reasons, the first being as a perceived 1st time director I had no name and the second being the script had done the rounds in Hollywood, had been thumbed by everyone and his dog and was as deceased as our starlet. All this after 5 years of non-stop hard work.  Back to the drawing board.

Frustration quickly gave way to the realisation that I would have been better off raising a small budget myself (as I did on my 1st feature Through the Looking Glass) and getting my film made and released as a low-budget film. If I hadn’t decided to do it the traditional way I’d probably be onto my 4th film by now.

There are many reasons why I believe that SELF-D is good for filmmakers. The first being you become your own micro-studio and can put out films in a manner that’s right for what you want to present. Now although this means you lose the clout that a studio or large distributor might have it does mean that you put out the film the way you intended it which you can then aim more directly at the audience for which it was created. This does mean having to put in more work on the filmmakers part but as most of us are control freaks who can’t let go of our films anyway I don’t see this as a problem.

The other thing that makes SELF-D such a viable option is that all the money you make as a producer can be ploughed straight back into your next film and likewise the next. Hopefully it becomes a self-fulfilling process allowing filmmakers to build up a body of work and find an audience without the need of the middleman.
As the ‘studio’ it is you the filmmaker who sees the profits come in and instead of having to pay over-heads, for offices, lunches, travel and cross-collateral deals you can actually make more money directly from SELF-D and therefore have more to re-invest in your next film. As a result if handled correctly the whole SELF-D model becomes self-sufficient and you no longer need to go looking for funding for your projects. At least that’s the theory. Of course this depends on the size and scale of each individual project but as an indie the idea of being able to self-fund your next film is irresistible. But of course none of this is guaranteed but it is possible.

And finally the most important reason for SELF-D is it allows you the filmmaker to take control. It gives you the confidence to tackle the stories you want without the pressure of ‘The bottom dollar’ from the studio and isn’t that what great art should be about?

It is also a route through for aspiring filmmakers who aren’t a good fit for Hollywood or simply don’t want to be a part of it’s scene or don’t even live in the US. It means that filmmakers can be based anywhere in the world and still have an outlet and the opportunity to find their audience.

I firmly believe that SELF-D is better for the audience as it removes one more obstacle between them and the filmmaker. With one less person making the decision about what they should or shouldn’t be watching it allows for a more direct, intimate and personal experience. It means that an audience and a filmmaker can develop an ongoing relationship.

It also means that the audience can be encouraged to seek out more interesting perhaps less mainstream films that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. Of course the downside is that there will be a mass of films out there to choose from some of which will be bloody terrible (probably made by me) but who’s to judge what an audience will like given the choice and cinematic history is littered with many high-budget guaranteed hit films that died a death never to be seen again. Truth is it shouldn’t be down to some Fat Cat in a suit and a tan to tell you what you can watch.

The biggest leap forward in SELF-D has to be social networks. I love the fact that filmmakers can now talk directly to an audience through Twitter and FB and if that relationship is embraced and cultivated and not just seen as another marketing tool but rather an active part of the film making process then everyone benefits. There’s real value in nurturing your audience using social networking. How cool is it to be able to ask your fave filmmaker why they made the choices they did in that film…and how cool when they actually answer back. Likewise how cool is it as a filmmaker when someone bothers to take an interest in what you do and then tell all their friends? This is something the majors just don’t get and are not set up to do, talking directly to and with their audience in an ongoing dialogue.

Now don’t get me wrong it sounds like I’m studio bashing here but I’m not. The studios are great at what they do and of course given half a chance I’d take their money to get my projects made…but it is based on an old fashioned business model, an “us & them” attitude. I really believe that with the new breed of network savvy filmmakers it is really now just “us”, filmmakers and audience working towards the same thing…a bloody great film experience.

I’m just offering my thoughts on another way of doing things that won’t replace what we already have but rather run along side as another means of getting to see great films. A way that allows me as a filmmaker (good or bad) to get my films out there and connect with an audience who might like them because as it stands the studios are letting people like you and me down with a system that is exclusive. What I’m working towards is something inclusive.

To be honest I’ve tried it their way and they wouldn’t let me in to play with their toys (for whatever reason). Maybe I’m not good enough, maybe my face doesn’t fit, maybe it’s just not to be. Who knows but in all honesty I don’t believe any of that (why would I, I’m a film maker?) I just think I don’t work within their system and their system doesn’t work for me and that’s fine. I’ll just have to do it another way.

Clearly the future of indie films is on-line and with home-cinema and high speed Internet the market has now been kicked wide open. It is now as much about smart marketing of your film with limited resources as it is about the film.

Of course the films you make will still need to be finely crafted well-told stories about strong engaging characters.

I’m talking about commercially successful films that can pay for the next. Somewhere along the line the idea that indie films are not commercial has come about and this is ridiculous because no matter what the film is all about the filmmakers want their films to be seen. Bums on seats is the motto and that means making films that appeal to as wide an audience as possible and it certainly doesn’t mean that they need to be dumbed down to reach a large audience. They just need to be targeted well. Again there are many cases of small indie films that breakout and do fantastic business.

Obviously this isn’t a complete run down of the advantages of SELF-D and of course there are lots of things I’ve probably missed or not yet considered but I’m sure I’ll update this as I go along the process and find out things for myself.

I'm sure there is lots to nit-pick over in everything above, all sorts of contradictions and that’s the point. There is no right way or wrong way of doing any of this there is only the way that works for you.

I’m discovering a way that works for me, well at least in concept, now I’m going to see if I can actually put it all into practice and get more of my films out there. I’d love to hear your stories of self-distribution. I’m always open to learning new ways of doing things.

Finally I guess the real revolution is that with SELF-D none of this matters anymore. Make the films you want the way you want to and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. And they will find their own audience if they’re good enough and you put the work in. Can’t wait to see your films.

Please feel free to re-post.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Workshop Presents... now on YouTube.

So here we are, our YouTube channel is now up. Follow the link and check out some of our trailers and shorts and music vids. More to come soon.


Tuesday, 8 May 2012


The digital roll out of Through the Looking Glass continues and the film is now playing here: . Head on over and have a watch and don't forget to tell all your friends to do the same. The more people we can get over there the more the film will spread and the more you will have played a part in making this film a success (which is no easy thing for an indie film). And then we can make more. You are brilliant for this and you know you are. It is very much appriciated here at the Workshop so a big thanks for all your support.

The DVD is almost finished and will be heading your way pretty soon.

Bye for now.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Workshop QOTD: Death, death, death...

I've just been writing the ADR script for a rather gruesome death scene in Nightvision. To me the art of a great death scene is to leave the real horror to the imagination of the audience. It's a fine line between being terrifying, horrific and just gratuitous.

Now don't get me wrong I love a bit of splatter and gore but I tend to laugh in a little terrified way in much the same way I do when I'm at the top of the roller coaster, you know that fraction of a pause just before it sends you hurtling headlong into the bowls of hell.

That stuff is great but it doesn't disturb me in the same way that The Ring or The Shining or The Haunting (original not that crappy re-make, Jan deBont you should be ashamed for littering Wise's masterpiece with all that CGI crap) does.

So I'd love to know what is your fave death scene from a film and why? What made it affect you so much? Did it horrify you? Or did it move you? For me I'd have to say The Elephant Man still floors every time.

Next time.


Friday, 20 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: To remake or not to remake?

I'm finally going to get to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tonight. Now I love Fincher, always have since 7. Even when he misses it is still with so much style and verve that it's really captivating (yes The Game I'm talking about you). He really is one of the most interesting directors around. Generally I hate Hollywood remakes so it is with some trepidation that I am going but if any one can pull it off the Fincher can. I'll let you know tomorrow if I think he does.

The problem with Hollywood remakes is that they're taking something alien and trying to turn them into something palatable for American audiences. To me this means that they don't trust the audience to have a little intelligence, a little taste and so they always dumb things down. In doing so they always feel like something is lost in translation. Of course I am generalising here but you get the point (Wickerman anyone?)

A good example of this is Verbinski's take on The Ring. Now for a Hollywood film it's a really good film in it's own right but even so it can help falling for the old Hollywood tricks and as such it loses all sense of dread and terror that makes the original so scary. That sense of normality that made it get in your head and twist around your brain and squeeze the life out of you.

Also foreign films have their own unique tone and pacing depending on where they come from, some fast, some slow but all different. I love that sense of experiencing the world through a different set of eyes. I just think it would be very dull if all films were tonally the same as the boardroom suits would like. Mind you even films within Hollywood vary massively and long may that last.

My biggest bug-bear though is that they have to re-make them in English because they believe the audience won't go to see the original 'cos they gotta read, as if the audience are either too stupid or too lazy to read. Personally I like having to read subtitles it makes me feel like I'm experiencing a new world, a different culture something that is new to me or not quite understood by me and I have to keep up but maybe most people don't.

So what's your fave Hollywood remake? Why does it work? Does it maintain any sense of the original? Is it better?

Thank God they've decided to shelve the US remake of Akira is all I can say.

Bye-Bye for now

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: Rock 'n' Role

Been having a Back to the Future trilogy session over the last few nights. One a night. Its been great to see how the story ties into everything that came before it in the previous films and then pays off at the end.

What is really interesting is the role reversal of Marty and Doc in the 3rd film. In the first film Marty doesn't really pay any attention to the whole space/time continuum while Doc is constantly telling him he mustn't do anything that could alter the future but after the events of the 2nd film Marty learns his lesson and spends much of the 3rd film telling Doc he mustn't do things that will change the future. And of course like Marty in the first film he doesn't listen and falls in love with the always brilliant Mary Steenbergen. It works brilliantly and something I missed when I first saw the film as a teenager.

What is you fave film about role reversal and why? Is it Hanks in Big? Is it Indy and his son in Crystal Skull as a flip on Indy and his dad in Last Crusade? Is it Hoffman in Tootsie?

I really wish I had a hover-board...oh and a time travelling DeLorean.

Now why don't you make like a tree...


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: The horror, the horror...

My great friend Kev Moss and I have been working on the script for the end of Nightvision making it much more scary and terrifying. I love writing end scenes the most as this is the scene in which everything comes together, reaches a point and BANG explodes leaving the characters reeling.

This is the place where you really get to mess with your characters the most. This is the point where the worst that can happen does and they are left with the consequences for the rest of their lives (no matter how short).

This is where you feel like Laurence Oliver in Clash of the Titans (the original, not the crappy re-make) as he moves the little clay figures across his board...or like that kid rushing his Star Wars miniture people at each other for that last big face off with a firework taped to one of the Stormtroopers (or was that just me?).

The good thing about a horror script is that you can really put your characters through the mill at this point and that is lots of fun. The nastier the better. So with this horrid little thought in your heads....

What's the scariest ending to a film you've seen? What about it gave you the cold sweats or sent a shiver down your spine or left you unable to sleep for days? Answer on a postcard to....



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: Starting over

So my monster movie script Evolution Cell is done and dusted and in the hands of the producer to work his what? Best get on with the next script. Back to my road movie The Long Road. Although I've already shot about 1/4 of it it's never too late to change it, refine it, throw it all out and start again.

With that in mind what is your fave film about starting over, learning your lessons and moving on? You could argue that all films are about that really. If your character doesn't learn anything then what is the change? No change, no story, no film. If a character ends in the same place he began then whats the point of what you're telling? So every story has to have some kind of lesson learnt and change as a result.

So what is your fave starting over film?

Bye for now

Monday, 16 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: The Transformed Man

Spent the day formatting my new script called Evolution Cell (working title, likely to change). This is always the most satisfying part of writing a script as this is when it feels like it's real and not just a collection of ideas thrown together in some random order. This is the part where you get to turn it into a PDF with a title page and page numbers and the right font and copyright logo at the bottom. This is the part where it feels proper - like a real script. This is the part where you have a warm glow inside about what you have achieved.

That is until you send it out and people start reading it and having differing opinions about what works and what doesn't, the part where all that sense of self-satisfaction comes tumbling down around your ears and actually this next part is the bit I like best, strangely. I love it. Because out of all that chaos and despair that you've written a steaming pile of shit you can start to rebuild and make the script stronger, better. From the rubble you can see its faults more clearly than you have in months. The script transforms into something new and hopefully something beautiful because of this process.

So what has any of this got to do with the Question of the Day you may ask? Well the Question of the Day is a great research tool for me to see what people like and what they feel works and I bring that knowledge into my next re-write. It enlightens and informs. It educates. It transforms. So today's QOTD is what's your fave character transformation? It can be physical, emotional, spiritual as long as the character changes into something new.

Adios Amigos

Friday, 13 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: Let's rock.

Had a telephone production meeting with Will from Scant Regard about making a short film/video promo for a song off his latest album. I've never really been into music videos where the band just swan about trying to look good. I much prefer something a bit more abstract and artistic. For me the video should be something equal and entwined with the music not just a collection of eye candy while the music plays. I think it should enhance the music and vice versa. Something a bit more challenging. Probably why I don't get many music promos.

So today I'd like to know what is your fave music related film? Is it watching The Band doing their last waltz or the neon drenched sweaty clubs of Purple Rain? For me I'd have to say The Wall by Pink Floyd as it really hit that early 80's punk/noir vibe I loved so much about Bladerunner. Ah the glory days.

Lets rock.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: They be bad boys.

Today I have been painting the fire surround ready for a log burner to go in next week. I know the warmest winter on record and we're getting a fire put in. Where were you last year when it was snowing...oh yeah didn't have the money then.

As I was painting I was mulling over the creation of a villain/monster for one of my scripts called Evolution Cell. It used to be a vampire but hey look what happened there (yes I'm looking at you Twilight, vampires that glow in the sun...WTF????) Now it's not as easy as you might at first think to come up with a really scary monster that is believable and terrifying. I think I cracked it and it involves Tendrils (I love that word).

What is your fave movie monster and what makes it work so great? Is it the charm of Hannibal or the sexual allure of Alien? Let me know.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Workshop QOTD: #soundtrack vibes man.

Ok so this thing is changing into it's own thing so who am I to stop it (theme of a script I'm writing called Evolution Cell, more to follow on that one), it's now becoming the Workshop Question Of  The Day or Workshop QOTD: as it's shorter title will be. Here's today's.

Listening to Movie Soundtracks as I set up a new edit desk for my wife. What's your fave movie soundtrack and what's so great about it? Is it that you'll believe a man can fly or does it chill you to the bone wearing a rubber Shatner mask?


Friday, 6 January 2012

Workshop Film Quiz: All the red tape

Today I am doing battle with the dreaded 3 headed monster called the Tax Return. Armed with my trusty white laptop, a calculator, a pen and paper (old skool) and a fuzzy rusty man-flu addled brain I'm doing my best to fell this filthy beast but feel like I'm bashing my head against an impenetrable grey fortress of paperwork.

So to celebrate the good fight I'd like to know what is your fave film dealing with bureaucracy and the dystopian future promised in Gilliam's Brazil. Let me know.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Workshop Film Quiz: Told you I was ill.

I'm suffering from Man-Flu today but will heroically force my self to get some re-writing done. So with this in mind (and it's the theme of my Road Movie) what is your fave film about dying young and beautiful? What is it about this film that touches you so much? What does it teach us? And will I ever be right again?

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Workshop Film Quiz

Just flew back to London from Belfast. The flight was a little bumpy because of the winds but not as bad as the flight over. So today I'd like to know what is your fave flying film and why? For me it might have to be Airplane 2 just cos of Shatner. Top Dog, nĂºmero UNO, A numer 1.
Happy flying.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Workshop Film Quiz

The UK is being battered by gale force winds so today I want to know what your fave wind related scene is. Is it the flying cows in Twister or Dorathy's house splattering the witch or is it the camp fire/baked beans from Blazing Saddles? I'd love to know?

Thought the winds were going to rip the trees up at 3am last night. Kept me awake so re-wrote some of the Road Movie.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Workshop Film Quiz

As I am working on a re-write of my Road Movie script I'd like to know what's your fave Road Movie and why?
Let me know.