Emma Dark’s horror short Seize The Night now available to watch

Horror lovers will be pleased to hear that the highly anticipated vampires vs werewolves action-horror hybrid SEIZE THE NIGHT is now available to watch online, for free!

STN-Emma-Dark-as-EVA-02SEIZE THE NIGHT has been one of the most talked about short films on the independent horror scene over the past year. In its time on the festival circuit the film has won creator Emma Dark an MMBF Rising Star award at Ireland’s The Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival, garnered favourable reviews from a multitude of respected genre websites including Dread Central, Starburst and UK Horror Scene, and featured in comprehensive national print articles in the UK’s leading horror magazine Scream, and indie filmmaking favourite Digital Filmmaker Magazine. Wearing many hats on the project up-and-coming female filmmaker Emma Dark both Produced, Directed and edited the film, as well taking a starring role.

The plot revolves around renegade vampire assassin Eva (Emma Dark) who’s recently escaped from a secret bio-research compound and is hell bent on taking revenge against those who put her there, including a pack of werewolves led by alpha Tobias (Carey Thring), and a secret government faction known only as Cable 9.

SEIZE THE NIGHT’s ambitious fight scenes were coordinated by semi-retired Hollywood stunt man Roy Scammell, who amongst a plethora of credits is responsible for fight coordination and stunt work on many of the James Bond films, Alien (1979), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Superman (1978). The film is further enhanced with digital visual effects from up and coming VFX artist Davy Simmons and a unique score from US based composer Eric Elick.

Emma had this to say about the film’s release “After a very successful stint on the festival circuit and a lot of media and critic support it’s finally time to press the button and unleash SEIZE THE NIGHT upon the world! Myself and my cast and crew have put an absolutely incredible amount of work into the film so I do hope it’s well received, and that it does it’s part for raising awareness of female directors and filmmakers in a typically male dominated space.

There’s more to come with a limited DVD release for those who want to have their own copy of the film, and a whole host of behind the scenes extras I’ll be posting up over the coming weeks. Until then I hope everyone enjoys watching SEIZE THE NIGHT.”

The film can be viewed here:

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A little more about Seize the Night

Synopsis:

After escaping from a secret government bio-research compound renegade vampire assassin Eva (Emma Dark) is hell bent on revenge. Receiving a tip off from the mysterious Dante (Anthony Ilott, Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort) she meets with arms dealer Joe (Paul Ewen, Cockneys vs Zombies) who informs her that an enemy is hot on her tail. Eva hunts the hunter and encounters a team of werewolves, led by pack alpha Tobias (Carey Thring, From Hell). During their confrontation Eva learns a terrible secret and is forced into a situation of such gravity she may have to join forces with the devil she knows in order to fight the greatest of all evils.

Top Billed Cast:

Emma Dark (Island of the Blind Dead (2015))

Carey Thring (From Hell (2001))

Paul Ewen (Cockneys vs Zombies (2012))

Anthony Ilott (Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (2014))

Mark Sears (Essex Boys: Law of Survival (2015))

Notable Crew:

Emma Dark – Producer/Director

Eric Elick – Music

Roy Scammell – Fight Coordinator

AJ Singh & Donato Cinicolo – Cinematography

Davy Simmons – VFX

Luke Smith – SFX

Steve Bosworth – SFX

Richard Humphries – Screenplay

Full cast and crew credits can be found here:

http://imdb.to/1W3K2TX

Social Media / Website Links:

http://www.seizethenightfilm.com

https://www.facebook.com/seizethenightfilm

https://twitter.com/SeizeNight

http://www.emmadark.com

https://www.facebook.com/EmmaDarkOfficial

 

 

Richard Humphries Interview by Tony Sands

rh1Richard Humphries Interview

We recently had a chance to sit and chat with ‘Seize The Night’ screenwriter Richard Humphries. He talks about Seize The Night, his inspirations and what he’d like to do next.

UKHS – Seize The Night is doing really well, getting lots of positive attention. That must be very pleasing?

RH – Indeed it is, the film was made by genre fans trying to make something we’d like to see. So having it be well received by fellow fans is phenomenal.

UKHS – How did you come to be involved in the project?

RH – I’ve known Emma for a few years, we met online and being rather shameless as a writer I mentioned I had written a few scripts. I sent her along a sample, she liked it, and got back to me about some projects she had in mind. We collaborated on a few short scripts before she conceived ‘Seize the Night.’

UKHS – Was it a long process from when you first started discussing it?

RH – No, it moved fairly quickly as I recall. It was like in mid October and the film was shooting in January; even for a short film that’s a quick turnaround time. We discussed the idea first in fairly broad terms over the course of a week or so and formed the basic structure of the short.

From there I wrote a backstory pitch for the world, which to be honest wasn’t used. Meryln composed a brilliant backstory that we used and extrapolated upon. The script was rewritten throughout most of November and the final rewrites were probably done in December.

The last thing I think that was written was Anthony Ilott’s role; Emma had interviewed him at a convention some time before and she messaged me on Facebook that he was interested in the project. She asked what kind of role could we put him in and in about an hour or so we messaged back and forth, worked out his backstory and I basically wrote his scene on my phone.

STN_PosterUKHS – Excellent. That can be the thing with writing, it can change quite drastically from what you first envisioned into something quite different, but just as good. What attracted you to writing?

RH – Back at SCAD [Savannah College of Art & Design] the thing that the Professors, especially Andrew Meyer (who had produced Breakfast Club) hammered into us: there’s the film that you write, film that you shoot, and film that you edit.

From the writer’s perspective that’s very true, but that’s where you must have have implicit trust in your collaborators and I have that in Emma. We’ve worked enough together and talked enough that we know what appeals to us as story tellers so a middle ground can be reached.

What attracted me to writing dates back to my childhood as cliche as it sounds. My Mom and Dad always told my brother and I stories, I loved listening to them; especially about their time in the military. I also grew up listening to NPR and on Sunday nights they would replay the old radio serials like ‘Gunsmoke’ and ‘Johnny Dollar.’
So I’ve always been attracted to listening to stories and from there I had the desire to tell stories. Either retelling great ones I heard and eventually creating my own.

It was frustrating during middle school and mostly high school as the English classes didn’t offer much in the way of ‘creative’ writing. But the few times we had an assignment that i could write a narrative, I took it.

UKHS – Trust isn’t always an easy give, so it’s always credit when a collaboration works out as well as Seize The Night. The nice thing with writing is you can generally disappear into your own world for huge chunks of time. What do you find the best part of the writing process to be?

RH – Agreed and without the time building up to Seize the Night, not just writing together but just getting into discussions about genre films and writers; I don’t think it would’ve been as easy as it was.

I think probably the brainstorming scenes is one of my favorite parts. Though I know it weirds everyone around me out as I do tend to talk to myself out loud and act out the scenes; which can make for some interesting situations.

I generally carry a notepad around with me or a voice recorder, making notes, writing stuff down, and probably rewrite even a simple dialogue scene a dozen or more times before I get before my computer and those countless rewrites. It’s the time I feel at the most free because the ideas are just flowing, I can ignore the ‘structure’ of writing a proper screenplay and the urge to go back and correct if I see a mistake.

It’s natural and organic. A sweet soundtrack always goes along with it as well, when I’m not at work of course.

StN - Still - Chris Hampshire - MIKKEL

StN – Still – Chris Hampshire – MIKKEL

UKHS – I guess it helps when you already know who will be speaking your lines too?

RH – Most of Seize the Night was cast after the script was written so beyond Anthony I wasn’t writing anything specifically for anyone. I think trying to do that limits yourself; while I might have a type in mind, I don’t have anyone specific. Though STN was a wonderful surprise as everyone cast matched the ideas i had in my head; especially Carey as Tobias.

UKHS – I know there are plans for more STN, but I won’t ask what those are as I don’t want anything spoiled. However, I know you have a number of other projects in various stages of development. Anything you can talk about?

RH – Yeah, I have a few screenplays I’m focusing on for pitching as they’re near to my heart as well as match the current marketplace the industry is in.

The big one that I have most of my focus on is called ‘After Wolf’ which is a war film with a very different breed of werewolf as the antagonists. Simply put it’s ‘Aliens’ by way of George A. Romero; but that’s just the most surface level description of it.

I’ve been working on the story for the better part of nine years; originally it was going to be a novel but has morphed over the years and multiple iterations to where it is now.

Back at SCAD, I had planned to shoot a short film set in the universe as my senior thesis; but a confluence of events caused that not to happen. I did manage to shoot some material in a class with the werewolf suit that had been made for the film; this material is forming the backbone of a trailer for the script.

Emma has been a huge help in that regard, doing color timing and restoration on the footage.

I’m hoping to raise funds to shoot a short film later this year that’ll grab a producer’s attention and backing for a feature film.

StN - Still - Emma Dark - EVA

StN – Still – Emma Dark – EVA

UKHS – Franchise potential too and that’s just from what you’ve told me!

RH – I already have the second and third film written, it’s a bit of an oddity as I wrote the series backwards; trying to accomplish the same goal of making a small enough film I could, as a first time director, be allowed to direct.

UKHS – Will you be acting in it too? I read somewhere that you were nominated for ‘Best Villain’ at a film festival a few years ago, is that right?

RH – Oh Lord no no no, I cannot stand acting. Those who can do it, I have the utmost respect for; but I find it awkward and uncomfortable when shooting. I was in a short film back at SCAD called ‘The Red Hood’ that was an update of ‘Red Riding Hood’ and I played the Wolf character. Who in this version was a serial killer.

The directors are friends of mine and they asked me to be in it, I agreed ONLY as a last resort; which they would admit later they never asked anyone else to be in it and wanted me from the get-go. It was a miserable experience, I was sick throughout most of the shoot and full credit to makeup Jordan Morris for making sure I was alive at the end.

Acting, no it’s not for me. Maybe a Hitchcock walk across the screen cameo…but I don’t see myself acting.

It was Best Villain in a short film at the Action on Film Festival 2010; was a surprise when Zach (one of the directors) called me over the summer to say I had been nominated

UKHS – Funny, so reluctant and then a nomination. And a wolf too! There’s a theme in your career.

RH – Aye and what was more amusing is that I had the same Professor the next year and of course he recognized me and suggested me to the class for anyone who needed a creepy murderer. Yeah, wolves are a theme it seems. But I have made a vow never to kill a dog, it’s the lowest, easiest form of emotional manipulation that can be done. So dogs are off limits for me.

AfterWolf_claws

After Wolf

UKHS – Yeah, I hate that. Leave the dogs alone!

RH – Amen, you can see it a mile away and you know it’s coming. The only film where I think it worked was ‘John Wick’ because his response is something I think all dog owners tuned into.

UKHS – In Wick it played a pivotal part in what happened next. There’s a sequel to that, I wonder what provokes him this time. His canary?

RH – He got a new dog at the end of the film, you think that people would’ve learned the first time: ‘don’t kill Wick’s dog’ but criminals in films aren’t the smartest bunch at times.

UKHS – Luckily for the heroes

RH – Indeed, but as the Joker would say ‘we need a better class of criminal’

UKHS – Which is why we always love a good bad ‘un. Are there any movies or writers that inspired you?

RH – A very long list of writers, I’m a voracious reader so certainly authors like Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, Todd Stone, Fredrick Forsyth, HP Lovecraft, Bernard Cromwell, and Clive Barker among many others are influential for me.

Movies, as any of my friends would attest my taste is ‘eclectic’ to say the least. One of the most influential is George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead; that film came at the right point in my life where I didn’t know quite what I wanted to do. Something in that movie made me want to get into filmmaking.

Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Cross of Iron’, John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ Michael Cimino’s ‘Heaven’s Gate’, Lucio Fulci’s ‘The Beyond’ are probably four of the most influential movies upon me as well as four of my favorites. I could rattle on a list of directors from Steven Spielberg, Neil Marshall, Peter Jackson, Kathryn Bigelow etc.

I take inspiration from anywhere and everywhere; sometimes it’s easy to pinpoint…other times it’s near impossible.

UKHS – Any advice for aspiring writers?

RH – One bit of advice I’ve found as true than any ‘write write write’ advice is: have friends who’ll support you, push you, and challenge you.

I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful circle of friends the world over who are insanely supportive and amazing soundboards for ideas. Pushing me forward, giving me inspiration for rewrites and new ideas all together. Simple conversations here on Facebook or Twitter have sparked entirely new screenplays because of processing a different perspective.

Despite the obvious distance between myself and Emma for example, the internet makes communication easy and instantaneous. Without it, I certainly never would’ve met her and the wonderful folks involved with it; and they’re people I’d work with in a heartbeat.

That’s probably the best advice I can give: have friends who’ll listen to you, give you support, push you and challenge you not only in writing, but also in getting your material out there. Having that support structure is as important as having a fully polished work.

AfterWolf_Directing

Directing After Wolf

UKHS – That’s fantastic Rick. Make sure you keep us updated on your future projects and thanks very much for chatting with me.

RH – I will and thanks for having me.

Rick Humphries, nice chap and dog owner!
You can find him in these places, sometimes at the same time:

https://www.facebook.com/rhenryhumphries

https://twitter.com/RhenryHumphries

UK Horror Scene Frightsight – Hanging With… Emma Dark

seizethenightHanging With…Emma Dark

Welcome to a new series of video interviews as UKHS writer Tony Sands and his crew hang with talented British folk from across the horror spectrum. They will be bringing a number of interviews across 2016 that will hopefully give you an insight into the UK indie horror scene and you will hear just what it takes to get a project to fruition.

Emma Dark enters The Room to join The UKHS Crew for a chat about her short film ‘Seize The Night’, which she starred in, directed and produced along with having a hand in the writing of. Emma tells us about her experience in making the film, her journey into horror and what she has planned next. We discuss sequels, singing, fangs and make-up. What more could a horror film lover want? Enjoy!!

Seize The Night (2015) Short Film Review

Seize-the-Night-Poster-Web-SSeize The Night (2015)

Director: Emma Dark

Runtime – 13 mins

Starring: Emma Dark, Carey Thring, Anthony Ilott and Paul Ewen.

‘Seize The Night’ is an ambitious horror/sci-fi short from the super talented British independent filmmaker Emma Dark.

After escaping from a secret government bio-research compound renegade vampire assassin Eva (Emma Dark) is hell bent on revenge. Receiving a tip off from the mysterious Dante (Anthony Ilott) she meets with arms dealer Joe (Paul Ewen) who informs her that an enemy is hot on her tail. Eva hunts the hunter and encounters a team of werewolves, led by pack alpha Tobias (Carey Thring). During their confrontation Eva learns a terrible secret and is forced into a situation of such gravity she may have to join forces with the devil she knows in order to fight the greatest of all evils.

STN-BTS-Emma-Dark-promo-photo-by-AJ-Singh‘Seize The Night’ does displays elements of ‘Underworld’ and ‘Blade’ but Dark creates so much more in her own unique way, injecting new ideas that are bursting with energy. It would be wrong to label this as a blatant rip-off because it’s totally fresh! My first viewing of this short was wow! If only this had been a feature?

The first thing that hits you on ‘Seize The Night’ is the stunning score by Eric Elick. The soundtrack will blow you away and it’s up there with any Hollywood movie generating the perfect eerie tone as you step into Eva’s world.

‘Seize The Night’ has a monochromatic bluish look which gives the perfect sinister atmosphere. Along with the impressive visual effects, a nice backstory and interesting characters, this short will keep you hooked right to the end. Dark as Eva, looks a little too cute at times to be a bloodsucker until she gets those teeth out and displays her excellent combat skills, making her one total badass!

STN-BTS-Emma-Dark-and-Paul-Ewen-on-set-photo-by-AJ-SinghThe action scenes were coordinated by Roy Scammell (Alien), which all look outstanding on screen and exciting to watch. The film is now hitting the festivals so if you get a chance to see it please do!

The only thing I found wrong with ‘Seize The Night’ is the fact the film is way too big to just be a short. Dark leaves you wanting much more but overall ‘Seize the Night’ is a fang-tastic short! A film you can really sink your teeth into!

8/10

https://www.facebook.com/seizethenightfilm/

https://twitter.com/SeizeNight

An Interview with Emma Dark by Dean Sills

edark7An Interview with Emma Dark by Dean Sills

*Please welcome Emma Dark to UK Horror Scene. *.

UKHS – Thank you for your time, Emma. How did you get into acting and modelling and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

ED – I’ve liked the dark, the macabre, the sinister – horror – from a very early age. I think I naturally have a disposition for horror in all truth but I’m sure my dad working as a butcher throughout most of my childhood years must have added to that. As a child of three or four I used to ask to go in the walk in fridge in the butchers shop to see the animals. Not in a particularly grim way, I wanted to see if any of the animals still had heads on and stroke them, OK that sounds quite grim doesn’t it? Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I don’t particularly see the macabre as something as grim as perhaps those who are not horror fans, and I’m a Goth essentially so it’s all about beauty in darkness at the end of the day.

In terms of modelling I fell into that when I joined a photography meet up and they had assumed I’d joined as a model and not a photographer. For my age and the genres I’ve worked in I’ve been fairly successful but it’s not very cerebral in truth which is why I tend to favour acting and filmmaking.

edark2UKHS – I have seen the trailer for ‘Seize the Night’ and the film looks really good, well done! How difficult was it to make a film like this when you had to take on so much from playing the lead role to directing and producing the film?

ED – It was very difficult. I often worked until very late in the evening most days and even on Christmas day, literally for months on end. I’m still working hard on it with the promotional materials and festival submissions and everything that goes with that. Of course I’ll be attending as many screening festivals as possible too. A film as complex and ambitious as Seize the Night is a tough call on tight timescales and a low budget. However as you may have guessed I’m up for a challenge and I’m not beyond throwing myself in at the deep end. Despite the complex nature of a fast paced action short like this both myself and my cast and crew put 100% and more in, working well together, maintaining a high level of commitment, and I believe that speaks for itself in the result. It does look slick, it does maintain a high production value throughout and more importantly I hope it entertains people and leaves audiences wanting more.

edark8UKHS – You play Eva in the film. Can you tell us a little about her? Who did you base your character on and how much of the real you did you bring to the screen?

ED – The greater world Seize the Night is based in sees all mythical creature (including vampires and werewolves) having been created by early forms of scientific experimentation, hundreds of years ago. These creatures are separated off from human society for their own protection. Although they don’t mix each type of creature has they own military unit of protectors who essentially keep their existence hidden. We don’t see this backstory in the short, all we know is that Eva is a vampire assassin. Holding this responsibility to protect her vampire species for literally hundreds of years has made Eva guarded in the least.

The humans having later rediscovered these creatures have been capturing vampires and werewolves for their own experimental purposes, one of those captured was Eva. She managed to escape but really doesn’t recall her time
spent in captivity clearly. It’s pushed her over the edge, she’s now essentially renegade, she won’t follow orders and kills anyone who gets in her way. She’s lost trust in herself and those around her and she’s putting her own kind in further jeopardy.

There’s a lot of me in her yes. Not from the extreme lack of trust, anger management issues or the sense of tipping over the edge, but I’m a pretty fearless no-nonsense kind of person and that really helps with this kind of role.

edark5UKHS – Ok, lets talk about ‘Island of the Blind Dead.’ It’s a fan film created to celebrate the 1971 Spanish cult classic, Tombs of the Blind Dead. You filmed ‘Island of the Blind Dead’ in Corfu, Greece. How did this all come about and how long did it take to make this 3 min short?

ED – To be perfectly honest this was purely a ‘for fun’ kind of project although it’s been really well received by both audience and critics alike. If half of the trip to Corfu hadn’t meant being trapped indoors while storms hit outside it might not have happened, certainly not in this way. Originally the costume was brought along simply to catch some test shots along the beach. However having some time to think and plan a script on our hands myself and fellow indie filmmaker Merlyn Roberts approached the local amateur dramatic society and asked if they wanted to get involved. St George South has a strong film history with the iconic James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only (1981)’ having been filmed there, most famous for the dune buggy scene.

The local actors really got behind the project and we just took it from there really. I have to say we were completely unprepared equipment wise, I literally had a compact consumer camera to film on, however if anything the reduced quality only added to the realistic retro effect. Obviously I also aged it in post, paying particular attention to both the original series and other films of that time and taking note of colour, film quality and fonts used. Actually shooting it only took a couple of days and I have a lot of extra footage I might compile at some point too.

A little piece of trivia for you, I later discovered my Seize the Night fight coordinator Roy Scammell did the stunts for For Your Eyes Only in St George South, so a strange little connection there!

edark1UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

ED – It really depends, what I consider key is probably not what the general movie going audience would. I’m not really one for jumps, gore and screaming women for example. OK, I know doing a homage accurately for something like the Tombs of the Blind Dead series obviously would include two of those elements in the minimum, but for me personally it’s not my key formula. I like a good horror film to have beautiful cinematography, a sense of dread and a great storyline. Most of my favourite horror films have a sci-fi or thriller element as I find those are the films for me that break the traditional mould. Women are stronger, it’s more about what you don’t see than what you do see and there’s a stronger sense of all encompassing doom.

Of course many of the older Italian Giallo and Mediterranean horror films get away with more blood, screaming women and slasher killers as often the cinematography is very well executed and backed up by interesting storylines, often creating works of high quality and beauty despite having been relatively low budget films of their time.

edark10UKHS – Finally, what’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years from now?

ED – Five years from now I have no idea, apart from putting as much effort in as possible to push my name and work out there it’s really both about public perception and reception of myself and my work that will decide that I think.

Regarding my next projects, I have a few things in the works, including starring in a faux snuff film by cult indie director Dan Brownlie alongside scream queen Jessica Ann Bonner. I’m looking forward to that as I get to be rather sadistic. I also have Fragments of Fear segment to make for horror entrepreneur Richard Gladman. It’s a sort of horror Jackanory story series and features horror greats such as Caroline Munroe and Francoise Pascal among others.

I have my own plans for continuing Seize the Night but I’ll not be able to finalise those until I have a funding plan in place.

UKHS – Thank you for your time, Emma and good luck with ‘Seize the Night’ and your other projects!

IMDB – http://www.imdb.me/EmmaDark

Website – http://www.emmadark.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EmmaDarkOfficial

Twitter – https://twitter.com/EmDarkOfficial

YouTube – http://bit.ly/1O5w3aV