Monday, 25 July 2011

Hollywood A Go-Go by Andrew Yule

At the time I wrote blog on Pete Walker I notice a book on Cannon Films.  So I decided buy a copy of a book Hollywood A Go-Go written by Andrew Yule who also known for writing movie biographies on Sean Connery and David Puttnam.  The book tells a story of the infamous 80's movie moguls Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus who ran Cannon Films which produced a stream of film from action epics e.g. Death Wish sequels, Missing In Action; arthouse films like Love Streams, Runaway Train & Fool For Love.

I remember as a kid you couldn't go video shop without seeing film made by Cannon or distributed by Cannon.  You could walk pass a cinema without seeing a poster of a Cannon Film or cable TV.  Here's clip on how popular they were.

My father once rented out two films one was Sylvester Stallone's cult classic Cobra (1986) the other was tough guy Charles Bronson, Murphy's Law (1986) which it felt like a concidence that they both were produced by Golan-Globus.  At the time I was very excited in seeing a movie with that catchy logo at the start.  Even though nowadays I can't sit through a Chuck Norris film, but I can seat through watching that epic logo.

Ok back to the book, the book was written in 1987.

The book starts off how Golan-Globus started in the film business by making films in Israel to buy Cannon films in 1979 for $500,000 and started making film in Hollywood. which Yule investigates how Golan-Globus financed their films and how did they get to own cinema chain and bought the Thorn EMI film chain in 1985.

Yule then investigate in the book how the GO-GO boys told the world that their films were successful but from box office return they were in big competition with other studio films.

After reading this book in a day the book is very researching even though at times Yule doesn't hold any prisoners and he doesn't minced his words in his opinion about Cannon.  From reading the book that he doesn't like these films that Cannon made or how the British industry let them come to UK to produced film and own aq chain of cinemas.  There's a bit where he enjoys slagging off Michael Winner which he goes how Death Wish 2 was a success but he managed to lose money on The Wicked Lady.

In my opinion, ok Cannon did make some cheesy films and also they did cut corners with their budgets to make their movies e.g. Superman 4. Nobody can't say that they didn't make films.  They taken risk on getting art house filmmakers like John Cassavettes, Robert Altman and Jean Luc Godard to produced film for Cannon.  You would never see film moguls like Jerry Bruckheimer getting Jean Luc Godard to make The Rock or Pearl Harbour and get a signed contract on toilet roll... well a piece of paper.

It's a shame that Yule never did write a second edition on how two years later Golan-Globus split up.  Golan produced straight to video films for Cannon until 1993 and Globus started an ill-fated 21st Century Productions produced film like the remake of The Night of The Living Dead, Michael Winner's Bulleye and Death Wish V.

I would recommend anyone that a film fan or film student to read this book there are eight used books for sale all at different prices.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Singer Songwriter Jason Ninnis

My cousin Jason Ninnis is a singer/songwriter.

Check it out his website: Singer Songwriter Jason Ninnis

Also he has live gig coming on September 15th at Finsbury Park, London check on the website

Also check out his music on sale at amazon.

Glow (2009) a film by Lee Burgess

A still from GLOW (2009)

Two years ago I co-produced a short film with actor and producer Gavin Dando called Glow for writer and producer Lee Burgess.

If you click Glow you will see the finished film.

The short film stars Zoe Davies who starred in my Short Film Mummy Fell Asleep other talented actors Sarah Louise Tyler, Madelene Havell and Johnny Farrell.

Glow was shot in four days between the winter days of January/February 2009 around Ebbw Vale, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Bedlinog.  On the last day we almost got snowed in Merthyr Tydfil but we got over it.

Like Mummy Fell Asleep we had almost the same crew, editor Alistair Parkhurst, Cameraman Vivian Paul Thomas make-up Jo-Lee Davies and Camera Assistant Nicolas Booth.  Also at the time we worked with the talented soundman Michael O'Connor who has gone to direct his own projects also boom operator Ryan Owen who is now a successful music video director and is making Doctor Who Confidential.


100 years after an horrific mining disaster, the ghost of Bobby Williams creeps into the dreams of Lucy Jenkins. As his energy burns, Lucy's dreams become nightmares of a terrifying, sexually violent nature.

The pain is to much. Lucy must rid herself of the spirit which is invading her very soul. In her room stands the one object that acts a gateway between the living and the dead...Bobby's mining lamp.

In one selfish act of pure desperation Lucy passes the lamp to her only real friend, Jennifer. What follows is the beginning of a much longer story of loss, pain and the an entity's search for his one and only love.

Since Glow got completed, it has won two film awards at the moment me and Lee are working hard writing the feature film of Glow so watch this space.

Monday, 18 July 2011


As you probably noticed I like to write a blog on people I worked with.  I a firm believer that you got to support the talented people I have worked with.

I just been watching this powerful short film called Victims Rob Talbot who played the dad in my film Mummy Fell Asleep (check above my films) plays a disabled hero who gets a bravey award from a local journalist  As the story develops the journalist inadvertently uncovers a tragic secret.

As always Rob gives a great performance as do the rest of the cast, which I was surprised that The Beautiful South singer Briana Corrigan played the journalist in the film, she is great.  If you could click on the website on:

Sunday, 17 July 2011

*Vive La France directed Luke Andrews

Two years ago writer and director Luke Andrews wrote and directed this ambitous, powerful short film Vive La France which I associate produced with Scratched Print and was filmed at Wentworth Woods in Newport, Gwent, South Wales.

You can check it out on:

The film is produced by filmmakers Matt Brown and Nathan Raikes and a starred a young cast and was a low budget short which was financed by a lottery winner.

German-occupied France, 1944. German soldiers storm a village believed to be harbouring French resistance fighters. Killing all of the adults, the soldiers take the children into the forest, to where an SS Commander awaits them.

The Commander is going to put the children through an horrific test to prepare them for a life in the future Empire of Germania. Designed to totally demoralise and quash any resistance the children might have, the Commander does not however reckon on a child's love for his younger siblings and friends, and how one act of defiance, courage and sacrifice will unravel everything.

Check out the facebook group 'Vive la France - A Scratched Print Production for all news Vive:​home.php?#!/​group.php?gid=116133581730718

Please also check out (and rate if you're a member) my shooting people Vive page:​watch/​film.php?film_id=77637

You can also check out the making of Vive La France which I directed and edited which shows how this two day shoot was put together in two days.

It's Vive not Viva! The making of Vive La France from John Ninnis on Vimeo.
* This making of demonstrates the determination of the cast and crew making this low budget film happen.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Daddy Cross Trailer

Search for norman j warren collectionSearch for norman j warren collectionAs I was on youtube I notice this grindhouse type trailer with the voice of the underrated cult filmmaker & good friend Norman J. Warren director of those classic Satan's Slave, Terror, Prey and Inseminoid (aka Horror Planet).

It was part of Hobo With The Shotgun fake trailer contest.  Check on  Sadly it didn't win but great to see a great 70's British style horror trailer.

It be great to see another Norman J Warren comeback movie.

If you want to read more on this great filmmaker check it on:

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Top Ten Tips For Titling Your Movie

My old friend Chris Jones a filmmaker and also well known for the writing The Guerilla Filmmaker Handbook, has been writing regular blogs about filmmaking and other advices.

Today he written a blog on what is the best tip for the best title for your movie.

Top Ten Tips For Titling Your Movie

If you want to check for future blogs off Mr Jones check his website

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

*Norris Nuvo: Mummy Fell Asleep poster

The talented artist Norris Nuvo recently designed Eplision film poster for filmmaker Matt Brown if you check out Matt's website at

I like to blog about Norris Nuvo work as I respect his work. Three years ago I directed a short film Mummy Fell Asleep which is above.  I actually ask him to make me a poster which deals which I thrown the idea I wanted a like childlike painting but to make it tragic but sinister.

What I like about working with Norris is he's very quick efficient but very original artist.

Here is the result.

If you want to see world of Norris nuvo, check out his website at

* Added it on 24/3/2012

Also the mult-talented Norris has written a semi-autobiographical novel, which you can click on the book on the top left hand corner.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Making Mischief written by Steve Chibnall

When I was in London filming a documentary I visited a Waterstones bookshop and looked at some film books, mainly screenplays, and I discovered this book by Steve Chibnall on Pete Walker.

My question was- who is this guy? From flicking through pages I realised he is known for directing cult British films- from Sexploitation films like School for Sex and Cool It Carol!, to his famous horror films Frightmare and House of Whipcord. If I had to be honest, I had never seen these films but I remember seeing an early VHS copy of Schizo on the video shelf in my hometown. Then I remembered watching The House of The Long Shadows in 1994 on ITV after the News at Ten.

I decided to buy the book. The book is mainly about how Walker wanted to make films into "Making Mischief"
which he quoted in the book and on documentaries: "I deliberately rub people up the wrong way", he remarked, "I want them to come into the cinema and be shocked." And shock them he did. No other British film-maker achieved the level of transgression that Walker regularly delivered to cinema-goers in the 1970s. At the time, due to lack of films being made, Walker was a force to be reckoned with - he made sixteen films between 1967 to 1983 and they all made a profit.

What I found interesting about this biography of Walker is how the author treated his subject as an auteur and compared him with other filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, and Michael Powell, and also Terence Fisher from Hammer Films. Whilst most of these filmmakers mentioned had the budgets for their vision, Walker’s approach was to make the films very quickly.

The book continues through his sixteen films, from I Love Birds to The House on The Long Shadows which made for Cannon Films and to a Sex Pistols film which never got made due to the band splitting up.

After 1983 whilst trying to put together a script called Blindshot, Walker decided to retire from the film business and invest in independent cinemas called Picturedome, until he retired ten years ago.

After reading this book I decided to buy some of Pete Walker's films. My personal favourites are Frightmare and House of Mortal Sin aka The Confessional.

Last year myself and co-director David Beynon interviewed Pete Walker in his Sussex home for a feature length documentary under the working title Industry My Arse. The documentary covers the video boom era of the early 80's and the independent filmmakers of that decade. Walker was great to interview, just drinking cups of tea and eating a couple of sandwiches did the trick.  Also included in the documentary are Norman J.Warren, Stanley Long to unknowns like Cliff Twemlow, Michael J. Murphy and John Eyres.  Me and Dave have put together a teaser trailer of the footage for funding so that we can continue this epic adventure.  You can check on our website at

I would recommend Making Mischief to any film or cult fans. Also check out his movies.