As a female script consultant and scriptwriter I’ve blogged before about my career as a scriptwriter and script consultant, but did you know that I’ve done some producing work as well?
Over the last three years I’ve been involved with writer / director Matthew Cooper and producer James R. Winterbottom who have put together three ultra low budget horror films based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft.
Female Script Consultant UK
All three films have been made during the corona virus pandemic and one of the films ‘At The Mountains of Madness’ was shot entirely during the UK lockdown. Yes, while a lot of the UK film and TV business remained closed – myself, Cooper and Winterbottom wrote directed and produced three feature films!
Producing a low budget feature film has been a massive learning experience, and we experimented as much as we could (given that the films had almost no budget there was very little in the way to stop us trying almost anything).
The first of the trilogy ‘Markham’ was shot without a SCRIPT. The cast and director began a long process of improvisation – which eventually resulted in a very fractured narrative, which turns in on itself at various points and almost begins to discuss the nature of storytelling – while simultaneously being a horror film. Markham was a very tough start to the trilogy and the edit and post production very strained due to the budget. Markham was released in 2020.
Producing an indie horror film
The second film in the trilogy (and the one entirely made during lockdown) was ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ – this film is closest to the H.P. Lovecraft story and had a working script, but the shoot, completed in the strictest UK lockdown of the pandemic was very hard work. The whole film, was shot in one green screen studio – with a minimum crew. At The Mountains of Madness was released in 2021.
If you want to purchase either film on DVD click here.
The last film in the trilogy is now shot, and is currently in post – production. ‘When the Earth Gives up the Dead’ is the last and most effects heavy of the trilogy (even featuring old school stop-motion animation).
Acting as a producer and female script consultant on all three films has got me right up to date with the latest tech in digital production, and I’ve even learned a huge amount about digital distribution – all three films will end up on general release at some point (most likely to stream on Amazon Prime). The industry is going through some amazing technological changes – and our focus next year will be on building out own VR soundstage. Keeping up to date with the latest tech and production techniques is actually vital to all scriptwriters.
Alison Pennells is a scriptwriter, playwright, novelist, female script consultant and producer from Leeds. Alison was a core scriptwriter on Emmerdale and The Royal Today. Her short film ‘Me Head’s a Shed’ was winner of The Yorkshire Short film award. Her play ‘Dirty Laundry’ has been a huge success and raised much needed funds for cancer charities across the UK. In recent years Alison has worked as a female script consultant and producer on three feature films. Alison is married, has a daughter, three doggies and no cats (at the moment).