Film4 FrightFest Calendar: Two years on

I can't believe two years have passed since I was in the Coronet Cinema in Notting Hill, shooting the Film4 FrightFest Calendar.

The idea came about in February 2009 at the FrightFest Glasgow Event - I was trying to think of a way to get the FrightFest audience involved, either by hosting an event or creating a product as a keepsake and a reminder of our collective passion and love for the genre and festival.

After chatting with FrightFest organisers Ian, Alan and Paul, who were all on board with the idea, I set to work deciding on the theme of the calendar and sourcing talent to help with the production side of things.

I wanted to set myself the challenge of creating this calendar on a very small/ no budget, meaning that everyone who contributed their services would have to do so for free. This was not so much of a problem for our models (who mainly consisted of FrighFest festival goers, all keen to help out and take part) but a little more tricky when it came to the more specialized aspects such as costume, makeup and design. I didn't want the quality of the end product to suffer so a lot of persuasion and favours were in order to get the ideal dream team for my Calendar.

After several weeks of emails, calls and meetings I had my location sorted (the beautiful Coronet Cinema in Notting Hill), all of the costumes I needed had kindly been donated to us from Escapade.co.uk, and our shoot date was finally in sight. Next on the list was to refine the theme of the Calendar and to plan each month in terms of how we wanted the photographs to look and who would be appearing in each shot.

I discussed several options with friends and FrightFest regulars and came to the decision that 'Horror films through the decades' (1950s-2010) would be a fitting theme and easy enough to execute; With each month being represented by re-enactments of famous scenes in horror movies from that particular decade.

It was all starting to come together as by this point I had a talented photographer on board (Courtney Louise Photography), SFX Artist (Dan Martin, who has worked on The Wolfman and Batman Begins), four professional Models (as well as FrightFest regulars reenacting those famous horror film scenes), professional makeup artists, and some well known faces in the horror genre to appear in the Calendar including Axelle Carolyn (Centurion, Doomsday, Psychosis), Adam Green (Director of Hatchet and Frozen), Joe Lynch (Director of Wrong Turn 2 and Knights of Badassdom), Jake West (Director of Doghouse) and Emily Booth (Star of Doghouse and Evil Aliens).

We had a fun-filled (some might say manic) shoot, spread over 2 Saturdays in June. I provided a few nibbles and drinks for our models and crew, to keep them happy for the long hours of waiting they were about to endure (luckily a lot of them work in the film industry and so knew what to expect on a shoot - mainly lots of waiting around).

After going to print, the calendars went on sale during the festival that year and then given to pass holders at the Glasgow event in February. The project took a lot of hard work and organisation, but it all paid off when I saw the finished product and received positive feedback from people who contributed and also those that bought the calendar that weren't involved. It was great to see people flicking through it in between films, and spotting their friends and familiar faces from the festival acting out famous scenes from well-known horror movies. Seeing a big project like this through from conception to completion was a big achievement for me and has given me a taste for event organisation and managing more creative projects.

For those of you that didn't get to see the calendar, I've included pictures of each month below.