Bonfire Night is a graphic horror novel set in the fictional suburban town of Cottinghill, Yorkshire. It takes places on two Bonfire Night's (5th of November) 20 years apart.
The idea was originally a screenplay that I wrote with the intention of independently filming. Whilst that intention remains, it has for the time being been put on hold. Still, here I am below, dressed like the story's antagonist, ready for when we do get the go ahead!
The original concept came to me and my dad on a drive home from visiting my mamgu (grandma) in Wales. It was late October, the trees were turning orange and gold and there was a thin mist in the air. The perfect horror setting. Below is a very brief synopsis of the story we started creating that day + Pages 3 and 4.
I have always loved the slasher genre. Halloween, Friday the 13th, Black Christmas - I love the fun behind the disturbing content and the cheapness for which they are (usually) made. I particularly love the late 70's and early 80's films, with their grainy footage and interesting camera work. The genre is often dismissed as pulp or trash, but behind some of the classics were monsters (ha) of film. I imagine John Carpenter scraping his $300,000 together, pulling together a dedicated team, painting green leaves yellow (he filmed in summer) and producing this brilliant, eerie masterpiece...and expecting nothing from it, particularly after a fairly tepid initial reception. But it was a sleeper hit. Suddenly a good review changed everything and it went on to make $70 million. Not only that, but it influenced pretty much all horror from that point on. Including Bonfire Night.
I knew the key to a good slasher was a good villain. Michael Myers will always be the best of these. Why? Because he has no motive. He is evil. Sort of like why the Joker is the best Batman villain (IMO!), he wants chaos for the sake of it. For me though, I knew I couldn't just take the Michael Myers story-arc and so I created a back story. A really horrible back story. Without spoiling too much, below were some of my original thoughts.
When this idea first came about on that long car ride home, it occurred to me that of all the nights that a slasher has been set on (Halloween, Prom Night, Friday the 13th, Christmas, Valentine's Day) our British tradition of Bonfire Night has never been used. And let's face it, Bonfire Night is the creepiest of them all! For those who don't know, Bonfire Night falls on the 5th of November and we take our children out into a big field and give them candy apples and sparklers and watch fireworks and then clap and cheer as we BURN THE EFFIGY OF A REAL LIFE MAN WHO WAS ACTUALLY HUNG DRAWN AND QUARTERED. Yep. Re-read that. Our children clap and cheers as we burn the effigy of a real person. That's pretty messed up, no? Just look at the photo below:
But it hadn't happened because the slasher genre never really took off in the UK in the same way it did in America. But why not? We have the same young people with the same issues, we have the same suburban settings and the same guilty enjoyment, thrill and fascination at watching other people being chased through haunted houses whilst we sit in the safety of our own homes. So why not indeed. (See below my setting.)
So I wrote Bonfire Night and I was happy with it. But turning it into a piece of independent cinema was a different task altogether. I won't go into the trials and tribulations too much, but last year, knowing that the film was still a way off (financially, about 1 million if we did it cheap) we decided to make a short. To try and satisfy that burning desire to get Bonfire Night out there. You can see the short above. If you haven't watched yet, go have a look!
And I was satisfied for a while. We did it cheap and it didn't really get across anything to do with actual Bonfire Night but at least it was a start. However, still hungry for more, I was looking through the sales pack we had made and I came across some drawings by Jason Mortimer (insta: myotherpencil) of the antagonist of Bonfire Night. And it hit me that perhaps rather than a film, Bonfire Night could still be told, but as a Graphic Novel.
I got excited. Really excited.
But. I cannot draw. Not for love nor money. So I started researching the costs, the process, the way it could actually be done. And that's why I'm here.
I want to tell the Bonfire Night story. It's fun, it's horrible, it's horrifying and it's dying to be keeping people up at night, bursting with vivid images and a story line that will keep the pages turning.
The £3,500 will cover the cost for the artist, Jason, plus an initial print run. I hope that you will back the project and I hope that when you get to see it, you will enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Keep on scrolling down for some of the awesome mercandise we have to give away!
Risks and challenges
This project is fairly low risk. It will take time and dedication and if the money I am seeking doesn't stretch as far as I'd like, I'll have to do some saving. But if we make the goal, I have no doubt that Bonfire Night will be successfully made.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)