Tag Archives: theknifethatkilledme

Looking back / Going forward 13/14 #blogpost

30 Dec

This year was full of stuff – some great things and some less so. I don’t want to dwell on the crap bits or over expound the positives. I want to rather put a list together, with some pictures of things that have been important to me over the year. I am looking forward to 2014 with a renewed vigour and I am looking forward to creating interesting work with interesting people, and to spending more time with my family and friends who are so important to me. At times it felt as if several things were pulling me in different directions – but not quite as hard as the dog walker I managed to get a picture of in Buenos Aires…


So, in no particular order

1. Blood + Chocolate – was the most extraordinary project ever. It was the culmination of two years of planning and an intense nine months of preparation and pre-production, resulting in a truly great project – my thanks go to all the people of York who came on the journey with us and to the hard work of all the teams who made this possible – so a big up to Pilot and SlungLow for making it happen.


The full webcast video of the whole production is available on demand here to watch again Blood + Chocolate webcast

2. The Knife That Killed Me – This year we finalised the edit and did the test screenings at Universal Pictures and I am very much looking forward to this being in cinemas in 2014 as we move towards the release date. This has been the culmination of 5 years work since I first pressed ‘send’ on the first draft of the screenplay to the producers. I am incredibly proud of the work that the whole team put into this, to make this completely new feature film happen


The quality of each of the frames is amazing – considering that there are 137,000 of them – and each has been hand finished and has hand drawn artwork on each one…


Great hand drawn artwork from Stu Ord on all these frames and screengrabs


3. TED Conference 2013 – I had an amazing time in Los Angeles in February at the annual TED conference. Some standout talks and great moments and new friends made…Like here ‘California Dreaming’ in front of the Hollywood sign


One of the talks by Spoken Word Poet Shane Kocyzan is well worth a moment of your time.

4. Our house – the sale fell through after 6 months of messing about. Shift Happens, I know… I have now moved back in. I love this house. We may sell it this year, we may not. Either way I am not going to stress about it as we realise how fortunate and lucky we are.


5. Shift Happens V – again we ran this in York and a big thanks to the fantastic line up of speakers – a couple of stand out moments for me were the fabulous Jenny Sealey from Graeae…

and to Matt Mason VP of  BitTorrent who came over from San Francisco to join us in York

the brilliant Julia Unwin, CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

and of course Elliot Barnes-Worrell

6. Twitter stuff – now whilst this is not really a big deal it has been one of the stranger moments this year – I read a post by a facebook friend which I adapted, thanked and tweeted. Turns out someone had done this earlier in the year too and I hadn’t seen it or was even aware of it. By that time it was too late – it went viral. I thanked all parties and then sat back and tried to fend off the 30k email notifications of each RT or favourite. I now know how to turn of those notifications btw…


7. A proud dad moment as our son Christy Romer graduated with a 2:1 from LSE.


8. And a finger selfie from Porto in Portugal as we crossed over the bridge to the old town was part of a great summer break too

photo 2

9. Where both Christy and Mills agreed to pose for their one annual picture for us, which was offley good of them…

photo 4

10. As proud moments go – this one of Susie on the BBC news – which was the first of her many live TV interviews in the course of her high profile job made me a very proud husband indeed

photo 3

11. So as I head towards our next programme of work which includes the No Boundaries Conference in February and then Pilot’s co-production with the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Derby Theatre and York Theatre Royal of a new version of Antigone adapted by Roy Williams, I feel very excited and privileged to be making this work…so watch this space for more updates and…


12. Onwards and Upwards my friends…

TKTKM – google number 1 hit

11 Aug

So here is the number one Google hit for The Knife That Killed Me….


This much I know…about making new stuff happen

25 Jul


1 Sometimes it feels like there is going to be a fight

2 Sometimes there is a fight

3 Sometimes there isn’t

4 Sometimes it relates to my thoughts from a previous blogpost

5 Sometimes it doesn’t

6 I often think of Channel 4’s tagline ‘Be First, Make Trouble, Inspire Change’

7 I love this. It is what we like to do too. What I aim to do all the time

8 Being first is making new stuff happen

9 This invariably makes trouble

10 It sometimes inspires change

11 This is good

12 But sometimes it makes numbers 1 and 2 happen

13 But mostly number 3 is the outcome

14 In doing so people on the sidelines like to shout and make a fuss

15 They like to tell you what you are doing, have done and will continue to do, wrong

16 They like to be vocal about these things

17 They like to make themselves feel better, because pointing out the things they think are wrong means that they feel right

18 Sitting on the sidelines is easy

19 Shouting and pointing out where you went wrong is the easiest job in the world

20 This is why they do it

21 It makes them feel important

22 It makes them feel like they imagine what it feels like to make new stuff

23 They are wrong. It doesn’t

24 They are often the ones who don’t make new stuff happen.

25 They are the ones who don’t put their heads over the parapet

26 The view is better from over the parapet

27 The air is clearer and fresher, and you get the full force of life in your face

28 It can be a lonely space to inhabit sometimes

29 You need to be up there with the people who are on your side – looking forwards

30 The view is way better and more exhilarating

31 From here you can’t really hear those on the sidelines , their voices become distant

32 From here you can see the next step and the route forward.

33 That’s what keeps you going

34 Make new stuff happen

35 You have nothing to lose. At all…

The image is taken from the opening of the feature film ‘The Knife That Killed Me’ a new movie for Universal Pictures by Marcus Romer, Kit Monkman and Thomas Mattinson

The Knife That Killed Me – #Cannes #TKTKM

14 May

2012-05-17 11.40.23

This is the film adaptation of the Anthony McGowan novel, which will be screened to International buyers at the film market attached to the Cannes International Film Festival on Wednesday May 15th. This has been a very exciting project to work on, and since Pilot Theatre got the rights back in 2008 – which seems a lifetime ago – we have all been working to bring this feature film to the big screen.

I have have been part of the process as writer and director alongside co-director Kit Monkman and Producer Thomas Mattinson for the last four years. Together with Green Screen Productions, we have made something that looks and sounds quite extraordinary, and tomorrow it will be screened to International buyers from all over the world. We still have a few frames to finalise before we can screen this publicly, in terms of credits and titles as well as a few minor sound amends to run over both these and the playout credits.

But in terms of the project – we are, as we say – very nearly there. It is almost exactly 12 months since we wrapped on the shoot in the Green Screen Studios in Bubwith in Yorkshire. Here we lived and worked for 6 weeks and shot the whole film in the studio against a full 270 degree green screen. It was an intense and full on schedule where we managed to get all the coverage we needed for the 96 minute movie.

A big thanks of course go to the cast and crew for this, who were amazing in their openness and willingness to work with all three of us in the room on this new project. It would be unfair of me not to give a special word of thanks to actor, Jack McMullen who spent the entire shoot with us playing the leading role of Paul Varderman, brilliantly. But as ever, the ensemble nature of the entire team from our rehearsal period through to the wrap that made this project feel very special indeed.

The other main thanks must go to the extraordinarily talented post production team who worked at Heslington Studios at TFTV as partners to the project. Here working for 12 months in a darkened room where the 3D builds, compositing, Maya and Nuke skills brought the story to life under the care of the three of us and the attention to detail of Tom Wexler and John Mateer. A special word of thanks must go to the skills of the illustrator and artist, Stuart Ord who alongside Kit Monkman has created the beautiful painterly images to the film as a key part of the design.

I will keep you posted about the developments of the film, and of course the screenings, after completion of this part of the process, in due course. In the meantime here is the IMDb link to the movie with full cast and crew credits. You can follow the project on twitter @tktkmfilm or via the hashtag #TKTKM

Back in Bubwith for #TKTKM ‘The Knife That Killed Me’

1 Jul

Last week we were all back in the studios. The reason? – we had just screened the first section of TKTKM at the screening room at the University of York TFTV Department, and then we headed to Bubwith to share this again with the team.

The screening was for Universal Pictures UK who had come up to see how the project was progressing. The screening went really well and it is a big thanks especially to all the visual effects team who had worked so hard to pull all the elements together for this.

It felt good to be back with Kit and Tom and to be talking about the creative elements of structuring the film in this post production process.

We are heading for completion this year, and it was an exciting moment to start the thoughts about the marketing and lead in prior to the launch.

We were also joined by Jack McMullen – who plays Paul and Jamie Shelton who plays Roth in the movie. Again great to see them and to catch up.

There is now a wikipedia page for TKTKM here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Knife???

more later…


A week on – viewing the rough cut #TKTKM – It’s all green to me!

26 May


Well it is – as you can see…here I am working with Jamie Shelton (Roth) Andrew Ellis (Bates) and Kerron Darby (Miller) on the floor of the green screen studio – (Thanks to Ben Louden and Catherine Slater) for the pic by the way

The first roughcut and assembly has been done. A week after we finished shooting. Amazing really and a big thanks to Joshua Callis-Smith for putting it together. Seeing the work you have created over the last 6 weeks in the studio and it all being put in the right order is fantastic.

In terms of the process – the nearest feeling I can describe to you is the one where in a theatre rehearsal you do the run for the tech team in the rehearsal room at the end of week three. The set isn’t there and all the sound hasn’t been mixed – and there is no score or transition sequences.

The reasons for this are that of course we are seeing all the shots cut against the green walls of the studio. So of course there is no ‘set’ in place. The post production will provide the visual language, the world and the spaces in which these scenes inhabit.

What it enables you to focus on are the performances and the story, and how this is told over the 90 minutes of the movie. It is fascinating and really rewarding. I can say without any shadow of doubt that it works, tells the story and the performances are excellent.

So the process begins now of sound editing, picture editing, keying the scenes from the green, the visual worlds of the story will be created and the layers of the story can be laid down and built up on.

The VFX team have a lot of work to do of course, and alongside fellow director Kit Monkman, I will be looking forward to building this into shape. So it is now in the hands of the four of us to steer that process – that is Tom Mattinson (Producer) Tom Wexler (VFX) and Kit and myself.

We will keep you posted about the journey and the build as it progresses.

But for now it is good to be able to take some creative time away from the sharp end, and to keep thinking about the story, the narrative arc, and how we can make that come to life for a new audience, only this time – on screen.

til later



Day 27 #TKTKM – ‘Wind Reel And Print’ that’s a WRAP…

19 May


The last day. A long day – we just worked with the team and our lead actor Jack McMullen today. We were able to link all the shot scenes together and for his character Paul Varderman to be able to connect the story dots and create the links.

As you can see part of the team in the studio here before we headed out to the wrap party. I have just been going through the credits list and already we are well over 120 people involved thus far in the project to thank and credit.

A big thanks to all who have made this shoot possible and to those who are continuing with Kit, Tom and me on the journey to deliver this from now onwards.

I have watched a full assembly today and we are on track to make something very special indeed. And in anticipation of that here is a celebratory view of Reece Dinsdale and Jack McMullen as Paul and his Dad, Denny Varderman on set…





Day 26 #TKTKM

17 May

It’s nearing the end now…

Day 25 #TKTKM lunchtime activity

16 May

John Cooper our fab Camera Op takes time our to play the piano during our lunch hour.

It is a joy to take time out to listen to him play – as I take a rather shaky hand held tour from the rehearsal room into the studio and past the prep room – where we meet our Designer, Catherine Chapman and David on a props hunt…

#multi-talented crew and cast




What price your soul? DJ @Jack_Mcmullen ruling the decks at #Wexlers #TKTKM

14 May

Monday night means one thing. Wexler’s is open – and we are throwing the arrows – putting air in our drinks and – working the room