04 November 2013

Latimer Talks with Simon Oakes

31 Oct 2013

Hidden within the Symes Mews alleyway on Camden High Street, the innovative Camden Collection presented the latest Latimer Talks event. This event, featured on Halloween Night, featured guest Simon Oakes, the producer of "The Woman in Black" and CEO of Hammer Films.

Before Simon Oakes arrived, four short films were presented to the jam packed audience. One could not have a Halloween event without showing horror films, these four especially intriguing in their uniqueness.

The first short film, "T is for Toilet", a Claymation film, was about a toilet that turned into a monster and killed a boy's family. Or, so we thought. It turned out to be a dream that stirred the young boy's paranoia and, until the very end (and the end was not a happy one), prevented him from using the toilet.

The second short film, "Marionette", used a marionette as the creation. Her eyes in particular being the main focus to her creator. The message of this lost me, honestly. It was beautifully made, though.

The third short film, "Chomp!", was a live action film about zombie love. Zombie love at first sight, to be specific. Nothing says romance more than eating the flesh of a freshly dead stranger and re-enacting "The Lady and the Tramp" with part of an intestine. This movie was more funny than scary, and it reminded me of "Shaun of the Dead".

The last short film, "My Name Is", told of a man attending an AA meeting. He thought he would be meeting other narcotics users. The other members turned out to be vampires, obviously using the AA meeting ploy to meet potential prey.

After the films concluded, Simon Oakes was introduced to the audience. He began by showing us the trailer for "The Quiet Ones", set to release in 2014.

He then talked about the sequel for "The Woman In Black" that would start filming on 1st Nov, called, "The Angel Of Death". The sequel was to be set 40 years after the setting of the first film, this time during World War II.

Simon went through the history and foundation of Hammer Films, which began in the late 1920s. Their films laid the paveway for horror films and the horror genre in general. Some of the films they bought include "Let Me In" (inspired by "Let The Right One In"), "The Woman In Black". Simon told us that there would be a new version coming out in the near future of both "The Abominable Snowman" and "Jekyll & Hyde".

Simon briefly touched on Exclusive, the other side of Hammer Films, which deals with more serious films than Hammer touches on.

For the last part of the event, Simon opened the floor to a Q&A. One thing he pointed out quite a bit in his answers was that when it all came down to it, the most important thing to a movie is the writing.

And, because he always is asked this at least once per event he attends. He would maybe do a Kronos remake, if presented in the right way.

Overall, the Latimer Talks event was a wonderful way to spend Halloween night. I watched fantastic short films from brilliant up-and-coming film creators, and listening to Simon Oakes talk about his film company was enjoyable. I just wished that I had the courage to ask him if he had any interaction with David Burke during "The Woman In Black", because I am a fan of his acting.

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