The many lives of a writer – 8

Most people are like cats – they live not just one life, but many. Writers are no exception. Here's me as I spiral through the eddies of my eighth writing life. Life 8 - Circles It's hard to identify when my seventh writing life segued into my eighth. I wrote my last entry in this rolling mini-autobiography way … Continue reading The many lives of a writer – 8

Cinefex 1980-2021

There was this kid who grew up on the south coast of England in the 1970s, devouring television shows like Thunderbirds and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Doctor Who and cutting his cinematic teeth on Jaws and Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, while at the same time building … Continue reading Cinefex 1980-2021

Cinefex 40th Anniversary Issue

I grew up reading Cinefex, the journal of cinematic illusions. As a teenager, I made regular pilgrimages to London with my movie-mad mates where I scoured the shelves of Forbidden Planet – then just a grungy little comic shop off Tottenham Court Road – in the hope of stumbling on a new issue of this … Continue reading Cinefex 40th Anniversary Issue

Cinefex Diaries – Venom and Alpha

The new Cinefex is just out, with Joe Fordham's epic story on First Man gracing the cover. This issue, two of the five articles are mine, and they couldn't have been more different. First up is Alpha, which I actually finished writing in December 2017, ready for our February 2018 issue. When the film's release … Continue reading Cinefex Diaries – Venom and Alpha

Cinefex Diaries – VIEW Conference 2018

Last year, I remember looking wistfully at the programme for VIEW Conference 2017 and thinking what a great lineup it was. At the time, our hectic publishing schedule made it impossible for any of the Cinefex editorial team to attend, but this year is different. The stars have aligned and I’ll be heading out to … Continue reading Cinefex Diaries – VIEW Conference 2018

Cinefex Diaries – Going Solo

My latest Cinefex story is Heft and Jank, an in-depth article on Pacific Rim Uprising, hot off the press in our June 2018 issue, Cinefex 159. I described the work that went into it in an earlier blog post – check it out here. Even while I was wrapping up the robots and monsters, however, I was … Continue reading Cinefex Diaries – Going Solo

Writing Star Trek for Cinefex with Scrivener

I write for Cinefex, a bimonthly magazine devoted to motion picture visual effects. In 2016, one of the many films I covered was Star Trek Beyond. Want to know how I tackled it? I’ll tell you. First up, a few facts and figures. My Star Trek Beyond article was 8,300 words long – about average for … Continue reading Writing Star Trek for Cinefex with Scrivener

Cinefex 153 – High Octane Aliens

Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror flick Alien is probably my favourite film of all time. So imagine how thrilled I was to get the gig covering Alien: Covenant for the new issue of Cinefex. Since the average Cinefex article runs to about 26 pages (yes, we really do dig deep with our stories), that's a big gig. As … Continue reading Cinefex 153 – High Octane Aliens

“Alien: Covenant” Crew Remembers “Alien”

While researching my upcoming Cinefex article on Alien: Covenant, I spoke at length with supervisors in the visual effects, creature effects, and special effects departments. At the end of each interview, I asked everyone the same question: “What are your memories of seeing the original Alien for the first time?” As a long-time fan of the … Continue reading “Alien: Covenant” Crew Remembers “Alien”

There’s a Big Ape On My Desk

I don’t actually remember the first time I saw Merian C. Cooper’s classic 1933 monster movie King Kong. It was probably late at night when I was a spotty teenager, and I was probably watching on the little black and white telly in my bedroom – grateful that for once I was missing out on all … Continue reading There’s a Big Ape On My Desk