tales of the zeppelin artwork by frazer irving

The Boy in Winter's Grasp
Available now  - click here

It is Christmas 1914. As Europe descends further into the Great War, Christopher Flyte is sent home in disgrace from his school. He returns to the sleepy English village of Alton. It is there that he meets the mysterious traveller, Bailey - a master storyteller who fills the boy's head with stories of King Arthur's time. The more Christopher hears, the more he suspects that Bailey's stories are more than just simple myths.

Soon, Christoper is a pawn in a game that has been playing out for centuries....

Published by Fantastic Books

transparent gif


A Dream I HadDirected by Brian Harley

Reviewed in Independent Film on Jan 3, 2014 by John Scotcher
If you’ve got 17 minutes to spare and want to watch a well-acted, efficiently shot human drama,  this is ideal.  Make yourself a tea, sit back and enjoy.

This film was a little trip down memory lane for me.  Not I hasten to add, because I have had a similar experience to the characters in the film.  Rather, because it reminded me of some of the shoestring budget films I worked on, when I was a first assistant director some years ago in what seems now like another life.  

Armed with the knowledge of what putting together a film like this requires, I think the end result is a remarkable testament to the cast and crew's abilities.  Shot in just three hours, using an entirely handheld camera style, which is in perfect keeping with the script, this is a tight little piece of domestic drama.  Whilst the subject matter might not be your cup of tea, the strength of the acting and the well realised way the film is edited will keep you interested until the end.  This seems to be a view shared by many of the watchers who commented on Vimeo; just one snippet from a Vimeo review says "this is probably the first short I watched from start to end on here".

The two leads, who are actually the film's only two speaking parts, are both very believable in their roles.  On occasion in a short film, less than perfect acting can distract and pull you out of the story.  There was none of that here.  Benjamin Thorne was strong as 'Chris', and in particular I was impressed by Amiee Powell as 'Margot', who was utterly convincing and totally naturalistic.  Admittedly I have quite a soft spot for a woman with Midland's accent, so I found myself naturally liking the character even though she is slightly shifty.   I was also delighted to realise (only a few moments ago when I was doing some quick research on the actors) that both Thorne and Powell are graduates of the great Birmingham Theatre School, who are longstanding customers of mine in my profession web designer role.

For me, this is exactly what British Independent shorts should be; a strong script that has been well acted, efficiently shot and tightly edited, whilst all done on a minimal budget of both time and (I suspect) money.  All involved should be proud of their achievement.    I will certainly be looking forward to seeing more work from the individuals in this talented cast and crew.  

Add a comment

Please notify when someone comments on this.

Latest Blog Post

Posted by John on Jan 9, 2016
Last year I wrote a blog article about the remote places I write in.  As I said there, I really struggle to write at home, mainly because the office at home is for my business rather than my writing career.  I really struggle not to check emails, surf the web and do the sorts of things I do when I am wearing my web developer hat.  Hence, I like to rent a cottage in the middle of no-where, ideally without phone reception or broadband access, and work there.  ..

Latest Review

Reviewed in Books on Mar 8, 2016 by John
I’m not usually a fan of crime fiction.  Or at least it’s not my ‘go to’ choice when deciding what I am going to read.  Apart from a few Inspector Morse novels when I was younger and the inevitable John Grisham thriller (is that even crime?) I haven’t felt the urge to read them.  I also tend to shy away from crime TV unless it has something else that really grabs me (a period piece, Oxford, that sort of thing).  So I approached Penny Grubb’s ‘Like False Money’ with just a little trepidation. ..
transparent gif