Getting a poster signed is harder than you think.

Please note: this competition is now closed!

As part of Gollancz’s wonderful advent calendar giveaway for Christmas 2015, I am delighted to be able to offer a very special prize of a Robot Overlords quad poster signed by myself, director Jon Wright, and some of our lovely cast including Craig Garner (Mediator 452), James Tarpey (Nathan), Ella Hunt (Alex) and Gillian bleedin’ blinkin’ flippin’ Anderson!

Getting these signatures was no easy task. Jon, Ella and I attended the MCM Comic Con in Birmingham in March, and we signed a few for punters then, but they were all gone before I  could grab a spare.

And this was the first I had seen of the posters, which meant that when I was in the company of living legend Sir Ben Kingsley the previous week for his publicity stint, I didn’t have one for him to sign!

I did get manage to get some for EasterCon in April, and clung on to the three I had left over with a cunning plan to get as many of the Robot Overlords stars to sign them over the coming year of cons and festivals.

Next up was the London MCM in May, and this was when I hit Robo-star paydirt. We were interviewing some of the actors for DVD extras, and I was lucky enough to nab Craig and James in between shooting and they were gracious enough to sign my posters. Next up was Gillian Anderson, but her schedule was so incredibly tight that there was no guarantee she would have the time to sign. Indeed, the very second after she arrived, she was swept away for a series of interviews, such is the nature of these high-pressure press days: everything is timed to the minute, and I would have to choose my moment carefully if I was to crash in. Next she had a panel with Jon, where she received fan-love, chocolates, and a proposal from James…

And then after that she was swept away for an interview with James for the DVD. By now, her car had its engine running (she was about to fly off to make something called The X-Files… you may have heard of it), and my window of opportunity was rapidly closing.

Luckily, our publicist Marek came to the rescue and somehow found a gap of 76.5 seconds in the schedule. We threw the posters on the floor, threw a bunch of silver Sharpies at Gillian and while I held the posters flat she kneeled down and scribbled her autograph on them. There was even time for a fanboy pic…

I haven't washed since...
I haven’t washed since…
… and then she was gone!

I carefully rolled the posters into their tube… But I wanted more!!

My other targets were Ella, Callan McAuliffe (Sean) and Milo Parker (Connor). But they were all off making other movies: Callan’s made five films since Robots, Milo was away with Gandalf making Mr. Holmes, and Ella had a big costume drama lined-up… But then it got bumped to next year! Her delay was my good fortune, and she kindly popped into the Gollancz offices where we put the world to rights over tea and brownies, and she signed the posters.

IMG_3813

So there you have it, fair reader. If you are the lucky winner of this poster, please bear in mind all the times I had to lug a poster tube on the underground, all the miles and miles of Sharpie ink, and all the nerves and tension wondering if I would get those rare signatures. Frame it, prostate yourself before it every morning, give it a dust every now and then, and then flog it when you’re old and grey and I’ve won all those Oscars.

Click here to go to the Gollancz blog to enter (UK-only, I’m afraid, but I’m sure you overseas folk have friends in the UK who can enter on your behalf, and if they win they can pop it in the post after they’ve first gazed upon its awesomeness, yes?)

Good luck!

 

The Black Spitfire – a spec script that’s learning to fly… UPDATED WITH REVIEWS

Feast your eyes on this (clicken to embiggen)…

A girl, a gun and a Spitfire...
A girl, a gun and a Spitfire… Artwork by Brian Taylor

The Black Spitfire is a script project that Paddy Eason and I have been working on for a couple of years now. Here’s our logline…

May, 1940: Headstrong young pilot Ginny Albion crashes in France as the Nazi Blitzkrieg sweeps across the country. Her passenger is Winston Churchill, and the fate of the world is in her hands.

Who could resist that, eh?

It’s a spec script – meaning that it’s not been commissioned by any entity – and we’re doing this in the hope that a producer or director will take it under their wing and make it fly (apologies for the abundance of flying metaphors throughout this post).

Spec scripts are nigh-on impossible to get off the ground these days: the studios are more interested in building on their existing brands, and anything original is branded as “untested”, putting the fear of God into those clutching to the studio purse strings.

But we’ve had a fantastic response from those who have read the script, and we’ve already met with a few eager producers. It’s still early days, but Paddy and I commissioned artist Brian Taylor to put together a poster concept (these things help when you’re pitching to producers and directors) and he blew our minds with the results, perfectly capturing the adventurous spirit of the film and our heroine Ginny Albion. Our model was actress Claire Garvey, who gamely posed for photos as I wafted slabs of polystyrene at her to make her hair billow (no budget for a wind machine, sadly) as Paddy snapped the pics.

If you’re in the industry and want to read the script, it’s over on the Black List, if you want the latest news do please follow us on Twitter @GinnyAlbion, and if you’re a producer with, say, £30 million handy, we’d like to buy you lunch.

We hope you like it, and we hope to see Ginny in action at the movies soon.

UPDATE: We’ve had some great reviews over at the Black List. Here are a few choice quotes…

“What a terrific read! The script starts off with a bang and our brilliant Ginny anchors a wonderful story about courage, self-actualization, love, and friendship. As our charming heroine, Ginny is flawed but never lacking in gumption or charisma. She leaps off the page and lights up an otherwise monotonous time period. Her rapport with Kit is absolutely darling, and the friendship that develops between her and Churchill is deftly written. Churchill himself is captured beautifully – from the wry commentary on his unlikely guide to the humor that arises from his verbosity, he’s all there and with a pout to boot. Although at times the narrative feels a bit predictable, it’s a delight to read. Tonally, it’s similar to INDIANA JONES, but this time we get a kickass female protagonist. Overall, a well structured story with engaging, dynamic characters, a commercial tone, and strong dialogue.”

“A great piece of writing and a killer idea, demonstrating excellent world building and character work… it’s a fantastic read and at the very least, the writers should have no problem getting hired off of this.”

“This script is rooted first and foremost in a strong and engaging lead with Ginny… She’s brave, funny, and moody all at once. She’s compelling to follow. The action is also quite exciting throughout. It’s cleanly written and easy to envision from what’s on the page. Later on, Ginny saves a number of Allied prisoners from German executioners at the last moment. It’s tense and fun all at once. Ginny’s relationship to Churchill is also cannily drawn and entertaining. The two bicker and fight and like each other. At one point, he excoriates her for radioing details to the enemy in a panic, and they argue and she shoves him down. He then stomps off in the middle of a war. It’s memorable and gives the piece a good sense of personality.”

“This is an invigorating and original concept that is sure to catch the attention of industry readers. The dialogue stands out as the major macro strength to the project as it’s upbeat, quick and natural throughout. The banter between Ginny and Churchill is funny a lot of the time, but in a very grounded way — especially after they land. It adds a comedic relief, that is extremely dry and grounded… Churchill’s voice and character development overall is fantastic and will prove to be captivating for readers as his dialogue is accurate to portray his place in history, but shown in an exciting way. One of the coolest things about his character is the standard he holds Ginny to the entire time, but also how he begins to trust her and respect her more and more as they continue on and it’s a fantastic moment when she holds the knife to his throat… physically and emotionally. Ginny’s character gets comfortable around Churchill as well and it’s tracked nicely alongside her growth as a character. It’s very triumphant in the end when Winston’s calling out for Ginny over the radio and along with being extremely cinematic it ties up their story well for the audience.”

Robot Overlords UK trailer, poster and release date

Well, it’s been all go the last couple of weeks and I thought a quiet Sunday afternoon might be the best time to summarize the latest Robot Overlords news.

First, we have at last a UK release date of 27th March and a trailer:

And a quad poster to go with it (clicken to enlargen):

RO Quad Poster

We also have an official Facebook page, and I’ve started collating images from the film and the book over on Pinterest.

And the book is out this week, too, so there’ll be quite a few interviews and blog pieces from me over the next few weeks.

We’re very nearly there: after over four years of writing, filming and post-production, the film will finally be out in the wild. It’s a thrilling and slightly terrifying feeling: like sending one of your kids off to school for the first time. Hopefully the other kids will play nice…

As soon I have more new of the UK release I’ll post it here, in the meantime check out this clip over at Empire online. It features one of my favourite bits of Christian Henson’s score, so play it loud…

 

Robot Overlords: A New Poster AND Win A Signed Copy Of The Book Proof…

Today those good folk over at Empire Online revealed the wonderful collectors’ poster for ROBOT OVERLORDS. Feast your eyes on that (and give it a click to enlarginate to its full size)…

RO Poster

I just love its ’80s Drew Struzan-y quality. Jon and I wanted to capture the feel of those classic Amblin movies with our story and this poster does exactly that. The artist is Brian Taylor, also known as Candy Killer and a quick perusal of his website shows that we’re in very good company, with his outstanding artwork for classics such as ALIEN, ALIENS, BLADE RUNNER and THE THING.*

Brian confirmed that copies of our poster will be available for sale nearer the time of the film’s release early next year and that there may even be signed copies available. I, for one, will be front of the queue for that!

And, to celebrate all this Robot-y goodness, those lovely people at Gollancz suggested that we run a competition to give away a signed copy of the proof (or “galley” if you’re from the colonies) of the novelisation to one lucky winner. Only a few of these were printed, mainly for the film’s producers when attending film festivals and the like, so these are properly rare. So if you fancy your chances, pop over to the Gollancz blog and have a go! The competition closes on 21st December 2014.

 

*And if you’re looking to buy me a Christmas pressie, I’ll have the Blade Runner print please! Oh, all right then, if you insist, one of each…

Spanish Western posters from the Cinema Museum at Parque Oasys, Almeria

Okay, so not the sexiest subject heading ever, and I’m only really putting these online for my pal Cowboy Steve, but some of you may get some enjoyment from this collection of Spanish language Western posters at the Cinema Museum at “Mini Hollywood” in Almeria…

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