Your new movie Rock Band vs Vampires - in a few words, what is it
Raed: It's a horror/comedy packed with LOTS of action. The storyline
Malcolm is best placed to talk about, but in short elderly vampire
Jeremiah Winterford is fighting to stay alive while Anna, his daughter,
takes the human side. The rock band find themselves in the wrong
place at the wrong time.
Malcolm: The story is largely autobiographical, apart from the bits
about vampires. It was inspired by my experience of being in an obscure
rock band in Camden, London. The band, Sorcerer’s Tower, aren’t
particularly practical or heroic. They just want to get the 15 or so fans
they need to be regularly playing gigs. They are struggling with this
modest ambition, until they get an invitation play a Saturday night gig at
Angelfish, now under new (vampiric) management.
Jeremiah Winterford (played by Guy Barnes) is an old-fashioned vampire,
totally out of place in the modern world. After his castle is burned down
by rival vampire Jako Van Zyl (Adam Dindorf), his partner Angelica (Dani
Thompson) persuades him to temporarily move into a 1970’s terraced house
in Primrose Hill, close to Camden, where nobody is likely to notice a
vampire. From there they plan to rebuild their forces, and take revenge on
The band find that their new fans are being turned into vampires, and have
till dawn to team up with Jeremiah’s daughter Anna to save them. Saving them
largely involves killing vampires with items of musical equipment, and/or
stunning them with a spatula…
How did the project fall together in the first place?
It started as a chat with friends in a pub. We had made a no-budget comedy
horror short (Badgergeddon), and fancied doing something a bit longer. It
snowballed into Rock Band vs Vampires. Raed, who has experience in feature film direction
and VFX, soon joined the team, and brought in the action side of things.
what were your inspirations for writing Rock Band vs Vampires?
When I wrote it, I hadn’t yet seen Flight Of The Conchords, but in
retrospect, if the comedy has a similar tone to that I’d be delighted.
We were aiming at something like a cross between Shaun Of The Dead and
talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!
As a vampire film, it comes with blood, some gore, and so gets into the
horror category, but it’s much more comedy than horror. We’re hoping
that people will be surprised to see the quality of action and VFX in a
micro-budget indie film. We’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some
great stunt experts and crew on the film
few words about Rock Band vs Vampires' brand of comedy?
Raed: It has all kinds of comedy. It has black comedy, silly comedy,
action comedy, tragedy comedy and awkward pauses. Lots of awkward pauses.
Malcolm: A lot of the stuff I find funny in it relates to the
characters, almost all of whom are completely out of place in their
surroundings, not really knowing what to do.
"rock band" part of your title suggests quite a bit of music -
so do talk about that aspect of your movie for a bit!
Raed: Yes, it has some tracks but not enough to call it a musical.
Malcolm: The setting relates to the experiences of a rock band in
Camden, and there are several opportunities to plug my real life Hats Off
Gentlemen It’s Adequate band in the soundtrack
We also got to film in some iconic rock venues, including the Camden
Underworld and Zigfried Von Underbelly in Hoxton (doubling as Camden’s
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
Raed: We played a lot with script while keeping the main line of the
story. I personally love characters in films. I focused on building
personality for each character even if it was a minor one. Each one has a
back story and fighting style. The writer, Malcolm, was very flexible
allowing us to make changes on the fly to the script but, again, we all
made sure we keep the main story line untouched.
Malcolm: This was my first attempt at writing a feature film script,
and I generally like a collaborative approach when creating things. Raed
knows about making films, which feels a bit like cheating, but apparently
is the done thing when making a feature film.
What was the collaboration between the two of you
actually like? And how did the two of you first meet even?
Raed: I'd found a post online for a film called Rock Band vs Vampires.
Just by reading the title I giggled and wanted to join the team. A couple
of days later I met Malcolm and we started our journey. The collaboration
developed quickly and we ended up becoming friends and before we know it
we are family.
Malcolm: Raed brought a different level of professionalism to the film
than I had imagined when we started. Our creative process tends to go
something like this – “let’s have a really long awkward pause
here”, “how about a Matrix style action scene instead”, “mmm, I
see what you mean, but maybe an awkward pause would work better”,
“Malcolm, I respect you as a writer, but I really think a massive
VFX-heavy battle would work better”. And then we compromise on a massive
VFX heavy-battle, with my character (Will) awkwardly pausing in the
talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
Raed: The most adorable thing about the cast, and the crew, was their
patience and passion. We couldn’t have wished for a better team. We'd
need to write a book to do justice to how amazing they were but for now
let's try to keep it short.
- Guy Barnes gave Jeremiah a whole new personality. He became the only
Jeremiah I could ever imagine. His Shakespearean performance and screen
presence is simply what every director looking for art wants.
- Faye Sewell played Anna. We wanted a combination of innocence and
aggression. Anna kills with a smile on her apparently innocent face. Faye
magically did all that.
- Loren Peta made Pixie (drummer of Sorcerer’s Tower) simply the best
Pixie you can ever get. The way Loren adopted the character was
incredible. She’s got a great natural deadpan comedy, and has some
incredibly expressive snarky facial expressions. She makes you laugh
but you don't know why.
- Jake Rundle has a unique touch. He made us, and will make you, love Dan
(Sorcerer’s Tower bass player) for real. Jake's ability to animate every
single bone in his body brought a huge amount to the character of Dan.
- Malcolm Galloway played Will (singer of Sorcerer’s Tower) very well.
Malcolm made Will come to life and very human. Will is not only scared of
everything he's also sensitive a person. The sensitivity you find only in
- Dani Thompson [Dani
Thompson interview - click here] gave us the feel of a royal vampire matriarch. She made
Angelica the dream of every vampire lover.
I would love to mention all of our amazing stars, but haven’t got space
here. A special shout out to Adam Dindorf as Jako, and Dita Tantang, our
martial artist vampire.
Malcolm: I thought the casting of me as Will (singer/guitarist of an
obscure band) was particularly inspired, and would like to pay particular
tribute to the casting directors. We are also very grateful to Richard
Herring and Gyles Brandreth for doing such lovely celebrity cameos in the
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
I'd say it was great experience, amazing crew and cast, wonderful
collaboration. A family spirit filled the space where ever and
whenever we meet. It was a huge honour to get to meet and work with a
$64-question of course, when and where will the movie be released onto the
Raed: Originally we were planning to
release it in 2014 but the more we worked on Rock Band vs Vampires the more we realised that
we have something special that we want to do justice to. We are
aiming for a 2016 release, but that will obviously depend on discussions
Any future projects you'd like to share?
We have several projects coming up. At the moment there's an Rock Band vs Vampires video
game in development and planned to be released on PS4.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
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This project is not just a movie. It made a real impact on all of us.
Personally I made new friends. Friends I will make sure I'll keep for the
rest of my life. Friends I call family. Friends I will make sure I'll keep for the rest of my life. Dan
Abrams, Trish Holden, Angela Holmes, Silvia Bellitto, Guy Barnes, Jake
Rundle, Loren Peta, and Malcolm Galloway, just to name few, are friends I
for the interview!
Thank you for your support and we wish you all the best.
We’d also like to express our thanks to our friends at The Gothic Shop
for their kind support with costumes.