October, 2004 - an electromagnetic anomaly causes an explosion in an electricity substation in Epping Forest. Meanwhile, five ordinary people, out for an afternoon stroll, are witness to something that can only be described as supernatural. Is the forest a gateway to another dimension, or have the doors of perception been blown clean off their hinges?
Paul Darrow (Blake's 7) stars as Doctor Hector Lovelock in this fifteen minute "mocumentary" which asks the question "Where does reality end, and fantasy begin...?"
The Visitation is my live-action directorial debut and was produced by Kavita Kapoor. The film also stars Carole Hayman (Ladies of Letters), Tracy Bargate (28 Days Later), Sangeeta Sabharwal (Zee TV), Milo Connolly and Tommy Herbert. The Visitation previewed at STAR ONE, a Blake's 7 convention in Stockton on Tees in March 2006. It received its official premiere on August 9th 2006 at Bar Saaqi on London's Poland Street. Here's what the reviewers have been saying:
"Another first, was the screening of the short film The Visitation starring Paul Darrow as Doctor Hector Lovelock. This took place on Sunday morning and was followed by a question and answer session with Paul and the Director of the film, J. J. Guest. Based on an incident at High Beech, when a strange glow was reported over the forest, five eye witnesses told of their experiences during this phenomenon. Doctor Lovelocks expert analysis interspersed their reminiscences. A tale of the supernatural or The X-Files meets Play School? The eye witness accounts varied as widely as the eyewitnesses themselves, who included a lady whose dog was ill, so she was walking the dog, without the dog, and a childrens author whose grip on reality appeared tenuous at the best of times. And Doctor Lovelock? The forceful delivery of his pronouncements, accompanied by some wonderful facial expressions, suggested this experts opinions would carry weight. Or would they, seeing his preferred reading seemed to be Tilly and Toms Adventures in Teapot Land!"
Gillian Puddle, from her review of Star One 2006
"The reasoning of the subjective interpretations by each character leads one to contemplate whether we are to rubbish each revelation outright or more radically reflect and query the notion of a shared reality... It may be crude to suggest The Visitation tries hard to do much more than humour, though there are windows of sincerity which Guest may or may not have intended to be peered through. The script is at times very funny, with Tommy Herbert (Stephen Pickford) in particular delivering his lines with a precise measure of lampoon. Whilst the unique accounts of events are mockingly-tall, Dr Lovelock never discredits them. He is essentially gravity to our five so-called ordinary people, successfully straining to prevent them from escaping a world they barely seem to inhabit anyway."
Luke Nicholson, from his Digital Deli review of the film.
Lofty Life is a short animated film directed by Josh Pulman and written by BAFTA award winning author Carole Hayman, best known for the radio and television series Ladies of Letters. It was completed in 2005 with an award from the UK Film Council and has been screened at film festivals world wide, including the LA Film Festival, Raindance, Clermont Ferrand, Positano, Dublin, Leeds, Cambridge and Reading. I animated the whole seven-minute film, cut-out style in Adobe After effects in just three weeks. Character design is by Janet Cronin of Purple Ronnie fame.
Described on the official website, Lofty Life is a "grungy, sexy, rude, honest, free, fast-paced, surreal, radical ride through the Human Zoo. Urban myths and archetypes, 'through the looking glass' - Life as a comic soap opera."