Type Till You Bleed, an independent horror film shot at the Computing History Museum in Cambridge, has been selected for an international film festival.
With the tagline “Get Your Head in the Game”, the film, written and directed by Richard Jackson – with music by Cambridge musician Liam Taylor – tells the story of a security guard who takes a night job at a computer museum only to find himself the pawn of a mysterious relic with a taste for blood.
Richard notes that everybody who worked on the film is from Cambridge – “some with not much experience, some with quite a lot” – apart from one person whom they brought in from London. “We did it with basically no money,” he said. “The computer museum, being friends of mine, let me have their location for free because I’ve helped them out with videography and stuff before.
“I’ve had a lifetime fascination with computers and I think it’s really intrinsic to Cambridge’s story in a way that’s not really talked about a lot. I wanted to tell my horror movie story to the backdrop of the Cambridge computer scene. So we have a character named after Clive Sinclair and a character named after Chris Curry…”
Richard describes the project as a “scrappy little film that we put together under lockdown, with not a lot of money, not a lot of time”.
It has been selected for Brighton Rocks International Film Festival 2022 and has been entered for consideration into this year’s Cambridge Film Festival. Richard is also looking into the possibility of international distribution.
[Read more: Power of the Dog parody by Cambridge musician Liam Taylor scoops two DAFTA awards]
As well as writing and directing the film, Richard was camera operator, cinematographer and sound recordist. “A couple of us are from Netherhall School back in the day,” he continued, “so I had one of my friends from Netherhall help with cinematography and one of my friends from Parkside came on as kind of an AD [assistant director].
“A couple of people from Coleridge – Liam [Taylor] and his partner Laura came on – so it was a proper local effort. I’ve been getting to know those guys for a while, because Liam is really good at bringing local creative people together, and I worked with him on some stuff. He’s a really amazing musician.”
Richard revealed that one member of the crew, Rob Myers, worked on visual effects on Avengers: Infinity War, Age of Ultron and The Amazing Spider-Man films. “He did our 3D for us because he knows me,” he said.
“He’s got a lot of connections… so there’s Gary Smart, from a company called Dead Mouse Productions, who’s directed lots of well-known documentaries about Robert Englund and the Hellraiser movies, and he did a really amazing prop for us.
“Marc Price advised. He directed a movie called Colin that was a big cult success a long time ago, and he’s done a bunch of movies since. Toby Venables, who won a BAFTA for the film His House that’s on Netflix, was a consultant on it. He teaches at Anglia Ruskin University and he used to be my teacher.
“So we spent most of the budget on food really and a few props and I did a lot of stuff myself to drag it all together, because I work in video and off the back of this film I’ve managed to get some work in the film industry.”
The lead role is played by Duncan Casey, who has appeared in, among other things, EastEnders, Emmerdale and the James Bond film Skyfall, while actor Michael Geary, who has featured in programmes such as Midsomer Murders and Outlander, also appears.
Richard, who was given $1,000 by American film producer Bill Bossert – it was later doubled to $2,000, thanks to Duncan Casey – concluded: “I love horror movies. I love Italian horror movies, I love trash movies, I love British comedy and the Euro horror scene, so I was like, ‘I want to make one of those’.”
The film was shot over two and a half days in April 2021 and its trailer can be viewed at typetillyoubleed.com.