Troy Dennison. Award Winning Filmmaker (Writer - Producer - Director - Special FX Make-up Artist)
Troy was born and grew up in Staffordshire. His interest in films grew from an early age, influenced by seeing Star Wars:A New Hope when he was nine and from the stories his Great-Uncle would tell him about classic monster movies like King Kong and Dracula. Troy's Mother had a background in stage and dance and would involve Troy in fancy dress competitions at carnivals and fêtes. Troy's first encounter with theatrical make-up came from this when he was dressed as Henry VIII and had a beard glued to his face - he was five years old. Troy's love of films and especially the monster genre grew over time and he was always interested in finding out how effects were created.
Troy's mother died of cancer when he was twenty one and he considers her to have been a great influence on his life - she was an artist and writer, appeared on stage and was highly creative; all things that Troy himself does. Troy has a background in art and theatre and trained as a Make-up artist at a local college - the prospectus for the course excited him and he lost no time in learning the skills which also included photography, costume and wig-making. Troy is fully versed in every aspect of make-up from face painting to HD film work and he enjoys the ability to create new and exciting make-up for both film and theatre.
As an actor Troy has found himself working opposite his own make-up creations on several occasions and in 2010 he enjoyed the opportunity of creating the prosthetics and costume for a mummy and then playing the character for a short independent film. As an artist Troy has produced work as diverse as web-comics, fine art, watercolours, graffiti and theatrical sets and he considers make-up to be an extension of that artwork using the human form as the canvas. Troy published his first story Monsters Are Real in the eZine 13 Human Souls and has since gone on to write and publish several short stories. His first novel Hunters is due for publication in late 2011. Troy has also gained several acting credits appearing on stage, in music videos and independent films and has contributed character voices for the animated film Snakes & Ladders. Troy divides his time between his passion for his artwork, writing, acting, make-up, playing guitar and spending time with his three children, he can also be found playing Black-Ops and HALO with his girlfriend who is a model. His influences include Dick Smith, Stan Winston, Rick Baker and Tom Savini.
"You may fire when ready"
Tarkin (Peter Cushing),
Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
Award Winning Filmmaker (Writer - Producer - Director - Lecturer)
Born in Walsall, West Midlands, UK in October 1982, Dave Hastings was immediately captivated by films, and spent most of his youth digesting all types of them from varying different genre. Of course, the horror genre stood out to his tastes the most, and to this day, he refers to them proudly as his "continual guilty pleasure" that he happily spent his early years tracking down as many titles as he could on vhs. He also spent his days developing sequel ideas to some of his favourite franchises' such as Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and other such distinguished properties such as Hellraiser and eventually Scream in script form.
However, his favourite horror film is John Carpenter's seminal classic, Halloween, for its "simplicity and raw themes of evil infecting everyday suburbia". Carpenter's film had a massive influence on Dave's imagination when he first saw it at the age of six, and encouraged him to pursue filmmaking from then on.
Additionally, Dave also grew up on British Gothic horror films from the likes of Hammer Studios and Amicus. One of his favourite all time actors is the late Peter Cushing, whom spellbound the young filmmaker whenever he was on screen in hundreds of films within his biography. The film, House of Screaming Death, which Dave both co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed, was directly influenced by these studios' more prolific outputs and was hailed as "deliciously gothic" by the film site, bloody-flicks, upon release and won Best Feature Film at the Midlands Movies Awards in 2018.
Another major influence on Dave's film career are the Godzilla films from Toho Studios. Dave's Dad, Ken, was the main person who first alerted him to these films, and Dave has never stopped loving them since, keeping alot of the films in vhs format for nostalgic purposes. Along with Hammer, the slasher genre and Carpenter's Halloween, the horror genre has continually kept its grip on him to this day.
Outside of horror, Dave has explored and viewed films from all corners of the world, all from differing genre and decades. Films such as Jaws (his first VHS copy of the film was a gift from his grandfather as he recovered from a near fatal car accident at 11 years old), One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Alien, The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, The Remains of The Day, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Watership Down, K-PAX, Bladerunner and The Breakfast Club are among films which Dave cites as part of his favourites' list. He also lists both Michael Mann and David Lynch as his favourite directors, naming Heat and Mulholland Drive as amongst the best of their respective works.
Outside of film fandom, Dave has written for numerous film academic publications as well as proposing new ways of seeing and viewing movie texts from a broad educational spectrum. In 2018, he advocated a way to link the structure of Carpenter's Halloween to the theory of Mikhail Bakhtin's Carnivalisation, a process wherein normality is disrupted by the appearance of more historical folk/carnival rituals of debauchery, and signified similarily in the film by the appearance of the masked Shape, Michael Myers, who proceeds to wreck murderous havoc on the mundane Haddonfield which results in an eventual upheaval and challenge to societal rules and established order. In 2019, Dave also finalised his MA thesis that centred and concerned itself with the disturbing lack of pivotal lgbtq characters in primary Holocaust Cinema discourse and promoted the differing reasons why this could be an ongoing and disappointing case.
Outside of filmmaking, as well as academic avenues, Dave lectures in film and media studies at a UK College in the West Midlands, wherein he promotes classes on Scriptwriting, Film Theory, Contextual Studies as well as encouraging/supporting learners to be their own producer/directors in numerous video production units and beyond. In 2007, Dave set up Lightbeam Productions, after studying Film Theory & Production at Manchester Metropolitan University to allow him an outlet to make movies as well as helping to showcase other local moviemakers and actors under one banner, which includes his longtime collaborator Kaush Patel, whom the pair has forged a strong alliance with for decades. After fully immersing himself in filmmaking from an early age, he has written, produced & directed a range of differing movies over a variety of genre ever since. In 2015, his short 'Halloween Night Terror', won a Best Film Award at the Phoenix ComicCon Film Festival in the US. As well as having his work screened to great critical acclaim around the globe, he was also a producer/director and head writer on the anthology film 'Checking In', which won Best British Film at the 2014 London Film Awards and which continues to receive high praise/acclaim after a successful run in festivals worldwide.
After the success of House of Screaming Death, Dave has focused on a number of short films again, such as the Award Winning Grid, which allowed him to return to showcasing strong lgbtq stories and characters, which are very important to him, as well as directing another feature film Sustain, which was a deliberate move to starve off the horror genre for a while longer, and help him instead expand his director/writer skillset by focusing on a diverse and strong thrilling story that would be able to exploit themes that are relevant to ever-growing modern societal conflicts/concerns in a post-Brexit world. The film will be out in late 2019.
Other upcoming short films include Willem, another lgbtq film, while also serving on other film projects around the UK such as taking on associate producer responsibilities on the Dark Ditties anthology series for Amazon Prime with producers Gary Smart and Neil Morris, while he has also written and directed a new lgbtq feature entitled You Are My Sunshine, which was released on DVD in 2022. After this, he will be returning to the world of horror in a yet-unannounced, but exciting new feature film project which will be revealed over the next few months, as well as penning and directing the upcoming thriller, Borderland.
Dave continually celebrates his parents, Sue and Ken, as his main inspiration for wanting to be a filmmaker.
"Our battle, our struggle, is to create art. Our weapon is the moving picture. Because we have the moving picture, our paintings will grow and recede; our poetry will be shadows that lengthen and conceal; our light will play across living faces that laugh and agonise; and our music will linger and finally overwhelm, because it will have a context as certain as the grave. We are scientists engaged in the creation of memory... but our memory will neither blur nor fade"
F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich),
Shadow of The Vampire
Award Winning Filmmaker (Writer - Producer - Director - Production Manager)
Kaushy Patel is a director and producer based in the Midlands. He has been making films for over 22 years and has had considerable experience in film-making, from documentary to short films and music videos.
In March 2007, Kaushy co-directed (with Tanya Bullock) Royal Television Society award-nominated public information comedy-film, How to Stay Safe.
He also co-directed and co-produced the film with funding from the West Midlands Police Authority. How to Stay Safe is now used by police forces across the country to inform and educate the public about issues surrounding personal safety.
Another one of Kaushy’s film, Dis Life, was funded through the ITV and Screen West Midlands scheme, First Cut. Dis Life was screened on ITV regional television in December 2004 and has since been screened at Birmingham Cineworld, Birmingham Short Film Festival, BBC Big Screen in Birmingham town centre, Leicester Short Film Festival, Burton-on-Trent Film Festival, Birmingham’s Electric Cinema and Wolverhampton Light House cinema. It is now used by the British Institute of Learning Difficulties as a training and education tool.
He has worked on a number of film projects around the area supporting and promoting films throughout the region, including the Award Winning Checking In, House of Screaming Death and You Are My Sunshine, which he helped produce and co-direct on.
“Oh the movie never ends, it goes on and on, and on and on…”