Short Circuit feature in SFX

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It’s been a couple of years since I last pitched a feature to SFX magazine (that was Tremors in 2011), but I’m back in February 2014’s issue with a new article on 1986’s Short Circuit.

I carried out interviews with the film’s co-creator, SS Wilson, and director, John Badham, and discovered the origins of Johnny Five plus the behind-the-scenes battles to get the film from script to screen. The feature also examines the second film and looks ahead to a possible continuation of the franchise.

Both men were able to supply rare photos and design material from their own archives to help illustrate the feature, making it something special for Short Circuit fans.

The magazine, issue 243, is now available in the shops or it can be downloaded from the iTunes app.

Here are a few rare photos supplied by John Badham from the set of the first film, all copyright Bruce McBroom:

Preparing Johnny Five Ally Sheedy and Number 5 Multiple robots on set

Tremors interview free on SFX app

This is verging on old news but it impressed me…

The article I wrote for the October 2011 issue of SFX Magazine on the 1990 sci-fi/horror film, Tremors, is currently available for free on the magazine’s iPad/iPhone app.

It appears to be the only freebie on there so it’s a good opportunity to sample the magazine, which I’ve been subscribing to for around 17 years.

Tremors co-creator SS Wilson and franchise star Michael Gross (Burt Gummer) discuss each of the films, the unmade fifth movie, Thunder from Down Under, and the TV series.

Getting animated about Brave

As the world slowly goes mad for Disney-Pixar’s Brave, the US release taking in over $65 million at the box office on opening weekend and the UK premiere taking place in Edinburgh last weekend, my coverage of the Scottish-set film has started to appear in a few places.

Last month I mentioned that I’d contributed an interview with Brave’s director, Mark Andrews, to the new Highlands of Scotland Film Commission’s iPad magazine, which is now available to download from the App store.

I also took part in a recent press junket, with stars of the film such as Kelly Macdonald and Robbie Coltrane in Edinburgh to discuss the film. The interviews will appear closer to the film’s Scottish release on 3 August (it’s out in England and Wales on 17 August).

As a result I reviewed Brave on my site, ReelScotland, before covering it for the Edinburgh Evening News on Thursday ahead of its Edinburgh International Film Festival screening.

As for that press junket I mentioned, Scotland’s tourism agency, VisitScotland, today published a new video from the trip we took to Dunkeld and I spotted myself 0.18 in, taking this photo on Instagram:

Tremors feature in SFX Magazine

A Graboid prepares for a scene Tremors

A Graboid prepares for a scene in Tremors

Pick up a copy of this month’s SFX Magazine, issue 213, turn to page 70, and you’ll be faced with a lovely looking four page article by yours truly on one of my favourite film series, Tremors.

SFX Issue 213

SFX Issue 213

It was during Christmas 2010 that I realised Tremors would celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2011 and decided to get in touch with co-creator/writer, SS Wilson. Thanks to his generosity with his time, we not only covered the first movie but also the three sequels, the spin-off TV series and the proposed fifth film, Thunder from Down Under.

Add to that some valuable input from Michael Gross, the only actor to appear in every incarnation of the franchise as Burt Gummer (or one of his ancestors), and you’ve got one of the most enjoyable articles I’ve ever had the pleasure to write.

SFX Magazine, which I’ve been subscribing to since issue one in the mid-90s, have done a great job of putting the feature together, and I hope it does Tremors justice.

Fans of the films might like these videos, the first is Kevin Bacon’s recognition of the movie that he’s disassociated himself from for many years, while the second is a clever bit of science about the Graboids…