Saturday, 30 April 2011

THE WATCHER and RANK: Two shoots in one night? We like to set the bar HIGH

Hi all

Not content with working on one TALES FROM PARADISE HEIGHTS production - oh no - we have to really raise the bar and shoot scenes from two productions in one night.  It seems no challenge is too great for this FANTASTIC TEAM. 

Troubles Behind Her:  Jeni Howarth Williams (LISA from RANK)

It was lovely to have JENI HOWARTH WILLIAMS rejoin us in shooting scenes for the new version of RANK that will be showing along with THE WATCHER on the 12th June at The Lowry.  RANK is of course a multi media stage play but sits very nicely alongside the film THE WATCHER as the action from both productions takes place on the same night...a night of serious disruption of the Paradise Heights estate - and indeed there will be some cross over between the two productions that audiences will hopefully be thrilled by as MAREK a taxi driver from RANK experiences a night he will never forget in THE WATCHER. 

Now check these FABULOUS PIX from the very talented BEN MOTTERSHEAD.

Chris Lane: Producer THE WATCHER


Ian Curley (Exec Producer & MAREK - THE WATCHER & RANK) Takes a minute between takes

Joe O'Byrne (Writer/Director RANK & THE WATCHER) Checks the script

Colin Warhurst (DOP) Chris Lane (Producer) and Joe setting up another shot with a car full of Menace

Mask of Malice


Setting another shot for THE WATCHER

A well known villain from PARADISE HEIGHTS makes a return in THE WATCHER

I've been involved in more than a few film sets now, and have done my fair share of directing in the past but I can honestly say this is the BEST TIME I have EVER had on a film production.  To be surrounded by so many talented, enthusiastic and lovely people is just a thrill for me and has really restoked my fire and brought me back to life. 

I and so many others are determined to take TALES FROM PARADISE HEIGHTS so much further across a range of media...the story from all the productions so far is just the beginning, there is so much more to come...

Joe xx

Watcher Shoots 3 & 4

Exhausting, knackering, tiring... but stunning, inspiring and exciting too. I love this job. - Col

Myself, Chris Lane, and a couple of guys up to no good...

The Watcher?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Halloween Winds, HGV's and THE WATCHER: Night 2

Joe O'Byrne: Fired Up Again

Night 2 of THE WATCHER shoot and again some fantastic stuff canned despite the efforts of the wind and HGV traffic.  It was that cold last night it actuallyFELT like Halloween.  Another short update but I'll write up alonger one for the end of the week - in the meantime check out all these pics (including the one above) by Gareth 'Eagle Eye Evil Eye' Hacking - beautiful shots and more of Gareth's work can be seen here  

Mask of Menace

Directing the action with Ian Curley (MAREK)

Behind The Mask

Colin Warhurst (DOP) Lines up another stunning shot

Setting The Shot

Make me up before you go go. EMMA WILLCOX make up girl

Haunted (David Edward Robertson as DANNY)

Keep watching for THE WATCHER...Joe x

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

THE WATCHER hits the ground running! AWESOME first nights shoot

Hi All

Last night has to be the most enjoyable night I have EVER had on a film set.  First nights shoots are normally notorious for being slow, tense, fiddly and peppered with a few mistakes...NOT THIS SHOOT.  It was a privalidge to work with such a talented, dedicated and enthusiastic cast and crew - too many names to mention in a rushed bulletin but ALL HERO'S.  I can't say much more - 3 am finish but boy have we got two beautiful scenes to cut together - and quite a sizeable chunk of the script IN THE CAN - YES!  Mission accomplished...many challenges to come but I have a really GOOD feeling about this one...;) 

Here are a few stills to whet your appetites...Pictures by DAN WARHURST

Barrel Burner


Danny's 'Home'

Lost Man

Dark Deeds Afoot

Trouble Man

Hell's Hoodies

Me giving the fire some direction and motivation

Angels?  Of course, this is Paradise Heights

A very short update folks as I have to get ready for tonights shoot...another update tomorrow...leave us some comments guys n gals...Joe xx

Day 01 - Stills from Dan Warhurst

Wow! What a shoot last night! Some awesome cinematography thanks all round to the entire cast & crew. We wrapped at 3am! Still knackered and mid-prep for tonight's shoot! No time to stop, but here are some awesome moody stills taken by my bro on his flickr account. Please enjoy, favourite and share! - Col x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

BASE CAMP BULLETIN...The Watcher: Set To Roll...

Sunday 24th April, 2011

Hi all

It's been a busy week up to tonight, the eve of the first nights filming on The Watcher. 

David Edward Robertson has been added to the cast as a homeless man with his own haunted past, and after a lovely evening on Thursday where I was auditioning several very talented young girls, 10 year old Hannah Green won the part of the young girl.  All the girls did so well in the auditions, it was a very difficult decision for me, but Hannah just had the right look and the talent to match in the end, thanks to all those that came along, you should all be very proud. 

I have completed all my storyboards for the film and given the script its final polish, I'm sure this will be a tale you will remember.   

Colin Warhurst has continued to produce some fabulous test shots for the film and indeed produced a stunning shot for the final film.  

Sarah Meadows and yours truly recording audio for the film, my forehead is available for advertising space, contact me for details

Barry Thompson - Wizard of Sound and Music, makes a good brew too

On Thursday evening several sound sections for the film were recorded at Barry Thompsons home/studio.  It was great to hook up with Jeni Howarth Williams, Ste Myott and Sarah Meadows, all lending their voices to a variety of characters.  When you get to hear these recordings you will hear more clues to the past of Paradise Heights and in particular to a couple of current and past characters in the series.  Barry has done an absolutely superb job in post on these recordings, more will be revealed when you see and indeed hear the film. 

Chris Lane has been something of a whirlwind drawing up a shooting script, organising the crew, acquiring desired props, setting up the schedule, call sheets, and coming up with some great marketing ideas. 

Dream Job:  Chris Lane - 'Producing' The Watcher

So pre-production complete, tomorrow is Day 1 of the shoot and I'm fired up and ready to rock - or should I say roll?  Keep an eye on the blog as I and possibly one or two more - will keep you posted with blogs, pics and documentary footage over the next couple of weeks...

Who is THE WATCHER...?  Find out on the 12th June...

Joe xx

Saturday, 16 April 2011

HALLOWEEN HOODIES still required for THE WATCHER shoot...

Hi All

Another great production meeting today with COLIN WARHURST (DOP), CHRIS LANE (PRODUCER), IAN CURLEY (ACTOR) and joining us for the first time on this project BARRY THOMPSON, who will be taking on MUSIC and POST SOUND DESIGN. 

Working with Colin and Chris for the first time has proved a joy. Their excitement, enthusiasm and commitment to the project has been truly amazing.  Chris is already pulling the strings as a producer and Colin is well on with test shoots and edits.  Their track records (see previous post) more than speak for themselves and I am sure this will be the first of many collaborations - both within and outside TALES FROM PARADISE HEIGHTS, I know Colin and Chris have very exciting projects of their own on the way and I can't wait to get invloved. 

This isn't the first time BARRY THOMPSON has worked in the twisted world of PARADISE HEIGHTS.  Barry did the magnificent music and sound design for RANK - and it's elements of that theme that will be picked up and indeed built upon in THE WATCHER. 


I'm still looking for around half a dozen gang members, hoodied, and wearing Halloween Masks in the film, this will be a night shoot and you'll probably be needed for a couple of nights between the dates of 24th April to 2nd May.

It's an exciting project to be involved in, you will of course be fed and watered and have travelling expenses reimbused. 

If you can help on any of the above please email me at

Production meeting 3

Chris and I have arrived early and doing it in style. Pint and food.

- Col : Posted (most likely with spelling errors) from my iPhone

Friday, 15 April 2011

Watch out. Hi, my name is Colin Warhurst...

...and Joe O'Byrne has invited both myself and Chris Lane aboard the good ship Paradise Heights.

By way of an introduction, my name is Colin Warhurst, and I am a film-maker. Entirely self-made film-maker I must add. I started off ten years ago with a couple of quid and a camcorder, now almost ten years later I work full time for the BBC, I've made an indie feature film entirely independently, shot over 40 music videos, and between all that and my short films my work has been seen online over 60,000 times. So, I think I'm getting there.

I've been a huge fan of Joe's for years, and we've both been through similar trials and tribulations in the world of independent feature film. Joe of course has had Lookin' For Lucky set in Paradise Heights itself, and of course his turn in Diary Of A Bad Lad is superb.

(L-R: Colin Warhurst, Joe O'Bryne, Chris Lane)

For my sins, I was involved in a globe trotting independent film called Mancattan, which was shot four years ago in New York and Manchester. (You can watch it for free at if you are interested.)

And so Indie Features brought myself and Mr O'Byrne together a while ago, yet it has taken us four years to both finally find time to sit down and work together! Now that we have, great things are already underfoot. We are all working together on a short film, which is a "spin-out" tale from Joe's play RANK. The film is called THE WATCHER...

Joe seems to think I make some half decent stuff (have a ganders yourself to see if he's right at and so has asked me aboard to make this short film as another piece in the Paradise Heights jigsaw puzzle. I'm honoured, flattered and inspired, and can't wait to get rolling.

(Chris Lane and myself, Colin Warhurst.
The Producer/Director combo responsible for the
piece of crap that is

Chris Lane is bringing his amazing and experienced Producer's eye to the table, whilst I've jumped aboard D.O.P./Editor/Camera duties. I've recently been moving more into a camera/tech sort of area and find myself directing less and less. Joe and I were both up for co-directing this, but in all honesty, Joe knows Paradise Heights inside and out, whereas this is my first foray into it's dark depths...

We're also pushing for a level of cinematography higher than we've both ever achieved before and I'm bring the Canon 5D Mark II to the table. As such, my hands are (already!) full with a plethora of camera tests, checks, animatics, storyboards and special effects, and we haven't even begun shooting yet! As a result, I'm leaving most (if not all!) the Directing and Producing duties to Chris and Joe so that I can in turn cover all the camera and tech issues, leaving them free to concentrate on their thing.

And so here we are. A DOP-Editor, Director-Writer, and Producer combo that between us have made some pretty awesome films. THE WATCHER will be the latest in that list. With our powers combined... this film is going to be GOODE.

Stay tuned, for behind the scenes snaps, previews, tidbits and shout outs for cast and crew. Please follow us on on twitter via #thewatcherfilm hashtag and we hope to have your support throughout the film. Any questions? Please holler!

Cheers folks! Col x

REMEMBER! TWITTER - #thewatcherfilm

Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Watcher, Monolgueslam & Paradox, Corrie Jim, Acting Class and a VERY EXCLUSIVE ANNOUNCEMENT

THE WATCHER: A Tale from Paradise Heights

We're progressing nicely on THE WATCHER - the next screen tale from Tales From Paradise Heights.  Some great stuff came out of a pre-production meeting at mine with COLIN WARHURST, CHRIS LANE and IAN CURLEY.  Storyboarding, animatics and location work all progressing nicely - and now here is the first official shout out for EXTRA's. 

Although this is a stand alone tale in the series, there are also links to RANK - the stage play, and I'm looking for at least 12 guys to play HALLOWEEN MASKED HOODIES that are prowling the estate, so please give me a shout if you are gonna be available for night shoots around EASTER/ROYAL WEDDING week.  Email me on if you are interested. 

More updates on this very soon...


I attended Monologueslam at MATT & PHRED's last Sunday night and performed a monologue from STRAWBERRY JACK - the next stage story from Tales from Paradise Heights.  Apart from a wandering eye patch it went down very well with the audience and certainly whetted a few appetites with a view to finding out more about the character and the play.  I'll be repeating the performance at PARADOX at FUEL in Withington next Saturday 9/4/11, hope to see you there...still waiting on news from at least two theatres in the region with a view to the debut of the play. 

More news soon...


I'll be popping up on the cobbles of Coronation Street as a character called SPOONER on Monday 11/04/11 playing opposite Charlie Lawson (JIM McDONALD), I can't say anything about the storyline, it's one short scene - but the scene of course lead me to meet Charlie.  I've since had lunch with the big man and I can confirm that Charlie will be appearing in a future film story in Paradise Heights and we are in talks for him to play DEAF FREDDIE in STRAWBERRY JACK - the character has been mentioned previously in THE BENCH. 

Charles Lawson (Jim McDonald from Coronation Street) just cast in Tales from Paradise Heights

More news on this soon...


A word on my acting class that I run from Salford and Bolton, they are going from strength to strength and some fantastic stuff is coming from the students there now.  I've included a scene below (in a facebook link) from the Salford class featuring James Schofield and Julia Walsh.  Both actors give fantastic performances but what is remarkable here is Julia Walsh, she had no previous acting experience before joining the class in August last year.!/video/video.php?v=10150464144540006&comments

Check it out.  Julia has also just gained a place at Arden College...thinking about Acting? Act now and get in touch with me, I still have places at both schools.

And finally some very exciting news...

Tales from Paradise Heights: The Web Series

The world of Paradise Heights is now very much alive and kicking, a very ordinary council estate with the odd supernatural thread weaving it's way almost invisibly through the series.  With over 60 characters so far including the odd ghost, Angel and Angel of Death it's very fertile ground and it's clear from the success of the series so far that audiences and critics are enjoying the tales.  We've had stage stories, feature film stories and short film stories. 

I can excusively reveal that I am in the very early stages of taking Tales from Paradise Heights and crafting an episodic online series. 

So whatever side of the camera you are on this could be your chance to get involved in the series...the other plays and films will also continue to roll out, it's a busy this space. 

I'm off down the Ace of Spades now for a drink with Frank Morgan, maybe he can fund me...What do you reckon? 

Strawberry Jack

Strawberry Jack
Designed by Joe O'Byrne