Anna Comes Home

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This weekend marked the debut of Anna and the Apocalypse for UK audiences at EIFF. We had our first home screening on Friday 29th June, followed by a fun late night screening and singalong on Saturday 30th. It’s been a long, emotional journey getting to this point (you can read about that here) and we marked the occasion with our trademark weirdness, including carolling and zombies outside the Usher hall…

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That may or may not be me top-right looking like I just sucked a lemon.

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And here’s Mark Hermida, our wonderful editor, and Tommy Reilly, one half of our stupendous composing/songwriting team, living it up with the undead.

This was followed by a fantastic after party at the Traverse Theatre, where our sickeningly-talented cast sang songs from the movie live, followed by numerous members of the Blazing Griffin Post Production and Games teams belting out karaoke classics. An absolute stonker of a night.

A big part of the Anna experience is the sense of fellowship we’ve developed across the project, and being able to spend a sunny Edinburgh weekend with these wonderful people was a real reminder of how lucky I am to be part of this wild roller coaster experience. Cast, crew, the various departments of Blazing Griffin… they’re all the very best people and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with them. Thankfully, the Anna journey is far from over so we have further hijinks to come.

On a more personal note, this was the first time my parents had seen the film after listening to me talk about it for 8 years, and to see them glowing with pride was a bit of a lifetime highlight. My wife also joined us and got to participate in all the fun, which was very special for me, too. It was an important moment to take stock of how far we’ve all come. I’m really living the dream right now but there’s a level of constant anxiety that comes with the package: will the reviews be good? Is this all just a fluke? Will I ever write anything that connects this way again?

Weekends like this one are a precious reminder that I’m doing the job I’ve wanted since I was a kid, I’m working with massively-talented people who also happen to be genuinely good human beings, and I have the enormous privilege of being able to tell stories that other people want to hear. Whatever difficulties might come as part of the process, I’m lucky beyond measure. I have sat in a real cinema during an international film event, with my loved ones, and watched a film that I wrote play brilliantly to an enthusiastic audience. Then I got to hang out and laugh with the other beautiful folks who made it and who love it as much as I do. May you be as fortunate.

From here, Anna and the Apocalypse goes on its world tour of various festivals around the globe, though it’ll be back in the UK soon for Fright Fest. The full release is in sight now and we’re all excited to share it (and, yes, the soundtrack!) with the world at large. Anna might not be for everyone, and that’s ok, but we now know for sure that it plays well for lots of people, especially fans of horror and the supernatural teen genre. Basically, for people like us. I’ve seen it in a cinema a few times at this point and, while it’s impossible to ever view something of your own with any degree of distance, I’m pretty confident that I’d love the film even if I’d had nothing to do with it. That’s enormously satisfying.

So keep an eye out for festival screenings, book your wide release tickets the moment they’re available and continue to watch this space – we are working on several very exciting projects that should keep the Anna fires burning for a long while yet…

Merry Summer Christmas.

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