09th Aug2017

The Dude Designs to take us for a ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’

by Phil Wheat

Premiering at FrightFest in London on the 28th August, Teddy Bears Picnic is a proof of concept horror short from Tom Hodge – aka The Dude Designs – the poster artist behind artwork for films such Hobo with A Shotgun (2011), The Innkeepers (2011), The Heat (2013), WolfCop (2014), The Other Side of The Door (2016), and They Live.

Written, produced, directed and financed by Hodge, the short film stars Abby Miller (Justified, Aquarius & The Sinner TV series), Laurence R Harvey (Human Centipede 2+3, ABCs of Death 2 & The Editor) and Lorelei Winterfrost; and is inspired by the classic 1907 melody of the same name… only this time re-envisioned as a nightmarish fable that twists the concept of childhood innocence!

Says Hodge:

I love horror as a genre for its pure unabashed creativity. It gives you a wider scope to create unique characters and settings. What are nightmares if not essentially creative? I particularly loved the creativity of high concept horror in the ’70s and ’80s – from the films of Charles Band to the pulp horror novels of Guy N. Smith. So I wanted to take classic character-driven horror and develop it to suit contemporary tastes, with a strongly stylised visual approach. I wanted to take that classic character driven horror concept and develop it for more contemporary tastes, with a strongly stylised visual approach, It was great being able to explore visual metaphors and themes in a new art form (film) that i truly love and have always aspired to work in.

I’m very grateful to have been able to work alongside a very talented group of people to help realise the world of Teddy Bears Picnic on the screen for the first time. There really are too many to mention here, unfortunately! But I was particularly honoured to have Abby Miller come over from the US. I loved her in ‘Justified’ playing the role of Ellen May. And my friend the truly unique and iconic actor Laurence Harvey. Plus an incredibly young 6 year old actress Lorelei Winterfrost. I had some apprehensive comments about working with child actors but I can honestly say she was more well behaved than the adults.

I also had the invaluable input of an amazing DP James Fox and the help/support from my co-producer Natalie Dorn, who also sacrificed a year for production. A musical score by Sophie Galpin (Pins-band) and sound design by Todd Freeman (Cell Count & Love Sick). Along with my co-writer Russell Norris.

Filmed entirely on location in the rural woodlands of the English Northampton countryside, Teddy Bears Picnic will be released online shortly after its FrightFest debut. In the meantime, check out the suitably creepy poster and stills below:








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