Foiled: A Brief History
During much of September 1995, about a month after a couple of weeks interrailing across Europe, Howell Parry and myself began emailing ideas back and forth across the Internet. Ideas for a movie we could make. At first we were keen on the concept of a Road Movie, set in the UK, featuring lots of strange characters who would only appear for at most a couple of scenes, just the main character linking them all together. This, we decided, was perhaps a little ambitious for our first attempt, so we tried to think of something a little more basic, perhaps something along the lines of the old Science Fiction B-movies. And Foiled was born.
It was about this time that a flyer came through the post to me, advertising a "make your own low-budget movie" weekend course in London. This seemed strangely fortuitous, so I forked out some money and went along to see what it was all about. It confirmed my suspicions, it really was possible to go out and make your own feature length film without having to somehow get hold of a friendly millionaire.
It is no longer the time of day for making plans but for carrying them out - GREEK PROVERB
Throughout November I worked on the script, emails flying up to Howell to discuss what I was writing, and suggestions finding their way back again. He came up with an excellent final scene, which I wrote in, and finally on December 6th I finished the first draft - about 90 pages, which by the "minute a page" rule is about an hour and a half, perfect. Hard work, but worth it in the end. Then the casting began...
Foiled: The Plot Basics
As Foiled begins, the wreckage of something unidentified has been discovered in the hills near Manchester. The area is quickly sealed off by Government Officials, however a local farmer who was first on the scene is interviewed by the local radio station and he reveals that what he saw was "not of this Earth". No bodies can be found.
In the darkness of the winter evening, something small yet agile makes its way towards the bright lights of the city. It is not alone.
Meanwhile four students sharing a house in Manchester are preparing for their Saturday night. Jimmy has prepared a meal and is settling down to watch a B-movie he has rented (a movie by the name of Saturday Night Zombies). Scanner is catching up on his comic collection. Laura has just arrived home with some "colour cards" that she claims can tell the future. And Helen is trying to get some revision done for her approaching exams.
The evening takes a turn for the worse when Helen's pizza is delivered. To the astonishment of the onlooking students, the delivery man is attacked by a small silvery creature which buries itself in his chest and somehow transforms the unfortunate man into the powerfully strong and deadly "Foil Man", whose mission in life seems to be to eradicate every living being who lays eyes on him. Starting with the four students...
And that's just the first fifteen minutes...! If you want to know more, you'll find plenty of information on this web site, and who knows - maybe one day you'll actually get to see it.
What? You want to know more?
OK, but I'm not telling you everything! As the film progresses we get to see:
Foiled: The Web Site
Here on the Foiled web site we kept anyone who was interested up-to-date with the latest developments in the production of our movie, provided pictures of our progress, and generally tried to give you an entertaining insight into the creation of a modern day B-movie as it happened.
Nick Stocker created the first Foiled web pages back in 1995, and then when I finally got some web space myself at the start of August 1996 I gave the pages a major overhaul and they have remained more or less the same ever since.
Please note that a lot of the information here is way out of date; this is an archive of what the site was like back in the days when the film was being made, so there are many broken links and pages that no longer function as they did originally. There is still plenty to read!
Did You Know?
All of the actors on Foiled have a Bacon Number of 4, except for Adam Lopez, who has a Bacon Number of 3.
FOILED - Frequently Asked Questions
What did you shoot the film on?
We shot on S-VHS videotape rather than film for Foiled, as we didn't have either the budget or the expertise to shoot on film. It has other advantages, in that it's easily edited, the soundtrack comes with the footage, we can instantly view the results of a day's shoot, and our mistakes don't cost us money in wasted film. Granted the picture quality isn't be as good as it could be, but we're firm believers in "entertainment over quality" (who needs big budget special effects anyway?). I guess these days the medium of choice is digital video, but back in 1995 when we started that option didn't exist!
How can I see this masterpiece?
If you're in the UK and have a PC or a DVD player capable of playing video CDs, you're in luck. Just get in contact and we'll tell you how you can obtain a copy.
Why isn't it available on DVD?
To be honest, the picture quality isn't the best and putting it onto DVD wouldn't improve things. In fact, you'd probably think there was something wrong with your player. Having said that, DVDs are more acceptable than video CDs these days, so there may be a DVD release at some point.
How did you edit Foiled?
The footage was transferred from S-VHS onto my PC using a Miro DC-30+ capture card, then edited with Adobe Premiere 4.2. Finally, the results were transferred back onto the S-VHS master tape. Obviously a feature-length movie is going to take up an incredible amount of disk space, even when compressed, so I had about 24 gigabytes of hard disk in my machine, with a FastTrak IDE RAID controller striping the data across two disks for fast access. The footage was backed up onto writable CDs for protection (I have experienced nasty crashes in the past, and losing Foiled was just not an option!!!). The PC itself was high powered when editing began, but seemed a bit old by the end - it was a Pentium II 266MHz.
What do you consider the most important part of the film-making process?
Personally I think there has to be a strong storyline above all else. You can have a huge budget, Hollywood style block-buster, but if it has a disappointing script and seems to rely solely on its special effects, it'll do well in the short-term, but it's unlikely to gather a long-lasting following of fans. Consider the "cult-classics", mostly made for love not money, and mostly far more entertaining than the big-budget movies - they're the ones we tried to emulate here. I'm not saying that Foiled is a world-wide cult classic, but it's certainly something special to those of us involved in its creation.
No matter what people think of the movie, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we've made the only film in history ever to feature a man wrapped in foil from head to toe saying the line "Put down your mushrooms".
Have Foiled Productions made any other videos?
Since we began making Foiled, we've had plenty of spare time to work on other projects.