Category Archives: Television

V SIGN

Anyone following me on Twitter may have read some bizarre tweets towards the end of March – ‘Another day chasing aliens in Carrickfergus’, for instance. No, I hadn’t gone mad, but in fact was filming a BBC sci-fi sitcom pilot called V SIGN.

V SIGN  follows a group of human survivors fighting off the universe’s most incompetent alien invasion force. I’m playing the role of Neil, one of the hapless group fending off the aliens.

The pilot was filmed in Northern Ireland by production companies Retort and Green Inc. It was written by Steve Turner (Tracy Beaker) and directed by Ed Tracy (Fonejacker, Facejacker).

It was awesome week of filming with a great cast and crew. Fingers crossed we get to do more soon!

SOS: The Titanic Inquiry

Next week sees the airing of SOS: The Titanic Inquiry. It will be broadcast on BBC 1 on 16 April at 9.00pm and on RTE 2 on 17 April at 7.00pm.

Produced by Hole In The Wall Gang Ltd for BBC Northern Ireland, this courtroom drama tells the story of the official British inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic and its efforts to ascertain whether the SS Californian ship was in close enough proximity to the doomed vessel to help save some of the 1,517 passengers and crew who lost their lives.

It was shot over five days in the Masonic Hall Belfast and  features the talents of Paul McGann (Withnail and I) as well as local actors Stuart Graham (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Owen McDonnell (Single Handed).

I will be playing the role of Ernest Gill, an assistant engineer on the SS Californian.

A small newspaper in New England, the Daily Item, printed a shocking story claiming that the Californian had refused aid to Titanic. The source for the story was the ship’s carpenter, James McGregor, who stated that his ship had been close enough to see Titanic’s lights and distress rockets. By sheer coincidence, on the same day, the Boston American printed a story sourced by the Californian’s assistant engineer, Ernest Gill, which essentially told the same story.

It’s something different for this Titanic season as it looks at what happened to the stricken vessel from the vantage point of the courtroom. Keep an eye out for it…

2012 Showreel

New showreel for 2012! It includes some of what I was up to last year thanks to Marty Stalker at Scattered Images.

There is some exclusive footage from movies that will be out later in the year, including Desecration and Coast.

https://chrispatricksimpson.com/gallery/

 

‘Coast’ – Nearly Here!

The new website for Coast has arrived! And just in time for a screening in early March with other innovative indie films as part of the C-Project.

The idea for Coast came from a simple conversation between Alan and Christopher on a day out along the coastal walks of Whitehead. Here’s what they had to say about it:

It was a privilege to be a part of this exciting project and to work such a great cast and crew.  I can’t wait to see the end product! Please like the Facebook Page for updates on Coast and check out the website www.coastmovie.co.uk for more info and teaser trailers. Here’s a taster of what you can see.

Villain or Hero in The Titanic Inquiry?

After finishing a successful theatre tour of Of Mice and Men I will be back in front of the camera this week in a new TV drama called The Titanic Inquiry, an intense courtroom drama based on the actual transcripts of the official British Government Inquiry into the Californian Incident in Westminster later that same year. This production is being produced by The Hole in The Wall Gang, in Belfast for BBC NI.

I will be playing the role of Ernest Gill, an assistant engineer on the SS Californian – a ship that was in the vicinity of the Titanic when it sank.

A small newspaper in New England, the Daily Item, printed a shocking story claiming that the Californian had refused aid to Titanic. The source for the story was the ship’s carpenter, James McGregor, who stated that his ship had been close enough to see Titanic’s lights and distress rockets. By sheer coincidence, on the same day, the Boston American printed a story sourced by the Californian’s assistant engineer, Ernest Gill, which essentially told the same story.

With a star studded cast it’s due to hit the screens next year for the anniversary of the stricken vessel. It will definitely be one to look out for (even if I do say so myself…!)

“The Man Who Crossed Hitler” to air this Sunday…

This Sunday (21 August BBC2 @9pm) sees the airing of a new one-off drama I filmed early this year, The Man Who Crossed Hitler, a remarkable factual drama based on a true story, starring Ian Hart,  (Hitler) Ed Stoppard (Hans Litten) and Bill Paterson.

In the summer of 1931, with Germany on the brink of economic collapse, and the city of Berlin turning into a paramilitary war-zone, audacious young prosecutor Hans Litten (Stoppard) chose to summon a star witness to a trial of Nazi thugs.

In spite of the risk to his own safety and against the advice of those who love him, Litten forced rising political star Adolf Hitler (Hart) to make a sensational appearance in the witness stand of Berlin’s central criminal court.

Litten aimed to expose the true character of Hitler and his politics to the German public, to reveal his hypocrisy and his violent ambitions, and in doing so, halt the electoral success of the Nazi Party.

In a humiliating and hostile cross-examination, Hitler was forced to account for his political beliefs, his contempt for the law and his desire to destroy German democracy.

For a brief moment, Hitler’s political future was genuinely in the balance. Hitler survived the ordeal, but it was a close encounter which he never forgave, and for which Litten paid a heavy price.

The beautiful “Coast”…

Next week the cameras roll on new drama Coast. It’s the first of six episodes and is the brainchild of Northern Ireland’s answer to the Coen Brothers, Alan Stewart and Chris McClenaghan.

Here’s a bit about it:

“The idea for Coast came from a simple conversation between Alan and Christopher on a day out along the coastal walks of Whitehead. As it often does with these two, the conversation soon turned to film as they realised the possibilities of the scenery they were passing through on their walk.

The entire idea was directly inspired by the unique coastline landscape of Co. Antrim. Due to their working relationship and how in tune they are with each other’s way of thinking, Alan and Chris had created the bulk of the story for a pilot episode, and the bones of an over arching plot for a six episode season of ‘Coast’, all before they returned from their walk.”

I’ll be taking on the role of Chris who, with a group of office workers, decides to get out of Belfast city and head for the north coast of Ireland. Upon spending the day at a deserted beach they return to find their car stolen. Alone and without communication, they are faced with a long walk back across the coast or a longer walk back through the deserted country roads to the nearest town. Things only get worse for the group when they discover they are being stalked…

Chris McClenaghan and Alan Stewart will be co-directing and Marty Stalker will be director of photography.

To find out more, ‘like’ the Coast Facebook page and/or join @coastmovie on twitter.

This is going be one to look out for!

“Hitler on Trial”

Over the next week I begin work on the film Hitler on Trial starring Bill Paterson , Ed Stoppard and Ian Hart as Hiter

It will be directed by Justin Hardy and produced by Hardy Pictures for BBC2.

I’ll be playing the role of Helmut, a Nazi Spy in Hitler’s Brownshirt army and with Belfast doubling up as Berlin it’s going to be an exciting shoot!

Hardy Pictures is an award-winning independent production company specialising in red-blooded factual drama and documentaries.

Click here for Hardy Pictures Showreel.

“2p”… New Movie

This weekend I will be filming the movie, 2p.

It’s an interesting, fun short film and I’m really excited about playing the starring role of ‘Billy’.

Synopsis:
Billy has an odd obsession.
He takes pride in his work as a nightclub PR rep between the hours of nine and five, but Billy’s life’s passion is collecting 2p coins. He takes incredible joy in his small change hobby, learning the value of enjoying the tiny things life has to offer.

The director is Will Maloney and it will be produced by Larry Cowan of Lamb Films. 2p will be entered into the Virgin Media Shorts Competition. (No doubt you will hear more from me shortly, when I’ll be asking for your votes!!!)

I can’t wait to get started!

Chris

A Weekend with Elliot Grove from the Raindance Film Festival

At 9.00am on a Saturday the last thing most people would be doing is volunteering for a two day workshop at the BBC. But myself and around 150 others from Belfast’s film industry were doing just that very thing this weekend.

Elliot Grove from the Raindance Film Festival was in Belfast to give a workshop on ‘Making the Low Budget Feature’.

Although I’m normally on the other side of the camera I thought this would be an opportunity to meet directors and producers (basically people who could give me a JOB!) and I wasn’t disappointed…

Elliot pitched the two days perfectly. We were left inspired and full of energy for our next projects (all “at various stages of development”…)

I would just like to say thank you to Sarah Stack at the BBC and Ursula Devine at NI Screen for organising the event, and to Elliot for a great two days.

To all who were there, stay in touch: #lotono

Chris