The Wrath of the Gods Crowdfunding Campaign

12 07 2015

Robin Hardy offers part in third Wicker Man film for $5,000


Director Robin Hardy is using crowdfunding site Indiegogo to fund a third Wicker Man film

30 06 2015

The 85-year-old director is using crowdfunding to assemble a budget for a threequel, offering roles as extras and an exec producer credit.

The film, which he hopes to start shooting in October, will revolve around an “international entertainment company” that builds a theme park based on Norse mythology. The two lead characters will be “brought together in an unlikely relationship because of their mutual love for steampunk”. Plus the expected supernatural element and an ending “as horrific in its way, as the burning of The Wicker Man”.

The film has already cast Halla Williams, an Icelandic model who also hosted her country’s version of The X Factor.

The allocation of funds will see 30% towards a theme park structure, 30% towards steampunk props and 40% towards a Viking ship.

The Wicker Man was a surprise sleeper hit in 1973, after it was deemed unworthy of an independent release and attached as a supporting feature to Don’t Look Now. It ultimately became arguably the most acclaimed British horror film of all time and star Christopher Lee referred to it as the best film he’d ever made. It was disastrously remade by Neil LaBute in 2006 and was nominated for five Razzie awards.

Wickstarter ... Christopher Lee in the original Wicker Man, which might be getting a crowdfunded sequel.
Wickstarter … Christopher Lee in the original Wicker Man, which might be getting a crowdfunded sequel. Photograph: Allstar/British Lion/Studiocanal

Up Helly Aa – Europe’s largest fire festival in Lerwick, Scotland 2013

2 12 2012


Europe’s largest fire festival

 Up Helly Aa takes place in Lerwick, Shetland, on the last Tuesday in January every year. Up Helly Aa day involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a torch-lit procession and the burning of a galley. This is followed by hours of performing acts and dancing in halls throughout Lerwick.

The following Wednesday is a public holiday in Lerwick to allow for recovery.


Up Helly Aa is a community event, with countless volunteers contributing many hours each winter towards organising and planning the following year’s festival.

The Guizer Jarl and his squad begin their preparations in February, and many long hours of hard work go into the design and production of their fabulous outfits.

Up Helly Ha2

The Up Helly Aa Committee begin their year preparing the Up Helly Aa Exhibition that runs from May until September in the Galley Shed. This boasts a full size Galley, Jarl Squad suits, other Squads memorabilia and an extensive collection of photographs recording the suits worn and the guizers involved.

In early September the Guizers of the remaining 45 squads begin their squad meetings and preparations. This involves determining the character(s) that they wish to portray with their suits, making the suits while also creating and practising their act to perform in the halls they visit through out the evening.


At the end of September the Galley shed is transformed back into to a working shed where the Galley and the torches are constructed during the winter. During this same period the Committee progress preparations including the Collecting Sheet and Bill.

Up Helly Aa Seal

We hope you enjoy the site and the information it provides.

Up Helly Aa Committee

For More information on this event: talks to Robin Hardy about The Wicker Trilogy

1 10 2012

Robin Hardy on set for THE WICKER TREE

Robin Hardy’s name will be forever be connected to the 1973 film The Wicker Man. It has become such a worldwide recognized classic the Hardy is often asked to preside at major pop festivals dedicated to The Wicker Man in Scotland and the USA.

For many years Robin Hardy work in the theater, TV commercials, films, and a novelist. Among his literary endeavors are the novels The Wicker Man he co-authored with Anthony Shaffer and Cowboys for Christ, which is the basis for his new film The Wicker Tree.

Filmmaker Robin Hardy returns to the themes he first explored in his classic cult thriller The Wicker Man more than thirty-five years ago – telling the eerie tale of a hedonistic Scots community which makes a human sacrifice – The Wicker Tree inhabits the same territory as The Wicker Man. Intertwined themes of power and sex, of Christian and pagan religion, of bawdy comedy and romantic love, build insistently to a climax of unimaginable horror, all originate from the terrifying imagination of Robin Hardy, director of the cult classic The Wicker Man.

Robin Hardy graciously granted us an audience to discuss his The Wicker Tree, as well as the industry and business of filmmaking.

FEARS: You’ve said that this story, which is based on your novel Cowboys for Christ, is a story that inhabits the same “territory “of the 1973 film The Wicker Man. What is that universe?alt

ROBIN HARDY: With the fall of Rome, a society where women had considerable license to please themselves and the Gods were a cast of characters all armed with thoroughly human foibles, it is possible to imagine a society where fun sex and music and jokes were the norms of daily life. Christianity comes along and you have centuries of monastic existence where Eloise and Abelard are the great romance of their time. And we Brits had to be entertained by a monk called The Venerable Bede. Still, even then, Camelot came along to replace Caligula’s Rome.

In – let us call them the Wicker films -we have tried to create a pagan atmosphere with which to contrast Christian values ( terrible word !). BUT of course paganisms were propitiating religions capable of obscene cruelty if they thought that was what was what the Gods wanted. Christianity, with it’s obsession with witchcraft, it’s inquisitions also thought it knew what the monotheistic God wanted.

And his desires weren’t any prettier. This is the territory we aim to inhabit. But over all we are in the 20th/21st centuries with their pre occupations too. Above all Tony Shaffer and I aimed to entertain. I still do.

FEARS: What do you feel is the core element of The Wicker Man that still resonates with audiences and lead you to novelize the film, with co-writer Anthony Shaffer, and in 2006 inspired you to write the novel Cowboys for Christ?

ROBIN HARDY: Conflict. That most useful of elements in all drama. What makes the amazing Republican circus in South Carolina a world hit on TV.

Conflict – not only between a troupe of extraordinarily over-the-top characters – but also there is a battle of ideas there. Astonishing stuff where the flip side of ” In God We Trust ” is ” I am not my Brother’s keeper “. Paganism and Christianity have so much in common, not only the days of the week and the months of the year – but Christmas and Easter to an amazing degree. Beltane is more fun than Easter but Christmas can outdo those Druids with their obsession with mistletoe. These conflicts turn up at every bend in the road in these films and are at their core.

FEARS: You have to boil a novel down to its cinematic essentials to adapt so I was wondering how the novel Cowboys for Christ differs from The Wicker Tree?

ROBIN HARDY: The policeman is a much more important character in the book. His career is that of a bit of a Sammy Glick but his defeat comes at the hands of a woman who is smarter than he.

It makes sense in the film to hand the policeman/ Lolly scenes almost totally to Lolly. As the female lead in a successful British TV series Honeysuckle is a sympathetic “goody two shoes”. I cast her because I thought she would enjoy the counter casting and she obviously does.

Also she is a wonderful horsewoman enhancing the hunt scenes as few other actresses could. These are all elements in the film that can only be hinted at in the book.  Read the rest of this entry »

Robin Hardy to appear as a plenary speaker at RIAS 2012

30 04 2012


AT RIAS International Convention Aberdeen 10-12 May 2012

 Re-engaging with the Past

We have a fantastic group of speakers lined up for the RIAS 2012 Convention, our major annual event, this year to be held in Aberdeen’s Belmont Cinema.

The first half day of the Convention, the Thursday afternoon, will embrace a sports theme with Gerry Grams of Glasgow City Council talking about the Commonwealth Games masterplans and infrastructure andKerr Robertson, also of Glasgow City Council, reporting on the sports facilities for Glasgow 2014.

James Grimley of Reiach & Hall Architects will review their RIBA Award winning Aberdeen Regional Sports Centre.

David Mackay Hon FRIAS, of Barcelona based MBM Arquitectes, will look back on the Barcelona Olympics while Kevin Owens of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd, will look ahead to the 2012 Olympics. Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects will talk about the Olympic Velodrome.

The Friday plenary session will feature both exceptional Scottish and International speakers:
Evgeny Gerasimov, Evgeny Gerasimov & Partners, St Petersburg and Berlin
Neil Gillespie OBE FRIAS, Reiach & Hall Architects, Edinburgh
Robin Hardy, screenwriter and director
Gareth Hoskins FRIAS, Gareth Hoskins Architects, Glasgow
Kengo Kuma, Kengo Kuma & Associates, Tokyo
John McAslan CBE RIAS, John McAslan & Partners, London
Philip Long, V&A Dundee
David Page FRIAS, PagePark Architects, Glasgow
Eric Parry, Eric Parry Architects, London
Charles Renfro, Diller Scofidio and Renfro, New York
Murray Restrup FRIAS, President ASA, Aberdeen
Morten Schmidt, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Aarhus
Sergei Tchoban, SPEECH Tchoban/Kuznetsov, Moscow

Aberdeen’s Belmont Cinema is an eminently suitable venue for Convention 2012. The recently restored and re-opened historic picture-house will play host to our traditional Thursday afternoon and Friday plenary sessions, while Richard Murphy’s Park Inn, a more recent addition to the Aberdeen scene, will serve as both the Convention hotel and the venue for the speaker’s dinner on the Friday evening.

Robin Hardy talks Wicker Trilogy

28 04 2012

The Wicker Tree was recently released to Blu-ray, and although I talked to director Robin Hardy in detail about the film earlier this year, I wanted to follow up on a couple of items. Hardy gave me his thoughts on the film’s mixed reception in the United States, and let me know what he’s planning for the third film in a loose trilogy of “Wicker” movies.

What do you think of the reception that The Wicker Tree has received in the US? When we last spoke, you mentioned that this was more of a black comedy, but was being marketed as a horror film. Do you feel that this should have been developed as more of a comedy or straight horror film?

Robin Hardy: When we first made The Wicker Man, the American press received it very well and it was considered a horror film. Horror films back then were seen as very different from what they are today.

If I was told today that I was going to see a new British horror film, which is usually more yucky than most, I wouldn’t cross the road to see it because I don’t particularly like that kind of film. I absolutely recognize that there is a place for it and it is a market of its own, but it’s not the market I’m making the film for. That is, if I’m making a film for a market at all, because I think one makes a film in order to express what you have to say or to entertain the audience. It’s not because I thought it was going to fit in some kind of marketing plan.

There were some very nice reviews. The New York Times review I particularly liked, and they said The Wicker Tree wasn’t as gritty as the original The Wicker Man, but it was one thousand times better than the remake. It’s not for me to say I would sell it differently, though.

I also think there was a huge confusion, in America at least, about whether The Wicker Manremake had something to do with this film. Since the reception of the remake was pretty appalling, I’m not surprised that there is some resistance to this film.

I understand that there was a third film planned to wrap up a loose “Wicker” trilogy. Is that something you’re actively working on?

Robin Hardy: It’s really the story of the end of the Ring Cycle by Wagner, where the gods have been defeated. They have overplayed their hand and they have to go back to Valhalla. I’ve written a screenplay that is very loosely based on that with completely contemporary characters, American and Scottish.

I’m going to shoot it in the northern most islands in the British Isles. They are probably more Scandinavian than Scottish, and I’m going to use some of that folklore too. It’s about the gods getting their comeuppance. The music will also be very important again and it will be tongue-in-cheek, but will  also be very scary at the end.

I’m calling it The Wrath of the Gods, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we changed the title because of The Wrath of the Titans. We could call it The Twilight of the Gods, which may be closer to the Wagner story.

By Jonathan James

Talking Filmmaking, The Wicker Tree and The Wrath of the Gods

27 11 2011



“Years ago, when I was writing novels and short stories, my editor was Jacqueline (Kennedy) Onassis,” Robin Hardy recalls, Jackie once said to me, ‘You will never be a really successful writer, Robin, unless you take your tongue out of your cheek.’ “Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to do that because, as you know, my tongue has always been planted rather firmly in my cheek,” confesses the writer/director of the cult classic The Wicker Man.
After receiving a standing ovation from the enthusiastic Fantasia audience, Hardy introduced his wildly wicked new horror/fantasy/comedy The Wicker Tree at its world premiere, saying, ‘Feel free to laugh.’ “The Wicker Man genre was kind of invented with the first film – in which we deliberately tried to create a really joyous community – the kind of community that wasn’t puritan and obsessed with fearing God and feeling guilty about sin the whole time,” he says. “When that film was made in the early 1970s, Scotland was still very Presbyterian. No drinking was allowed on Sundays and a strict morality prevailed. So the policeman in that film represented not only himself but the Christian community at large. When he arrived on a Scottish island where people were singing and having a good time, where people danced around the Maypole in an obviously sexual way, celebrating the renewal of life, it was to him, an essentially alien society. That furnished us, as the filmmakers with songs, jokes and a good deal of decorative sex. However, that all goes along with an increasingly dangerous, creepy situation because something else is going on behind all this. We try to suggest that by putting a whole series of clues – rather like the objects in a treasure hunt – in plain sight. But you don’t immediately see them because they blend with the background. That made for a very quirky film, I think. It was a film that could not be defined as just a comedy or just a thriller or just a tragedy or just a love story. It was all of those things, which put it in the ‘genre’ category. Genre films are not designed to fit into one particular category.”