Getting a poster signed is harder than you think.

Please note: this competition is now closed!

As part of Gollancz’s wonderful advent calendar giveaway for Christmas 2015, I am delighted to be able to offer a very special prize of a Robot Overlords quad poster signed by myself, director Jon Wright, and some of our lovely cast including Craig Garner (Mediator 452), James Tarpey (Nathan), Ella Hunt (Alex) and Gillian bleedin’ blinkin’ flippin’ Anderson!

Getting these signatures was no easy task. Jon, Ella and I attended the MCM Comic Con in Birmingham in March, and we signed a few for punters then, but they were all gone before I  could grab a spare.

And this was the first I had seen of the posters, which meant that when I was in the company of living legend Sir Ben Kingsley the previous week for his publicity stint, I didn’t have one for him to sign!

I did get manage to get some for EasterCon in April, and clung on to the three I had left over with a cunning plan to get as many of the Robot Overlords stars to sign them over the coming year of cons and festivals.

Next up was the London MCM in May, and this was when I hit Robo-star paydirt. We were interviewing some of the actors for DVD extras, and I was lucky enough to nab Craig and James in between shooting and they were gracious enough to sign my posters. Next up was Gillian Anderson, but her schedule was so incredibly tight that there was no guarantee she would have the time to sign. Indeed, the very second after she arrived, she was swept away for a series of interviews, such is the nature of these high-pressure press days: everything is timed to the minute, and I would have to choose my moment carefully if I was to crash in. Next she had a panel with Jon, where she received fan-love, chocolates, and a proposal from James…

And then after that she was swept away for an interview with James for the DVD. By now, her car had its engine running (she was about to fly off to make something called The X-Files… you may have heard of it), and my window of opportunity was rapidly closing.

Luckily, our publicist Marek came to the rescue and somehow found a gap of 76.5 seconds in the schedule. We threw the posters on the floor, threw a bunch of silver Sharpies at Gillian and while I held the posters flat she kneeled down and scribbled her autograph on them. There was even time for a fanboy pic…

I haven't washed since...
I haven’t washed since…
… and then she was gone!

I carefully rolled the posters into their tube… But I wanted more!!

My other targets were Ella, Callan McAuliffe (Sean) and Milo Parker (Connor). But they were all off making other movies: Callan’s made five films since Robots, Milo was away with Gandalf making Mr. Holmes, and Ella had a big costume drama lined-up… But then it got bumped to next year! Her delay was my good fortune, and she kindly popped into the Gollancz offices where we put the world to rights over tea and brownies, and she signed the posters.

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So there you have it, fair reader. If you are the lucky winner of this poster, please bear in mind all the times I had to lug a poster tube on the underground, all the miles and miles of Sharpie ink, and all the nerves and tension wondering if I would get those rare signatures. Frame it, prostate yourself before it every morning, give it a dust every now and then, and then flog it when you’re old and grey and I’ve won all those Oscars.

Click here to go to the Gollancz blog to enter (UK-only, I’m afraid, but I’m sure you overseas folk have friends in the UK who can enter on your behalf, and if they win they can pop it in the post after they’ve first gazed upon its awesomeness, yes?)

Good luck!

 

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Robot Overlords – HD download, DVD and Blu-Ray coming soon!

ROBOT OVERLORDS will be available to own in the UK on Digital HD from July 24th and on DVD & Blu-ray August 10th.

The Digital HD will be available across all platforms: Virgin Media, iTunes, Sky, Blinkbox, Talk Talk, Amazon, Xbox and Google.

The DVD and Blu-Ray are available to pre-order now from Amazon.

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The Blu-Ray is also available as a beautiful limited edition Steelbook.

Shiny...
Shiny…

All editions feature the same cool extras:

Cast and creator interviews at the MCM London Comic Con (featuring Gillian Anderson, James Tarpey and Craig Johnson)

A Making of…

A VFX special…

The cast reading an extract from the book at Pinewood Studios…

Matt Zo – Robots Never Lie Official Video…

The Comic Con extra is especially brilliant as poor lovestruck James pursues Gillian for an interview throughout the con.

So pre-order your copy now! But don’t just take my word for it…

 “A British sci-fi blockbuster, a must-see for all the family.”
   — Henry Fitzherbert, Sunday Express

Robot Overlords includes lots of things it’s impossible not to love, especially in the context of British cinema: hovering robot menaces, standing stones, a dour seaside location, a Spitfire in flight… while Gillian Anderson gives Paddington’s Sally Hawkins stiff competition for the title of Britain’s Best Mum.”
   — Kim Newman, Sight & Sound Magazine

“These are the droids you’re looking for…Robot Overlords proves, like Monsters before it, what can be achieved when you’re short of cash but rich in imagination. It’s also brimming with charm, and has a game supporting cast.”
   — Neil Smith, Total Film

“As with Jon Wright’s excellent last film,Grabbers, the pace never really lets up…Robot Overlords displays knowing intelligence, a sense of fun and a deep-rooted love for post-‘70s genre film. Unlike its titular villains, it’s sleek and it never malfunctions.”
   — Owen Williams, Empire Magazine

“The SFX are nothing short of incredible… What’s really astounding about this movie – not that fact that the team had this vision, but they managed to deliver it on a tiny budget, and deliver it well.”
   — Richmond Clements, Forbidden Planet

“Wright’s pleasingly pacy direction is infused with a palpable sense of fun and the film makes strong use of its various picturesque locations… Frankly, Michael Bay should watch this for tips and save himself a few quid on the nextTransformers movie.”
   — Matthew Turner, WOW 24-7

“Director Jon Wright makes the most of his resources, imbuing the action with an oddly endearing sense of string-and-glue DIY youthfulness.”
   — Mark Kermode, The Observer

“He may not have the Hollywood buzz of Christopher Nolan or the hyper-kinetic style of the similar-surnamed Edgar, but the director has a voice (and confidence of tone) that knows exactly who he is, whether he’s working with drunken aliens or giant robots.”
   — Ivan Radford, i-Flicks

“A surprisingly slick and stylish British sci-fi… An entertaining action adventure with impressive special effects.”
   — Maria Duarte, Morning Star

“Director Jon Wright – who co-wrote the script with Mark Stay – has come up with a brilliant concept that really works on a small budget… A rip-roaring adventure that harks back to the ‘80s. Perhaps they domake them like they used to.”
   — Kate Lloyd, MyM Magazine

   “Robot Overlords doesn’t outstay its welcome, it doesn’t rehash boring things seen in bigger blockbusters, it plays within a world with established rules and a history, it plays with characters who have clear goals and chemistry, and it has a lot of fun in the process… A really enjoyable slice of cinema.”
   — Andrew Jones, HeyUGuys

“Doing away with the massive spectacle set pieces and never-ending explosions, Jon Wright instead shifts the focus to the human side of the story. It’s all about the characters. This is where Robot Overlordsreally shines… An action-packed romp through ’80s sci-fi classics, taking the over-the-top spectacle of Transformers and flipping it on its head.”
  — Ryan Leston, Total Geeks

Robot Overlords is a fun entry in an increasingly neglected genre: the family-friendly sci-fi movie… A charming throwback to the adventure films of the 70s and 80s.”
   — Ryan Lambie, Den Of Geek

“A Children’s Film Foundation offering updated for the JJ Abrams era: we now get better VFX, lashings of lens flare and Roy Hudd as a kindly grandpa… More spirited and nonconformist than the Transformersmovies: the strategic deployment of a second world war Spitfire suggests this one may hold symbolic value for our newly confident industry.”
   — Mike McCahill, The Guardian

“A joy to watch, fun as anything, genuinely funny, tense, brilliantly made and with such grand spectacle at times it is hard to believe it is a British film, a proper British film. Your next big family favourite film.”
   — Andrew Jones, Box Office Buz

“Prepare to kneel before the Robot Overlords because this is one hell of a good film. Five stars.”
   — Paul Metcalf, Pissed Off Geek

“Giant Robots and Gillian… What’s not to like?”
  — James Mottram, Metro

 

Robot Overlords invade America – UPDATE FOR DVD!

UPDATE: Just to add that ROBOT OVERLORDS is now available on DVD, including from your digital overlords at Amazon.com. A big thank you to everyone who has bought it so far, and a big, metallic robot hug to the wonderful people who left us ratings and reviews. The good ones really help us!

The Sentry seems to have acquired a hoodie for the U.S. poster...
The Sentry seems to have acquired a hoodie for the U.S. poster…

And ROBOT OVERLORDS is available for VOD online streaming across all the major platforms, including Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes,

It’ll be awesome, but don’t just take my word for it…

 “A British sci-fi blockbuster, a must-see for all the family.”
   — Henry Fitzherbert, Sunday Express

Robot Overlords includes lots of things it’s impossible not to love, especially in the context of British cinema: hovering robot menaces, standing stones, a dour seaside location, a Spitfire in flight… while Gillian Anderson gives Paddington’s Sally Hawkins stiff competition for the title of Britain’s Best Mum.”
   — Kim Newman, Sight & Sound Magazine

“These are the droids you’re looking for…Robot Overlords proves, like Monsters before it, what can be achieved when you’re short of cash but rich in imagination. It’s also brimming with charm, and has a game supporting cast.”
   — Neil Smith, Total Film

“As with Jon Wright’s excellent last film,Grabbers, the pace never really lets up…Robot Overlords displays knowing intelligence, a sense of fun and a deep-rooted love for post-‘70s genre film. Unlike its titular villains, it’s sleek and it never malfunctions.”
   — Owen Williams, Empire Magazine

“The SFX are nothing short of incredible… What’s really astounding about this movie – not that fact that the team had this vision, but they managed to deliver it on a tiny budget, and deliver it well.”
   — Richmond Clements, Forbidden Planet

“Wright’s pleasingly pacy direction is infused with a palpable sense of fun and the film makes strong use of its various picturesque locations… Frankly, Michael Bay should watch this for tips and save himself a few quid on the nextTransformers movie.”
   — Matthew Turner, WOW 24-7

“Director Jon Wright makes the most of his resources, imbuing the action with an oddly endearing sense of string-and-glue DIY youthfulness.”
   — Mark Kermode, The Observer

“He may not have the Hollywood buzz of Christopher Nolan or the hyper-kinetic style of the similar-surnamed Edgar, but the director has a voice (and confidence of tone) that knows exactly who he is, whether he’s working with drunken aliens or giant robots.”
   — Ivan Radford, i-Flicks

“A surprisingly slick and stylish British sci-fi… An entertaining action adventure with impressive special effects.”
   — Maria Duarte, Morning Star

“Director Jon Wright – who co-wrote the script with Mark Stay – has come up with a brilliant concept that really works on a small budget… A rip-roaring adventure that harks back to the ‘80s. Perhaps they domake them like they used to.”
   — Kate Lloyd, MyM Magazine

   “Robot Overlords doesn’t outstay its welcome, it doesn’t rehash boring things seen in bigger blockbusters, it plays within a world with established rules and a history, it plays with characters who have clear goals and chemistry, and it has a lot of fun in the process… A really enjoyable slice of cinema.”
   — Andrew Jones, HeyUGuys

“Doing away with the massive spectacle set pieces and never-ending explosions, Jon Wright instead shifts the focus to the human side of the story. It’s all about the characters. This is where Robot Overlordsreally shines… An action-packed romp through ’80s sci-fi classics, taking the over-the-top spectacle of Transformers and flipping it on its head.”
  — Ryan Leston, Total Geeks

Robot Overlords is a fun entry in an increasingly neglected genre: the family-friendly sci-fi movie… A charming throwback to the adventure films of the 70s and 80s.”
   — Ryan Lambie, Den Of Geek

“A Children’s Film Foundation offering updated for the JJ Abrams era: we now get better VFX, lashings of lens flare and Roy Hudd as a kindly grandpa… More spirited and nonconformist than the Transformersmovies: the strategic deployment of a second world war Spitfire suggests this one may hold symbolic value for our newly confident industry.”
   — Mike McCahill, The Guardian

“A joy to watch, fun as anything, genuinely funny, tense, brilliantly made and with such grand spectacle at times it is hard to believe it is a British film, a proper British film. Your next big family favourite film.”
   — Andrew Jones, Box Office Buz

“Prepare to kneel before the Robot Overlords because this is one hell of a good film. Five stars.”
   — Paul Metcalf, Pissed Off Geek

“Giant Robots and Gillian… What’s not to like?”
  — James Mottram, Metro

The Robot Overlords are finally here…

On 13th July 2010* I received an email from Director Jon Wright with the subject heading ‘Two page idea attached’. In it he outlined a movie idea that had come to him in a dream: a world where humanity had been defeated by an invading alien robot empire and everyone is ordered to stay inside their homes. Back then it was called OUR ROBOT OVERLORDS. Some of those ideas have survived through to the finished film, some have fallen by the wayside and others could still be used in potential sequels or TV series, but already the world felt strong enough to start bouncing ideas back and forth and start working on a script.

And so ROBOT OVERLORDS was born, and a mere four years, eight months and fourteen days later it’s in UK cinemas for the public to see. That’s pretty fast for an independent British movie.

Jon and I met back in September 2006** when he became attached to a screenplay I’d written called WAITING FOR EDDIE (later EDDIE’S DEAD). We were introduced by a Producer called Dean Fisher who had optioned WFE and had got the project into the inaugural Film London Microwave scheme. Over the week of workshops and development we all bonded, but I knew I’d get on with Jon because when we first met in a Nero’s outside Liverpool Street Station, we banged heads as we sat down and were both too polite to say anything about it.

We worked on developing a number of scripts over the following years while he made TORMENTED and GRABBERS, but ROBOT OVERLORDS is the first of our joint projects to get off the ground, and I have to admit that there are days where I feel like I’ve jumped the queue. Because what you’re supposed to do is make a mega low-budget horror or two and then you might be lucky enough to make the kind of science fiction adventure that you loved as a kid.

And it’s been one hell of a ride. I’ve seen and done some incredible things during its making:

Felt a strange, other-worldly thrill at the first shout of “Action” on set.

The firs take... ruined by a bunch of us taking photos on our phones. Photo by Paddy Eason
The first take… ruined by a bunch of us taking photos on our phones.
Photo by Paddy Eason

Watched actors of the calibre of Sir Ben Kingsley, Gillian Anderson, Geraldine James and many others take our words and bring them to life.

SBK gives it his all.
SBK gives it his all.

Not to mention watching our gang of heroes Callan, James, Ella and Milo genuinely become friends over the course of the shoot.

Jon chooses who get vaporised next...
Jon chooses who get vaporised next…

Stared in awe at a bluescreen stage and wondered what the ten-year-old me would make of all this…

Blue is the new green.
Blue is the new green.

Strolled around Pinewood Studios like we owned the place.

Author videos are so much cooler on the backlot of a major studio complex! Photo my www.mpsv.co.uk
Author videos are so much cooler on the backlot of a major studio complex!
Photo my http://www.mpsv.co.uk

And, bloody hell, Jon even let me be in it (and my family!)…

Me in the much-coveted role of shouty man in dressing gown...
Me in the much-coveted role of shouty man in dressing gown…
George, Claire and Emily in costume for our day as extras.
George, Claire and Emily in costume for our day as extras.

Being thrilled as Nvizible took our ideas and came up with stuff like this!

Robots  v Spitfire!
Robots v Spitfire!

And then I got to write the novelisation (available now wherever books are sold)!

I attended the premiere at the London Film Festival like a proper Z-list celeb!

All the beautiful people at the LFF premiere... and me!
All the beautiful people at the LFF premiere… and me!

And did my first panel at a ComicCon:

2000AD creator Pat Mills ran our panel!
2000AD creator Pat Mills ran our panel!

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I’ve chronicled some of those events on this blog, and there’s a whole ‘shoot diary’ section in the book, and I’ll no doubt bore you with it some more over the years, but for a first film I could not have asked for a more incredible experience and I suspect I may never have it this good again. And now the film is now in the hands of the Great British Public.

Some folk have expressed dismay that it’s not on everywhere, and we do indeed have a limited release, but that reflects the reality of British indie cinema distribution at the moment. And you only have to look at the box office returns of the last ambitious Brit Sci-Fi Film to see why some lesser distributors were nervous about taking us on. But our bold and pioneering independent distributor Signature have a very clear strategy for the film over the coming year, and this is only the beginning. I have faith that you’ll all get to see it one way or another, but if you can see it on the big screen then do please go: plenty of people worked very, very hard to make it look and sound so magnificent.

See you at the movies…

 

*I keep a diary, so can very specific about dates.

**1st September, since you’re asking.