I almost didn’t believe this would happen, even as I took my seat and the credits started rolling. For twelve years, I haven’t really let myself believe that a TV show or a film based on one of my novels would ever get made. But last Tuesday, in London, I started to believe. This Friday it’s really going to happen.
I wish every reader, friend, and family member could have been there with us at the premiere. Since you couldn’t, let me take you back and walk through it with you. It was a busy day, thank goodness. Kept me distracted. It began with breakfast and a meeting with the fine folks at Penguin Random House, my publisher in the UK. I thought it would be a handshake and hello, but they had surprises for me:
Champagne at 11am is a great way to start the day! They also had piles of books for me to sign for employees. I saw some familiar faces and met all the new folks who’d come aboard over the last decade. Straight from there I went to lunch with SILO’s showrunner Graham Yost to discuss possible frameworks for future seasons, if we are so lucky to get them.
Before I knew it, we had to leave for our hotel room near the premiere. On the drive over, Shay noticed our first sighting of a SILO advertisement in the wild. My sister had seen the same ad and sent me this awesome photo just an hour or so prior.
At the hotel, we broke open (another) bottle of champagne. My sister and her husband Jon joined us, and my friend Julian from NY happened to be in town, so he came over to celebrate.
Then my personal groomer David arrived. Why a personal groomer? I guess Apple thought I needed a lot of help before we hit the red carpet. I was delighted to be reunited with David, who also gussied me up before the press junket a couple weeks ago. If Shay and I ever live in London, David is going to be our new BFF. He’s hilarious. And super talented. But with me, he had his work cut out for him.
At 6:30, we gathered in the lobby and walked to the Battersea Power Station Cinema across the street. Apple could not have found a more fitting venue for the premiere! Inside a refurbished power plant, the inside is a mix of art deco, retro-futurism, steampunk, and straight-up Mechanical’s down-deep. Up the escalators we came across movie posters and had to stop for pics.
Inside was the red carpet, where a line of photographers waited to snap shots. Shay and I were ushered out, and I thought they’d assume she was a movie star and I was just her date — that’s how ravishing and regal she looked.
We were totally in her wheelhouse, from her decade-long modeling career. Me, I felt like a prisoner in front of a firing squad! The photographers would take turns going down the line saying, “And look this way. And right here. And now here, if you’ll look at me. Here now, please. Can I get one more if you’ll please look here.” You smile and try to give every camera a straight-on shot. Your handlers usher you down the line a foot. Rinse and repeat.
There were reporters with questions. I have no idea what I said. Probably didn’t matter. They were here for the stars. And for good reason! What a freakin’ cast!
Rebecca Ferguson, Tim Robbins, Common, Avi Nash, Chinaza Uche, Ferdinand Kingsley, Harriet Walter. Plus director Morten Tyldum and showrunner Graham Yost. Jamie Erlicht was there, who runs the whole show over at Apple and really made this project happen.
The executives behind the scenes are true heroes on a project like this. They move mountains and put out fires on the daily. They are also just awesome people who I’m lucky to consider friends. My only hope is to get a chance to tell more stories with them, in any capacity possible. It was amazing to catch up with them on such an important evening to us all.
It was like herding cats to get us all into the theater. Another movie poster meant stopping for more pics, apologizing to the people we were holding up (sorry, not sorry!). Inside, a gorgeous theater with SILO art on the screen and popcorn and water at every seat.
We were right in the center of the theater, and I had the most incredible pleasure of sitting down between my sister and my wife, two of the most important people in my life. There were tons of familiar faces around. DPs, department heads, writers, producers, cast, lots of hellos and hugs.
Then Rebecca, Graham, and Morten got on stage and gave a little talk. It was only here that we learned we’d be watching the first two episodes! I was a little panicked about this. Surely people would only want to sit for an hour and then get to the after party. But once the opening scene started, the next two hours went by in a flash.
I’d seen these episodes a few times, but never like this. Usually my name was watermarked across the screen the entire time, and I would be watching on my laptop through its tinny speakers. This was in a dark theater, a big screen, booming speakers, and a rapt audience. Family, I couldn’t freakin’ believe it. The first episode got me in the feels like I was seeing the story for the first time. There wasn’t a peep in the crowd except for gasps, a few laughs at the occasional funny bits, and some sniffling. The episode ended and applause erupted. NOBODY was thinking about the afterparty. When the second episode ended and more applause thundered down, I shouted “One more!” And I was serious. I would’ve binged all ten episodes right then if I’d had the remote.
Instead, we went to the party and caught up with each other, talked about all the rave reviews that were pouring in now that the embargo was lifted, and had one of the best times of my life. Quite a few of the Ted Lasso folks were there in brotherly support.
Silo is life!
It’s a night I’ll never forget. I wish you could’ve been there, I really mean that. Every single one of you. I can’t wait until this Friday when you get to see for yourself. You’ll enter the Silo in a brand new way, and I hope you’ll find something familiar and something new there. The stellar writing team tried to maintain the DNA and heart of this story, but fill it with enough surprises that even the biggest fans will be on the edge of their seats.
May 5th! So soon. Until then, some more pics from one of the happiest days of my life:
Me pretending to know the answers to anything.
Genius showrunner Graham Yost. He’s an all-around nice guy, despite the rumors.
One is the most badass woman on the planet, the other plays one on TV!
Shay and me staring down the paparazzi
David gave me a mask, and my sister said I looked like the charcuterie board.
Bernard! (He’s a lot nicer in person)
Celebrating with my favorite person in the universe.
29 replies to “The SILO Premiere”
Nice! Go Hugh, Go!
This is everything. Thank you for taking us along. Love to you, my friend, as everything unfolds in the coming weeks. We all know it’s going to be epic.
I am so happy for you and your wife. Congratulations to both of you. Such beautiful pictures
Long trip from that bookstore, huh? Hell of a long trip from Kindle Boards, huh Hugh?
It was guys like you (and Konrath, and HM Ward, etc etc etc) whose stories of success in Indie writing that gave me the hope to write my first (and horrid) book.
Twelve years later, my wife and I have a nice life as FT writers. My deepest congratulations man.
WOW and WOW!!! THANK YOU for sharing and taking us along with you on your most amazing day. There are not many –if any–who would take time from what has to be a very busy and incredible time in your life to share actual details and pictures from the beginning of your day to the end. I am sure that many share my great appreciation for how you have engaged with your readers and remained loyal to us. You are a great person and deserve this success and attention. It was so awesome to read your words and see photos that allowed us to feel your emotions and excitement! As I read your description of being in that theatre and watching the first two episodes, the excitement and suspense were palpable. Bring on May 5th!!!!
So happy for you! You both looked amazing. I remember the first time I saw a red carpet in person I was a little freaked out at the clicking and flashing. I don’t know how celebrities do it, lol. Can’t wait to see it at last. :)
Oh Hugh, I’m so happy for you and happy for me that I finally get to see my favorite book of all time come to life on the screen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this gift!
it is SO amazing to see SILO realized! huzzah! and what a night you both had; so deserved.
(waiting with baited breath to hear about season two!)
Well done! I can’t wait to see it and so happy that you had the best day of your life. Such great books I’m so excited to see the series. Thankyou for creating it
Hugh, we at High Country Writers are OVER THE MOON happy for you. We are so proud to say “we knew you when. . .” and I’m sure you remember us. I came across some old emails you and I exchanged while you were working at the ASU book store. That’s when you had finished your Molly Fyde series. That was almost a world away. Enjoy your fame with your beautiful wife and come see us sometime.
So happy for you 😊, Susan Maybin, Gay’s COVID friend. A Huge congratulations on your big-time success.
Congratulations. You earned this.
AAAAAAHHHHH!! Thanks for sharing the excitement with us! I feel as though we have all been along for the ride.
And congratulations. It’s really happening.
Thanks, Patrice! <3
Some things do get made!
So excited to see this on screen.
Happy to be wrong about that. :D
So, so, so fun! Thank you for taking us there. ❤️🎉🎉🎉 Congratulations!!!
You deserve every success, your family look amazing supportive people, and I can not compliment you enough on your writing talents. I was absorbed the moment I started the first page. The film has been long awaited by me and I wait patiently for when it arrives on my wee island in the Med. Congratulations.
Congrats! What a journey. A short story written 12+ years ago, to a series of books, and now to a streaming series on television. Well deserved. And thanks for sharing your experiences along the way. Us fellow writers celebrate in your success and dream of what may be possible. Best, Tom
It’s not supposed to happen like this. So lucky.
Congratulations Hugh. It has been an incredible journey to watch and I so happy for you!
To the next adventure!
Amazing! Congratulations! Thanks for letting us experience this wonderful event vicariously through you.
As a long time reader, writer and fan I could not be more happy for you. Bravo.
Oh wow!! Thank you for taking us behind the scenes of this dream! I clearly remember first reading Wool during the old days of KBoards and new indie life. Well deserved, and I’m so truly happy for you, Hugh!! Thank you for showing us what’s possible. Here’s to a great premiere and no doubt of a season 2. Cheers!!!
Thanks, Sarra! Good to see you again.
Hello Hugh. It was inevitable, the story is so well crafted… Congratulations.
I do have one issue: Where is your name on the credits?
Where is the name Hugh Howey. I didn’t see the obligatory “Based on the novels-” or any mention of you. I cannot believe it.
Will I be able to watch without an Apple device? I do think of Apple as Silo 1.