Real Fake Blood Films is fast becoming one of my favourite horror producers. Low budget, beautiful horror, and what’s more they’re using my music! What’s not to love? Pupil is the latest addition to their steadily growing collection of short horror films, and, like all the fantastic work that’s come before it, it’s amazing.
Pupil tells the story of a mad scientist, not unlike myself, who has made… Life itself! From the perspective of the strange creature he has created, we watch as the scientist enters the room and begins interacting with it. The scientist is fairly typical of mad scientists, he doesn’t think of how the creature might feel as he interacts with it. He just focuses on what he has created and how his experiments have impacted on it. We see, from the creature’s perspective, how it reacts to the scientist, and what the scientist does to it. We feel like the creature, trapped in an unfortunate situation outside of our control…
It’s fantastic watching the film and seeing how our scientist interacts with the creature. His nervousness implies that he knows some of what he has done to this unfortunate creature is cruel, almost as though he fears it can understand him. His nervousness fades as curiosity and the work consumes him. It’s slightly implied by his eyepatch that this creature’s single eye was once his. He is also bald, and the creature has hair, which I find slightly amusing considering I’m going bald myself… I won’t spoil what happens, but horror ensues, and I love it!
What makes the film stand out to me, as an observer is the creature itself. So much effort has gone into creating something that blinks menacingly but is also capable of other emotions (unless I’m going crazy!) such as fear and shock. The creature looks absolutely phenomenal, and I wish I had the talent to make something like it! I have always loved practical effects in films. There’s a rawness to be found in them that you just cannot emulate with CGI. Things that are real, that exist and have substance will always have the ability to terrify audiences far better than CGI which moves far too fluidly. Pupil does a fantastic job with some amazing puppetry, and I think this is probably one of my favourite low budget monsters of all time. (I’m so sorry Forbidden World… Better luck next time!) I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
I’m always pleased when people use my work for their films and shorts, and when I get to be part of something like this, well, it makes me so unbelievably happy! This is the second film for Real Fake Blood Films that my work has been used in, and hopefully, they will be able to use a lot more music as time goes on. Previously, I did some work for Benjamin Martian on the film: The Gift, which you can check out below. If you’d like to find out a little more about the film and its construction and a little bit more about Benjamin and his other works, please feel free to read the blog I wrote on it: Here
I first started working on Chan Walrus at the age of 17, almost half a lifetime ago. I had been getting into Blake’s 7 and I had long been a fan of Red Dwarf. I wanted to create a science fiction comedy series which had moments both serious and sometimes extremely violent. It was going to to feature many different ideas and in a way be a parody of the sci fi and horror genre. Later on, I would come across Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace which was what I felt Chan Walrus could have been… If it had been a lot better. This is a tale that I’m not 100% proud of, so please forgive my sheer lack of manliness, as I reveal to you one of the more harrowing experiences of my life. There were many issues with Chan Walrus, as it was a highly ambitious idea, and I hadn’t got much of a budget, or any form of organisational skill. Chandryk Ullesys Walrus and Christopher T. Mandrake on the run from E.D.E.N, the Earth’s Defensive Elite Network. Chan has been rescued by his old friend and rival Mandrake. His mind has been almost completely erased which is one of the reasons his behavior is so erratic, though this I would not write into the script until the second series, as I wanted the cast to become familiar with his behavioral absurdities long before explaining the reasoning for them. As a writer, I don;’t believe that a person’s personality should be defined by their mental state, gender, race or sexuality. These take a part in who they are, but they are not the entire definition. The most important thing was getting Chan’s issues across to people before revealing too much of the darker plot, but also to engineer the plot in such a way that bad things happened in a relatively comical way so people wouldn’t be put off by them. I wanted to draw my audience in with the silly nature of a show they would find it easier to get to know and like the main characters before being shown ideas in flashbacks that were unsettling and the first few scenes in which Walrus actually does some horrible things. Things had to be a little chaotic, as order is not something which I have ever truly experienced in this life. I had to make things fit with my own understanding of the randomness of the universe and with the idea of moving on into a future beyond the series. I have long looked at the universe in a way in which there is no true black and white. No pure good or evil, that every good person has faults and every person who has committed atrocities has not spent a life without one good deed. I wanted the series to have muddy waters and for a younger me, this was very ambitious. The concept of the series was also complicated to explain to others. Most people like virtuous characters, whereas I like characters like Avon, from Blake’s 7, and Colin Baker’s version of the Doctor, characters who’s natures, at times seem a little suspect. These made those characters more interesting than the goody two-shoes characters like Blake, who is a curly haired Paladin of Righteous Justice, and well… Many other heroes. One of the reasons James Bond is a good character is that he’s got his flaws. One of the problems with how I explained the series, is that I feel, looking back on it, that I put forwards too much of the science fiction element, leading people to believe the series would be serious. This was a mistake and ended up costing me greatly. Before I made a single episode, I had a huge support in terms of backing and cast, people heard my ideas and thought that they were fantastic and worked with me to try and build a first episode. Some of the most noteworthy people on my team were my long time friend and collaborator: Rikki Hammond, Will Grantham, famous at the time for designing the Abzorbaloff, Giles Margerum, who was and still is one of the most awesome people I’ve ever met, Cameron Abbott, a fantastic actor I’d met at College, Steven Johnson, who is a living legend, an old friend Jane Edwards, and Shaun Wools came on board as an in joke later on. The musician behind the series release was Robert Porter, who was at the time one of my closest friends. Also contributing to the series was Martin Bower, who’s work on Alien and many of the wonderful science fiction shows of the 80s still lives on, on the dvds of nerds like myself… But not all was going to go as planned.
Release, Disaster and Downfall.
The release of episode one was a mistake. It was premature, badly mastered, and thrown together. It was released within days of a really bad breakup with someone who meant the world to me, and I was not thinking clearly. My original intention had been to release the series episode by episode, putting one up per month, rather than to film the whole thing in one go, master it and put it out there, something I still havn’t learned from. I rushed the episode and got it out far too early, then fell into utter despair as it’s reception was horrendous. I was already in a bad way, and the world just exploded around me and I felt like I’d lost everything. I got a bad reaction from some of the cast, though the majority who had appeared in the episode seemed happy with it, others decided they no longer wished to work on it because it was filmed on a cheap handy-cam and they were above that, and more interested in being filmed on high quality cameras that did above SD. My friend Robert was understandably upset. When I had explained the idea of Chan Walrus to him, I had neglected to put much emphasis on the random, stupid comedy I was going for, he’d backed me 100% and created possibly the greatest theme to any science fiction series ever made. His work was, and still is incredible. The thing is he had had a completely different vision for the series to myself and he didn’t understand a lot of what was going on for many reasons and it was this reason I ended up pulling it shortly. Robert had dedicated months of his life to creating the perfect science fiction track. Each sound perfectly crafted, and looking back on what I had originally created, it was a monstrosity, unworthy of his genius. Many people who had supported the series decided they were no longer interested and my scripts lay among the ruins of my sheer failure. So many ideas and intricately woven plot threads smashed to ribbons. At the time I didn’t even think about replacing cast and soldiering on. With a few swift blows, my morale had taken a plunge into a hell from which I never fully recovered, though despite the horrible experience, the people who stuck with me have become much closer and stronger friends, so the failure for that part was worth it. A little while after Armageddon, I re-uploaded the episode with a different soundtrack comprised of my own music along with that of Nikola Whallon, who has always been a great support to me. with some brief alterations to the script, and some roles cut. It was not what it should have been, but I had a cut of the episode that was passable, though lacked a lot of what I had really wanted. I was too ashamed and broken to use Robert’s soundtrack for the episode. He had spent months working on it, and I had just butchered everything so badly, but I needed to soldier on. One fateful day a few months later, I begged my friend Jane, who I’d gone to Youth Theatre with to help me make a secondary episode in order to carry on. At this point I didn’t want to make the series anymore, but I’d pooled over £2000.00 into it’s production and I was losing my mind. She agreed to help me, which was really nice of her. She played Chan’s ex wife, and ended up dying in the episode, which sucked because I would have wanted her to be a bigger part. She went the extra mile and helped me salvage the hell I had ended up in somewhat. There were those who supported me, even though I was a self-professed failure. My crew who I’ve all mentioned were amazingly loyal friends. There were three I havn’t mentioned yet, Scott Casey, who came down to shoot some scenes with me despite not really knowing me well, Nico Rogers who is now a member of Dead Man’s Whiskey, Jamie Weston, who’s now a hot shot film director and Adam Willis, who is now kicking ass with Willis and Vere. (I wonder if their amazing space epic, The Starship Osiris, was inspired in any way by my colossal failure.) I kept fighting for the series, but soon it became obvious that due to my poor organisational skills I would not be able to keep working on the series, and I apologized to everyone and gave up, finally releasing a Christmas Episode as a final farewell, unconnected with the original plot. This was a slight joke attacking Doctor Who which at the time felt like it spent half it’s run time on Christmas Episodes.
What Could It Have Been?
Series One originally featured a wacky story that made little sense outside of the grand narrative. It was lighthearted and fun with a few silly moments of treachery. Of the first series, 5 of the 6 planned episodes were started and abandoned. One of the worst things for me was the sheer amount of time and effort my crew had put into working on the series with me, I felt I utterly betrayed everybody by not accomplishing my goal and botching that which still exists of it.
Episode 1: Professor Mindstorm (Originally Professor Brainstorm until I realised someone had already created a Professor Brainstorm!) is given a task by a mysterious villain to hunt down Walrus (who like Blake in Blake’s 7 is called a ‘political criminal’) who has escaped. Mindstorm is aware of who Walrus is and chooses to enlist the help of a man who he despises, Avery Guido Veil (Or if you shorten the middle name you can rearrange the letters to A Very Evil Guy. Yes I am that sad.) Mindstorm’s internal logic is simple: If Avery gets Walrus, he wins, if Avery fails or dies, he wins. Sadly however he loses because he doesn’t realise he’s going to have to put his wallet on the line to afford the costs. We briefly meet Veil who is happy to be out hunting Walrus. Mindstorm tries to contact him but Veil shows him animosity and refuses to answer his hails. It gives us a small chance to meet Veil, who is nicely incompetent. I would later realise that he needed to be a little smarter, so for my pilot, I actually treated him with more respect. Finally, we meet Chan Walrus and Mandrake. They are having an argument about Walrus damaging the spaceship. It’s mentioned that they’ve stolen the ship from Aliens. We were going to meet these in season 2! The goal of Episode 1 was: Establish who the main characters and players will be in the series. Heroes: Walrus and Mandrake, Villains: Veil and Mindstorm, and put them all into confrontation early on. As conflict is the best way to figure out who people are at heart, it was a good idea to lead with a conflict early on.
Episode 2: – Begins with scenes and ideas that were cut. Originally two of my friends had begged me to write them in as a double act, and they were going to play as a news team which had some subtle connection to the plot, with one of them eventually cutting off Chan’s arm and using it to fake his death. Yeah that got cut. It was a shame, but I should never have written them in to be fair. Ah well. Christ, even writing about this is painful! They tell a news story muddying Walrus’ name. Then we go to Walrus and Mandrake. I was going to split them up for the episode so Mandrake goes into Cryogenics whilst Walrus stays on the bridge allowing him to get into mischief. He’s not supposed to do anything silly, but he disobey’s Mandrake’s request that he doesn’t respond to hails or touch the Nav system. When Mandrake is out of the picture. Walrus ends up getting a distress call and decides to go and help. It turns out that he was being lured into a trap by his Ex wife, who contemplates destroying him. She communes with her computer and decides to mess with him a little. There’s a weird scene featuring my friend Shaun Wools playing a ‘Body Double’ that I threw in as a joke and a lot of fourth wall breaks. Walrus ends up killing his ex wife and trolling through his script with MEGADOS, her computer. In the script we briefly meet PAL9000, who is the ships computer. He is as boring as I am in the real world, but he calls everyone Dave, whereas, I only call the Daves I know Dave. The goal of Episode 2 was: Introduce fragments of Chan’s past to increase information on the character. The News team were added in which was a mistake but that’s life. I also wanted to throw a lot of references to sci-fi in for all the geeks who wouldn’t end up watching it!
Episode 3: This is where things get interesting. Walrus and Mandrake go to Planet Russia, which is stupidly inhospitable Temperatures range from an impossible -500 degrees Celsius in the day (which is impossible as absolute zero is -273.15) to 1000 degrees at night. It’s clearly a nonsense planet. The surface is covered in Grief Plants which all have human mouths that scream endlessly, and the animal life consists of Owlbats which, when they mate, both the males and females get pregnant and both have a pregnancy cycle of 7 hours during which they are eaten from within by their young that reach sexual maturity within an hour. It’s clearly a horrible place. You need Apernetamine tablets to survive there. Walrus is there to meet his old friend Traitormass who looks nothing like Chan Walrus remembers. This points to Chan’s memory loss and altered states of reality I mentioned earlier. Traitormass has lured Chan there because he needs Chan to identify why his miners have been dying off. Chan works out that Traitormass is conducting an illegal mining operation, showing that whilst he’s not the full ticket he’s not stupid. Traitormass gets him to look at the body of the security chief, who has been murdered. Traitormass is surprised that this has happened, then takes Walrus to meet Exeter, the greatest brain in the universe, currently housed within the shell of a mighty onion. Exeter tells Chan the truth of the universe, that the Author wants to kill him. (Which is kind of like the author of my life wanting to kill me. This realisation that I am a character in a novel came to me at a young age as I doubt few people live lives this badly written.) Exeter is taken over by the Author and tries to kill Walrus but Walrus kills him. We go to the news team who explain one of them is missing, presumed dead. We then go back to Avery Veil who hails Chan’s ship to get Mandrake who has stayed behind. Avery and Mandrake square off in space, leaving the planet behind. Walrus talks with Traitormass, and explains everything to him that happened between himself and Exeter. Traitormass explains that he is actually a traitor, and starts to die, because Chan has taken his Apernetamine tablets. (I mentioned those earlier. This happened during an earlier conversation with Traitormass, and Walrus has changed the hands on his clock so he wouldn’t think to check.) Walrus tries to contact Mandrake who is no longer there, and then he chooses to leave the planet alone. Episode 3 was about adding to the universe, more information on Walrus’ mind not being fully functional and a bit more into his past. Mandrake was going to be kept mysterious til the second series where he would get a chance to shine. It shows that despite Walrus being a gibbering idiot, he’s capable of doing smart things. He’s an idiot savant.
Episode 4: Begins with a Space Battle! Avery, having suffered a sound defeat at Mandrake’s hands, decides to set his ship to explode and launches an escape pod. Avery does this for two reasons. Firstly, to win the fight and secondly because he knows Mindstorm is going to pay for it. We go back to Walrus who is looking for his ship. It’s possibly been vaporized in the explosion – that’s what we want the audience to think at least! Then enters a member of the news crew who breaks the fourth wall. She tells Walrus that he’s actually being killed time and again and that they’re cloning him, and that he is part of a science fiction series. She lies to him and tells him that they were going to be married, the implication being on in real life. Mandrake and PAL have survived, much to Mandrake’s misery, and Walrus is supposedly taken advantage of by the news crew member who chloroforms him and, like a good Sci-Fi villain, cuts off his arm. Veil and his Officer have a moment and they decide to leave Chan to his fate whilst they go back home. Death by ineptitude seems certain. Chan wakes up to find his arm gone and is hailed by none other than Mandrake.They tell each other what they’ve been through and Veil puts up a delightful log in which he enjoys the fact Mindstorm will be paying for everything, and that he knows he has failed. Mandrake attaches a robot hand to Walrus, and reminds him that everything is pretty much normal. They banter a little and the episode ends, much to the relief of an audience who will never see it because it was never made. Episode 4 would allow Mandrake to shine a little. It was rewritten from the original which would have been better without the News subplot.
Episode 5: -Begins with the news team talking with Mindstorm. Mindstorm reveals that Avery Veil will now be flying the exclusively cool Time Ship and hints that it will be an ‘Explosive success’ his glee on the matter indicative that he has a sinister plan for this new star-ship, most likely aimed around revenge. Veil has been watching the transmissions, and he’s already removed the bomb from the ship. Despite being purposefully incompetent, he is not stupid. He and his officer talk a bit about the abilities of his new ship, which would have come into play later in the series. We go back to Walrus and Mandrake who are talking about Veil, and they are suddenly waylaid by the S.S. Argyle Cheese, who originally offer to surrender but scan Walrus and Mandrake to find their ship is defenceless. During the battle, the Argyle Cheese’s parrot, who is also the ship’s engineer, has a heart attack leading to the bridge crew being reduced as the captain goes to revive him. Veil shows up and demands the Argyle Cheese stops firing on Walrus’ ship. We then cut to shady dealings. Mindstorm is hiring/blackmailing Bjornfjord Fjordbjornsson the famed assassin to perform a secret task for him. We go back to Walrus and Mandrake who are arguing about stage technicians on set damaging their ship in the series. As Walrus starts work making repairs, (which would have created issues later in the series) Veil opens fire on the Argyle Cheese, showing off the Time Ship’s special abilities. The crew of the Argyle Cheese, figure out the secret and open fire on Veil forcing him to retreat, and knocking him back in time 3.64 billion years. Suddenly the crew of the Argyle Cheese are attacked by Bjornfjord’s tricked out ship that annihilates them. Mandrake and Walrus celebrate their escape, and we go back in time finishing off with Veil and his Officer freezing themselves in Cryo back on prehistoric Earth to get back to the present. Episode 5 is designed to turn Bjornfjord into a fierce Villain. The Argyle Cheese is so overpowered it beats both Walrus and Veil in combat, but is soundly defeated by Bjornfjord. This is standard anime story design which basically takes characters we know and smacks them down by a villain to show that villain’s power. This was shown in Dragonball Z, when Android 18 annihilates Vegeta only to be devoured by Cell.
Episode 6: Veil and his officer arrive back in the present only to fall into a trap set by Mindstorm that leaves their fate enigmatic, and Walrus and Mandrake go to find out the source of a distress signal on the planet Skoode. Bjornfjord lies in wait and has an awkward conversation with his wife, and the News team make an appearance and do some plot stuff. We then go back to Mindstorm who releases Veil and his officer as Fugitives. Walrus dressed as a cowboy arrives on the planet to see an unconscious cowboy lying in the dirt. He pokes him a few times and it’s revealed he is the famed assassin Bjornfjord Fjordbjornsson. (Of all the people who wanted to audition, the only person who could say it right was Nico Rogers.) There is a duel reminiscent of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Walrus cheats and wins. He kills Bjornfjord to reveal that he is an alien – in real life and not just in the series. Walrus talks with him as he is dying and realises that he could have been a friend and does the “Nooooooo!!!” thing. Mandrake and Walrus discuss their futures, and the series ends with them turning guns on each other and fading out to Laser Blasts as a homage to Blake’s 7. (They would pretend to kill each other so they could come back in Series 2 without it being a science fiction series!) Episode 6 is a set up for the next series and shows a potential world outside the world outside the series. Complicated and insane stuff.
So far, I have been working on my new series, you can see it by clicking:here! It’s my intention to keep making Chan Walrus. There have been drastic changes to the ideas within the series. For the Reboot, I renamed E.D.E.N. to Galactipol as I didn’t want people reading into religious symbolism within the series. With the modern culture the way it is, I didn’t want anyone potentially taking offence to the series on religious grounds that could get it cancelled from YouTube. I have made alterations to Chan’s backstory with more information behind his mind erasure. His original name was: Wilson Orson Channing and he was once a brilliant scientist who stood up against the tyranny of the Federation, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. When will the next episode come? Who knows! You can support me or donate if you like! I’m still looking for actors who want to sacrifice their careers to the greater good!
One of the things about me that a lot of people don’t truly understand is that I like “bad films” a lot. What “bad films” actually means is low budget work created by people who have a real passion for invention. People who want to push boundaries, and sometimes people who simply want to hang out with friends and make a few silly films with them – these are the people I really admire. They work on a slightly different plane, always trying to achieve something through hard work, determination, and often seemingly impossible odds stacked against them. This is an endurance that high end, high budget films will never really have to struggle with in the same way.
What I admire is that they pick up a camera and shoot. They work hard to try and realise their impossible dreams and they consistently suffer for their art. I’ve written a lot of music over the years for over 130 films and short films now, and I do this because I love the work people create when it’s fueled by a desire for greatness. I love the fact that I’m working with like minded people who don’t let the world crush, annihilate or destroy them. These are people who sometimes have to deal with horrendous abuse, criticism and hate on a daily basis, simply because their work is not a million pound CGI fest.
A Long Time Ago in a Facebook Group, Far, Far Away, I met someone called Benjamin Martian. He had a keen interest in creation, but I really liked his personality as I got to know him over time in my Facebook feed. There was something a little weird and wacky there, something unique and positive that helped keep me going through my descent into madness. Now it just so happened that he would become one of the creators of Tigtone on Adult Swim, a series that is lovely and weird, and that I highly recommend to anyone who wants something different.
By sheer happenstance, recently he needed some music and I sent him a message about it, and I got to work with him recently providing some of the soundtrack to one of his creations. I’d like to share that with you today!
I find it’s always interesting working with people you admire. When I first saw an advert for Tigtone go up, I had no idea he was even involved in the project, but when I found out, I was so happy for him. The thing is, I have tried and failed to realise my dreams for years, and here was someone living the dream and creating amazing things. This to me, is one of the most inspiring things. To me he wasn’t the creator of a series and awesome because of that. More so, he was an awesome person and this series was an extension of his will as he proved to the universe his ideas and work had the unfathomable resolve to stand firm against the tides of oppression the world throws at creators every day.
Benjamin Martian is not alone in being someone who’s manage to overcome these odds and create something brilliant! A lot of the people I have worked with or work with on and off have gone on to create many wonderful things. One thing I should say is that you never know who you are working with. Down the line, I’ve seen so many people who’s friends never thought would get anywhere suddenly grow wings and move forwards at a frightening speed. On the other side of the coin, you also have amazing high grade actors and directors who everyone wants to work with get hit by a random scandal, which destroys their career entirely.
I like working with people no matter who they are, whether or not they are famous or just starting out. Being part of someone’s dreams is important to me. As a director of my own silly films, I always like people who are up and coming, and I love people who are just starting out. Watching them blossom and grow over the years is a thing of beauty. I have worked now on over 160 films in pretty much every role there is, and I’d never introduce myself as anything other than a hack musician. The thing is, we are people first and not creators. Our dreams can either be completely lost or fuel reality, and bring inspiration to others.
Strangely enough, one of the reasons I originally got to know Benjamin Martian on Facebook is his name. It’s weird, a little far out and I love it. There’s something about the combination of letters that I like and it flows that was beautiful to me. I find it mysterious and alien! I am also far too afraid to ask if it’s his real name. As someone who has a weird name that I chose: Chan Walrus. It’s always fun to have people contact me and say: “Oh wow, I thought you were Chinese!” or “I am the Walrus!” (A song I loathe!) I secretly wonder if people contact him and ask him if he’s really a Martian.
I think this blog has been sufficiently derailed in my usual rambling way, but it was a pleasure working with him and I feel so happy watching my music being used in the work of someone I admire!
Thanks for reading this and definitely check out Tigtone. If you aren’t questing by the end of the first episode then Helpy help you.
So today, I just found out that Remember has been released, and it’s one of the creepiest things I’ve scored! Remember by inDgenious is a frightening thrill ride unlike any I’ve played before. Whilst I’ve played many point and click adventure games, few of them have hooked me the way Remember does. The creepy atmosphere is highly alienating yet mesmerizing, and it reminds me somewhat of searching in my creepy basement for old abandoned sweets, yet with even greater risks. Of course I jest, and the game is genuinely terrifying.
You are… Someone who can’t remember who she is. Maybe I know, maybe I don’t, either way, it’s up to you to work out who you are, where you are, and why you’re there.
Ahead lies a mixture of complicated puzzles, convoluted intrigue and something… Indescribably horrible. Will you remember and save yourself before your fate is sealed? I wish you luck fellow traveler… You can acquire a version on the game’s web-page, click: here! (I highly recommend buying the game rather than playing the lite version because the lite version is too immersion breaking.
My job on Remember was as a composer. I tried for weeks to work out what would work best as a soundtrack, what would fit the atmosphere of the game. I tried some creepy piano music, adding a bit of chorus here and there. It was OK but nothing brilliant. One of the main inspirations for my first forays into the music was the music Mark “m0ds” Lovegrove wrote working on the Chzo Mythos by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw. I experimented a little with harpsichords and tried to come up with a fitting theme.
The problem was either I hit far too close to the music I liked and risked plagiarism, or I came up with something that wasn’t very fitting. Eventually, I realised after trying playing the game with some infra sound that I should just go for game sounds and atmosphere. So I set about writing the soundtrack for it with no real theme, keeping an older piece for the title music. I tried to focus my mind on making the game feel creepy and unwelcoming, whilst keeping some ideas and themes slightly reminiscent of each other.
The ambient score I composed for Remember scares the hell out of me and makes me feel uncomfortable, working beautifully with the environments and visuals presented in the game. For a small independent company, inDgenious have really excelled and created something truly special. It’s another brilliant example of what someone with drive can accomplish. If you like indie survival horror games, it’s well worth getting a copy! You can get one on the game’s web-page, click: here!
Being involved in the production of independent films can be a complicated and stressful task. I’ve worked with many fantastic people over the years of many projects, some which have garnered success for their creators, some which have been doomed to failure, which can be incredibly sad, as every film or web-series has a lot of love pooled into it, even if it doesn’t look like a Hollywood blockbuster.
I can honestly say I have never worked on a bad film, however as an independent film maker myself, I know the extreme suffering involved in many steps of the film production process. Writing can be horribly hard at times, and a lot of the time you have to sacrifice what could be a fantastic screenplay because the scripts can become too complicated for an audience.Cast members may also have issues with what happens within the script and strong-arm you out of things which you feel are necessary to make the film work. The cast can on some projects be unreliable, or they can turn against the project or give it up for something more lucrative. Composers can back out on you, which will usually be money related. As a composer myself, I have always tried to be as loyal to projects as possible.
Usually the biggest problem is money. People who work on films are not greedy, especially the independent ones, but everyone needs to live and not everyone works on these films as a hobby. So where am I going with this? Well, it’s hard to make a film and it’s great to talk about success when it finally happens. So here goes!
Rebecca Gold is off to a fantastic start. Directed by the phenomenally geeky Ian David Diaz, who I have come to revere as some kind of Indie Film Making God, Rebecca Gold has received award after award. I’ve literally lost track of the amount of awards this little web-series has won. Beautifully acted, directed, scored, filmed and edited, the series is a culmination of efforts from many talented film makers all working to bring the project to life.
I think that it’s probably one of the best things I have ever had the privilege of working on and I’ve made many fantastic friends through the process. Special shout out to Ian Diaz, Paul Coster, Katie Sheridan and Keith Eyles! I messed around a bit with camera work and did some behind the scenes photography. I also got to get shot by a hot female assassin, although you can’t tell it’s me!!! Here are the awards Rebecca Gold has achieved so far, and with the idea of a second series in the works, I’m looking forwards to seeing where this goes!
If you want to watch Rebecca Gold, you can do so through my website which will give you a rundown of each episode, and you can see each episode by clicking: here!
It’s rare that I get a chance to shine on the silver screen, and I’m more than happy to settle for bronze! I went to see Mask of Thorn at it’s premiere at Horror on Sea two years back. I was astounded that I could have been a part of something so great. It all started a few years back. I met Mj Dixon online in a Facebook Group I admin. I liked his work and thought that he was pretty much someone like me. He’s a creator, and his work is incredible, by contrast, I feel that mine is not in any way special. He was working on a film: Cleaver. It was a horror about a man who devolves into madness and becomes a psychotic killer clown. I up-fronted some money to the project so it could get made. The film featured a great soundtrack and awesome actors, and I was so happy to be a part in it’s creation even though it had only been giving towards the project. As a composer I had offered to help with musical scores, but Mj had that mastered. Eventually, I blagged a small role in his film Mask of Thorn, which will be available to purchase on the 18th.
I arrived in Milton Keynes and I was absolutely terrified. I’m not generally good at meeting new people, but I was welcomed in by Mj and Anna, and strangely enough after about an hour of talking, it felt like I’d known them a lifetime. The struggle of independent film makers is real. We don’t exist on massive sums of money, or have the amounts needed to create a Hollywood blockbuster. I think personally that if most of us were given the amount used to make a single episode of one low budget TV program, it could pay for a lifetime’s work in the Indy film industry.
Being a part of the creation of an independent film is something else, especially at this level. Struggling with an unfathomably low budget, and so many costs and organisational necessities, I could see how Mj was leagues beyond me. (Though he’s far too humble for his own damn good sometimes and would never say that himself!) Mj is one of the most driven and dedicated people I’ve ever met with. He works incredibly hard to craft his films and bring his visions to life. Anna is an astounding support and producer, and not only that she is a wonderful support and friend.
Every person I got to work at on the film was incredible. From Will Marshall’s sly and subtle comic quips, to Eve’s unending stamina and dedication, going days without rest in order to play her role. Every single person involved in the production was incredible in their own way, and I made a fantastic friend along the way in Atticus Machiavellian, who is probably one of the most intelligent and unusual people I’ve ever met. I am exceptionally fond of all of the cast and crew. Special shout out to Chloe, thanks for putting up with me and being such a star to work with! Whilst I never met him on the scene, I also became friends with Martin W. Payne who supported me through so much of the struggle I’ve had over the past year.
I am really grateful to Bam for setting me straight on a few things, and helping me re-assess a few things in my life. Watching him work was amazing, and he taught me to be more open minded when it came to my political beliefs. Of all the people I have ever worked with, he has to be one of the most dedicated human beings when it comes to getting things right in the set up for production. Some of the feats he accomplished whilst setting up the old school to look like a hospital were incredible. Then again, I think just about everyone at Mycho is incredible.
I would not recommend a film I didn’t think was incredible. Mask of Thorn isn’t just incredible though, it’s the story of a crew that made an amazing film that for the budget should not really exist. The quality is amazing, the cast are incredible, the music is great! (One of my songs got in!) Hehe. This film is incredible, and should be watched not only by everyone who works on independent films but by everyone who appreciates the value of struggle.
We all go through struggles in life, and Mask of Thorn is the result of that. It’s a project I am so proud to have been a part of, and it changed my life. You can order it on amazon, and support an incredible company. http://bit.ly/Maskofthorn