Carnival of Sorrows update: Preliminary filming is done!

Posted by Rich - 21st July 2014

Our apologies for the lack of updates on the film shoot and the campaign – it turned out the strain of filming left no-one to write updates on what’s been happening! So, here’s the summary:

  • We have officially wrapped the main shoot of the film – over 6 weeks of constant shoots, late nights, early mornings and frayed nerves.
  • In total, there were over two-and-a-half thousand takes, over 25 hours of footage and over 240 hours of on-set time logged!
  • Already, the first draft of the film is coming together, and last weekend the team sat down and watched the first rough edits of core moments from the shoot. Suffice to say, the hard work is certainly paying off, as even in this truly rough form, the film feels tighter and more refined than many of our prior films!

Over the course of the next few weeks, we hope to bring you regular news on our progress, behind-the-scenes updates from the shoot, and much more – many of these will be exclusive to our Kickstarter backers so, if you backed us, make sure you check out our Kickstarter page as well!

Filming a scene from the Carnival of Sorrows. Pictured L-R: Barry Davis (boom, off-camera), Mark Adams (Director), Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP), Antonia Tootill (Jenny Marwick), Matt Warner (Script Editor and Production Assistant)

Filming a scene from the Carnival of Sorrows. Pictured L-R: Barry Davis (boom, off-camera), Mark Adams (Director), Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP), Antonia Tootill (Jenny Marwick), Matt Warner (Script Editor and Production Assistant)

Once again, thanks to everyone who supported this production. We hope to make you proud.

Mark, Felek, Rich, Chrissey, Ben, and the rest of the team.

David Curtis (Gabriel Cushing) and Vicki Glover (Melanie Lancley) acting (up) off camera whilst filming the Carnival of Sorrows. Also pictured, Barry Davis (boom) and Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP).

David Curtis (Gabriel Cushing) and Vicki Glover (Melanie Lancley) acting (up) off camera whilst filming the Carnival of Sorrows. Also pictured, Barry Davis (boom) and Felek Werpachowski (camera and DP).


The Carnival has come to town!

Posted by Rich - 27th March 2014

Hello again, especially you wonderful people who supported us on Kickstarter. We may have been quiet for a while, but rest assured that since we’ve last posted a huge amount of work has gone on about our latest production, Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows - so much so that we are actually now through pre-production and are now filming! So let’s recap what’s happened since we last spoke…

Casting – done!

Between September and March, we ran three full casting calls, one recall session and a few one-on-one casting sessions. Thanks to everyone who applied for a role, but in the end we only had a certain number of roles to fill – so congratulations to all! (If you are a Kickstarter backer, check out the updates on the Carnival of Sorrows page for more details about the castings!)

Script – locked!

There have been several rewrites to the script since the Kickstarter began all those months ago, including a beautiful day in August where the entire script was taken to pieces, inspected and rebuilt to make sure we had a script better than anything we’ve ever had before. Honestly, everyone loves it and we hope we can do a good job to convert this passion to the screen.

Planning – done!

A huge amount of planning has been happening behind the scenes, with shot lists, breakdowns, storyboards contracts, insurance paperwork, receipts and endless department plans raining down on us like the British weather.

To say this is the most complex production we’ve ever done is an understatement – this really is the biggest shoot we have ever done!

We’ve also acquired several new crew members (including several new faces to our make-up, sound, and production departments)! Sadly, some previously engaged people have found themselves unavailable, but luckily we’ve managed to work around the issues faced and come out the other side bright and smiling!

Locations – secured!

We’ve scouted, located, locked-in and bolted shut many of the locations required for the shoot, with a small number of locations for later in the shoot still to get.

The future – certain!

As we said at the start, we actually began filming this week! Last Monday provided 2 and a half scenes completed – strangely, due to the way production has panned out, the first scene filmed was actually the last scene in the film.

We hope to be bringing you regular updates from the set along with behind-the-scenes photos (avoiding spoilers, of course!), inside news, cast and crew updates, and much more … but only for backers! Everyone else – you’ll get less frequent updates, but we’ll keep you updated on exciting news too big to hide!

So stay tuned for more from the Carnival of Sorrows!

Clapper from Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows


Casting Call for Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows

Posted by Chrissey - 10th June 2013

This July/August The Great Escape will be filming the next big Gabriel Cushing adventure: Carnival of Sorrows. We recently raised a large portion of our funding through our successful Kickstarter project. Now that the Kickstarter is over, there is much work to be done and there are lots of ways to get involved with the production. Not least of those ways is casting!

Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows - Carnival troupe concept artActors interested in the series should
check our our

CASTING PAGE

Here you can find a detailed list of all the
available roles and information on how to apply.

There are also crew openings including the following:

  • Dance / Movement choreographer
  • Lighting assistants
  • Assistant boom operator
  • Hair Stylists
  • Make up artists
  • Costume makers / alterers

And, of course, general volunteers. You don’t need any experience to come along and help out.


An Interview with Elisar Cabrera at MCM London

Posted by Chrissey - 3rd June 2013

If you recall, we were at MCM London Comic Con last weekend, where we met plenty of amazing people including other web series creators, actors, special effects artists, press people, and best of all, fans of ours!

One person who was in constant movement around the convention was Elisar Cabrera of Capital City Entertainment. Elisar is the Programmer for VidFestUK, responsible for arranging the YouTubers and Web Series creators at MCM. He is also a coordinator of the Raindance Film Festival’s London Web Fest, producer on the web series 3some, one of the driving forces behind BritishWebSeries.com and on top of that, he produces several blogging series and podcasts including ThoseVideoGuys and Raindance’s Short Film Show.

We managed to stop him long enough to interview him about VidFestUK, the amazing people at the event, and how the stars of YouTube and the web are more popular than US television stars! (*)

(*) well, in the eyes of MCM atendees, at least!


Presenting the new Great Escape showreel

Posted by Rich - 15th May 2013

Since 2009, we’ve been creating short films, web series and more as The Great Escape.

Over the last 4 years, we’ve always done it all out of our own money – saving up cash to buy the cameras, equipment, props, effects, costumes, food, train tickets, etc. for all the films we’ve done.

As we’ve stated on our Kickstarter, we’re looking to reach beyond the edges of our bank balances for Carnival of Sorrows. We’re aiming to acquire some of the funding for the film not just from people on Kickstarter for what’ll be on screen, but also industry-types for the post-production and behind-the-scenes costs. As such, we need to have something that shows off a wide selection of what we do in a neat package.

Hence… presenting our first ever Great Escape showreel! Featuring a selection of our favourite moments from our films, plus sneak peeks at both upcoming Gabriel Cushing stories ‘The Stool of the Damned’ and ‘Mrs. Briary’s Scullery’ and future short film ‘Relaxation’ (which are also the first three films we’ve shot on the Red One camera we’re using for Carnival of Sorrows!)

Please take a look and let us know what you think of it – we really appreciate your feedback!


Gabriel Cushing at The Carnival of Sorrows – Kickstarter Launch

Posted by Chrissey - 11th May 2013

Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows - Kickstarter cover imageOld school demon hunter Gabriel and his assistant Melanie take on a cursed carnival troop intent on stealing the souls of the living.

Visit the Kickstarter Project Page!

Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows is the third web series outing for the intrepid demon hunter Gabriel Cushing and his assistant, Melanie Lancely.

The eight parts follow Gabriel and Melanie as they work to uncover the dark intentions of a cursed carnival troop who prey on the souls of the living. Several unexplained disappearances draw them into an investigation, and as they delve deeper they reveal the carnival’s disturbing past and frightening portents of its future. Their every step hounded by demonic clowns, terrifying beasts, freakish living dolls and other twisted creatures, they must hurry to unlock the secret to stopping the troop forever.

Following in the tradition of Gabriel Cushing vs the Zombie Vampires and Terror of the Killer Carnivorous Coat, Carnival of Sorrows will combine good old fashioned horror with thrilling action and adventure and a twist of humour.

This Kickstarter will generate the funds we need to shoot and produce the series. The money we raise here will go directly towards what you see on the screen, while our own investment and private funding sources will cover the behind the scenes expenses.

Filming is scheduled to take place over the month of August 2013 with several supporting mini-shoots to provide additional material. Total on set time is estimated at this stage to be 20 days, including 16 within the main August shoot.

Development of the props, costumes and special effects make up will take place in the two months preceding the shoot.

Following the shoot, the post production phase will commence. Video and audio editing, music scoring, digital effects and rendering will take place over an extended time frame with an anticipated completion date of August 2014. The final release date for episode 1 will be October/November 2014, with DVD and download rewards going out at around the same time.

Rewards and Stretch Targets

Visit our Kickstarter Project page to read the full story. You can also find out about all the rewards, updates and stretch targets.

To help you get a grip on what you get with each reward, we’ve included a graphic below which shows exactly what’s included at each level. We’ve also included a few FAQs to help clarify certain aspects.

Carnival of Sorrows - Kickstarter Rewards


TGE & Hellbound Media @ Bristol Comic Expo 2013

Posted by Chrissey - 6th May 2013

Last year we exhibited at Bristol Comic Expo for the first time and what a great event it was. This year we’ve got a great line up of events and new releases for the two day convention.

The Great Escape and Gabriel Cushing events at Bristol Comic Expo, 2013. Read on for more details.On Saturday, there’s a screening of Gabriel Cushing vs the Zombie Vampires, the complete eight part web series. See it on the big screen! (No additional ticket costs; all expo visitors can watch).

The weekend also sees the release of Gabriel Cushing: A Fright at the Opera, the demon hunter’s first comic book adventure. Gabriel and Melanie, investigate some mysterious happenings at a theatre and discover a resident banshee with a vengeful streak, but how can they put an end to her reign of terror so the production can go ahead?

Perhaps most exciting of all is the launch of our new Kickstarter project which will raise funds to produce the next big web series; Gabriel Cushing at the Carnival of Sorrows. Look out for more posts on this over the coming week.

The Expo will also be an opportunity for fans to get their hands on all the latest Great Escape and Hellbound Media publications, including fiction anthologhy Great Escapes, Volume 1, horror anthology Shock Value Blue, and Hellbound Media’s new collaborative project, Slaughterhouse Farm, a dark and gory tale of horror.

After hours on the Saturday we’ll also be arranging a Bristol meetup for anyone who wants to come along and share a few drinks. The venue for the meet up will be announced a litttle closer to the time.

Facebook users can join the event page here.

We look forward to seeing you there, so make sure to say hi.


The Expanding World of Gabriel Cushing

Posted by Chrissey - 26th April 2013

With the universe of Gabriel Cushing expanding so rapidly, we’ve had to give gabrielcushing.com a real overhaul. As of today, the dedicated site now incorporates all the current and upcoming titles, plus a news feed and more. To celebrate, and to help us get the word out we’re running an epic giveaway of Gabriel Cushing merchandise! Just click here to enter.

Rise of the Cushing-verse

The intrepid demon hunter made his debut appearance in our short film Terror of the Killer Carnivorous Coat in October 2011. When we shot the film back in 2009, we had no idea how many more stories Gabriel would have to tell. A year later he returned to battle vicious Zombie Vampires in the sleepy town of Little Easton. There he met his new partner in supernatural crime fighting, Melanie Lancley.

Gabriel Cushing (Terror of the Killer Carnivorous Coat)

Gabriel fends off the Killer Coat, Ka with the scissorfix.

2013 will be a big year for Gabriel and Melanie, starting with their first comic book appearance in Fright at the Opera. Then, this winter, the duo returns to the screen in a new web series featuring multiple short stories. Also later this year, watch out for Gabriel’s first appearance in a novel; Mime.

While all this is going on, we’ll be hard at work producing Gabriel’s next big adventure, Carnival of Sorrows. This third web series will be the most ambitious yet, and you can get involved along the way. Starting in May, we’ll be running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the shoot and we’ll be offering some great rewards for our backers, including digital downloads, DVDs and merchandise, some unique items from the shoot, and opportunities to be involved with the shoot itself. Make sure you follow, like or subscribe to keep up to date, do it now and you’ll also earn an entry in the giveaway.

Fright at The Opera - comic book cover art

Part of the cover art for Fright at The Opera (Artwork by Amrit Birdi)

Fright at the Opera – Released May 2013

Gabriel Cushing stars in his first graphic novel adventure! The occult academic is called in to investigate the supernatural events occurring at the Palace Theatre as it prepares for an all new show. Soon he uncovers the murderous intentions of a Banshee, whose rage is directed at the cast, crew and audience.

Will Gabriel, and his friend Melanie Lancley, be able to stop the Banshee’s horrific assaults?

Co-published with Hellbound Media, the new story by Mark Adams is illustrated by Amrit Birdi and lettered by Nikki Foxrobot. You can read a preview here on The Great Escape right now, and the full comic will go on sale from the 11th May at Bristol Comic Expo, as well as by mail order from The Great Escape or Hellbound Media websites.

Strange Encounters – Coming Winter 2013

Horrific demons! Sadistic ghosts! Suspicious stews! Cursed furnishings! Gabriel Cushing and Melanie Lancley return in a series of short horror adventures. The monster hunting pair continue their investigations into the eerie and the unnatural, encountering all manner of new threats. “Strange Encounters” features actions, horror, humour, blood, violence, twists, turns and terrifying, other-worldly villains!

The second web series for Gabriel Cushing features separate stories by writers Mark Adams and Matt Warner, and sees Gabriel battling new and mysterious forces. Shot over several short shoots this year, the series follows Gabriel as he pursues his quest to fight evil and protect people. Meanwhile Melanie learns a lot about the supernatural under Gabriel’s tutelage.

Gabriel and Melanie on set filming Strange Encounters

Gabriel (David Curtis) and Melanie (Sam Herbert) on the set of Strange Encounters. Check out Gabriel’s new bag.

Carnival of Sorrows – In production Summer 2013

Gabriel and Melanie unearth an age old curse, trapped souls and mysterious deaths, but as they dig deeper they find themselves the target for a collective of powerful new foes; a troop of damned carnival performers bent on returning to the land of the living.

If you’ve been following the adventures of Gabriel Cushing so far, join in the production of series three by supporting our Kickstarter Campaign in May and June. We want to make this the biggest and most exciting adventure to date and you can help make it happen!

Follow or like us to get regular updates on the production. Plus, we’ll bring you a bigger update with more details in May, so stay tuned.

Mime – Paperback and eBook Coming Winter 2013

Journalist and paranormal investigator Elliot is on a mission against evil after his brother’s death at the hands of an unknown supernatural force. He seeks out both true stories and hoaxes and reports them in Weird News. When he starts investigating a series of bizarre and seemingly unrelated deaths, he draws the attention of something altogether more dangerous than his normal ghosts and fortune tellers. Out of his depth and on the run, Elliot searches for the only person who can help; Gabriel Cushing. Together they follow the leads left by generations of demon hunters before them to discover a way to defeat the deadly Mime.

Written by Chrissey Harrison, and set between the events of Terror of the Killer Carnivorous Coat and Gabriel Cushing vs the Zombie Vampires, Mime fills in a gap in Gabriel’s past and introduces a new hero of the Cushing universe; Elliot Cross. After vanquishing his nemesis, Ka, the killer coat, Gabriel feels his duty is done, but fighting alongside Elliot opens his eyes to a wide world of evils to be fought, and if he doesn’t take up the fight, who will?


The Big Gabriel Cushing Giveaway! Free entry prize draw.

Posted by Chrissey - 26th April 2013

Enter our free entry prize draw to win a tonne of awesome Gabriel Cushing Merchandise! There’s no fee to enter, we’d just love for you to help us spread the word about the expanding universe of Gabriel Cushing.

Use the widget below to earn entries for actions like following us on Twitter or Facebook. You can earn even more entries by tweeting and posting on each and every day of the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


“Un-Conventional” short story writing competition extended!

Posted by Chrissey - 24th April 2013

Enter our Un-Conventional short story competition (1000-2500 words)We’re extending the deadline for our current writing competition to 30th May 2013.

Why? Well it’s a writing competition about comic conventions and we have two lined up for May 2013. Bristol Comic Expo on the 11th/12th May and MCM London at the end of the month (yep, that’s right, we’ll going to the big one this time!) . So we’d like to give everyone a longer opportunity to celebrate the convention events by getting involved.

If you’ve already submitted an entry and would like to use the extra time to do some more work on it, go for it! Just resubmit your story with a covering note. For those of you rushing to get finished, you can stop panicking. Or, if you haven’t started yet and want to take part, now you can.

The criteria are simple; submit a prose short story of 1000-3000 words set at or featuring a comic or other convention or expo. Your story can be any genre! Prizes include publication in Great Escapes, Volume 2 and a cash prize for first place. Visit our Competitions Page for all the details.