At the end of 2012, David was made all but redundant when the multiplex he worked at moved entirely over to digital projection. The craft he had honed for several years, and that of generations before him, was suddenly made irrelevant.
His cinema is one of many no longer can show movies on celluloid film. The industry, in a bid to lower costs, improve picture quality and reduce piracy, have replaced canisters of static images and printed sound with hard drives of 1s and 0s. Nearly 70% of all cinema screens in the world now project digitally, spurred on by the influx of 3D films and the end of the release of new films on 35mm in the US.
In this article written for The Great Escape, David tells us his memories of working in cinema and his feelings during this massive shift in film presentation. (more…)
Tomorrow, in association with Hellbound Media, we’re launching a new regular action-horror web comic. Faith Healers: The Flesh Angel is a brand new adventure for Hellbound Media’s team of Nephilim (half-angel) medics, known as the Faith Healers. Here you can read more about the world and characters, and what’s coming up in the next few months.
Faith Healers is an independently published comic series, created by Hellbound Media editors Mark Adams and Matt Warner, and artist Tony Emson. Tony’s art work brings to life the detailed world and mythology of the team’s half-angel characters.
The first two issues, available now from The Hellbound Media website, tell the story of Abi Ryan as she discovers that she is Nephilim and joins the Faith Healers team. Tony is now busy working on the third issue – as well as his upcoming wedding, which we’d like to publicly congratulate him on here! Meanwhile, another long term Hellbound Media collaborator, Anna Susanne (artist for Hellbound Media’s Mandy and the Monster, and The Monster under the Bed short) is helping to produce an exclusive new Faith Healers web comic.
Every month, we’ll be adding a new page (and sometimes two) of this brand new adventure written by Mark and Matt. Letterer Nikki Foxrobot will be adding the finishing touch to Anna’s artwork. Each page will tell a self-contained story and these will build up into a longer, developing storyline as the Faith Healers investigate the threat of the Flesh Angel.
The Nephilim are descendants of the intermingling of human and supernatural bloodlines. Powerful entities visited our world long ago; many believed they were Angels and, as with other occasions when cultures collide, they produced offspring with the indigenous population. The Nephilim live hidden amongst normal humans, but each posess a special ability based on their bloodline – telepathy, healing, the control of elements, the variety is endless. The bloodline tends to pass down through women and so male Nephilim are very rare. The Faith Healers exist to keep the secret of their kind. Based at All Saints Hospital, they deal with medical emergencies involving other Nephilim and investigate when others use their powers to do harm.
Demons are fallen Nephilim, descendants of Pure Demons who once tried to conquer our world and were cast into a prison Dimension. Their bloodlines are weak and most do not have any natural abilities. Born looking like regular humans, they often use extreme body modifications to give themselves a more demonic appearance. Most Demons serve Gordon Hex, the last surviving pure Demon, who keeps them enslaved by feeding them strength-enhancing drugs. However, some have turned to the insane human surgeon Sir Mason Rathbone, who promises to free them from addiction and give them powerful abilities through experimental surgery.
Abi only recently discovered she is Nephilim. She is an empath who can sense the pain, feelings and sometimes even the intentions of others. She works as a nurse at All Saints and is a member of the Faith Healers field team. Caring, considerate and cautious, Abi is still learning about the world of the Nephilim.
Strong willed and tough, Gwen has a no nonsense attitude. She has no medical training but works as both head of security and chief investigator. Always armed with twin handguns, Gwen is the first to leap into action. Her ability is a form of immunity. As well as being exceptionally strong, she never falls sick, never gets ill and cannot be harmed by toxins. However, her body can still be injured.
A Demon and the daughter of Gordon Hex, Lily has turned her back on her own kind to help the Faith Healers. Her strong bloodline means she has her own natural abilities; she controls fire and can appear in a demonic visage when fully using her power. She is aggressive but also fiercely loyal to the team.
A Doctor and forensics expert, Cyan is something of a rogue. She rejects most authority, and doesn’t trust Lily. Her ability is to heal others. She can heal almost any wound but it burns up a lot of energy, and she’s often left exhausted. This also explains her almost unending appetite!
There are other Faith Healers, as well as a whole medical team at All Saints. Some of these characters may turn up over time. For now, we hope you enjoy this slice of action, adventure, and horror as the Faith Healers begin investigating the grotesque work of the Flesh Angel! Stop by tomorrow for the first installment!
This weekend we’ll be appearing at Cardiff Comic Expo for the second year running.
This year we will, once again, be exhibiting alongside Hellbound Media comics, creators of Mandy and the Monster, Kiss Me Deadly and Faith Healers. They’ll be launching their brand new horror comic anthology, Shock Value Blue.
The Great Escape will be showing the entire series of Gabriel Cushing vs the Zombie Vampires back to back, in a first ever public screening at 17:45 on Saturday 2nd March.
What’s more, we’re releasing Great Escapes | Volume 1; it’ll be the first opportunity to purchase the book, art cards and prints made possible through Kickstarter. Visit our Books Page to read more about the anthology.
To celebrate the release of Great Escapes | Volume 1 at the expo, we’re inviting you to submit 1000-3000 word short stories from the convention scene.
We’re looking for short stories set at, or strongly featuring a convention or expo.
You can find all the details on our Competitions Page. There’s also a list of all the competitions we’ve run in the past.
Prizes up for grabs include publication on the website and/or in Great Escapes | Volume 2, and £10 cash for 1st place! And you’ve got plenty of time to get your entry in; the competition closes on 12th April.
As a collective of filmakers, writers and comic artists who mostly publish on the internet, you can surely imagine that we don’t make much money out of this site or the things we make.
However, over the past year and a bit that we have been here, we have had some really great people who have chosen to contribute their hard-earned money to help us keep doing what we do.
To celebrate these kind folks, we have created a permanent page to commemorate their financial help. This page is the Hall of Awesome. You should check it out. The link is at the bottom of every page.
As part of the Kickstarter campaign for the game Elite: Dangerous, the creators have offered a writer’s pack which allows writers to buy the rights to create a book set in the game universe. T James is campaigning to raise funds for one of the packs.
Elite: Dangerous is a space adventure game and T James has promised us some hard, gritty sci-fi in the footsteps of such genre greats as Azimov and Heinlein. More precise details about the book are very hush hush at the moment, but we know how good T James’ writing is and we’re more than confident that whatever book he writes will be worth reading!
You can pledge your support for as little as £4 for a copy of the finished eBook! Check out his project page for more about the book, his writing, the other Elite: Dangerous book projects seeking funding and, of course, the rewards you can pledge for.
In the third of our crowdfunding project spotlights, we’d like to introduce fellow Bristolian film makers Liam Garvo, James Heath (producers) and Andrew Harmer (director), creators of The Fitzroy.
This feature length black comedy is a highly ambitious project and hugely inspiring. The team radiate confidence and already have many blocks in place to make the film a reality; concept art, locations, script and so on. The Kickstarter campaign is designed to finance the shoot itself.
“Set in an alternative post-apocalyptic 1950’s, The Fitzroy hotel, a derelict submarine beached just off Margate, is the last place for a traditional summer holiday.
Bernard, the hotel’s bellboy, cook, maintenance man and general dogsbody faces a constant battle to keep the decaying hotel airtight and afloat.
But when he falls in love with Sonya, a murderous guest, he is thrown into a world of lies, backstabbing and chaos. As Bernard struggles to hide her murders from the other guests and suspicious authorities, the hotel literally begins to sink around him.
As his world implodes, Bernard must choose between the woman he thinks he loves and the hotel submarine that is keeping them all alive.”
(The Fitzroy, Press Pack)
The Fitzroy will be shot on a real disused submarine; The Black Widow, and the team have put together some stunning concept art and Kickstarter rewards. We thoroughly recommend you check out their very classy video (below) and their project page.
With four days left to raise a final £8,000 towards their £60,000 target, we’ve got out fingers crossed for them!
Our Kickstarter campaign for Great Escapes | Volume 1 has been a rousing success. We’ve raised a total of £507 so far, well above our original target of £400. That’s really going to help us produce a great book and invest a little in the production of future titles.
There’s still around 8hrs left to make a pledge to get some great rewards, some of which will no longer be available once the campaign ends! These include original artwork from illustrator Kat and the “Round the World Book Tour”.
Also, this week we visited some friends’ blogs to talk more about the anthology:
A Guest Blog Post
With Cyborg Kitty, the home and haunt of our illustrator Kat. Kat explains how she got involved with the project and we talk more about why we chose to include illustrations in a book for adults.
Great Escapes – Kickstarter
With author Steve J McHugh. We visited the blog of our writer friend Steve, who has successfully broken into the self publishing market with his book Crimes Against Magic. There we talk about Kickstarter and why we chose to use crowdfunding to produce Great Escapes | Volume 1.
Our Kickstater project has been successfully funded! Thanks to everyone who pledged their support! We’ll let you know the names of all the wonderful people who made this possible as soon as the campaign closes next week.
There’s still time to pre-order your copy and get your hands on some unique and exciting extras, including original art, hardback copies and more. Simply go to our Project Page and don’t forget to check the Updates.
“Laser Lace Letters is a series of tangible stories where you become a steampunk detective on the trail of a string of mysterious disappearances. At the heart of each story is a beautiful, laser cut cameo handmade in felt by artist Haley Moore.”
This project combines fictional stories with a novel method of presentation; letters, newspaper clippings, photographs, sketches and more. The addition of the hand crafted cameos and packaging gives the bundle a tangible quality. Haley is attempting to create an interactive experience out of a traditionally passive one; something that just isn’t seen in traditional publishing. That crowd funding it enables people to create things like this, which redefine genres and media, is perhaps one of its most powerful aspects.
You can make a basic pledge of $10 for a digital copy of all the letters or pledge more to get the physical letter bundles, cameos and other extras.
The cameos made from laser cut felt, are the most unique aspect of this project. Several have recently featured on charity marathon Desert Bus for Hope. In the Laser Lace project, there are seven core designs, more mini designs and custom options included in some rewards.
“I’m a craftsperson with an undying love of story, and a tendency to take my projects to ridiculous extremes of intricacy and depth. I can prototype and write and design forever, but I can’t make a project like Laser Lace on my own – and I definitely can’t make it without you.”
The stories themselves are an official spin off from transmedia steampunk project Clockwork Watch, which has so far spawned novels, comics, live events and more. The Laser Lace letters will expand and enhance the existing universe. And it also means that there’s a world of content to explore beyond the letters!
Given that The Great Escape has similar plans for Gabriel Cushing in the future, this transmedia approach to storytelling is something we are excited to see.
There’s only 5 days left to make your pledge and jump into this exciting steampunk experience, so make sure to visit Haley’s project page for all the details and loads of pictures.
Having recently delved into the world of crowdfunding via Kickstarter ourselves, we’ve come across lots of current projects that we think deserve peoples’ support. This is the first of a serious of spotlight posts on the projects we’ve found.
We actually met Dom Williams at the Cardiff Expo showcase the other week where he was showing off some of his beautiful artwork and comics.
Dom is currently raising funds for a new comic/picture book about a creature who goes on a journey to find new friends. It doesn’t have a title, in fact, it doesn’t have any words; it’s a story in pictures.
His art style is reminiscent of some Japanese animation, with bold shapes and colours and use of strong contrast. The black silhouette characters call to mind shadow theatre which also gives it a strong Asian feel.
Through Dom’s Crowd funder project you can pre-order a copy of the comic with a character sketch for just £10, or pledge more to get some cool extras. Check out Dom’s video for more details or visit his project page:
It was through Dom that we found out about Crowd Funder which is a UK based competitor to Kickstarter, run by the Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter. At first glance it seems to offer an almost identical service to Kickstarter but there are some differences worth noting.
As a backer, the ability to search for project by category and keyword and sort your results by various fields is far superior to Kickstarter’s system which is link based and doesn’t allow you to filter results to refine them.
Crowd Funder also limits a lot of features to registered members. I can’t decide yet whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. A lot of potential backers may be put off if they feel pressured into registering on the site just to see all the details and features, but it does offer project promoters the chance to tier access to their material if they so wish.
A quick scan of the projects approaching completion shows a lot are struggling to hit their targets. I think it’s likely the lack of reputation for the site itself (we’d not heard of it before) is one factor. Now that Kickstarter have opened up GBP based UK projects, Crowd Funder and fellow UK competitor Indigogo may find themselves hard pressed to continue attracting projects.