The narration for ‘Borley Rectory’ has concluded at the world famous Trident Studios in London, home to recordings by David Bowie, Queen, Frank Zappa and The Beatles.
The recording session featured VO work for key sections of the narrative by Julian Sands, Reece Shearsmith, Jonathan Rigby and Steve Furst and featured dialogue culled from genuine newspaper articles and accounts contemporary of the haunting’s investigation. The recordings also mark the end of the cast audio recordings leaving essentially only the final animation, sound mix (by Ben Wheatley’s regular sound artist Martin Pavey) and score (composed by Seven Severin) remaining before the long delayed production will finally see the light of day.
Originally ‘Borley Rectory’ was destined for completion around February 2016. Reasons for the ongoing delays this past 12 months have been numerous (including Steven Severin’s serious illness during the first half of the year) but are explained here by Director Ashley Thorpe as posted recently via social media:
“I’ve had a number of messages from various interested parties (well wishers and not so well wishers) as to the progress of Borley Rectory and the situation is essentially this:
I was initially hoping for the animation to be finished early 2016 but redundancy at the beginning of the year followed by serious family illnesses (in both my 2 year old daughter and then my Father) and subsequently a huge downturn in my income over the following months has put great pressure on me to turn my focus towards paid work of any kind just to financially survive. The project has been scuttled by circumstance and austerity. But not sunk. Life gave our family a good fucking kick in this year but we’re not beaten yet.
I’m still working on Borley each night (once my young daughter is asleep) but progress has sadly slowed the past few months. The situation hasn’t gotten any better so for the time being – though animation continues (in fact seeing it crawling to completion is one of the few things that maintains any semblance of morale) – I still can’t give a definite date as to when Borley will be complete. I can only apologise for the ongoing delay and hope you can sympathise with the reasons behind it. I will get there.
As Julian Sands once said to my Dad “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” – Ashley Thorpe
So for the foreseeable future the animation continues (albeit at a slightly compromised rate) so to be ready for the sound mix and scoring later in the year or early next year. All available perks have been despatched with only the production reliant perks remaining (ie the vinyl scores and links / DVD’s of finished film) remaining. All updates can be found via the Carrion Film Facebook page.
The Borley Rectory Indiegogo launched on Halloween 2014 has not just reached it’s target but with your extraordinary support kicked the doors off raising a staggering 330% of its intended goal!
Hoping to raise the shortfall on the previous campaign target of £3000 the final total for the 2014 Indiegogo came in at a phenomenal £9902, which according to director Ashley Thorpe means that they will not only be able to complete the film but restructure the project accordingly to make it the way it was originally intended. “Our original estimated budget was around £20K, that’s from start to finish, production and post. Twenty thousand pounds sounds like a huge amount for a short film but then when you consider how long it is (a projected 30 + minutes), that it’s animated, that it’s a period piece with over a dozen cast members and how long it will take a tiny production team to both shoot and animate it, 20K suddenly doesn’t sound like much at all! You know, you could make two traditional features in the time it’ll take to make this film. So in actual fact we started out with that ideal budget and then subsequently scaled it down to £10K, which we though a much more realistic amount for an unknown to raise. £10K was the same budget as the Arts Council supported ‘The Hairy Hands’, which was a far more modest indie friendly project. It was essentially one location, one character. Borley is infinitely more ambitious and involved. The amazing support we’ve received means that we can do it properly!”
Borley rectory’s Phenomenal perks
Perks for the campaign included a call of thanks from Julian Sands, a limited edition vinyl OST by Steven Severin, posters and props signed by Reece Shearsmith, antique Borley Rectory books written by Harry Price and an exclusive doll of the famed Phantom Nun spectre created by Debz Demented Dollz!
Some perks, like the Richard Wells art, Clive Barker print and Borley Ouija came as a last minute surprise. “This wonderful illustration suddenly appeared on my twitter feed of Reece with the Phantom Nun and Richard said that it was a bit of fan art that he’d made just for fun. I absolutely loved it and asked if we could print it and offer it as another perk and he kindly agreed. Seraphim too was another surprise. Nicholas Vince had Mark Miller as a guest on his google hangout one week and they discussed Borley so I reached out to Mark and asked how he knew of the project and if Seraphim would like to get involved in some way. Mark told me that he knew of Carrion because Clive had a number of my animations in his DVD collection, a fact I was floored by, and that they would be happy to donate a limited edition signed print to the cause!
We tried to roll out each of the perks tactically as the campaign went on but the final perk – the Ouija board – was something that just came to me one day. My Dad is a furniture restorer and painter and he used to make these lovely wooden hand painted signs for his vehicles and shops etc. One morning it just came to me in a flash – we should make a Borley Rectory Ouija! I roped my Dad in and he’s been having a whale of a time crafting this mahogany horror . I’ve been documenting it’s creation so I’ll be rolling out the short film once it’s completed.”
Now that the campaign is over it’s back to production with the next cast shoots being planned to occur the next few months whilst Ashley continues the animate the existing footage.
Happy Halloween…It’s time to raise a few more ghosts! Yes, deep into production, we are once again calling upon the kindness of strangers to secure the remaining budget to finish the shooting of Borley Rectory.
A great deal has happened since the previous crowdfunder in 2013. The films cast is now all but complete and what a cast it is with new members Steve Furst, Sally Mortemore, Richard Strange and Sabrina Dickens joining Reece Shearsmith, Jonathan Rigby, Nicholas Vince and Julian Sands.
“Looks wonderful – Neil Gaiman”
We’ve had huge support for the film from a variety of sources none perhaps more prestigious than the recent affiliation with the curators of the British Library and the ‘Terror and Wonder’ Gothic exhibition no less (look out for a number of fantastic and exclusive videos from the exhibition to be released throughout the campaign!). If you’ve ever wondered how serial killer aficionado Reece Shearsmith would react to being face to face with an original Ripper letter…stay tuned!
Exclusive clips from the completed scenes have been leaked (well…mailed out like Ripper kidney parcels) to a number of major Horror Festivals (so keep your peepers peeled folks as they won’t be announced…) and a lengthy section will be hosted online by Fangoria. International festivals are already begging for the film (or sections of it) to screen and an upcoming indie studio has been in contact with us to seriously discuss the possibility of turning Borley Rectory into a feature…
“Absolutely STUNNING!” Axelle Carolyn
But first we need to get these shoots financed and to do that we need you! Have a look at the campaign page, watch the video, drool over the phenomenal perks (be warned devoted supporters we will be rolling out a wealth of special feature rewards throughout the campaign) and have your heart melted by Carrion Film’s newest member – little Lily Wednesday.
Borley Rectory is rising…Campaign runs from Oct 31st until December 14th. Help us raise a few more ghosts! SUPPORT NOW!
Great British Horror are also printing 2 exclusive t-shirts to support the campaign. The 2 designs (both original artwork by Fangoria cover artist Ashley Thorpe) are in full colour and feature a back print!
Profits from the sale of the T-shirts will go towards the Borley Rectory Indiegogo campaign.
As part of the new Borley Rectory Indiegogo campaign (launching Halloween 2014) Carrion Films were invited ‘VIP’ to explore the new fantastic ‘Terror and Wonder’ Gothic exhibition at the British Library.
In attendance were Director Ashley Thorpe, Producers Tom Atkinson and Alice Bonasio and two of the film’s stars – Reece Shearsmith and Jonathan Rigby. Within a number of interviews were conducted; a discussion with curator Tanya Kirk on the Borley Rectory exhibits and the legends influence on supernatural literature in the 20th century, a focus on the notorious ‘Dear Boss’ Ripper letter and finally an informal discussion with Reece and Jonathan on ghosts stories and their personal fascination with the genre.
The first videos will premiere on Halloween with subsequent short films rolling out throughout the Indiegogo campaign so be sure to keep an eye on the campaign for exclusive content!
It’s been a long time coming but thanks to everyone that supported the 2013 Indiegogo campaign cameras finally started rolling today on Carrion Films latest venture – BORLEY RECTORY!
Budget shortfalls necessitated revisions of the production plan and calls for further funding / sponsorship but shooting commenced May 23rd 2014 at the VFX Co London with primary cast members Jonathan Rigby (who will be portraying Harry Price), Reece Shearsmith (portraying journalist Vernon Wall) and Claire Louise Amias (portraying the wife of the Reverend Smith) capturing such iconic scenes as the discovery of the skull in the library, the first ghostly stakeout and the writing of the first newspaper report that led to the Rectory’s notoriety.
The day was a fantastic success finishing on budget and on time and – as the on set pix are testament to – the day was a lot of fun aswell. Now the long process of animation begins!
We’re looking for local businesses to invest in the production of ‘Borley Rectory – The Most Haunted House in England’.
We’ve raised the funds to facilitate the initial shoots – commencing on the 20th May in London – but we need further funding to carry this ambitious production to completion.
Be part of a film starring Reece Shearsmith
The film will star Reece Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen, Inside No 9, The Widower and forthcoming ITV drama Chasing Shadows), Jonathan Rigby (Kenneth Horne in BBC production ‘Round the Horne Revisited’, Horror Historian, author of English Gothic), Richard Strange (Batman, Inkheart, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Claire Louise Amias (Provoked, Telling Lies, Women of Twilight), Sally Mortemore (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, A Cake for Mabel) Steve Hurst (Little Britain, Legend of Dick and Dom, Wuthering Heights), Sabrina Dickens (Night of the Living Dead Resurrection, Silent Night Deadly Night) and many others yet to be announced.
The film will feature a narration by Julian Sands (Naked Lunch, Warlock, Smallville, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and an original soundtrack by Steven Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees, Vampyr).
We raised enough via an Indiegogo campaign in 2013 to begin production and shoot key scenes but will still need to source further sponsorship / investment to facilitate the completion and post-production of this ambitious project. We’re reaching out to potential investors. Could you join us at the most haunted house in England and raise a few ghosts?
“When l first came across Ashley Thorpe’s work as a film maker l was struck by his originality and passion,” states Sands. “The poetry and sensitivity of his images were compelling and extremely moving. When l heard he was developing a project based on the notorious Borley Rectory l had to be involved. Working on this astonishing piece has been immensely fulfilling and l am happy to have joined his repertoire…” Julian Sands
Reach a global audience with Borley Rectory
“You’d be investing in a film with guaranteed international exposure. Our previous animated films were screened at major events such as the Cannes Film Festival, Raindance, the National Media Museum, various horror festivals across the United States and Canada, Sydney film festival and the Animacam animation festival in Rio to name just a few. You’d receive a prominent credit; your name seen alongside such industry names as Reece Shearsmith and Julian Sands. It’s a great opportunity to support a local creative venture while reaching a global audience, and we’re welcoming contributions from both small and large companies, so if you’re interested in participating please contact either myself or my producer Tom Atkinson.” – Director Ashley Thorpe
Exciting news! Carrion Films is putting together the cast for Borley Rectory – the legendary tale of ‘The Most Haunted House in England’ and YOU could be part of it!
A number of the key roles have already been cast – Reece Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen, Psychoville, Inside No 9) as journalist V C Wall and Jonathan Rigby (English Gothic) as famed ghost hunter Harry Price among them.
Are you a ‘little vintage’?
We’re looking for people with the right look and (preferably) acting experience to play a range of parts in the film. If you’ve been following the project and our Indiegogo campaign you won’t be shocked to find out that our budget sadly doesn’t stretch to paying anybody, but you do get a credit, international festival exposure and our endless thanks. So if you think you’ve got what it takes to ‘raise a few ghosts’ please cast your eye over the roles and contact us via the form below!
The ‘Borley Rectory’ Indiegogo fundraiser is over…the project is just beginning.
It’s been an amazing journey aboard the ghost train the past few weeks hasn’t it? Although we may not have reached the target goal, for a Devon based tiny production unit we’ve had phenomenal support across the horror and film community, all keen to see the story of the most haunted house in England finally told on film.
“The project oozes as much quality as it does evil. Borley Rectory is one of the great ghost stories. I needed to be part of it.” – REECE SHEARSMITH
We’ve talked the ‘Business of Ghosts’ with multi-award winning writer Stephen Volk. We’ve talked ghost tours with Best British Horror editor and Pan Horror historian Johnny Mains. We’ve been the talk of both Fangoria and Rue Morgue radio and had donations and sincere support from luminaries such as Neil Gaiman, Derren Brown, Neil Marshall, Axelle Carolyn, Richard Stanley and Britian’s greatest living poster artist Graham Humphreys. But among the leaps of faith to come out of the campaign there were a number of astonishing yet rather natural bits of casting. Fistly actor / writer Reece Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen, Psychoville, next years Inside No.9 and most recently Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England) has joined the cast of BORLEY RECTORY.
Reece Shearsmith will be portraying V.C Wall, the Daily Mirror journalist that broke the story of the haunting to the world. Director Ashley Thorpe – “I’d been in correspondence with Reece (third party) for a Fangoria article to support Paul Davis’ ‘Him Indoors’ (featured at Frightfest 2012). He’s someone that I’ve always had enormous admiration for. He’s a damn good actor. Although he’s mainly known for his comedy grotesques with LOG he’s a natural performer. Just look at his performance in ‘Eric and Ernie’ as the father. Great subtlety and emotional resonance. When I launched the campaign I saw that Reece had been retweeting messages and so I thanked him, then knowing that he was a huge fan of the subject plucked up the courage to ask him if he’d like to actually be in it. Reece to my astonishment said that he’d be honoured. “
“Haunted houses are always worth supporting, especially the big one!” – Jonathan Rigby
Any film about Borley Rectory wouldn’t be complete without Harry Price , the casting of whom could have been something of a nightmare and yet Ashley explains the solution came easily. “I was watching ‘Tales from behind the crypt’ a documentary on the League of Gentlemen and how their Christmas specials were heavily indebted to the Amicus portmanteau and Jonathan Rigby was just there and was just perfect,” explains the director, “I suddenly thought, that’s it! Jonathan would be an amazing Price. Once again I just asked him and miraculously he said yes! It’s incredible really. It’s been a huge amount of effort and mucking around to try and raise a bloody production budget and yet an A-list cast are coming together effortlessly!”
Hammer horror / Amicus historian / enthusiast and author of the seminal study of English horror ‘English Gothic‘ Jonathan was also a consultant on the Mark Gatiss BBC productions ‘A History of Horror‘ and ‘Horror Europa‘ and is a regular presence on Hammer releases. “I know that Jonathan will be amazing as Price, in fact when I told Reece Shearsmith that I’d approached him Reece simply said ‘Perfect.‘”
Although the Indiegogo didn’t reach its ideal target the production will be going ahead and all perks most assuredly honoured. “When I initially searched for funding I created three budgets; an ideal, a midway and a sticky tape and brown paper – no frills ‘Screaming Skull’ kind of budget. We’re already looking at a budget greater than both ‘Skull’ and ‘Scayrecrow’ so I know through experience that we can make something, although as a far more ambitious project production – not quality – will be compromised to a certain extent. Ideally we could do with more, so I will be looking to source extra ‘top-up’ funds privately. The Indiegogo campaign may be over but we’re certainly still open to contributions and investment. I’m keen to get started!”
So from everyone at Carrion Film HUGE thanks to all the backers, thank you for every tweet / shared FB update, to everyone who sent messages of support or covered the campaign via interviews etc. You’ve all been ‘PHENOMENAL’!
If you have any questions regarding subsequent donations towards the film or investment options please contact the production team via info at carrionfilms dot co dot uk.
The anticipated BORLEY RECTORY INDIEGOGO fundraiser is now LIVE and ready for your donations! This summer help Carrion Films raise more than a few ghosts…
‘Borley Rectory‘ is to be an animated documentary about a very famous British haunting that caught the imagination of the public after a highly publicized and subsequently controversial investigation by paranormal investigator Harry Price. The film is Carrion Film’s fourth animation inspired by the neglected aspects of British folklore and features a narration by Julian Sands and an original score by Steven Severin.
“I’ve always been fascinated by ghost photography. Not purely because of the subject matter but because they’re often beautiful images. I want Borley Rectory to look like moving spirit photography…” – Director Ashley Thorpe (2013)
The Indiegogo campaign was launched late on the 27th of July and has already received huge support from the horror community. ” I didn’t want to just launch something that just offered out a cap to throw pennies in,” remarked director Ashley Thorpe, ” I feel awkward ‘pitching’ at the horror audience, I didn’t want to hustle that audience because I am that audience! I really wanted the campaign to function like a special features package on a Blu-Ray or something, feel like we’re genuinely involved, wherein the updates wouldn’t be just more pleas for money it would be more material, more content talking about or around the subject and getting the audience excited about the subject. Besides, I love film making and animation is such a solitary thing whereas my Fangoria work has really developed my hunger to talk to people about the subjects that excite them. So with ‘Borley Rectory‘ we have the best of both worlds: An obsessionally detailed animation that will be rendered with love over 9 months and these very spontaneous expressions of excitement about ghosts and what-not from some of the most fantastic faces in the field.”
“A beautiful animated horror short – Borley Rectory…” – DERREN BROWN
The campaign video was filmed at Poltimore house on the outskirts of Exeter, Devon and was created with the assistance of the South West’s top behind the scenes / film unit Cineon Productions. ” I love Cineon; they’re fast, mobile, professional, dependable and imaginative. Their work challenges the best of the ‘behind the scenes’ material I’ve seen anywhere.“
The fundraiser campaign runs from July 27th until the 1st August with a goal of £20,000. That might seem like a lot of money for a short film but as Ashley explains in the campaign video this is an animated film and the budget will not just be directed towards production it will cover months of animation, sound production, the score, post and mastering aswell. This might seem like an unfeasible task but the ‘Borley Rectory’ campaign has cooked up a veritable treasure trove of rewards.
Perhaps ‘creme de la creme‘ of these rewards are the SIGNED LIMITED EDITION VINYL OST of the score by Steven Severin (pictured) , scribed by composer , narrator Julian Sands and director Ashley Thorpe and the ‘Harry Price – Ghost Hunter’ package, aimed at Exec Producers that rewards donations with not just a signature from Julian Sands but a personal phonecall of thanks!
PLEASE view the links, share the word and DONATE to ensure that the next Carrion Film animation goes into production!
PLEASE NOTE: Due to many requests and interest from potential investors the BORLEY RECTORY campaign deadline has now been extended to AUGUST 31st! SO even more time to make a truly SPIRIT RAISING donation!
Now that the official launch date for the BORLEY RECTORY fundraiser has been revealed – 27th June 2013 – we can proudly reveal that legendary artist STEVEN SEVERIN has joined the project.
STEVE SEVERIN – 1st. Banshee, Film composer/silent movie accompanist – is best known for being the founding member of hugely influential group Siouxsie and the Banshees, being an essential contributor to the bands output from their very first single ‘Hong Kong Garden’.
Taken from director Ashley Thorpe’s recent FANGORIA article on Severin: “Siouxsie and the Banshees never belonged to the comic book world of punk. Their iconoclasm was no mere pose. Indeed by 1978, when the so called ‘movement’ had imploded, The Banshees revealed themselves to be perhaps the most inventive group to have emerged from the punk undergrowth. Constantly leap-frogging their contemporaries they defied easy definition; influenced by Hitchcock (Hermann’s shower scene score was famously used to audition guitarists), the introspective fractured personalities of Poe and avant-garde cinema as much as Bowie and Iggy, The Banshees created an assured exploratory knife-edge culture of their own.
It is perhaps no surprise then that founding member Steven Severin should ‘post-Banshees’ return almost exclusively to his love of cinema (‘Voices’ Severin’s haunting B-Side to ‘Hong Kong Garden’ was influenced by a viewing of ‘The Haunted Palace) and compose a series of alternate scores to the obscure and wonderful performed live, a project initially christened ‘Music for Silents’…“
Director Ashley Thorpe – “Steven and I has been talking about the possibility of the score since we first met during a review of his ‘Vampyr’ tour. I’ve always worked with Mick (Grierson) on pretty much everything I’ve made since University, so it initially felt very strange to even entertain the notion of working with anyone else. Even though The Banshees are absolutely one of my favourite bands. However Steven remained dead keen even after the long production hiatus and a combination of circumstances and Micks academic responsibilities just really made this partnership at this time an obvious choice. I couldn’t be happier really, it’s very exciting to be working with Steven and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can create together.”
The INDIEGOGO campaign will begin on the 27th June 2013, the anniversary of when Harry Price made his initial investigations. The scheme will run for a month and will feature a wealth of exclusive incentives, autographed items and feature a series of short documentaries examining both Borley itself and the tradition of British hauntings featuring a variety of very special guests.
Check the OFFICIAL CARRION FILM VIMEO page for regular video updates and make 27th June a date in your diary. This summer, help us raise a few ghosts…