Borley Rectory – Trident & Beyond

13732018_10209464162862469Julian Sands and Ashley Thorpe Trident StudiosThe 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.

Production update

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:

Ashley and Lily - Western Morning News“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.

Steve Furst and Ashley Thorpe Trident StudioI’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.

Jonathan Rigby Reece Shearsmith and Ashley Thorpe Trident StudiosAs 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.

Thank you for your patience and support!

Borley Rectory Returns!

poster ALT WEBHappy 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”

10431175_10152923296958072_6510803477760730857_oWe’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!

“Absolutely beautiful … mesmerising” Reece Shearsmith

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!

BR TEE AD

Profits from the sale of the T-shirts will go towards the Borley Rectory Indiegogo campaign.

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Terror & Wonder at the British Library

10431175_10152923296958072_6510803477760730857_oAs 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!

First Borley Rectory Shoot complete!

Borley Rectory - Reece Shearsmith-Ashley Thorpe - Jonathan RigbyIt’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.Borley Rectory filming Reece Shearsmith

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!

Invest in Borley Rectory

Borley Rectory 1 sheet 2013We’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

Borley Rectory filming Reece ShearsmithThe 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.

Julian Sands Ashley Thorpe Carrion FilmsThe 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

BORLEY RECTORY rewards“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

Teaser trailer for ‘Borley Rectory’

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Reece Shearsmith and Jonathan Rigby join Borley Rectory

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.

Steven Severin joins Borley Rectory

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…

Carrion Films calender of terrors for 2013

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

It was a year that began with a feature in development with the Film Council, a Rondo award nomination, a short in pre-production and a new radio play with Glass Eye Pix.

The summer took us to Dartmoor for  Hell Hounds and Night Hags with Radio 4 and our animations ‘Scayrecrow‘, ‘The Screaming Skull‘ and ‘The Hairy Hands‘ hosted by FEARnet. That was 2012 …but what you can expect from Carrion Films in 2013?

 

Let’s start with the hotly anticipated new animated short ‘Borley Rectory’. 2011 came to a close with the voiceover recording with Julian Sands in London and 2012 looked to be the year that would almost certainly deliver a new animated short. “Glass Eye Pix stepped in with development money for the piece and we were ready to go,” explains Carrion director Ashley Thorpe, “We had a number of other funding sources set up for the actual shoot including by the early summer production money from Channel 4. Then, as is so often the case our main budget source simply, well… ‘vanished’ and Channel 4 decided that although they would still be happy to be part of the production they wanted to come in at post-production stage. Which is great of course, but, we’ve got to make the bloody thing first, ha ha. So ‘Borley Rectory‘ is now going to be a crowd funded project. The fundraiser itself will be not just a breakdown of the production but something of a study of British ghosts with contributions from a variety of authorities on the subject. And what’s more we’ve been approached by someone very special to work on the soundtrack. Very exciting. So, look forward to announcements of the kickstarter scheme early in the new year, it’s going to be something really special!’

2012 also looked to be the launchpad for Carrion Films most ambitious project – the animated feature ‘Spring Heel Jack’. ‘It should have been a big announcement when our project received the attention of  Creative England but from the outset it was clear that there were problems. It would be easy to say it was ‘creative differences’ but I don’t actually think that was the root of the problem at all. They were very keen on the material. The first revision of the script – delivered at very short notice – was very dense, overly ‘Dickensian’ actually, but as the scheme was first and foremost to develop the script I wasn’t overly concerned in fact I looked forward to working with a script editor to fully maximise the potential of the material. The general consensus initially was good, but we never really saw eye to eye after that initial meeting. I was only concerned about developing the script, whilst they seemed strangely preoccupied with the technical aspects of the animation itself which I found bizarre. A lot of of time passed, messages going back and forth, nothing really being resolved. We read the small print and finally backed out. I think it was early days for the scheme and they didn’t really have the infastructure in place, but for all the dissent it caused it hasn’t been a complete waste of time. I’m at work revising the script again into something far more bold, far more expressionist and gothic, and we’ve already had some interest from a couple of good solid names in the industry. So expect lots of new conceptual art and perhaps some very exciting news by the autumn.’

2012 also looked to be the year when a horror film festival would finally come to the South West. “It was to be called ‘Devon after Dark’ or ‘DeAD‘, ha ha. It always baffled me that a region like the South West that boasts so many tales of the supernatural didn’t have a festival to celebrate it. Dartmoor alone is at least worthy of a festival. I talked to various curators of different festivals and saw that this was a very real possibilty. So, perhaps naively, I submitted a proposal to Creative England / the Arts Council again…I know, you’d think I would have learned my lesson by now…and at first it was all wow, praise and enthusiasm. I managed to get a huge list of supporters who pledged support and even hoped to attend or be involved; People from Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Tim Lucas, Alan Lee, Stephen Volk, Peter Atkins, Julian Sands, Steven Severin…I even had support from Sir Christopher Frayling who was very keen on doing a lecture of how ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ had been depicted on film. Creative England passed us over. Even though it had huge industry support and was an obvious blend of  culture and commerce the powers that be were not interested. What can I say? If you want something done in the UK these days there’s really not much point in going through official channels.”

2012 also saw Carrion Films develop its close ties with local young filmmaking initiatives, Film/Video production company Cineon Productions aswell as the renowned animation festival ‘Animated Exeter‘ and this looks set to continue into 2013. Apart from the ‘Young and Animated‘  workshops run throughout the year, Carrion Film also worked with the ‘Freefall Youth Group‘ creating the horror short ‘Nightwatch‘ and has signed up to be part of the National Heritage project ‘Our Neighbourhood’ which will run throughout the early part of the year. Ashley Thorpe will also be providing the animations for Animated Exeter 2013’s ‘Time Winders‘ interactive experience that will run throughout the festival based upon a short story by acclaimed children’s author Philip Reeve.

Director Ashley Thorpe – ‘Carrion Films is ostensibly a very small unit and our output is determined by the same ebbs and flows of any industry. Through all the setbacks we’ve managed to maintain a nice presence in the industry this year; appearing at Frightfest with Glass Eye Pix’ Glenn McQuaid, the new radio play ‘Dead Man’s Shoes‘ (due to be released on CD 2013) set visits for Fangoria magazine, work with a number of British horror festivals aswell as the increase in local filmmaking initiatives. It has been a tough old year in terms of getting projects up and running but I still look back at what we’ve achieved and think – not bad for a production unit jump-started by a few animations made on a laptop! 2013 will be the year we focus on the ‘homegrown’ projects. Our terrors have been gestating nicely in the dark…now it’s time to let them out to play.’

All at Carrion Film would like to thank you for your continued support and interest and wish you all a prosperous and peaceful new year.

Carrion Films on FEARnet

All three Carrion Film animations – SCAYRECROW, THE SCREAMING SKULL and THE HAIRY HANDS are to be screened on the webs most popular horror destination FEARnet, with The Hairy hands commencing the season on July 23rd. The films will be joining a wide variety of short films including many by established genre stars.

Following The Hairy Hands premiere, The Screaming Skull will  begin its run the week of September 3rd with Scayrecrow showing from September 24th. Each film has a filmed introduction by director Ashley Thorpe and regular actor Edward Berry.

FEARnet is adding over 75 new rarely seen videos to its already extensive online library this year, launching with 15, and adding 3-4 each week. This expansion is part of FEARnet’s triple-play strategy curating the best films and specialized programming for the desired viewing platform, whether that be TV, VOD or web. Apart from showcasing the Carrion Film Triptych the wide variety of shorts will offer fans an exciting opportunity to see work by established genre stars, such as “Jack Chop,” “The TiVo” and “The Tiffany Problem” by  Adam Green; “Seasons Greetings,” by Trick R’ Treat scribe Michael Dougherty; and Paul Solet’s “Grace,” which spawned the 2006 cult hit of the same name. In addition, fans will be able to enjoy “30-Second Bunnies Theatre” parodies of genre favorites like Alien, The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, among others, as well as the viral video sensation “Zombie American,” starring Ed Helms of “The Office.” Ranging from 30 seconds to 20 minutes in length, all short films featured on the site were handpicked by genre stars and FEARnet staff, including FEARnet’s own president and general manager, Peter Block.

Director Ashley Thorpe: “I’m delighted to be able to finally make this announcement as we’ve been preparing this since last year. It’s wonderful to have been selected for the network. Although two of the films were available for a limited time as downloads a few years ago, this is the first time that the animations will be widely available. So until the films become available on DVD / Blu-Ray this is absolutely the best way of seeing them. I can’t think of a better company to be hosting our work.

“Shorts are important to the film community at large,” said Sarah Shannon, FEARnet’s director of programming. “Some are funny, some are creepy, and some are scary. It doesn’t matter how long it is, as a horror fan, you can still get what you want from it. And the acquisitions FEARnet has made are long-term, ensuring that these shorts will be available to be viewed for years to come.”

FEARnet is a multi-platform programming service delivering original and acquired horror, thriller and suspense content as a cable TV network, a video-on-demand outlet and web portal. FEARnet, a partnership among Sony Pictures Television, Lionsgate Entertainment and Comcast Corporation, features a robust lineup of popular titles from major film studios and independents, encompassing 300 plus movie titles a year, including 27 world television and 11 theatrical broadcast premieres. The Network is distributed to U.S. cable subscribers across the country on various systems and is often ranked as the number-one free VOD movie service available in more than 27 million homes. In 2011, the website, FEARnet.com, was the world’s leader in the genre category among total uniques and duration per visit.

This initiative also marks the first time that FEARnet.com fans will be able to directly rate and critique short films on the site so please tune in and show your appreciation with a complimentary vote!

Said Lawrence Raffel, FEARnet’s vice president of digital content: “This new social networking aspect basically recreates the feel of a neighborhood video store where employees used to recommend videos for patrons. But, now, the fans themselves have the power to weigh in and present their thoughts about a short film, while building their reputations on the site as citizen film critics.”