We are in a very happy mood at Watchers Productions! Why, you ask? Because a lot is going on and a lot is going in the right direction!
Sketchy AF has been releasing a new short comedy every two weeks since January, this run will come to an end in May. But do not be upset, we have three new episodes still to come: the final two parts of Agony Aunt Hazel, and a fantastic final Jingle sketch which guest stars Victoria George-Veale. So far, the response has been great from those who have watched them and we have a few ideas in the pipeline for new shorts to film soon.
We have split the first phase of films in two - originally we wanted to produce and then release eight Tales on launch. However, we have decided to take some of the pressure of ourselves on the post production side, by launching the series on time but with half the films to start with. So now there are two phases of short films in different stages of production.
The first four films that will be released on the launch of Strange Tales are: Human Resources, Brand New Beginnings, Second Chances and Locked.
Human Resources (which we filmed back in August 2018, and is written and directed by Richard Williams) is about Sam- a young but high-flying business executive, popular with her co-workers and with the world at her feet. During a meeting with the mysterious Noah from Human Resources, everything she thought she knew about the world around her is thrown into doubt. The film is locked in the edit room, and is into the final stages, receiving sound dub and colour grading. We would also like to welcome to the project, Tom Gatley - a filmmaker in his own right who has composed the music for this Tale. To find out more about Tom please go here.
Brand New Beginnings was filmed over a few weekends between October 2018 and January 2019 and is written by Matthew Ford. In an alternate, present day Wales, people have become dependent on social media. Online dating is commonplace, and half of all UK marriages end in divorce. Seth and Tristan, a couple in their twenties, have signed up for treatment at Brand New Beginnings, a company with a procedure that wipes all the bad memories from your relationship, replacing them with false, happy memories developed in a laboratory. As the procedure is explained, the couple begin to have second thoughts. Directed by Matthew Fisher and currently being edited by Luke Stanbury, Whovians composer Andrew Gallego is waiting in the wings to start composing the score for this Tale.
Second Chances was filmed at the start of February 2019 and is written by Matthew Fisher and directed by Teddy Smith. John doesn't like to stand out. "Out of sight, out of mind" is his philosophy. But his way of thinking is challenged when he's forced to reevaluate his life. This Tale is currently being edited by Emily Lawrence.
The fourth tale, Locked (written by Eleonora Mignoli, who also wrote Rory Romantic), in pre-production and will be produced and directed by Luke Walters who is currently shooting his debut feature, Generation Y. We wish him and all cast and crew involved the very best of luck for the next few weeks on set with this. Luke will then jump straight onto filming Locked for us.
In the future, justice is delegated to machines: infallible and objective, these AI dispense fair punishments. Frank is accused by his neighbour of dropping trash on their lawn. It's a civil infraction and, while it was only an oversight on Frank's part, he's charged with a small fine. Frank is about to leave when his hand is locked, and the machine accuses him of murder – of somebody Frank has never met. Frank calls for help, but the procedure is clear: once a trial starts, it cannot be interrupted. Frank's only chance at survival is to prove his innocence, but while the AI begins drawing a net of guilt around him, we're left asking ourselves if he’s as innocent as he looks.
The other four films left from the initial eight will be going into pre-production soon and will be filmed over the coming months ahead. Watchers Productions has invested in a new piece of kit to help further our quality and bring stronger filmic images to our work - this has held up progress on these four films! So they are now called Phase Two; more info here.
That bit of kit is an investment in a new camera, which is the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera 4K. We waited patiently on this for over six months. Now it has arrived, we will swing into action on the next four films.
Please look forward to the first four being released this spring/summer and enjoy the final shorts from Sketchy AF. Thank you for reading and supporting.
More news when we have it,
Rhys, Matt and Terrance.