This page details an ongoing project to make a professional Evil Dead inspired short film, initially by creating the starting credits out of my own pocket to use as a 'trailer' to raise funding to make the full film via the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The Indiegogo campaign ran until the May 30, 2016, but less than a quarter of the financial goal needed, was raised so the money was refunded and the project put on hold. In January 2017, the project was revived and a second trailer was created. This page will be updated as and when the project progresses.
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Original 2016 IndieGoGo Project
This Evil Dead short fanfilm has been in the works for a couple of years now. The script was more ambitious than anything I'd done to date, and involves building one large & one small set and paying actors, but was beyond my financial means to fund to a sufficient level, so I decided to try and crowdfund the budget needed using IndieGoGo.
To give people an idea of the quality of the final short film, I shot the film's intro/credits sequence out of my own pocket to use as a 'trailer', and you can see that below. It's entirely new footage shot by myself, there is no footage from any of the Evil Dead Trilogy of films used anywhere in it, although there are a few closely matching shots. Copyright permission for the 'Book Of The Dead' & 'Kandarian Dagger' to be replicated & shown has been given by their copyright owner; Tom Sullivan.
This intro/credits sequence tells little snippets of the story of the 'Book Of The Dead', how it was first found, Professor Knowby translating it at the cabin, and skimming over the events of The Evil Dead, leading into to what will be the start of the main film. It was shot using three actors (myself included) over four locations using seven mini-sets taking nine weeks from start to finish, including all the prop/set purchase & construction work. This includes sets of an archaeological dig, the Professor's desk & fireplace in the cabin, as well as little sections of the cellar and workshed too. While based around The Evil Dead, eagle eyed fans might spot that I've also borrowed some little prop/set details from Evil Dead II as well. You can see some behind the scenes production photos in the gallery below.
The full fanfilm script treats the first film; The Evil Dead, as a single event (ignoring Evil Dead II & Army Of Darkness), My film is a continuation of these original events. It's more of a scary ghost story like the first film, as opposed to the action/adventure of the second & third films, and doesn't feature any of the existing main characters from the series in the body of the film.
My previous short film; a zombie film called The Lateness Of The Hour was first written & storyboarded it back in August of 2014. It then took a few months to get all the effects & whatnot made, before I started on finding actors, crew & locations, all of which had come together by the end of January 2015. The film took eight days to shoot spread between January to May 2015, with the final edit completed on May 18th, 2015. That was nine months in total, although much of that was exterior location shooting dependent on the weather, which could only be done on weekends when everyone was free. Since most of the Evil Dead full fanfilm script takes place at night, waiting until the autumn/winter when evenings are darker and nights longer, makes shooting much simpler.
While in theory I could scrimp & save and fund the full fanfilm project out of my own pocket to the tune of a few hundred pounds, I thought I'd try and make something far more ambitious and crowdfund the project. To give people an idea, the minimum budget needed to get the script shot as envisioned would be around £2000 ($2800 USD) which is not a huge amount in terms of a film budget, but the more that is raised, the better the final result can be.
The two main areas of actual cost, are paying the actors, and building the set. My previous short; The Lateness Of The Hour, used two main actors; one from the 'Richmond Shakespeare Society' and the other from the 'Kenton Light Operatic Society', both experienced stage actors. I have designs for one large & one small set I need to construct, but making them from scratch will cost a few hundred pounds, and the more detailed it is in terms or construction or set-dressing, the more it will cost. I work in film & TV special effects so any physical effects would be more or less covered except for materials, and I also own all my own lighting, camera and sound equipment, so there would be no hire costs. Below you can see the first teaser trailer released on February 20, 2016.
Intro/Credits Sequence In-Progress Photos
Below you can see a gallery of in-progress photos taken during the production of the intro/credits sequence, covering both the making of props & sets, and the filming itself. You can click to enlarge each photo and they run in order from oldest to newest, so the order in which the scenes are shown below, is the order in which they were created & shot.
2017 Project Update & Second Trailer
Upon reaching the closing date for the IndieGoGo crowdfunding project, less than a quarter of the financial goal needed, was raised. On weighing up both sides, rather than trying to press forward with the prospect of having to supplement the project with substantial personal funds, it was put on hold and most of the money was refunded (three of the investors never replied, so if you didn't get a refund, please get in touch).
In January 2017 I decided to take the project partially forward out of my own pocket. The original 'trailer' was created as a lead-in sequence to the fanfilm, briefly re-telling the events prior & during The Evil Dead, without showing any footage from the main body of the fanfilm itself. I decided to create a new trailer consisting entirely of specially selected shots from the full fanfilm's storyboards. By 'specially selected shots', I mean smaller scale shots which could be realistically filmed without the need to build the full-size set. This trailer may eventually lead to a second attempt to raise adequate funding to shoot the whole thing, or just stand alone as a fanfilm trailer in it's own right. Either way it allows the project to move forward, and give some purpose to the number of props & set-pieces which have already been created solely for this fanfilm. you can see this new trailer below.
Shooting for the trailer was spread over January 20, to February 13, 2017, although I'd been accumulating & creating props and other assorted bits & pieces since the original intro/trailer shooting a year previous to this. Knowing that 95% of the fanfilm was set in The Evil Dead's cellar, and that I didn't have access to an area which looked remotely like that, I bought four 4ft by 8ft sections of vac-formed cellar brick panels, although in the end I only painted up and filmed with one as that was big enough to cover most of the shots I had storyboarded. Further to this, a section of the wooden cellar door was made, along with the full size wooden cellar table, and a large wooden crate, along with re-using some of the set-pieces from the original intro/trailer shoot as well. The whole trailer was shot in my small loft apartment, in a space around 8ft square, so things were a little tight at times, as you can see in the Progress Gallery Photos further down.
To keep things simple, myself and my girlfriend played the two main characters, along with a few others appearing in little insert shots too. The remaining actors were simply filled in using dubbed voices. Amy was voiced by British actress Amy Liette Hunter, and Professor Knowby by US actor Connor Keene. Once I'd tweaked Connor's recording, his voice wasn't far removed from the original screen-used recording by Bob Dorian.
Below you can see a teaser trailer which was released on January 22, 2017. This used the first few new shots I'd created, and is more of a mood piece rather than anything too informative.
On February 7, 2017, I released four screenshots from the in-production trailer to announce the project and drum up some interest, before releasing the full completed trailer a few weeks later. You can see those screenshots below.
2017 Second Trailer In-Progress Photos
Below you can see a gallery of in-progress photos taken during the production of the second trailer, covering both the making of props & sets, and the filming itself. You can click to enlarge each photo and they run in order from oldest to newest, so the order in which the scenes are shown below, is the order in which they were created & shot.
A couple of props of note; A HMV No. 12 Cabinet Gramophone was picked up on Ebay for £50. While not an exact match to the screen-used version, it was pretty similar as well as being local and cheap. An antique metal flashlight was bought and modified; replacing the old bulb with a modern super-bright E10 LED bulb, adding a variable resistor to the back so the amount of light could be turned up or down, and having a connectable push-button switch on a wire which could be operated off camera, to make the flashlight appear as if it's flickering on and off. A much brighter 'Poto' 25000 Lumen LED Flashlight was also bought to use when the screen-flashlight had to shine onto something & light it. A replica of the screen-used 'bleeding' US style plug socket was created, using an old bought double socket unit, and making the faceplate surround, then painting and distressing the whole assembly to look old. There are also number of other props you can see in the gallery photos below too.
2018 Project Update & Third Final (Probably) Trailer
From January to May 2018 I created a scale model of The Evil Dead's cabin & workshed, unrelated to this film project. A few people suggested I could film it as a miniature and edit that into my previous fanfilm footage to add exterior shots of the cabin, which would increase the scope & production-values. I tried a number of shoots over a few weeks; daylight, night, indoors, outdoors, lighting colour combinations, smoke/mist, wind, and eventually I got a few brief shots I felt looked convincing enough to roughly pass as the full size cabin. I edited a third final trailer recycling the editing structure & musical progression of the original credits sequence, cherry-picking the best footage from both the first and second trailers with the new miniature shots, to create one (probably) final trailer.
The 2018 final trailer is currently as far as this project has progressed. I may eventually try to make a second attempt to raise adequate funding to shoot the whole thing, or just leave the trailer as a stand alone fanfilm trailer in it's own right. Either way, I won't be rushing into anything for the moment. Should you wish to, you can get in touch via email at the following address;