Mark Ashworth - Associate Producer
The script arrived to me before the team started shooting and it hooked me entirely from the first read. Not only had Writer / Director Steve Stone added specific sound design cues and notes (which is something I have never encountered before in such detail) but the guy had written a story that really stuck with me. I mean IT REALLY stuck with me.
The months passed and the story was still with me, creeping into my consciousness from the back of my brain, edging away at me. Not only did I not know if I was on project which added to my nerves but IF I got the project how in Gods name was I going to approach something so sonically challenging, a story so precise and beautiful and yet utterly horrific... This was going to be one hell of a ride.
I got the call from Steve that I was on project and so it began, a journey that would take me to challenge my inner core, tear up my usual working procedures and protocols as a sound designer and take me to a very dark place. My studio became a room of sonic violence, of bass shuddering nightmares, of black light and bleak sonic impulses.
Steve invited me to visit the locations. The night before going “on set” he showed me the film for the first time on a private viewing. BANG! Even in its rough form at that time, without any real worthwhile sound, without FX and no final edit, it was clearly apparent that this guy had been true to his script and had delivered a film that moved me. The story was illustrated perfectly by the actors with such utter conviction that I was fighting back the tears at the end of the first viewing. This started a spiral of creative ideas in that evening’s post viewing conversation. Phrases like “Dantes Inferno” and “Visions of hell” became our unlikely friends. It was obvious that we had clicked.
From here on, and for weeks and months, the ideas between us continued to flow back and forth as we explored the darkness together.
Visiting the locations was monolithic, some of them were huge. Each and every chamber I was led through engrossed me fully and I found myself utterly immersed in the story once again. It was an emotional journey and I had to keep telling myself “It’s just a location”. I found myself “Method Sound Designing”. Sound Designers shouldn’t have to do this but I guess this was a part of the Director’s plan, this Director anyway.
I returned back to the comforts of my studio and began designing. This was no normal gig.
As the project progressed my cat wouldn’t come anywhere near me in fear of the evil that was lurking in my studio. My Neighbours asked me about strange sounds coming from my house and were concerned for my welfare and my own children became subdued when I was working on these wretched soundscapes so much so that I had to question myself as to what I was creating but even at these points Steve continued to push me further and further down this path... and you know what? He was right.
Together in terms of sound we have created a tsunami of evil so abhorrent that I have never quite heard anything like it.
Watch it, hear it and then, perhaps most important, feel it.