The Underground is our recurring feature, resurrected from an all-time great CHUD column, the aim of which is to get the word out on projects outside the Hollywood studio system. Studio films have big promotion engines behind them. The Underground caters to everything else: from indie films, to cult films in the making, pet projects, guerrilla films, internet shorts, etc.
This. So Dark. This is precisely the kind of thing I want for The Underground and why the column exists: to get the word out on worthy projects that are out there man, out in the ether. So Dark is out there, willed into existence by first-time director / producer, and one of CHUD’s loyal board members (message board, not corporate), Al Lougher, known locally here as “Kane.” It’s a web series in progress that Lougher himself describes as the story of Sean, a 200-year-old vampire with a conscience, who hunts and kills only those that deserve to die. To date, there have been two episodes of the series, with the first episode, “So Pretty”, taking place on a train car. It centers on an initially innocuous conversation between Sean (Jeremy Palko) and an unsuspecting rider, Lisa (Melanie Crim), who’s infatuated with vampires, as evidenced by her carrying Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novel with her on the commute home. After Lisa witnesses what a real vampire is like, however (Sean goes all Stake Land on another rider), she’s quickly disabused of her notions of vampires as romantic creatures.
The second episode, “So Dark”, follows immediately after the train incident, as Sean ends up in Miami Police custody, and a federal agent, Agent Wilburn (Keri Maletto), with an unusual interest in the case shows up to question him. We soon learn that not only is there more to Wilburn than meets the eye, but also to Sean, who was expecting her visit. When describing his motivations for getting vampires away from the Twilight zip code, Lougher told me the following: I’m making these films because I love the old school vampires, and not the ones that sparkle in the sun. And I want to return modern vampires to the cursed individuals they once were.
With the first episode made for a mere $8,000 and the second for roughly double that, Lougher and company have had to learn how to be economical in their production. “So Pretty” was shot in less than ten hours on the RED Epic camera. Said Lougher: We also shot it on a stationary train at a station. Windows were blacked out with garbage bags and I added the background movement in After Effects.
Lougher’s ultimate goal is to try and get this picked up by the online streaming services (Netflix, Amazon etc.) or get enough interest to turn it into a feature later in the year. We already have the feature script penned and ready to go. He’s currently running an Indiegogo campaign to fund it. Give the episodes a look and if you like what you see, you can contribute to it here:
I read the script for Episode 3 and let me tell you, I want this thing made.
Here’s more info on So Dark:
If you’ve got a film or project somewhere in the fringes that belongs in The Underground and needs some attention, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org