Skooch Media returns with a new film currently in production on location in East Sussex & Kent
Local Heathfield based production company Skooch Media is returing with a new film, currently in production across Sussex and Kent, the new film is The Presence of Snowgood. The film comes off the back of a movie short, ‘A Curious Tale‘, which was released in 2021, a classic ghost story set in the heart of the Sussex countryside, based on a novella by MR James. It tells the story of a valuable legendary Saxon crown that, sought by those who should not have found it and the deadly consequences that ensued.
“When Leigh Tarrant, the director, asked me to write a sequel to his last film, that I actually appeared in, little did I realize what was entailed when he asked if I would also like to produce it…’oh and by the way…let’s make it a full length feature film!’...a few (more) grey hairs later, I think we are about there,” explained Neill McKenzie, Writer & Producer.
The sequel, due for release in December of this year, has taken the story forward a year, returning to the same deadly village whose residents, alive and dead, will stop at nothing to protect what they feel should belong to them. The film is more of a psychological supernatural thriller than a full-blown horror, the story twists and turns with many plot lines that keep you guessing to the end. The writers aim is to take you back on a journey with a mixture of Hammer house of horror meets the Whicker man, but with a more modern feel. There is none of the graphic violence one so often sees, using the power of suggestion and suspense with one or two grizzly scenes thrown in for good measure, giving, which they hope will result in a spine-tingling experience.
There is a fabulous music score from the hugely accomplished, award winning Jeff Crampton, the film aims to appeal to those who want a good storyline, believable characters (the sort who might live next door) and a visual feast of camerawork and music.
All the cast, apart from the celebrity appearance of the wonderful Caroline Munro and Sarah Maur Ward, are either from Am dram, or younger actors who will one day hope to become professional. They are using local talent and filming in fabulous local locations such as Arlington and Peacehaven in Sussex and Bewl water in Kent, really helps to wave the flag for the small independent film making industry.
Leigh Tarrant, Director/Editor went on to explain:
“As Director, once again the filming process proved enjoyable but with the usual challenges. The sweeping shores of the Sussex coast, along with various woodland areas, a local churchyard and carefully chosen interiors proved adequate for our filming needs.”
It was decided that we’d shoot in HD at a 16:9 aspect ratio using a mixture of Canon DSLR cameras. 25 fps was the chosen frame rate with a view to slow down the overall image in post-production to offer a more filmic look. Many of the scenes were shot using a complete film crew of around ten individuals at any given time. Three cameramen, sound technician, makeup artist, continuity, along with other various crew members all helping as required. We wanted to use local aspiring film makers from the very young through to the more experienced.”
Local award winning, composer Jeff Crampton has been given the task of completing the film’s music score. A newly written piece for the film’s main theme, something orchestral and melodic in keeping with a typical ghostly film style. Some added eerie string arrangements, disturbing chants and numerous other short passages of music were also written that could be textured into the final cut. Jeff’s work has once again proved outstanding and compliments all the visuals in the style which is so vitally important for any fine feature.”
The post-production was achieved using our own Avid MC editing suite, something that we’d built externally to our property several years before. I gathered each scene, logged each piece, and also gathered together my library of sound effects, enhanced by the film’s music score, which really added a mood for each scene. Grade is so vitally important too, for example, a particular grainy whitewash grade is used for ghost scenes. A cinematic style in keeping with influences from some of the cinema greats can’t be ignored, film makers such as Hitchcock, Allan Poe and Coen Brothers spring to mind. The aim would be to leave the viewer feeling in distress for our protagonist and in need of constant comfort and safety, to which he never seems to get. I wanted to create a bleak, disturbing atmosphere, a ‘film noir’ look, a ghost story with tension, pace and style. Something I hope the viewer will feel they’ve been on a journey with into the creepy world of a local East Sussex community in the fictitious town of Snowgood, never knowing who is who, and whom exactly to trust. Lots of twists and turns.”
December release of ‘The Presence of Snowgood’
After initial cinema release on the independent circuit in the UK, we are hoping to get the film seen in as many countries as possible with a view to launching the film across streaming services and regional TV. Like last time, we’re hoping that the movie is well received and appreciated for the art of film making and to show just what can be done achieved on a limited budget.”
You will be able to see this film when it is released in early December . If local to the Hailsham area, tickets will be on sale from the Hailsham Pavilion, sometime in November for the 9 December premiere.
The Heathfield news will update readers with other opportunities to see the film and we will be running a competition to win tickets. All proceeds from the tickets sold will be donated to a charity called Family Matters who ‘The Presence of Snowgood’ is proudly supporting.
Should you want to feel part of what we are about to release, please feel free to share or look us up on ‘Crowdfunder.co.uk’, where you can help get the film out to as larger audience as possible.