Friday, 21 October 2011


Here it is - the trailer demo of Oliver's first attempt at his assignment:

It was an absolute delight to work once again with inspirational DOP Tom Robinson. Huge gratitude must also go to Kristyna Baczynski and my parents Ann & Steve Johnson.

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Get in touch at the EARTHED Facebook Page, or find out more at Eclectic Schlock Productions.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Ahead of next month's trailer shoot - very excitingly collaborating with DOP Tom Robinson - here are our first mockup posters. Tag lines are a challenge. Maybe it's competition time. Answers on a postcard...

Friday, 20 May 2011

Manifesto (?)

Today an email on the subject of audience and genre metamorphosed into something of a mission statement. Or is this the opening up of a debate? Let us know what you think:

If we can define lovers of what we could, rather unsatisfactorily, call arthouse comedy dramas like The Royal Tenenbaums, Submarine, Bunny & The Bull, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Napoleon Dynamite and even Amelie - that's the audience. An audience who recognise and are excited by a story that takes place, not in a world that strives primarily to be realistic, like Shane Meadows or Andrea Arnold at their best, but within a new vision or a new reality, comparable to what we know we'll get from Gondry, Wes Anderson, the Coens, Terry Gilliam or Edgar Wright. A truly cinematic, visually distinctive experience; still a character driven story, but also much more than that - not verite or documentary-like, but visually rich from start to finish; packed full of memorable images, sounds, lines of dialogue and cinematic moments. Escapist, yet still a commentary on the place from which it offers one hundred minutes of escape.

The extremity of contrast and juxtaposition created by the science fiction element is what makes the story both a satire and, more importantly, a comedy, but the sci-fi aesthetic can also encourage a cult following of enthusiasts who don't just appreciate and enjoy the story, but want to continue actively inhabiting the world of the film; the colours, props, sound design, soundtrack, posters - every element of a constructed world that's recognisably a variation on our own, only more exciting, more colourful and more entertaining. It's a kind of film that I feel we've been mostly too self-conscious, conservative and under funded to make in this country (at least recently - look back at Nicolas Roeg or even Michael Powell), yet has always been made in Europe and particularly America. Gritty, unflinching, hard-hitting films that demand admiration more than actual love are pronounced daring, but what about daring to be whimsical, escapist, surreal, goofy or even artfully silly? That seems to make the industry nervous - possibly because, as they say, comedy never wins awards and they are a marketing essential - but I don't believe the actual viewing public are similarly disconcerted. I think there's a groundswell of desire for something more than worthiness or realism; as one, extremely EARTHED-enthused, young actress observed to me, "You can only play a battered prostitute so many times".

Beginning with Shaun of the Dead, and now Attack The Block, Submarine and Skeletons, there seems, hopefully, to be an emergent new wave of colourful, inventive films that use genre conventions in a celebratory way while still being about our own time and place. I want EARTHED to be an oasis of warmth, fun and intelligence; a platonic love story set in an instantly recognisable, yet more exciting, fun and fantastical world than this one.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Animatic Reel

A reel of sketchy testers for the perusal of our VFX animator - the first line of what will be a long dialogue to decide the look of the film. As ever, the password is 'earthed'.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

More Concept Art

Can't wait to meet them in the flesh...

The roughest of rough mockups:


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Reference Reel

As a pre-teaser teaser, here's a reference reel for cast and crew; a chunky blend of all the ingredients that make up the EARTHED stew - influences, exemplars, pointers and a few early testers. The password, should you need it, is 'earthed'...

The beast is gradually clawing its way off the page and into reality.

Friday, 28 January 2011

About the Film

A very English science fiction comedy of manners.

Aspiring extraterrestrial reporter Oliver has just two million seconds in which to film an ambitious documentary study of a quiet, northern English town. He is determined to make a name for himself back home and earn the respect of his ailing father, a legend in the field, but the fragmented Cousins family with whom he is lodging - careworn Marion, taciturn David and their two grown children, straitlaced Anna and compulsive Carl - each soon develop their own reasons for wanting him to stay. When his first attempt proves clumsily inept, Oliver must swallow his pride and acknowledge a need for help, but - as a burgeoning collaboration with the lovable but troubled Carl blossoms into friendship - Oliver's very presence catalyses a fundamental, irreversible change at the heart of the family, and he is left with little time and a big decision; what to take home and what to leave behind.

Like SkeletonsShaun of the Dead or Edward Scissorhands, EARTHED collides its genre with a cast of thoroughly polite, middle class characters, who strive at all costs to maintain normality. Taking its colourful, hyperreal cues from Wes Anderson, P.T. Anderson and Michel Gondry, the film is an intimate, warmhearted story about brotherly love, creative collaboration and what happens to a family when the children aren't children any more.

And blue slime is involved.