Judas Ghost, won ‘Best Horror’ at the London Independent Film festival.
Based on the fan favourite ‘Ghost Finders’ novels written by The New York Times best selling author Simon R. Green, Judas Ghost tells the tale of 4 experienced Ghost Finders who think they have seen it all…that is, until they encounter the chilling Judas Ghost. This elite team is sent out to an old village hall, on what they think is an apparently standard haunting. However things go from bad to worse when it becomes clear that they are facing something far more sinister than they initially anticipated. The hall harbours a dark secret and the team must use every trick they know to get out of there alive. Who will survive and what will be left of their souls?
As well as being a fan favourite as Crassus in the extremely popular Spartacus: War of the Damned, Simon Merrells is also a known for his roles in Family Affairs, Doctors and The Tomorrow People. Judas Ghost co-star Martin Delaney is also known for starring in Family Affairs, as well as Shortland Street and Beowulf & Grendel, alongside Gerard Butler. Also starring in this captivating film is The Office star, Alexander Perkins, Doctors actress Lucy Cudden and Game of Thrones star Grahame Fox.
Falling Shadows Productions’ Judas Ghost, was written by Simon R. Green, directed by Simon Pearce and produced by Wolfram Parge.
We spoke with the Producer Wolfram Parge about his experience with Judas Ghost.
- Tell us about your film, Judas Ghost?
Judas Ghost is an original screenplay, written by New York Times Best Selling author Simon R. Green. It is based on Green’s own “Ghost Finders” novels, the latest of which is due for release shortly called “Spirits From Beyond.” There is a total of six books in the series. Judas Ghost is not a literal adaptation but it does incorporate characters and events that will be familiar to readers of Green’s novels.
- Why did you want to get involved with Judas Ghost?
In 2011 I was introduced to our director, Simon Pearce, by Phil Méheux BSC, who shot six films with Simon’s father, Roger Pearce, as the main unit camera operator on films such as The Mask of Zorro and Casino Royale. At the time Simon was looking for a producer for Judas Ghost and graciously invited me onto the project. Both of us love horror films and we wanted to help Simon R. Green realise his dream of making an independent film. Simon R. Green’s writing combines a wonderfully unique mix of humour and supernatural horror and we hope to have done it justice!
- What obstacles does the average British indie film have to overcome to be seen by the public?
That’s a great question. I think the challenge is to tell not only a good story well but to make a distinctly British film that people from around the world want to see. Does the film have a uniquely British flavour? Is it a good story? Does it meet theatrical demand? These are important questions. The best way to get British indie films seen by the public is to exhaust as many promotional avenues as possible and to target the right festivals worldwide. It’s quite an honour to see how many people in other parts of the world enjoy British fare and vice versa – last year Judas Ghost won Best International Horror at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival in New York.
- With the advances in technology, it seems that nowadays everybody has the means to make a film at their fingertips. What do you think this will mean for filmmakers in the future?
I think it’s incredibly liberating and refreshing. We’ve come full circle, from the Kodak Box Brownie camera adverts in the 1890s – You Push The Button and We Do The Rest! – to the digital technologies of our time. You can literally push a button once again, not only to take stills, but also to make a movie! Judas Ghost was shot on ARRI Alexa cameras and I don’t think our budget would have allowed us to shoot on film. The trick is working with an experienced and talented crew.
- When did you realise you wanted to get into Film producing?
In 2007 I directed, financed, and produced my first short film entitled The System, written by a friend, Tim Wesson. Although the film turned out well enough, I discovered I preferred working with the writer, organising the production, cast, crew and location than actual directing. The experience taught me that each role comes with a highly specialised skill set and takes a great deal of time and know-how to master.
- How does Judas Ghost differ from some of the other films you have produced?
Judas Ghost is my first feature film as producer and Simon’s second as director. I have produced a couple of shorts, The System and Borderline, both of which were location shoots. Judas Ghost, on the other hand, was shot entirely on a sound stage in a beautifully constructed set in Portishead, near Bristol, England, and had only one or two location shots. The biggest difference was in the budget and crew, both of which far exceeded the two short films. We also found ourselves working with complex visual FX for the first time and were ably supported by Kent Houston and his team at Peerless Camera in London. Thankfully we managed to stay on schedule and shoot the film in 18 days, in large part due to the ambidexterity of our co-producer and assistant director, Robert Shulevitz. Post-production was obviously a much bigger affair and it was very rewarding working with our composers, Paul Cartledge and Philip Jewson of Yellow Boat, London. I found the experience very satisfying overall and our wonderful actors made Judas Ghost a very special event. I hope audiences enjoy the film.
- What advice would you give to youths aspiring to become a Film producer?
There are two types of producer: creative and financial. First you need to decide which one you can be. The creative producer has to be prepared to nurture projects, sometimes for many years, and balance a film’s creative needs with the limitations imposed (inevitably) by the budget. The financial producer, however, is someone who has access to sources of finance and is able to raise certain sums to meet film-financing needs. Bear in mind it is not unusual to share your role with other creative and/or financial producers: many films need more than one producer to get made or to raise the required amount. Above all, read voraciously, from daily newspapers to the arts, history, literature, philosophy, plays, and science fiction, never forgetting to devour films from all genres of cinema and find stories which move people. Try to look at the films produced by people in both the indie and studio worlds. Look at their careers and try to dissect their contribution toward a particular project. Ask yourself, “Which of these things can I do?”
- What can we see from you in the future?
If only the movie gods would talk! I have numerous projects at several stages in development, both in the US and here in England. Simon and I have two films in the action thriller genre right now, although we would love another opportunity to explore the rich world of horror. Whichever project it may be, we are sure to bring our hearts and souls to the table.
For more information: www.judasghostmovie.com