RAGS TO WITCHES: Reel Horror Productions’ IndieGOGO Campaign For WITCH TRIAL Starring Ayvianna Snow Adds King And Queen Perks!
A supernatural, horror film based on true events set in the 1600s.
Reel Horror is the brain child of Eve Oliver and Anna Dixon who combined their love of historical true crime and classic horror movies into a podcast, pitching true events as cool and gory horror films. The more we did it, the more we wanted to make the films a reality and so Reel Horror Productions was born.
Our aim is to bring some true, mysterious and harrowing stories from the past that have captured our imagination to a modern audience whilst drawing from our knowledge and experience in the independent horror world.
A young woman is dragged towards her certain fate, accused of the terrible crime of witchcraft and seemingly nothing can save her. But as the witnesses take the stand one by one, her accusers may soon find that their words have more power than they think.
This film is based on the true story of Isobel Gowdie, a Scottish woman who made strange and fantastical confessions of witchcraft. It is not known why she made these confessions or what ultimately happened to her, but many other young women were implicated as part of her story.
Some theories are that Isobel was suffering from the hallucinogenic effects of poisoning, that she was bribed or threatened or that she was simply a woman with an incredible imagination and a gift for story telling. Was she sick, victimised or a real life Scheherazade?
The film is set against the backdrop of 1600s England and Scotland, after Cromwell and the civil wars and during the restoration whilst Charles II is king. We will be keeping true to the period in terms of locations, costumes and dialogue so that we can tell Isobel's story as faithfully as possible whilst giving it some horror movie twists and turns. We've taken inspiration from, amongst other things, the VVitch, Suicide Squad and Evil Dead in crafting the story and its terrifying conclusion.
Isobel Gowdie is in her late teens/early twenties. She has suffered in her young life at the hands of powerful men who are happy to dispose of her when it suits them. Station and circumstance seem to have left her feeling powerless and victimised but she has a hidden inner strength that may well come to the surface during her trial,
The Soldier is in his late twenties/early thirties. He is a confident, arrogant, power mad individual who is happy to use his strength and position to his best advantage. He is used to being able to treat the villagers in any way he pleases and, if they argue, he'll have them arrested on spurious allegations.
The Priest is in his late fifties/early sixties. He likes to think he is an upstanding leader in the community, but he is obsessed with status and has nothing but contempt for those he sees as beneath him in social standing. He sees people like Isobel as little more than vermin that need to be kept in line and prefers the stick to the carrot as a method of teaching his flock.
The Husband is in his mid to late twenties. He is a bully and a coward and has never carried out a hard day's work in his life. He married Isobel to treat her as a work horse and doesn't respect the sanctity of that marriage or defend her from the machinations of his fearsome mother.
The Mother is in her early to mid forties. She is a tyrant hiding behind the visage of an upstanding citizen. The Hyacinth Bucket of the 1600s. Her son can do no wrong and no one is good enough for him in her eyes. She wants to recognised as an important member of society, but is held back by her perceived low station. She will do almost anything to climb the social ladder.
The Judge is in their fifties/sixties. They are an overtly cruel person and make no effort to hide it. Trialling young women for bogus, trumped up charges is something they live for and they like to be creative in dealing out the sentencing and helping to elicit a confession. He wields his power and takes pleasure in destroying anyone who defies him.
Isobel's only allies in the town and the only ones who know the truth about the accusations against her. There's power in numbers. In the feature length version of Witch Trial, we would see how Isobel meets each one of her supporters and under what circumstances and we would understand their own, similar back story. Any one of them could be in her position. They bear witness at her trial.
Colleagues of the Soldier and servants of the Judge, these guys really like to throw their weight around and believe themselves to be above the law. In the feature length version, we meet some of these men in their dealings with the coven and show how they have lead the women to this point in time.
Eve Oliver is a prolific actress, fast becoming the UK independent horror scene's next scream queen, brings her experience in the genre as co-director/producer. She has had experience directing and producing for theatre and is bringing all of these skills to Witch Trial and the Reel Horror films beyond.
Anna Dixon is an independent film producer with eight feature films and numerous short films and music videos under her belt. She will be joining Eve as co-director/producer on Witch Trial and all future Reel Horror productions.
MJ Dixon is an award winning cinematographer with over 20 years experience in all aspects of film and specialising in horror. MJ will be joining the team as creative consultant and cinematographer to make sure we can set the tone and bring the atmosphere and the scares to Witch Trial.
Moray Binfield joins us on set as sound and camera assistant but he always brings much, much more to set than that title suggests. He can regularly be found building sets, setting up gore effects and even starring in the odd cameo. Points if you spot him in Witch Trial!
MUA & SFX (To be confirmed - watch this space!)
HISTORICAL ADVISOR (To be announced)
We have a team of horror veterans and true crime aficionados on board with a passion for all things macabre. We have plans to bring more and more amazing people into the Reel Horror fold, but we can't do it without you.
Every contribution helps us to make the best film possible directly for you and the more we can raise, the more possibilities we have to tell the stories and increase the production value.
We're looking to raise £5,000 to make the short film version of Witch Trial, which will cover four days principal photography with a crew of dedicated professionals. To help us get there, we've added lots of perks to the campaign so you can get involved whatever your budget. From credits, to DVDs, to being killed in the movie and hanging out on set or at the premiere, we'll have something for you. Please have a look at the perks and if there's something that would grab you that isn't there - let us know and we'll see what we can do.
We have some ambitious aims for this film and for all the future films of Reel Horror. Our aim is to make features that will be commercially available We'll keep some of our stretch goals a secret for now, but we can reveal two of them here:
The first, if we reach £10,000.00 is the short film: Pierced - A Werewolf in the Outback.
This film is based on the true events of Alexander Pearce who was arrested for theft in the 1800s and was sent to a prison camp in Van Diemen's Land in Tasmania. Once there, he befriends some of the other prisoners and they make their perilous escape through the harsh terrain and to freedom. But something is waiting in the outback that will make their journey more deadly than they could ever have imagined,
Secondly, if we reach £25,000.00 we will make the feature length version of either Witch Trial or Pierced and it will be up to our backers to decide which! We have short and feature length versions of both films ready to go so you can tell us which one you want to see more of and we'll do it.
Whatever contribution you are able to make to the project, it makes a huge difference to us in the way we can produce this film. Crowdfunding allows us to produce the film the way we want, starring who we want directly for the people who want to see it.
Of course, we need funding to make the film happen but we don't want to make any compromises that often come with traditionally funded films. We want to tell this story with plenty of shock and scare but also with historical accuracy and in a way that comments on the inequity between Isobel and her accusers due to their stations in life.
Where your money will be going:
COSTUMES AND PROPS
Due to the period that the film is set in, we will need very specific costumes and set design to capture the era. This will include soldier and priest costumes, 1600s peasant costumes and props that really set the scene for a 1600s witch trial. We want to create an authentic and gritty atmosphere to draw you in to Isobel's world.
MAKEUP AND SFX
We have big plans for this film in terms of practical effects, make up and gore. We want to find the perfect artists to bring their creativity to the project so we can bring you something really unique and spectacular. Some of the budget will go towards those artists and the materials they need to bring the scares to life.
CAST & CREW EXPENSES
We will be searching high and low to find the best people to fill the roles both on and off screen for the film and to pay them for their time, as well as their expenses for travel, accommodation, etc. We have a real vision for these characters and know that the right actor in the right role can make or break a film and we want to find the best people to do Isobel's story justice.
In this brave new world, we're not sure what the world of catering will look like but we'll need to make sure our cast and crew are well nourished so they can give us their most fearsome performance on the day. It won't be all champers and caviar, but it will be good fuel for long shoot days.
Again, due to the period that the film is set in, we will need very specific locations and that is likely to cost more. We want to make sure we capture the atmosphere of 1600s Britain and, along with the costumes and makeup, this could make or break the film's aesthetic.
Once the film is shot and in the can, we then need to make the real magic happen in the editing room. We have lots of ambition for practical effects in the film and need some visual effects in post to really make these pop. We want a score that heightens that creepy factor and a smooth, sexy edit that will blow you all away.
We've offered you lots of cool perks and we need to get these designed, made and delivered to you. We want you have something really special to thank you for your faith in us and some the budget will be utilised towards that.
CONTINGENCY & LEGAL
Sometimes problems crop up, sometimes pandemics crop up! We don't know what the future may hold and we may have to get pickups or reshoots which will cost more money. We also need to make sure that we have insurance and contracts in place so that everyone is covered on set.
The main challenge with Witch Trial (and with Pierced if we get that far!) is that it is a period piece so locations, costumes, set design and props need to be in keeping with the era. This limits our choices and means we have to use very specific costumes and locations. We also need to bring the horror to make the climax of the film all it can be. That's a lot to accomplish on a small budget, but we have a great team around us and we know we can make you proud.
The campaign is ALL OR NOTHING. We don't want to take your money if we can't be sure we're making the best film possible and we're not willing to cut any corners when it comes to the quality of what will appear on the screen. Your support means everything, be that in contributions or sharing it out with the world.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Some people just can't contribute right now, and that's completely understandable, but that doesn't mean you can't help:
Please get the word out and make some noise about our campaign.
Check out the Indiegogo share tools for ways to get the word out over all the socials.