My Symi Incursion into the Film IndustryBy John Gray 2014 05 17 I have been thinking that I should get myself a beret, dark glasses, and take up smoking fat cigars, for now I have somewhat accidentally become a movie producer. My adventure started very improbably by my well-timed reading of a book on the War of 1812. My late brother-in-law’s grandfather was a Navy man, and when I read about a naval lieutenant with the same surname, I enquired of my step-niece if he was related. Accompanying the negative reply was a lot of family news, including the information that her brother, a resident of the Greek island of Symi had volunteered to help with a film being shot there, and that her son had also volunteered with the expectation of gaining experience with film-making, and of getting some useful contacts in the process.
[caption id="attachment_12293" align="alignleft" width="300"] Painting by John Gray, inspired by Symi[/caption]
The low-budget film—The Judas Curse, regrettably a supernatural horror movie, my least favourite genre—was being funded through a Kickstarter appeal, and I decided to do what I could to help the young fellow achieve his aim. Fortunately, a legacy from my late brother allowed me to achieve my aim, and I pledged in the top category, helping to take the total past the target figure, and earning me the top level of inducement reward, including an expense-paid trip to Symi, with the chance to be part of the process. I have been interested in films and filming from an early age, and so jumped at the chance, even though I had to pay my way from Canada to England to take up the opportunity. My name will also appear on the film as Executive Producer and in the film industry database. A couple of night’s rest at Gatwick did not fully prepare me for the five-hour flight to Rhodes, but it helped, and the following morning, a ninety-minute ferry ride in a hefty gale took me to Symi; fortunately the boat was large enough not to be too badly affected by the weather.
[caption id="attachment_12294" align="alignright" width="300"] John on set with his nephew Chris concentrating hard beside him[/caption]
By the time of my arrival in Symi, the weather had cleared, and fortunately for me—and the shoot—the sky remained clear during the rest of my stay, and the October weather there would have outshone midsummer in many other places. Flying over the Aegean towards Rhodes, I was moved by the thought that most of the islands below me would have sent contingents to the Siege of Troy. Symi contributed three ships, under the command of their King, Nireus, ‘the handsomest man in the host before Troy next to Achilles’. Symi is a small and hilly island that has seen better days. In the 19th century it had a population of around 25,000, but the advent of steam power saw the collapse of the shipbuilding industry (whose demand for timber had left many of the hillsides bare), and over-harvesting of sponges destroyed the other major industry. The population is around a tenth of what it was, and now tourism constitutes the major source of income, together with the significant ex-pat British community whose support is largely what brought the production to the island. One result of the population decline is that the village of Horio, where the film was shot, abounds in the ruins of stone houses—just the kind of place for a horror movie.
[caption id="attachment_12295" align="alignleft" width="300"] Painting by John Gray, inspired by Symi[/caption]
Another interesting feature of the area is the maze of narrow alleys. The eastern Mediterranean has been victimised over the ages by pirates and invaders, and so has been a very insecure place in which to live, with the result that the wealthy lived as high up on the hills as possible, and the lanes were built with many turns and alternative routes in the hope that marauders would lose their way, or, at least, could be evaded. During WWII, youngsters would taunt the occupiers and lead them on a wild goose chase, giving them the slip in the maze of alleyways. I shared this experience to my cost, for I would set off following the camera crew on the uneven stone paving, but, being less mobile than these healthy young fellows, I tended to lose them at the first corner. The film crew as a whole were highly competent, with good reputations in the industry, and, much to my surprise, I was readily accepted into the group, despite having completely fulfilled my function in the production before my arrival.
[caption id="attachment_12296" align="alignright" width="300"] One of those long waits between takes...[/caption]
The actors, too, were a very agreeable lot, and I enjoyed their company. All of them came with good reputation, and their names are probably better known to UK residents than to me; the only one whom I had seen on television was Lorna Doyle in The Tudors. Kurtis Stacey (of Emmerdale) was present for the whole of the shoot, and Rebecca Grant, Richard Syms were each there for a couple of days. Wookie Mayer, the noted German star of many film and television productions, was there for longer, having a house on Symi. The ex-pat community contributed a great deal to the production, and took on the frustrating task of providing lunch at unpredictable times during the days of the shoot, and the professionals said that they had never eaten so well while working on a film.
[caption id="attachment_12297" align="alignleft" width="300"] Painting 3 by John Gray, inspired by Symi[/caption]
Not only did the local residents provide the food; they provided other services, too. In the Mediterranean heat, there was a constant demand for bottled water, which the local helpers provided faithfully; the script writer and the stills photographer lived on Symi, and other residents took acting parts in the film. One great success was the 5-year-old son of one of the ex-pat residents, being brought up in the Greek manner. He was natural actor, and readily did all that he was asked to do. The only time he was in a re-take was when the professional with whom he was sharing the scene did not satisfy the Director; the youngster was admiringly dubbed ‘One-take Harry’ by the film crew. I, too, had a part in the film. There was a call for volunteers to be a corpse, and I was the first to respond. I lay down and was covered by a sheet, with my left forearm exposed, and my hand anointed with fake blood—a commodity that flowed in abundance during the shoot.
[caption id="attachment_12298" align="alignright" width="198"] Filming Kurtis Stacey in Alamina Square[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_12299" align="alignleft" width="198"] One take Harry[/caption]
It was an interesting adventure, offering an experience available to very few. I already knew enough about the process of making a film that my knowledge was not greatly increased, but this in itself was something worth knowing; the real understanding came with the sharing of the general atmosphere of the process—the general camaraderie, and the frustrating waits for circumstances to fall into place before the next shot could be taken. Apart from this, it was exciting to visit a part of the world that is new to me, and to see the beautiful island of Symi, of which I had learnt in correspondence with my step-nephew. There was a price to pay, though; it was a tiring expedition, with the five-hour flight to Rhodes added to the transatlantic flight, and then trudging over a very hilly island following the film crew. It took me a long time to recover from the effort, but the physical exertion, together with the cost, was well worth the expenditure. Besides, I rather like the idea of having ‘Film Producer’ on my business card; I would recommend the experience to others. I started out interested in the process, little concerned with the product, but I have become much more involved in the outcome, and even though part of my reward is to receive a DVD of the film, I shall probably make a brief trip for the premiere to share in the festive occasion.
[caption id="attachment_12300" align="aligncenter" width="600"] John watches the shoot with his nephew Peter[/caption]
Many thanks to John for his contribution and his paintings. Production photos by Neil Gosling Photography2013: Here is an update (at August 31st) of the rewards for your pledges. This is so you can see what you will get in return for your pledges. I have added to each one, so the new items per pledge come after the + sign (and I've summarised what you already have).
To pledge (before September 8th) or to increase your pledge, click here.
[caption id="attachment_10296" align="alignleft" width="300"] Who's going to be playing the lead?[/caption]
Our undying gratitude and a personal email of thanks from the producer. Emailed monthly newsletter on how the film is progressing. Your name in the list of “with thanks to” on our website. A personal message of thanks from us on Twitter and Facebook (please list your name as you would like it credited). The satisfaction of knowing you helped get this film made.
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction + Your name in the “with thanks to” credits in the PDF and printed versions of the book about the film. PDF copy of the book about the film. PDF copy of the script.£15.00
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and printed versions of the book.PDF book and script + Digital download of the film at the time of release. Printed souvenir postcard of the cast and crew.
[caption id="attachment_10472" align="alignright" width="200"] Rebecca Grant[/caption]
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. + Send us your photo and we’ll include it in a great digital montage of backers at the end of the film. DVD copy of the film. Set of five printed minicards (70 mm x 28 mm) with a photo of the cast and crew on one side and up to five different images of your choice on the other. Digital copy of the poster. MP3 download of the soundtrack. A password protected link to view a sneak preview of the film before its public premiere (for a 48-hour period only – and you still get your digital download later).£50.00
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. + Hard A4 copy of the film poster. Your DVD copy of the film will have a specially recorded video message of thanks from one of the cast or crew. Your printed souvenir postcard will be in greetings card format, with a personal message of thanks signed by the director and the executive producer Chris Hastings.
[caption id="attachment_10357" align="alignleft" width="300"] Another possible backdrop to the drama[/caption]
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. Printed poster. Specially recorded video message. Personal messages of thanks.£250
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. Printed poster. Specially recorded video message. Personal messages of thanks. + “With thanks to” credit in the end credits of the film. Your name credited as a backer of the film on the International Movie Database (IMDb) website. Personal guided tour of the locations by one of the scriptwriters, should you visit Symi at any time during the 12 months after release of the film. Printed copy of the script signed by a scriptwriter. A writing session (optional) with scriptwriter James Collins if you visit Symi in the 12 months after release of the film, or via Skype (your choice). Limited edition signed photo on location of cast and crew (signed by principle cast and crew). An hour on Skype (optional) with either the director, the executive producer Chris Hastings or the scriptwriter James Collins (your choice) after you have received your DVD and seen the film.
[caption id="attachment_10484" align="alignright" width="300"] Kurtis Stacey[/caption]
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. Printed poster. Specially recorded video message. Personal messages of thanks. Special end credit. Name credited on the International Movie Database (IMDb) website. Guided tour. Signed copy of the script. Optional time with scriptwriter, director, or producer. + Associate producer credit in the end credits of the film and in the book about the film. Your printed copy of the book about the film will be signed by the producer, director, and one of the scriptwriters. Dedicated-to-you signed photo of lead actor. Invitation for you and one other to the London premiere.£1,500
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. Printed poster. Specially recorded video message. Personal messages of thanks. Special end credit. Name credited on the International Movie Database (IMDb) website. Guided tour. Signed copy of the script. Optional time with scriptwriter, director, or producer. Associate producer credit. Signed copy of the book. Signed photo. Invite to London premiere. + Dinner at an exclusive London (or other) restaurant with Kurtis Stacey, lead actor.
[caption id="attachment_10503" align="alignleft" width="186"] Richard Syms[/caption]
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. Printed poster. Specially recorded video message. Personal messages of thanks. Special end credit. Name credited on the International Movie Database (IMDb) website. Guided tour. Signed copy of the script. Optional time with scriptwriter, director, or producer. Associate producer credit. Signed copy of the book. Signed photo. Invite to London premiere. Dinner with Kurtis Stacey. + Producer credit at the beginning and end of the film and in associated literature and publicity. You will be given one of the scripts used by one of the key cast or crew with whatever notes they may personally have added. Invitation for you and an additional three others (four others in total) to the London premiere.£5,000
Gratitude. Thanks. Newsletter. Website mentions. Satisfaction. Credits in the PDF and book. PDF book and script + Digital download. Souvenir postcard. You in the digital montage. DVD. Minicards. Digital poster. MP3 download. A sneak preview. Printed poster. Specially recorded video message. Personal messages of thanks. Special end credit. Name credited on the International Movie Database (IMDb) website. Guided tour. Signed copy of the script. Optional time with scriptwriter, director, or producer. Associate producer credit. Signed copy of the book. Signed photo. Invite to London premiere. Dinner with Kurtis Stacey. Producer credit start and finish and in literature and publicity. Key scripts. Four invites to the premiere. + Executive producer credit at the beginning and end of the film and in associated literature and publicity. We fly you and one other to Rhodes and ferry you to Symi and back. We provide accommodation (double bed sharing with your other) at a luxury hotel in Symi for five nights including daily champagne breakfasts. We give you special guest access to the production throughout your stay so you can watch the shoot and eat on location with cast and crew. You get a personal guided tour of the locations used in the film with the scriptwriter. You or your other has the option of a walk-on part in the film. One or more photos of you on location will be included in the behind-scenes book about the film (subject to your approval). Invitation for you and an additional two others (six others in total) to the London premiere.
(For English translation, scroll down)
Ένα ειδυλλιακό Ελληνικό νησί επιλέγεται ως τοποθεσία για μια σειρά ταινιών τρόμου
Το σχετικά ανεξερεύνητο Ελληνικό νησί της Σύμης (1) επελέγη ως σκηνικό για μια νέα σειρά ταινιών τρόμου, προκαλώντας το ύφος ανάλογων κλασσικών έργων της δεκαετίας του ’70, όπως του Εξορκιστή και της Προφητείας. Οι παραγωγοί της Κατάρας του Ιούδα λένε ότι η στοιχειωμένη αύρα του Χωριού στο νησί (2), το οποίο παρακμάζει από τον Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, θα προσφέρει την ιδανική τοποθεσία για την ταινία που πρόκειται να γυριστεί εκεί τον Οκτώβριο (3).
Το σενάριο των ταινιών γράφεται από τον James Collins (4), ο οποίος ζει στη Σύμη από το 2002 και πάντοτε επιθυμούσε να κάνει μια ταινία χρησιμοποιώντας το νησί και την κουλτούρα του ως βάση για την ιστορία. Η Κατάρα του Ιούδα αντλεί υλικό από μερικούς από τους μύθους και τα έθιμα που συνδέονται με τον Ιούδα Ισκαριώτη τα οποία υπάρχουν ακόμα σε πολλά Ελληνικά νησιά, συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του αμφιλεγόμενου εθίμου της καύσης του Ιούδα το Πάσχα.
«Η Ελλάδα περνάει πολύ δύσκολους καιρούς αυτή τη στιγμή και ήθελα να κάνω κάτι για να βοηθήσω», λέει ο James. «Δεν μπορούμε να αλλάξουμε τον κόσμο, αλλά φέρνοντας μια σειρά κινηματογραφικών εγχειρημάτων στη Σύμη, μπορούμε να βοηθήσουμε στην ώθηση του τουρισμού και να δώσουμε την ευκαιρία στους νέους της περιοχής να καλλιεργήσουν κάποιες ικανότητες που μπορεί να οδηγήσουν σε μια καριέρα στο χώρο του κινηματογράφου».
Μια πρόσφατη έρευνα των Ταχυδρομείων της Μ. Βρετανίας, έδειξε ότι το 19% των Βρετανών επηρεάζεται από ταινίες ή τηλεοπτικά προγράμματα όταν διαλέγουν προορισμό διακοπών. Ένα επιπλέον ποσοστό 20% δήλωσε ότι είναι πιθανό να επιλέξει διακοπές στο μέλλον, βασισμένο σε ταινίες και προγράμματα που έχει παρακολουθήσει. (5)
Ο Chris Hastings, Διευθύνων Σύμβουλος της εταιρίας “1066 Productions” στη Μ. Βρετανία (6), παραγωγών της Κατάρας του Ιούδα, είπε ότι τα έσοδα από την ταινία θα επανεπενδυθούν σε περισσότερες ταινίες τρόμου που θα γυριστούν στη Σύμη.
«Οι άνθρωποι της Σύμης, συμπεριλαμβανομένου του Δημάρχου, (7) υπήρξαν τόσο υποστηρικτικοί αυτού του σχεδίου, που πραγματικά θέλουμε να δώσουμε κάτι πίσω στο νησί», δήλωσε ο Chris. «Με τα όμορφά της κτήρια, το βραχώδες τοπίο, το εξαιρετικό φως που αντανακλάται από τη θάλασσα, την καταπληκτική της κουλτούρα και ιστορία, η Σύμη είναι η ιδανική τοποθεσία για μια σειρά από ενδιαφέρουσες και ποικίλες ταινίες μυθοπλασίας».
Ανάμεσα σε εκείνους που κατέχουν ρόλους-κλειδιά βρίσκονται μία από τις πιο γνωστές και αγαπημένες ηθοποιούς της Γερμανίας, η Wookie Mayer (12), η οποία συμμετέχει από το 1978 σε πολλές επιτυχημένες δραματικές και κοινωνικές σειρές της χώρας της και η Lorna Doyle (13) που την θυμόμαστε ιδιαίτερα στη σκηνή στο κρεβάτι με τον χαρακτήρα του Sam Neill (Cardinal Wolsey) ενσαρκωμένο από τον νέο ηθοποιό του Superman, Henry Cavill στην αναγνωρισμένη δραματική σειρά του BBC, The Tudors, όπου έπαιξε την ερωμένη του καρδινάλιου, Joan Larke.
Θα γίνει επίσης ειδική έκδοση ενός βιβλίου γύρω από τα παρασκήνια της ταινίας, πλουσιοπάροχα εικονογραφημένου με φωτογραφίες από την παραγωγή και τις τοποθεσίες, από τον φωτογράφο της Σύμης Neil Gosling (14). Το βιβλίο θα περιέχει κεφάλαια σχετικά με την κουλτούρα και την ιστορία της Σύμης και αναφορές των χαλασμάτων στο Χωριό.
Η ταινία χρηματοδοτείται μέσω μιας καμπάνιας προσφορών του κοινού στο Kickstarter (15), η οποία θα διαρκέσει όλο τον Αύγουστο. Ανάμεσα στις προσφερόμενες ανταμοιβές, είναι τιμητική αναφορά του δωρητή από τον Παραγωγό, πτήση στις τοποθεσίες των γυρισμάτων στο νησί, πέντε νύχτες σε πολυτελές ξενοδοχείο με πρωινά με σαμπάνια, τέσσερις μέρες μαζί με το συνεργείο και τους ηθοποιούς κατά τη διάρκεια των γυρισμάτων, προσωπική ξενάγηση της τοποθεσίας των γυρισμάτων από τον σεναριογράφο James Collins και ειδική πρόσβαση στην πρεμιέρα του Λονδίνου το 2014. Θα πραγματοποιηθεί δημόσια προβολή στη Σύμη πριν την εκδήλωση στο Λονδίνο.
Σημειώσεις για τους Συντάκτες:
1. Η Σύμη είναι ένα μικρό νησί στη Μεσόγειο, στο σύμπλεγμα των Δωδεκανήσων, κοντά στη Ρόδο. Αν και μέρος της Ελλάδας τώρα, κατά διάφορες χρονικές περιόδους ανήκε ή είχε κατακτηθεί από την Οθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, την Ιταλία, την Γερμανία και την Βρετανία. Το νησί είχε μακρά ιστορία πειρατικών επιθέσεων, μ’ ένα σύμπλεγμα από δαιδαλώδη, στενά δρομάκια ως άμυνά του.
2. Το Χωριό είναι ένας από τους παλαιότερους οικισμούς στη Σύμη. Αν και κάποια από τα σπίτια κατοικούνται ακόμη, πολλά από τα κτήρια είναι τώρα εγκαταλελειμμένα, μετατρεπόμενα σε χαλάσματα, δίνοντας ένα περίεργο, σαν στοιχειωμένο ύφος στους αρχαίους, στενούς και έρημους δρόμους.
3. Το θεματικό βίντεο
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipB7ZCeFQ δείχνει αρκετές από τις τοποθεσίες που χρησιμοποιούνται στην ταινία. Παρακαλούμε σημειώστε ότι οι άνθρωποι που εμφανίζονται στο βίντεο είναι ντόπιοι αναπληρωτές των ηθοποιών και δεν πρόκειται για στιγμιότυπο από την ίδια την ταινία.
4. Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα του James Collins: www.symidream.com/james
7. Στις 7 Μαίου 2013 ο Δήμαρχος της Σύμης, Ελευθέριος Παπακαλοδούκας, έστειλε επιστολή στην εταιρία παραγωγών “1066 Productions”, καλωσορίζοντας την πρόταση και την ταινία στην Σύμη και αναφέροντας την ικανοποίησή του που η εταιρία είχε επιλέξει τη Σύμη ως τοποθεσία.
12. Το προφίλ της Wookie Mayer στο IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm0562537
13. Το προφίλ της Lorna Doyle στο IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm2274495
14. Το βιβλίο Into the Mouth of Madness θα εικονογραφηθεί πλουσιοπάροχα από τον φωτογράφο της παραγωγής Neil Gosling www.symidream.com/neil/
15. H ιστοσελίδα της Kickstarter καμπάνιας είναι: http://kck.st/16FD7W8Εικόνες
Παρακαλούμε επικοινωνήστε με Nigel.Edwards@TheJudasCurse.co.uk αν επιθυμείτε περισσότερες , διαφορετικές ή με υψηλότερη ανάλυση εικόνες.
Γενικές πληροφορίες : Nigel Edwards, Δημόσιες Σχέσεις 1066 Productions – email Nigel.Edwards@TheJudasCurse.co.uk– τηλέφωνο + 44(0)1531 6402044. Παραγωγός Chris Hastings – email Chris.Hastings@TheJudasCurse.co.uk– τηλέφωνο +44 7984 203739.
Για πληροφορίες σχετικά με τη Σύμη, σεναριογράφος James Collins – email James.Collins@TheJudasCurse.co.ukNews Release Date: Release Immediate (August 2013)
Idyllic Greek island is chosen as the location for a series of horror films
The relatively undiscovered Greek island of Symi 1 has been chosen as the setting for a new series of horror films evoking the style of such 1970’s classics as The Exorcist and The Omen. The producers of The Judas Curse say the island’s spooky shell of a village, 2 fallen into decay since the Second World War, will provide the perfect location for the film to be shot there in October. 3
The scripts for the films are being written by James Collins, 4 who has lived on Symi since 2002 and has always wanted to make a film using the island and its culture as a basis for the story. The Judas Curse draws on some of the myths and customs connected with Judas Iscariot that still exist in many Greek islands, including the controversial annual burning of Judas at Easter.
“Greece is going through a very difficult time at the moment and I wanted to do something to help,” said James. “We can’t change the world, but by bringing a series of film projects to Symi we can help boost tourism and give local young people the chance to learn some skills that might lead to a career in the film industry.”
A recent survey by The Post Office in the UK showed that 19% of British people are influenced by films and television programmes when choosing a holiday destination. A further 20% said they were likely to choose a holiday in the future based on films and shows they have watched. 5
Chris Hastings, CEO of 1066 Productions in the UK, 6 producers of The Judas Curse, said that profits from the film would be re-invested in further horror films to be made on Symi.
“The people of Symi, including the Mayor, 7 have been so supportive of this project that we really want to give something back to the island,” said Chris. “With its beautiful buildings and rugged landscape, the excellent light reflected from the sea, its amazing culture and history, Symi is the perfect location for an interesting and varied series of fiction films.”
Among those taking key roles are one of Germany’s best-known and much loved television actresses, Wookie Mayer, 12 who has been in many of the country’s top drama and soap series since 1978, and Lorna Doyle, 13 best remembered for being caught in bed with Sam Neill’s character (Cardinal Wolsey) by new Superman actor Henry Cavill, in the acclaimed BBC drama series The Tudors, where she played Joan Larke, the cardinal’s mistress.
A special behind-the-scenes book about the film will also be published, lavishly illustrated with photos of the production and the locations by Symi photographer Neil Gosling. 14 The book will contain chapters on the culture and history of Symi and an account of the ruins of Horio.
The film is being financed by a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter 15 which will run throughout all of August. Among the rewards on offer is an executive producer credit which includes the donor and one other being flown out to the island location, spending five nights in a luxury hotel complete with champagne breakfasts, spending four days with the cast and crew during the shoot, being given a personal guided tour of the locations by scriptwriter James Collins, and special access to the London premiere in 2014. There will be a public screening in Symi before the London event.
E N D Notes for Editors
1. Symi is a small island in the Dodecanese group off Rhodes in the Mediterranean. Although now part of Greece, it has at various times been owned or occupied by the Ottoman Empire, Italy, Germany, and Britain. The island has a long history of attacks by pirates, against whom the confusing maze of narrow streets was a defence.
2. Horio (literally means “village”) is one of the oldest villages on Symi. Although some homes are still inhabited, many of the buildings are now abandoned and falling into ruin, giving a curiously ghost-like quality to its ancient, narrow and deserted streets.
3. The concept trailer www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi_pB7ZCeFQ shows several of the locations being used in the film. Please note that people shown in this video are local stand-ins for the actors and this is not footage from the film itself.
4. James Collins official website: www.symidream.com/james
7. On 9th May, 2013, the Mayor of Symi, Elefteris Papakalodoukas, wrote to 1066 Productions welcoming the proposal and film on Symi and saying they were glad the company had chosen Symi as the location.
12. Wookie Mayer IMDb profile: www.imdb.com/name/nm0562537
13. Lorna Doyle IMDb profile: www.imdb.com/name/nm2274495
14. Into the Mouth of Madness will be lavishly illustrated by production stills photographer Neil Gosling. www.symidream.com/neil/
15. The Kickstarter campaign page is http://kck.st/16FD7W8
Please contact Nigel.Edwards@TheJudasCurse.co.uk if you would like more or different images, or higher resolution images.
General inquiries: Nigel Edwards, PR at 1066 Productions - email Nigel.Edwards@TheJudasCurse.co.uk or phone +44 (0) 1531 640244. Executive Producer Chris Hastings - email Chris.Hastings@TheJudasCurse.co.uk or phone +44 7984 203739. For inquiries about Symi, scriptwriter James Collins – email James.Collins@TheJudasCurse.co.uk
Symi has been used as a backdrop for several films, among them: Pascali’s Island, The Guns of Navarone and Anna’s Summer. It has also featured in TV shows and advertisements. It has been the inspiration for many novels; the Messenger of Athens (Anne Zouroudi), the Last Templar (Raymond Khoury) and Jason and the Sargonaunts (James Collins) among them.
Now it is the inspiration behind a new supernatural horror film from 1066 Productions called The Judas Curse.
A horror film on Symi? You exclaim, outraged. Yes, but not that kind of horror. This is no “kill ‘em quick, stack ‘em high” slash movie. This is, as the production company describe it: “A supernatural horror and takes its inspiration from the era of great 70s horror films (tonally, stylistically and intellectually) like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby.”
And the writers have been inspired not by the usual Symi features, the grandeur and beauty of the harbour, but by the beauty of the abandoned buildings, the ruins, the lanes and the atmosphere of the old village.
Who lived here? Where did they go? What has happened in these ruins that once were thriving homes? Why did so many people leave the island?
The history of Symi is pretty well documented, at least for recent times: lack of industry, a change of occupation from Ottoman to Italian, two world wars, recession all these things led to the majority of the population leaving for more prosperous climes. Tourism saw some return from the 1970’s but the village has never totally recovered.
It still remains mysterious, semi-abandoned, a calm and peaceful place to live and work, to wander and wonder. And for these reasons it led to the writers setting their weird and gripping tale among the lanes, the high rock walls, the blinded buildings. What are the strange letters on walls? Why do houses have numbers? Why do villagers hang wreaths of flowers on doors? What evils are being kept at bay?
The Judas Curse uses all this for its inspiration. The film will bring to life these superstitions and show the old village ruins as a wonderfully mysterious, brooding backdrop to a scary, yet fascinating, tale. In time, we hope, its popularity will help bring more of the island to life through increased tourism and positive attention. You can help this simply by watching the trailer and sharing this news.
To be see the teaser/trailer that was shot on Symi click the video. It only runs for one minute, but will give you a flavour of what Symi has to offer for this film location. Below there is a brief synopsis of the story, without giving too much away.
The Judas CurseWritten by James Collins and Jack RousseauProduced by 1066 ProductionsA Greek island, a son searching for answers, an evil searching for a host.
They thought it was suicide, until the bodies piled up.
When a curse, 2,000 years old is unleashed, death is the easy option.
Filming in 2013
"When a renegade father dies investigating an ancient myth, he leaves behind a mystery that only his son will be able to unlock. But some secrets are best left buried as Chris Trelawney discovers when he comes to a remote Greek island to collect his late father’s belongings.
Meeting a beautiful and mysterious woman, Stavroula, he slowly learns to accept that there are stranger things in heaven and earth than he ever dreamed possible. It is not long before he is forced to question everything he holds to be true as one by one the remaining villagers take their own lives, in violent, horrifying ways.
[caption id="attachment_9855" align="alignright" width="200"] Inspiration for the script[/caption]
But will simply unlocking the secret be enough to save the village, Stavroula, and his own son as a dark force 2,000 years old stalks the island, growing stronger with every suicide until there is only one way out. Death.
But when under the Judas Curse, death is the easy option."
The Symi Dream Blog has changed. From November 2014 the blog took on a new look. These pages will remain as the blog archive and so you can still use the top menu for Symi info. To find the new blog, please click to www.symidream.com