The world premiere of Garth Ennis’ Stitched has just wrapped and the end credits are rolling. Up next will be some behind-the-scenes footage, then the panel.
My immediate thoughts? That the film’s single most interesting element is a sound effect, and that’s something that won’t work – at least, not in the same way – in the upcoming comic book adaptation and continuation. I’m fascinated to see how the story is changed in translation. It will be a pretty rare scenario to be able to see a comic and a film from the same creator and compare their differing approaches. It’ll be a pretty nifty like Comics vs Film 101.
I’ll be updating live as the panel goes on, so keep the page fresh for the latest.
- The project was born when William Christensen asked Ennis “What would you like to do next?” and the answer was “I’ve been thinking about directing.”
- Brian Pulido came on board as a producer in April of this year so it’s all very fresh.
- Ennis wanted to make an action story and for him, action means war then he threw in some horror to liven things up.
- Pulido told Ennis that the way to start a cost effective short is to start with six guys walking into a warehouse. Ennis resisted this, and that’s part of why the film ended up in the dessert.
- Ennis says that, at least the way he works, the writing is the same between a comic and a movie, but the difference is that you give the comic script to an artist and he takes over while with a film, the actors act it out and “the DP chooses the shots and takes control of that.”
- Francesca Pulido, the production designer, says her hardest job was finding Afghanistan in the US.
- There are 34 CG FX shots in the film, and Pulido challenges anybody in the film to identify them.
- Nick Principe, who played ChromeSkull in Laid To Rest, played one of the Stitches.
- Here’s an odd item of interest – Tank Jones has the first name Tank. That can’t happen every day, can it?
- The actors were given wet dirt rubs before shooting. Nice.
- Ennis says that he wanted to avoid obvious influences in the horror tropes. He knew the cliches of the zombie story, so avoided “shoot them in the head” and “eating brains.” He doesn’t mind people saying it is a zombie film, and doesn’t feel defensive like, for example, Danny Boyle who denied that 28 Days Later was a zombie film.
- Ennis conceived the Stitches as “ancient, black magic weapons to win on the battlefield” and they are war machines.
- There was such a tight schedule that they couldn’t be selective about when they shot and so the cinematography had to be balanced either through angle of sunlight during shooting or through post-production colour correction. Adam the DOP notes that “You’d be surprised how much you can get away with.”
- Ennis says that there’s “a constant level of interest” in turning his books into film or TV but it “never seems to go anywhere.” He advises us not to buy into all of the chat but to “believe it when you see it.”
- Lots more folk who have credits on the film are in the audience. Rounds of applause all round.
And that’s it. Copies of the film are available now on DVD, and Christensen has suggested that, if Stitched is a hit, more film projects will be on the way.
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