After decades of peace the Kingdom of Valanor is torn apart by civil war, after 12 years of conflict, the citizens cry out for peace. The leaders of Tier, Sinnah, Daneth and Osgard lay down their arms and prepare to negotiate.
Each province sends a envoy to the Kingdom’s only neutral ground, Bitter Lake. However as they set out to find a diplomatic solution, an ancient evil plots its return, threatening to crush any hope of a lasting peace.
I spoke to the film’s writer and director, Shay, about his project.
“I had a totally different story in mind when we decided to shoot a movie. It was a story that I had been working on for four months, when I sat down with EZ to discuss possibilities, we soon found out that what I wrote was way too big. It would require too much time and way too many actors and crew. So I was forced to kill my darling so to speak, which hurt…for about 15 minutes.
Cause when we discussed other things that day, the story unfolded right there in my mind. A mix of things from stories I have read and movies I have seen. It soon became apparent what I wanted with the story and how ‘Dark’ it would have to be. Seeing we wanted a medieval storyline with a serious note, we decided to go for realistic suits and when we took a look at who owned which suit, Clockwork Creature Studio suits just fit the bill.”
For the creator, the choice of Clockwork Creature Studios suits also meant they could create a more realistic and serious film. “We came to the conclusion that naked fursuits just would look lame. We wanted to appeal to a non furry audience too, if my parents would see it, they wouldn’t go…HUH?” In production design the medieval setting meant dressing the fursuits in armour and being kitted out with swords, as well as period props on-set. To make sure they had the right look the crew took their characters to Holland’s Elf Fantasy Fair. “The reactions there were amazing and it took us 5 hours to get around the castle.” Shay said, “Those suits used, by the actors in question, also helped build the story to what it is now. It’s the work they made, that made us envision the total character and push for perfection. I mean…you don’t dress up a suit like that in a rag or plastic sack!
I helped suit up the Prince of Tolver on the set, it took us 20 mins at first to get the actor in the suit and then dress him up…the sheer number of props. Oh and the cumbersome fluff when trying to get a tunic over fur… leaves you crying at night. In the end though, getting him in the costume took about 10 mins once you got used to it.”
The Bitter Lake crew consists of 10 man crew, with 4 actors, 1 director, 1 director of Photography, 1 2nd cameraman, 1 best-boy, 1 sound technician and 1 music composer. After about a full week of 16 hour days to shoot, the film’s production period is almost at an end. The last planned day of filming will be taking place this Saturday, and then Bitter Lake goes into post-production. “Outside of the production team are two voice actors that helped, Dylan Nagel and Lucy Red Panda.” Shay said, “I voice the Narrator and the prince of Tolver and some other stuff which I can’t say. All the voices have been recorded.”
In Post Production, one big elements that will be added is the film’s musical score. Fox Amoore was the musician asked to take on the task of scoring and I asked him a few questions.
What do you find the particular challenge in this process?
“I guess the whole thing. I find it as much an honour as well though, considering how amazing the costumes and filming looks. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
Often you write to stories in your imagination, was this harder being a set story?
“Perhaps a greater challenge where the story is already laid before me. But perhaps it is similar, just the other way around. Either way, I’m very excited and will enjoy it a great deal. It’s a very interesting story.”
Have you chosen any period instruments for the medieval setting in the score?
“Yes, in-fact a very talented musician will be featuring on some solo flute sections.”
Have you considered releasing the soundtrack after the film’s premiere?
“Yes! I plan to release the official trailer music as soon as possible and I do plan, once discussed with the rest of the crew, to release the entire soundtrack as a digital download.”
Earlier today on Fur Affinity Fox Amoore did release the trailer music for Bitter Lake which includes a translation of the lyrics heard sung by the soloist.
The big question for a lot of furs would be if they can’t make it to Eurofurence to see the film’s premiere will they be loosing out? Will Bitter Lake be available on DVD? Shay said, “We’ll announce that at a later date, we are working on a DVD release but can’t say anything definite. There is a very good chance that people across the seas will be able to watch Bitter Lake too, but you’ll hear that in due time.”
Bitter Lake’s Web Site: http://www.bitterlakethemovie.com/