The Sons of Ra was conceived in 2007 as a conspiracy horror. It has evolved over the period of the events that led up to and then developed out of the financial crash of 2008, reflecting political and cultural events yet conceptually open to interpretation, it is partly inspired by some of the conspiracy theories circulating on the internet. It is also influenced by a range of cinematic styles including Hammer Horror and rendered in a graphic novel manner that borrows from Anime in technique if not in actual style.
The initial idea for the film grew out of the Priests Dilemma of keeping his vows, thus allowing a visceral cycle of trauma and carnage to continue or breaking them in order to break the circuit. This first spark seeded the core around which various ideas began to flow as an articulating narrative connecting diverse political and philosophical concepts such as the historical determinism of the Patriarchy forming one example.
Building character profiles that enabled these ideas to be expressed as personalities or archetypes created and positioned the primary nodes of a story structure. The motivations that emerged from the characters drove the conflicts and allegiances connecting the characters determining the basic structure of the story that was then sketched out in a synopsis. This was further developed as a screenplay then into a storyboard.
The plan was to shoot the action against a green-screen then composite the footage into a mixture of ink drawings, computer generated environments and animation. Despite being employees of an organisation with ample proffesional film and video facilities gaining access to a film and TV studio proved to be an organisationally strenuous process even though the facilities were often not being used. Risk assessments and other labyrinthine bureaucratic adventures eventually led us through a window of opportunity into a large, dilapidated matt-black, TV studio in a Clerkenwell warehouse basement. It was an exceptionally cold late December, the sole source of warmth was a two bar electric heater. We hired a large green screen and some lights that as well as lighting the shoot provided a bit more warmth. The dedicated Kathy Stannard provided her exceptional cinematography skills along with camera, more lights and sound equipment. We had three days to shoot including setting up and dismantling equipment. Fortunately we had the foresight to plan the shoot. We pre-visualised blocking out the camera, lighting and actors' positions using 3D software.
Despite the cold the shoot was eventful, interesting and fun for the most part. There were two further short shoots; the make up shoot with Helen and a few years down the line the demon shoot with Andrew.
The effects and animation were very time consuming and possibly over ambitious but despite taking eleven years of post from the initial shoot to completion we have no regrets. There was a long hiatus a few years in due to the post team being busy earning a living and second one of a few years due to unforeseen caring responsibilities arising. The post production will be summarised in the Imagination section along with the music and sound treatments.