THE STORY SO FAR….
Final post of the night as Dan has finally remembered to up my status to partner / editor as opposed to contributer. Par for the course perhaps?
Basically, the story so far….
Dan Thompson and Steve Penfold; 2 hapless souls with an affinity for absurdist lunacy and between them one third of a degree in television and video production and a masters in comedy (no, really) met in a darkened section of an obscure historically themed attraction in central London, as actors.
They admittedly set about encouraging members of the audience to pile up all props in a faux burglary of 1600s London Bridge and are awarded, as previously mentioned, the auspicious, inaugural and one and only – Best Comedy Duo act at the attraction award ceremony – arguably due to a decision for one of the pair to play retarded.
This, obscurely, only encouraged the idiots and they promptly set about looking for weird shit to start putting out.
Shortly afterwards following a short film attempt for the 2 Days Later film competition – Ragnarok Dawn – soon to be appearing here – which was shortlisted but won nothing (causing Dan to throw a hilariously almighty strop in the theatre) they found that this somehow only encouraged them yet further.
Before long; a cavalcade of material began to pile up.
Most that Dan bothered to put into practice to meet with considerable success at the 2 Days Laughter competition – winning Best Editor ((Box) Fresh (2008)) and Best Stand Up (Dan Thompson vs 2 Days Laughter (2009)) and Audience Choice (Edd: Ducking the Past (2009)) while Steve was shortlisted at the 2 Days Later competition with his first solo effort; Cock (2009) which won special mention for Special Effects.
This year Beyond the Bunker’s second official entry, the Devil’s Fork – (all Dan’s previous efforts were under (Production) Box but will be presented here) – in association with James Eaton and Roughlee Films has been shortlisted for the 2 Days Later Horror Competition, the results of which will be revealed next week after the screenings in sunny Margate on Saturday.
Throughout all of this one project has remained constant (although Ragnarok Dawn, ironically, will not die) and that is the story of the Moon, now earthbound and battling the forces of nefarious evil on the streets of Modern London.
Moon was created by Dan Thompson and Paul Wade and brought to life in The Day the Moon got Too Close for a one minute film competition in 2007. It followed the daily investigations and crook-catching activities of Moon. Seventies-style-yet-modern-day detective and tide-changing satellite of the Earth, Moon returns to the ground at dawn each day and chases crooks until sundown at which point he returns to his place in the sky.
While attempts to bring Moon again to a small screen floundered in a half hour film – the first director walking two days before shooting – prompting a phone call to Steve to take over at the last minute – of which 4 or 5 scenes were shot before we discovered that the timetable of crew available on the weekend and cast available during the week was unlikely to work due to it being utterly crap.
The storyboard and footage still exists; however the budget and frankly the will isn’t there to resurrect the project at present and may never be. The Moon project looked to be over.
However, in the years before Steve P had been working primarily – when not acting at tourist attractions – as an artist – occassionally but arguably most consistently in comics.
For 2 and a half years, working with writer Ben Morgan in Edinburgh and other creatives all over the UK in an attempt to put together a British based comic company (a few years before Mark Millar – HA!).
Steve P completed extensive concept designs and artwork for futuristic sci-fi battle comic Caelum Priory with Thommy Gunn and concept design work and artwork on Zookeeper by Ben Morgan. This was complemented with extensive design work for website, logo, heavy script editing and deliberation and multiple business plans that ignored the non-existent books in question – only for it to dwindle due to over expansion and lack of material. In 2008 Ben Morgan approached the now defunct Insomnia comics with Zookeeper and another artist was offered. Ben accepted and Beyond the Bunker effectively ceased to exist.
Now with Steve at a loose end, the suggestion of Moon as a comic book seemed obvious. Now effectively budgetless and with an existing story, storyboards, concept design and considerable good will it finally made sense. Dan started work on the script in 2008 for Moon: Book 1, following Moon through the story arc introduced in the second Moon attempt, only bigger. Finally, after 2 years of development and not a small amount of shouting and sleepless nights on behalf of Dan; and frankly a lot of hand waving and missed deadlines by Steve; Moon issue 1 is currently only a few short months away from release.
With the addition of Ian Chapman on colours and Ka-Blam comic printing press looking like our most likely printer at this stage we are booked in to attend our first comics convention in March as Beyond the Bunker comics – with a shade of Beyond the Bunker Productions / Studios available in DVD form on the table too.
Exciting times. There’s more to it of course with both of us involved in other projects but that will all be posted here in various forms.
So ‘Semper procedens’ as they used to say at my school.
(‘Ever onwards.’) Tut.