The success of the stop motion animated film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum has prompted the release of the comic book version of the film. Scheduled for a February 25th, 2009 release thru Bluewater Productions of Portland, Oregon, the stop-motion film to comic will be a first for production partners Bluewater Productions and Hand Made Heroes Film & Television, honoring Gothic horror maestro Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th anniversary.
Wrapping up production and starting on the DVD, Lougee got in contact with Darren Davis of Bluewater Productions, famous for their Ray Harryhausen Presents Signature line of comics, as well as the Vince Price Presents line. Lougee pitched the idea of producing the story as a one-off comic, using the film images and Davis enthusiastically jumped on board, rallying the crew at Bluewater to help get the pendulum swinging.
“While we were in the throes of production on the short, I had the idea of pursuing various media outlets for the film and the story itself”, explains the film’s director, Marc Lougee. “So much of what we’ve been doing over the last couple of years to promote the film has involved the internet, social media and ‘alternative ‘ means of promotion for the project, as I wanted to explore the options that were available to us in pushing the story a little further, outside of the traditional channels of film distribution. Doing a comic was something I’ve always been keen to try, so we utilized the still images from the stop motion film as ‘sequential art’ in comic form; the result is a sort of hybrid between the film, a graphic novel and a short story comic. I think it’s a very cool-looking way of telling the story with a fresh approach.”
Sequential art in comics is a familiar sight for most everyone, but utilizing the images used in the film itself and re-processing them for another type of ‘sequential art’ made sense to both Lougee and Producer Susan Ma.
” With the multitude of delivery systems available, be it print, online, broadcast, et al, there are so many way of supplying a film or story to your audience.” states Susan, “A short film, being what it is, faces limitations in the sense it has much less of a chance of being screened outside of niche markets and events, such as film festivals. There are few real options to see shorts outside the festival circuit (location-based and online), unless you feel inclined to send it off thru a distributor or post it online yourself.
Many times we’ve found the film would be sold as a package with a host of other films, which I felt would lessen the impact and the viewing experience. As filmmakers, it was important for us to explore the broader potential for our film thru comic book publishing, and sought out a smaller, indy film friendly publisher. Thankfully, we found just that combination in Darren Davis and Bluewater Productions, and now with the comic set for release in February, we feel we’ve got another opportunity to see a broader range of visibility for EA Poe’s wonderful story, and another means of getting the story into the hands of fans everywhere.
One of the great aspects of working with Darren and the gang at Bluewater is that we share the same ideas pertaining to use of comic art for educational purposes. In producing the film, and the comic, we very much would like to see the two included in classrooms as an aid in helping students visualize Poe’s writing, starting with The Pit and the Pendulum.”
Marc adds; “We’re all about making the story of The Pit and the Pendulum accessible to students, teachers and fans of the Gothic genre. The goal is to get folks to spend more time with Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale, to help see the subtleties in the story and lay groundwork for discussion in class. In the case of students studying EA Poe’s work, I feel this sort of approach, the combination of films & comics in tandem, may help get kids interested in literature.This is especially relevant as we’re in the midst of Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th anniversary; what better time to get to know the man and his work than now?”
Ray Harryhausen Presents; The Pit and the Pendulum short film Official Website
Director Marc Lougee Website
Bluewater Productions, Comic Publishers