The story of Soul Searcher begins in August 2000, when I made the original 15 minute fantasy-action-comedy about an ordinary guy who is trained to be the new Grim Reaper, which got into a couple of festivals around the country and was generally enjoyed by most people who saw it, despite none of them having a clue what was going on in it. About a year later, whilst filming crazy low-budget action feature The Beacon, people start asking me what my next project is going to be, and I start thinking that a feature-length version of Soul Searcher might be kind of cool. I originally envisaged it as much darker than the original, and it was temporarily entitled The Soul Taker.
At some point during these proceedings, my good friend, talented author, Bafta almost-nominee and experienced film producer James Clarke announced that he was interested in getting involved. I initially asked him to write and produce the movie, two tasks which I (a) hate and (b) am no good at. With the mammoth project that was The Beacon lumbering on until February 2002, I had little time or headspace to work on anything else. Nonetheless, James and I had a couple of meetings, and by the time I had finished The Beacon, James had written an outline and 30 pages of a screenplay. With The Beacon taking its leave of my frazzled noggin, I was struck by sudden inspiration and churned out a new seven page outline which concentrated on an unrequited love story which would form the heart of the new Soul Searcher.
Today: Ate pizza. James asked a random waitress for romantic advice concerning an ex. A fairly ordinary day, save for the unusual flatness of my hair. James skimmed through my outline, making assorted positive comments, and we started sketching ideas of what some of the creatures in the film might look like. Our stomachs filled, we proceeded to the Courtyard, where all the cool people in Hereford hang out. No, really. Therein we scribbled out a budget, and lo, it came to UKP60,000. Wow, paying your crew is pretty darned expensive. Especially when you’re planning to shoot for 50 nights, yes, that’s nights. (Having been frustrated throughout production of The Beacon by the ever-changing and rarely-nice light that God had seen fit to provide, I decided to make by own illumination destiny this time.)