An Undead Backbrain Exclusive Interview
It seems that web series have replaced the old serials that were, once upon a time, screened before movies at the local cinema. The latest is a noirish thriller called Bermuda City, produced, written and directed by Julian Jay Burton, who also features in it in an acting role.
Interestingly, the web series is being produced as promotional “world-building” for an upcoming graphic novel series. “The scheme is to build an anticipation for the Red Crow Comics universe — leverage in a sense,” Burton told the Backbrain. “Mainstream film studios are using a similar scheme by targeting powerhouses like D.C. and Marvel, as their heroes have much pre-existing clout as mythical characters to the masses. These figures have been around for over half an century, so leverage is grand. This is why we’re attacking this method now.”
Detective Jordan Long is a fugitive, framed for killing fellow cops. Surrounded by death, deceit and betrayal, his only option is to dig for clues which lead him to answers that will test his humanity.
We asked Burton about the world-building that has gone into the series:
Bermuda City is an fictional island city that is actually built on an asteroid that hit earth three centuries ago. There is a dark cosmetic energy that is embedded within the asteroid that draws evil. So there’s no coincidence that bizarre events occur. The geography of the city is a mix between Denver and Seattle. I wanted to present a different landscape beyond the typical powerhouses like NY, Chicago, LA, etc.
I thought the title was unique. It coincidentally mirrors my film company Bermuda Image. Originally, I had “Winter City” in mind but had to change it being that the title is owned by another comic strip created by associate, Patrick Purcell. In all, I love the title. There are a lot of unknown elements that takes place in the city so I thought the title was appropriate.
What inspired the series?
Honestly, there’s not a grand explanation for the inspiration other than trying to develop original cities for my comic universe. As a filmmaker, I’m aware that the exterior of cities usually play third characters in story and broadens the vision. This brings another element to the overall concept.
I wanted to bring the Red Crow Comics characters to the screen early, versus later. People would be able to explore different dimensions of the characters in a live action series. This perception also carries over to the comics. The comic media is more suitable for the imagination and for the most part doesn’t demand various dimensions of characterization; realistic situations that people could relate to. I guess the director persona demanded that approach.
A page from the comic: rough artwork by Stanley Weaver:
What was your role in the project and your background?
I wore a few hats in the project: director, producer, writer and actor. I’ve been in the entertainment industry for nearly ten years, but was an athlete beforehand. I studied theatre at Calhoun Junior College, after that I volunteered with a few local film productions and eventually became a freelancer. Now I am a freelance writer and acting coach by trade.
Who else was involved?
Other incredible actors collaborated with the project: Michael Garth, Nicole St. Charles, Jennifer Burton, Latosha Baldwin and Kim Vickery. James Ryan Sims was the director of photography and editor. This is our fourth project together. Composers Rayshaun Thompson, Rafal Gościmiński and Kyle Duffy of Media Dynamic put together the scores for the project.
What future do you envisage for Bermuda City?
This will be an ongoing series for a while, safe to say years. We plan on producing 3 to 4 episodes a year.
You can can view the first two episodes of Bermuda City via the Cinema of the Backbrain.
Source: Julian Jay Burton. Note that all stills from the film are copyright © 2014 Bermuda Image, and all other artwork is copyright © 2014 Red Crow Comics. Images may not be reproduced without permission from the copyright owners.
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