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Salford horror show could bring a chill to the small screen

Friday 18 March 2016

A supernatural thriller made by a crew of University of Salford staff and students could be about to bring a chill to our screens.

Dark Fables, directed and produced by the university’s Creative Technical Demonstrator Ash Tidball, along with current and former students, was filmed during winter nights in locations across Manchester.

Based on British myths and legends, but set in modern day Manchester, it tells the tale of Addison, a trader of supernatural artefacts, a young homeless girl called Rae, and their adventures in a hidden world of monsters and mayhem.

Ash advised on development for the pilot with Richard McEvoy-Crompton, special effects expert from the University of Bolton, along with script writer, Keith Lewis and Andrew McConville.

The trio had worked together on the zombie horror comedy short Zomco: Waste Management and Body Disposal, as well as music videos and more serious films commissioned by the NHS aimed at raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

They teamed up with scriptwriter Keith Lewis who fleshed out their ideas about the two lovable rogues’ journey through a dark underworld, and set to work on making a half-hour programme, using money they had put in themselves and raised through crowd funding.

Ash recruited a team of talented students and recent graduates from Salford’s journalism and production courses and pulled together a talented crew as he directed the pilot, while a series of professional actors were so enthused about the project they gave their time for free.

The episode was filmed through January in locations such as Fallowfield, Rusholme’s Antwerp Mansion, and Bolton, while a teaser was filmed in the canteen of Salford’s own Adelphi Building.

Ash is now making finishing touches to his masterpiece before trying to pitch the idea to production companies based near the university’s MediaCityUK campus, and hopes the idea will be picked up to be developed into a series.

He said: “We hit upon the idea of filming a supernatural adventure show, but based very much on British folklore in a way that’s never been done before.

“The idea was to create a pilot episode that should showcase what the programme’s about, who the characters are, and what we can plan to do with them.

“There’s a lot of incredibly talented people who have come through the university, who are either in their final year or who have recently graduated, and I wanted to give them an experience of working on a real film.

“We were filming this throughout the nights of January, and it was freezing. I’ve decided my next project is going to be made somewhere hot.”

Find out more

Conrad Astley

0161 295 6363