Here we are with the first interview of this new year !
We will be talking with Ben Wray, writer,producer and director, about the Acid Reign Series and the short movie Enter the Fringe. We saw Enter the Fringe and we highly recomend it to all dystopian and post-apocalyptic fans and to all those who want to experience something new ! After watching the short movie we got all hooked and we look forward to all the exciting news Ben told us in the interview,
Hello Ben, would you like to introduce yourself for our readers ?
I guess, more important than any boring detail I could give you about myself is that I love films and filmmaking! For me, taking an idea and being able to translate that idea into an artwork that other people can enjoy is my passion. I have always been a fan of the sci-fi and dystopian/post-apocalyptic genres because there is just something about fiction or fantasy that is so close to our own lives that I think everyone can really connect with. I grew up in a simple town in Arkansas where nothing ever that exciting happens so I think that's where all the creativity started. I am currently a writer, producer, and director for two production companies here in Utah.
Let's talk about Acid Reign series.
A couple of years ago, my friend and Co-creator called me and said he had an idea for a movie and he wanted to meet. When we got together the next day, he handed me some notes and basically said he wanted to make a post-apocalyptic movie with a guy, a girl, and a muscle car. Easy enough right? After about 6 months of meetings and concepts, I had a feature film written. It was good, but there was one problem; It was way too big of a story to be told in a feature and even a sequel. 6 months later I had written the first season. The feature that I had written ended up working its way into the season finale. Without going into too much detail, the story of Acid Reign takes place about a hundred years after an apocalypse that destroyed most of the earth, leaving almost all of it uninhabitable with exception of a city somewhere in the northwest United States. I know this sounds like the cookie cutter beginning of almost all of the other post-apocalyptic works out there, but Acid Reign is quite different. How it happened is unknown to the survivors. The fallout from whatever destroyed it isn't nuclear fallout, and the city is literally untouched, but why? You'll either have to read the books or wait for the series to find out more. I know, I hate me too.
Where you draw your inspiration from ?
I grew up reading Stephen King, David Gemmel, Steven Erickson, Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, oh so many. Watched hundreds of movies. Although I studied Kubrick, Speilberg, Tarantino, James Cameron, Ridley Scott and J.J. Abrams, I have to admit there are pieces from all of them, but mostly I think Bill Dubuque, Ian C. Esslemont, and James Mangold. Mainly for the simple human aspect forcing its way through an enormous world. I truly hope that wasn't as confusing as it sounds.
Do you want to tell us something about the short film "Enter the Fringe" ?
Enter the Fringe? We had been developing the world of Acid Reign, doing test shoots, and working out the design for the show for about two years and we were just ready for something to be filmed. We are friends with Josh Larson, who runs a local film festival. He called up Nathan and said he had one spot left in his film competition and asked if we would just do something Acid Reign. I had a script the next day, we met that next week for production, got our crew and talent together and filmed everything in one day. We had 10 days to plan, film, edit, and score the show. Luckily we have amazing people we work with. I decided to make "Enter the Fringe" an introductory film to the series, more of a "proof of concept". It gives a limited glimpse into the world of Acid Reign, but just enough. It was a lot of fun
"Enter the Fringe" was at the Red Giant Festival 2017. What about that experience ?
We were really excited to showcase what we had done in just over a week at the premiere night for the Red Giant Festival. Seeing your work on a screen in front of people is something that is hard to explain if you haven't experienced it. Surreal, exciting, nervous, and proud all wrapped up in one. Out of 16 films that were entered and 15 possible awards, we were nominated by the judges for 12 of 15. We were all ecstatic. That really is the payoff of hours and hours of work. It is fantastic to be nominated for a single award, but 12? The award ceremony was a week later. I can't tell you how anxious we all were. We ended up winning 5 of the 12. Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Wardrobe and Makeup, and the one I personally am most grateful for, the Audience Choice award. That's what truly matters to me; giving something to the audience that they love.
Where does our readers can purchase "Enter the Fringe" ?
You can watch our introductory short film for Free on Amazon. Just search "Enter the Fringe" or you can view it for a small fee at AcidReign.vhx.tv
What about the future of this project ? Is there a full lenght film coming ?
Book One, "Acid Reign: Genesis" will be available in the next couple of weeks as an ebook or print through Amazon and a couple of other sources. The first book covers roughly the first 5 episodes of the first season. We have video games, alternate reality apps, and graphic novels in the works as well.
The first season will be 9 episodes. 30 - 45 minutes each episode, with a full-length film as the finale. I am currently meeting with investors to get the funding to make this happen. We will begin shooting early this year.
Thank you so much Kenaz! I can't wait to share the world of Acid Reign with you!
And many many thanks to YOU Ben for taking your time to answer our questions ! We can't wait to read and watch more of Acid Reign !