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Human Residue

York isn't known as a great location for survival/thriller films, but that hasn't stopped Rickety Shack Films from shooting their first feature film entirely on location in the city. We spoke to Director Chris Bouchard to find out more.

Q: Tell us a little bit about Rickety Shack Films

Human Residue production shot

Originally we started out from the Film Making Society at the University of York. A few of us got together and realized we could pull off a feature film if we tried. We've got these great locations, great local actors and if we set up a network of local film makers we could produce a film that's much better than most low budget offerings. So it was obvious to form a production group that ended up being Rickety Shack Films.

Q: Surely pulling off a full length feature film is no mean feat

It isn't. It's a great challenge. We've been preparing for it for a whole year. We started out shooting the test footage and screen tests in July last year, they ended up being the trailers that are on our website.

We spent the year developing the script, the scheduling and the casting. We've pulled in as many talented people from all around the region, and even the world. We've got people working on the production all over the world, collaborating over the internet.

Q: Human Residue is being created as a non-profit production, so what's in it for you?

We're doing this for the love of making a good film that we'd want to watch. It's an enthusiasts thing; can we pull this off, can we bring something to an audience. It's a chance to show what can be done, and perhaps a calling card for some of the cast and crew involved.

Q: You're shooting on high definition Digital Video rather than film... is that really going to look as good as film?

Yes I think it is. That's what we spent the whole of summer 2005 preparing. All the trailers and test footage you can see on the website were shot on digital. I think we're really pushing the technology to the limits, but it's looking really good.

Q: Why choose York for the location?

Human Residue production shot

Because that's where we're from and what we know. When you're making a film for very little money the locations are one of the things you hope to get for free.  Many of the locations we've used on the University of York campus provided the inspiration for the project in the first place. Also having everything close by means we don't have lots of travel costs and we can get our footage quickly, and quicker equals cheaper.

Q: Tell us a bit about the film itself

Human Residue is a survival story. It's set in a slightly science fiction world in the near future. Seven volunteers are sealed in an isolation unit for 30 days. While they're underground something has gone wrong. Civilization itself has apparently vanished. On the last day nobody comes to let them out. So they find themselves lost in this deserted landscape. At first it seems totally devoid of life, but not everything is exactly what it seems. There's something out there, and it isn't friendly.

In a way it's very much a thriller. There's a lot of mystery and some horror as well.

Q: When can people expect to see the finished product?

Our deadline for completion is May 2007. We're shooting right now and until the end of summer 2006. Then the post production is going to be a really big part of the film. We have to do lots of computer generated effects, and that does take a long time. The advantage of working on the internet is there are people all round the world who are really enthusiastic. So we have people in Mexico, the US and other countries who are working on visual effects.

Q: How will people see the finished product?

Human Residue - graphics test shot

It's going to released free to the internet as a download after May 2007. We want to spread it about as much as we can, just to expose the talent of all the collaborators who are working on this.

last updated: 26/09/06
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