Director John Tomkins is re-releasing a new edit of his short 2013 film A Dark Tale to reflect the beauty of the location and to celebrate the coming together of a mass of creative talent.
“I call it an enhanced cut,” John told D&CFilm. “It’s slightly slicker in grading. It’s got new opening credits and it’s got new music in it.”
The new edit also celebrates the location.
“There was always another character in the film,” said John, “which was Oldway Mansion.”
A Dark Tale was the last film to take place in the historic location while it was still open to the public.
“I went back to it to do a new colour grade to show you what an amazing place Oldway is. It was weird returning to the film. I could see ways to enhance the film with a different pair of eyes,” said John.
With his hat as director of the English Riviera Film Festival John has been conducting interviews with filmmakers during the lockdown. Did these inspire him to re-look at A Dark Tale?
“It’s a mixture of the interviews, it’s a mixture of seeing loads of films, and it’s me improving as an editor,” he said.
“Whenever I put out a post about A Dark Tale, or reminisce about it, there’s always nice feedback for it. And it was an amazing creative experience and I don’t think, unless I’ve got a budget, I will work with that many make up artists. It was a massive undertaking for a no budget, but the team on it were absolutely awesome.”
John’s always had a mind to do a sequel of sorts, with the character of the narrator making a reappearance.
Throughout the interviews John has been having with filmmakers, one thing shines through – the importance of story. And John thinks his collaboration with Tom Menary on A Dark Tale is strong enough for a return.
“When you put a film out there it has a certain shelf-life, but I wanted new people to see it, so I thought I’d give it fresh start, a new poster and get more people to see what we did,” said John.
“The way we consume media has changed since 2013. A Dark Tale was shown at the cinema, then it went onto Vimeo.”
The enhanced cut is also on opportunity for John to celebrate the creative talent that came together to make the film.
The tighter edit also uses the colour grade to tell part of the story.
“I had to recreate the edit from 2013,” said John. “But it was worth it because it’s so much improved and I can’t wait for the cast and crew to see it.”
The special enhanced director’s cut of A Dark Tale will be released on Saturday, June 13, 2020, seven years after the film’s big screen premiere. Check out John’s Facebook page for more.