When I launched Volplex Pictures a year ago, it was with a single end goal in mind - to develop, produce, and create my first feature film. After spending the previous three years of my life working on Writers, a project which was both time-consuming and physically draining to be involved with, I took a much needed time-out to recalibrate and decide what direction I wanted to go in as a filmmaker.
As it turned out, the journey towards that goal had began many years earlier in 2015.
As part of our university studies, a group of friends and I were tasked with creating a 5-minute science-fiction short film. Our team became interested in the idea of artificial intelligence, and through that, simulated romance. After a three-day guerilla shoot, the end result was a film called Code Ten, a story of a young man who ventures into a simulation in search of connection, where he meets the digital host of the virtual world. The film was short and sweet, and got its story across in a few sparse minutes. If you want to see how it turned out, you can watch the full film below (it features my God-awful acting, so please watch at your own discretion!)
Anyway, the film went on to win best-in-class and we got a DVD copy of Life of Pi as a reward, before we moved on to the rest of our education. But the ideas behind the film, the story of that lonely man acting on that most human of impulses - loneliness - stuck with me, and I began to map out ideas for a feature-length expansion of the story.
Fortunately for the then-untitled feature length adaptation of Code Ten, this drive coincided with my own desire to create a film revolving around depression. Having battled with depression myself, it was a subject I was keen to explore in a way that felt personal and unique to my own outlook on life. At this point, I saw a parallel between the story of Code Ten and the story of depression I was trying to write - and as a result, Electric Silence was born.
Early concept art - by Sophie Cowdrey
Electric Silence is a science-fiction drama from a screenplay I have been working on since about 2016. It tells the story of Adam, a young man coming to terms with a very personal loss. In his grief, he becomes involved with an upstart technology company developing a startling new piece of hardware - Iris, the digital host of an advanced simulated world. As Adam delves deeper into Iris and the team bringing her to life, his grasp on reality begins to slip away.
After working on this story for so long, I'm excited to finally have the chance to share details with you! We're currently deep in pre-production on the project, with a script being worked on hard, talented concept artists bringing the visual world of the film to life (a few pieces have been included in this blog!), and casting is in full swing as we look for those perfect actors to step into the shoes of our characters.
Speaking of casting...
Jack Stringer as "Adam"
I’m delighted to confirm that the talented Jack Stringer will be playing the lead role of “Adam” in the film.
I previously worked with Jack on Writers, in which he played the affable Barney Fields. Barney was a largely comedic character on the show, serving to provide loveable foil for the always-bitter Hugh. However, his turn as Adam in Electric Silence will give Jack a chance to dive deep into his non-comedic side, with plenty of dramatic material for him to sink his teeth into.
Speaking of his involvement in the project, Jack explains: “I’m really excited to get involved with this project, and I’m thrilled to be able to work with Adam and the team once again on this new adventure. After reading the script, I was instantly drawn to the character’s narrative arc and the twists and turns that his story throws up. I can’t wait to get started!”
In Electric Silence, Adam is a young office worker coming to terms with a tragedy close to home. After discovering the Iris Project, Adam becomes involved in the Beta testing of the program, leading him on an emotional journey of self-discovery.
Jordan Cottle as "Owen"
Call it nepotism if you want to, but it’s always handy to have a talented brother like Jordan around, and I’m excited to announce that he will be coming onboard the project to play the character of “Owen”.
One of my most frequent collaborators, I last worked with Jordan on Writers, where his double-act with Jack as the Hugh Darvill to his Barney Fields remains one of my favourite elements of my time working on that show. Since then, both Jordan and Jack have been involved in a theatrical show that ended up performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“The depth of Owen's character is something I'm excited to tackle in my performance, and collaborating with Adam is always exciting!” Jordan explains about his role. “Jack is a great performer and a close friend, so I'm looking forward to working with him and making some magic!”
In Electric Silence, Owen is an electrical engineer working for Ersatz Technologies, the company responsible for the Iris Project, and Adam’s best friend. When Adam becomes involved with the team, the two of them find their friendship tested by their own secrets and regrets.
As production moves ahead, further casting for the film will be announced in due course, and we're hoping to fill in the remaining main cast roles in the coming months! Moving forward, the Volplex Journal will become the central hub for Electric Silence updates, serving as a behind-the-scenes production diary as we begin pre-production and, later, shooting.
So there you have it! The first updates on the biggest project we've ever undertaken. It's exciting times here at Volplex Pictures, and I can't wait to share further updates with you all and get this story told!
Keep your eyes peeled for the next issue!
Adam T Cottle