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Issue #4: The Big Comeback Edition

Welcome to 2024! Wishing a very happy New Year to you all!

Can you believe it’s been five years since I last updated this journal? Can you believe I also once said it was going to be a monthly thing? That went out the window pretty fast, didn’t it?

But there's a good reason for that - it’s been a busy five years. A very busy five years.

I prepped and shot (most of) my first feature film, Electric Silence; then rode out a global pandemic; then resumed-and-finally-completed shooting of the aforementioned feature; and then dove straight into 18+ months of post-production. It’s been more than a little exhausting!

And it hasn’t been only Electric Silence keeping me on my toes - 2022 saw the beginning of a wonderful ongoing collaboration with sketch comedy duo Jack & Jordan.

Sketch comedy duo Jack & Jordan photographed in Weston-Super-Mare by Adam Leppard

I was lucky enough to film a few of their sketches back in 2022, and then recorded a live performance of their best-selling comedy tour, A Sketch Show, when it came to Weston-Super-Mare’s Front Room Theatre back in the summer of 2023. Here's a few clips of our work together: one, a bizarre sketch called "Pine Nuts", and the other, a live performance of "Sarah the Imaginary Girlfriend":

I’m looking forward to continuing this collaboration with the boys moving forward, where I know they have some fun and exciting things planned… but that’s not for me to talk about. Maybe in a future blog!

Sketch comedy duo Jack & Jordan - Photography by Adam Leppard

Looking ahead, 2024 is an exciting year for me, marking the ten year milestone since I began my filmmaking journey! While I’ve dabbled with movie cameras and writing stories for as long as I can remember, summer 2014 marked the unofficial beginning of “Adam the Filmmaker”, with the production of my college graduation short, Writers. Those of you who've been following me for some time will know that Writers went on to spawn a web-series of the same name (back in the old days when Volplex Pictures was still CCE Entertainment), which ran for eleven episodes between 2014 and 2017. June 22nd is the formal tenth anniversary of the original short's release, and I’m lining up some special things to celebrate!

And as I look to 2024 as an important anniversary year - one where old projects come to a close, and new adventures open up - it seems like the perfect time to update you all on where I am as a filmmaker, and to give you a first look at what lies ahead on the next leg of this exciting, ongoing journey of mine.

So - let’s start with Electric Silence.

Jack Stringer as Adam and Hannah Louise Howell as Iris in ELECTRIC SILENCE

Those of you who follow me on social media might be aware that work on picture is now finally finished for Electric Silence, and we’re just putting the final touches to the film’s sound mix. Eight years since I began writing the screenplay, and five years after shooting began before being delayed by global pandemics, busy cast & crews schedules, the complications of shooting a feature with next-to-no money, and many a stroke of simple bad luck, I honestly could not be more relieved and proud of how the final film has turned out, and can’t wait for all of you to finally get to see it very soon!

As you can tell from the above photo, by the time shooting finally wrapped we were all absolutely knackered, including my dog.

Submittions to film festivals have begun, and now we play the anxiety-inducing waiting game to hear if we’ve made the cut. Keep your eyes firmly peeled on both the Volplex and Electric Silence instagram pages for future updates on our festival progress!

Now, with that project finally winding down, it's time to look to the future and talk about something new - something I'm very, very excited about.

With 2024 being Volplex’ aforementioned tenth birthday, it seems like an appropriate time to go back to basics. I wanted to create something dynamic, fresh, and fun, and a return to my comedy roots. So, in Spring 2024, production will begin on a new short-form original web-series - The Freelancer.

I’ve been developing this project since last February, and I’m relieved to finally share some details!

The Freelancer is a dark-comedy series that follows Jerry Sandhurst, an isolated loser who finds himself propelled into an unwanted roadtrip when he’s kidnapped by Angelica, a chaotic bounty hunter on a mission to hunt down Jerry's college sweetheart. What follows is a blood-spattered odyssey across the English South West as Angelica tries to complete her mission, evading the pursuit of rival "freelancers" and the law - all while dragging the helpless Jerry along for the ride.

We'll be shooting a ten minute pilot episode for The Freelancer this February, with production on a full first season to begin later in the year. I'm also delighted to reveal that we have cast the dual lead roles for this odd-couple crime story - Mia Borthwick will play Angelica, the titular "freelancer", and George Jacobs will play Jerry, the hapless loser who is unwillingly dragged along in her wake.

Left: George Jacobs as Jerry Sandhurst. Right: Mia Borthwick as Angelica

We have a few further casting updates lined up to follow soon, so make sure to follow The Freelancer on Instagram - @thefreelancerseries - or on the site-formerly-known-as-Twitter - @thefreelancer24 - to keep up to date on the latest updates, where we'll be sharing behind-the-scenes content and much, much more!

I think that about covers everything for now. As you can tell, there's a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to! While I can't promise that this blog will become the monthly update it was intended to be (what can I say? I'm wildly inconsitent), my goal is to provide a lot more transparency moving forward, and the Volplex Journal will be a key part of that. Stay tuned for future entires exploring behind-the-scenes material, filmmaking advice, and (all being well!) our film festival journey, wherever that may take us.

Until the next time!

- A.T.C.

Jan 2024


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