Category Archives: News

Shadows of a Stranger Emerges from the Shadows

It’s a day that some people thought would never happen, but our film Shadows of a Stranger is soon about to get a release…

August 27th 2017 is the date for your diary, and it’s a significant day because it was on this very day 8 years ago that the journey essentially began. I had just turned 30 back then, wondering what I should be doing with my life, when I embarked on the start of our own feature film production. That was the day that I met up with Chris and another filmmaker friend Brad and we set up a green screen in a pub in Swineshead.

Shadows of a Stranger Showpiece Video

Filming the showpiece – Don’t we all look so young back then?

There we filmed a sample scene from my script (called just Strangers back then) and from that footage we created a ‘showpiece’ video that would serve as a test for us to gauge how to film the entire script, and also serve as a demonstration to people as to what we were trying to achieve. It was a great tool for attracting actors as they were able to see our vision.

Shadows of a Stranger Showpiece Video

A shot of the Joe’s Parlour cafe from the 2009 Showpiece video.

Shadows of a Stranger

And this is how that same shot turned out in the final film.

It was the following year, in 2010, when the main production of the film took place. We built our own blue screen studio (it was blue because the jacket that Chris wore in the film was green) in a farmer’s barn somewhere down the fen. The following years saw us painstakingly compositing all the shots, filming further pick ups, recording dialogue, recording sound effects, recording music, and filming even more pick ups – in fact, the actors that you see in the final film are spread across 5 different years. Because of the nature of our production, we could have people in different years in the same shot, sometimes interacting with each other, and sometimes it was the same person in the same shot because their appearance had changed so much!

Shadows of a Stranger

Strangers across the years: the guy farthest right and farthest left is the same guy (Ben) in 2013 and 2010, the foreground actors are in 2010, the couple at the rear are in 2012. The music video on the TV is from 2011 and only made it into this edit of the film in 2017!

To be honest, I didn’t think it would be a whole 8 years before I would be unveiling the film to the world – and by the way, by ‘the world’ I mean the UK, the USA, Japan, Germany and Austria, for those are the only available territories on our chosen distribution avenue. We’ve chosen Amazon Video for that particular purpose, somewhat an uncharted territory for independent filmmakers looking to get their work out there, but there’s potentially a large audience base there and it allows us control over everything. So we’ll soon see how that pans out.

Until then, please check out the new trailer for the film that I put together. And come August 27th make sure to search us out on Amazon and watch our long awaited production.

The Tale of the Night Shiner

The Tale of the Night ShinerMy new novel has now been published! A follow up to the book I released last year, and the second book of the Dark Harbour Tales, The Tale of the Night Shiner is about a brutal supernatural creature that is haunting the town and killing off all the losers and the wasters. Our antiheroes at the local vigilante organisation, Halo of Fires, are called upon to somehow succeed at the impossible task and slay the beast, but they’re not so keen to take on the job as they’re busy chasing down abusers and bad boys themselves. So yeah, a real feel-good story as you can tell.

The book is a cross between the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack and one of my all-time favourite films, Jaws, and I think it’s an even better read than my first book. A lot of the original characters return for the sequel, with even more twists and turns and surprises to be revealed. The series takes an even darker tone in this installment, so it’s a definite Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy.

Anyway, please check it out, even if you haven’t read the first one. I really think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written and I’m looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts on it.

Joseph Kiel by the ghost trainRecently I also recreated my author profile photograph as I stood beside a ghost train in a certain seaside town… Okay, yeah it wasn’t Dark Harbour because there is no such place (in our dimension), but can you guess where I am? It’s a certain resort that has inspired this series of books, and I make one or two oblique references to it. Clue: there used to be a cool helter skelter there.

Start spreading the news…

Ah yes, about time I made an update here… So recently I went to a mystery location in America which you’ll never guess, but here’s a visual clue to help you work it out:

Richard Dutton with a big apple in the Big Apple.

Richard Dutton with a big apple in the Big Apple.

Yes, that’s right, I went to New York. What you may not know is that I actually live near New York… the one in Lincolnshire, that is. I bet you never knew that, did you? That there is another New York somewhere in the world. I’m not sure how it got the name. I think New York City was already established by the time New York Hamlet was established, but it could have been named after York (of Yorkshire), whereas NYC was named after the Duke of York (so says Wikipedia). Whether some 19th century fen farmer was having a joke naming this tiny place after NYC, who knows?

Anyway, two weeks before we travelled to America, I was driving to Skegness with my partner and saw a sign to the hamlet of New York. I’d known about this place for ages but had never actually been. To be honest, there really isn’t that much there. It’s a hamlet. Hamlets are small. The antithesis of a metropolis. The two New Yorks couldn’t be any more different.

New York

I bet you’ll never guess which New York I’m filming in here.

Anyway, as we knew we were visiting the Big Apple soon, we thought it appropriate to visit the Small Apple too, so on the way back we stopped off there to have a look, for curiosity’s sake. Whilst we were there we also shot a little video, a guide to the sites and sounds of New York, which I intended to resume a couple of weeks later… The results of this video can be seen below. We shot this on the fly, so the sound isn’t great, unfortunately. And I rather did feel a tad self conscious talking all this Lincolnshire-related nonsense while I was over in the big city! But I hope you still enjoy it. It sure was fun to make!

Welcome to my new look website

It’s all change here now at www.richarddutton.co.uk and I hope you enjoy the new website.

You’ll find information about my films and books and other creative projects, as well as random updates and blogs, so stay tuned and something might happen here, hopefully more so than it did at the last place!

P.S. “stranger in the shadows” refers to the film I made, Shadows of a Stranger, not that I’m a creepo stalker… or am I? No, no, it’s okay. I’m really reasonably normal. Trust me.