It took years but a local web series is about to rear its ghastly head. Thirty-year-old director Dorvan Davidson-Revill developed the unique concept for the eerie Gophenwick series back in high school, but he didn’t feel he had the right ingredients (as in, cast, crew and substance) at the time.
“I actually wrote it in 1995 and I’ve just been fiddling with it ever since because the universe is so expansive,” he says. “I wasn’t ready back then and the talent wasn’t around me yet, but now is the perfect time, especially with 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar coming up.”
The storyline follows a nine-year-old clairvoyant named Zoe, a child prodigy investigating paranormal activity in a Welsh town called — you guessed it — Gophenwick.
Davidson-Revill says the series is similar to “X-Files meets Lord of the Rings” and will cover a wide spectrum of paranormal activity along with other types of spooks, scares, ghosts and ghouls. In other words, this won’t be your average ghost story.
“We’re aiming for Hollywood-type quality and it’s much easier these days to create what you see on the big screen on the small screen.”
So far Davidson-Revill and his group have funded the 25-person project themselves, so the next step is to complete a 106-day online fundraiser through Indiegogo to secure a target of $25,000. The campaign just started but the group hasn’t barely scratched the surface yet, according to their Indiegogo account, so it’s going to take some serious donations.
Davidson-Revill expects to start filming this summer when lead actress Kirah Acton-Tang (who’s the same age as the girl she plays) is out of school for the summer.
“We did auditions and the child has to be really smart, logical and accurate, so I had the girls read an excerpt from the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and she was the only one who didn’t need help with the words,” he says. “And she laughed at the funny parts. I knew she was perfect.”
Although she’s not an actress, Acton-Tang is up for the challenge.
“I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m really excited and nervous,” she says.
Calgarians might notice some of their favourite local haunts in the series, including the Heritage Park Prince House and the Deane House, but Davidson-Revill says audiences can also expect lesser-known ghoulish locations, too.
“We’ve been researching for folklore and stories people haven’t heard of in Calgary and also in other places too. It’s going to be a lot of fun exploring some history. We have a deep, rich history and will take some artistic license with urban legend and folklore.”
Despite the fact it has taken 17 years to get to this point, there’s still a lot of work to do. “I’m feeling a combination of anxiety, excitement and I’m having the time of my life,” Davidson-Revill says. “A lot of people are really excited.”
Besides the web series, Davidson-Revill plans to create a documentary about the filming of the series. Anyone interested in donating can check out Indiegogo or the Gophenwick Facebook group for more information.