Guess the story – from just four pictures!

Those who have been following our crowdfunding campaign will be aware that we’ve just received pieces of concept art from 2012 Olympics artist Adam James*, which are available as part of the package offered to donors who pledge £100 or more. The four full-colour pictures depict key moments of action from the film, and are a great deal more attractive than the sketchy storyboards I cobbled together with a pencil and a few index cards (but they were good enough for the shoot, so hey…).

Now, here’s a bit of fun. Can you work out the story of The Ditch from these four storyboards alone? The four scenes are presented in the order in which they appear in the film, and you’ll already be familiar with the first two if you’ve watched our trailers or read my posts on the story (here and here). But can you work out where things go from there? Also, can you guess the twist at the end – which isn’t shown in these pictures? Leave us a comment, either here or on our Indiegogo comments page! If anyone gets particularly close to the actual story, we’ll offer a prize (on condition you don’t broadcast the twist!).

The four pictures appear below the fold.

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Japanese ghosts, men in masks, and sisters doing it for themselves

Recently, Sheena and I were asked which films influenced The Ditch, and it got us thinking. Although we could answer the question easily enough (we cited The Ring and Witchfinder General, as we usually do when we want to pitch the film), we couldn’t help thinking there were many, many films we could pick as influences on this production, and on us as filmmakers generally. So we had a chat about it together and the more we talked, the more films we came up with. Here are just a few of them; read down the list, and find your favourite!

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Horror in the woods – the story continues…

Nina screams

It’s Saturday morning. On Monday morning, the campaign to rescue Donna begins!

Yesterday morning I posted the first part of the story of The Ditch. What you read yesterday, and what you’re about to read below, is all the stuff we’ve filmed so far (apart from a few pick-ups).  Donna has knocked down a mysterious pedestrian in the middle of an isolated road in the forest, and now she has to decide what to do next… Continue reading

Who is Donna? And who is that girl in the middle of the road?

Donna's on the phone to her lover - so why does she look so scared?

Donna’s on the phone to her lover – so why does she look so scared?

It’s Friday morning. On Monday morning, the campaign to rescue Donna begins!

Who is Donna? If you’ve been following this blog up to now, you’ll know the answer to that question. But if you don’t, or if you’re just interested in finding out more – including what you can do to help – read on…

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Pinterest – horror, ghosts, spooky forests and kittens

Our Pinterest boards

Our Pinterest boards

On the Train is on Pinterest now! Find us at pinterest.com/theditch/boards.

Pinterest is a surprisingly addictive pastime, especially for those who are strongly motivated by visuals (which really ought to cover almost everyone in film). I’ve found it easy to assemble a board which gives viewers an instant impression of what kind of atmosphere we’re aiming to create in The Ditch – spooky, mist-shrouded woods (although we won’t have any mist in our production), ghosts half-seen, revenants and undead ‘things’, creepy abandoned buildings. If this all sounds a bit Gothic maybe that’s no bad thing, although the world of The Ditch is as much rooted in reality as in the spirit world (our central character, Donna, has to deal with everyday concerns like her relationship with the other people in her real-world life, and the moral choices she has to make when in a situation any of us could find ourselves in).

Of course we’ve also added a board of images from the production, including our latest trailer. This board will feature publicity stills, posters and other promotional images, as well as some behind the scenes material (some of which can also be viewed soon on our updated website, coming shortly).

And, because Pinterest is fun, we’ve added some pictures of kittens. (Plus lots of other things we just like because, well, we just like them – the staggering endless blue of houses in the Indian city of Jodhpur, the sun stabbing its way in between the stones at Stonehenge, pictures of people making films, attractive design and photography…) We’ll try to keep the kittens out of the ‘horror’ section, although nothing in life is guaranteed and it would be fun to find some crossover between the two. Might be time to watch Cat People again…

The Ditch – the story

What actually happens in The Ditch?

We start in the idyllic English countryside – beautiful meadows and fields, trees swaying gently in the breeze, birds flying overhead. It’s this natural harmony and tranquillity which is shattered by the appearance of a car, racing along the only road running through this landscape. The car is zooming along at top speed, its engine roaring, the tyres screeching on the bends. The birds scatter.

The car is being driven by Donna. Donna looks scared. She’s on the run – we don’t know what she’s running from, or to, but her mobile phone keeps going off and it’s the same man ringing her every time. She ignores each call, but every time that phone goes she seems a little more anxious, pushes the car to go a little faster. But there’s something about Donna that draws our attention. Is it her face, which looks lived-in, as if it’s seen some of the worst things life can show a woman? Is it the way she keeps glancing to the side at a bottle of booze sticking out of her bag on the passenger seat? No, there’s something else. She takes her hand off the steering wheel and… ah, that’s what it is. She’s pregnant. Not very far gone, but enough to show.

The car slows down. Donna’s come to a fork in the road. She doesn’t know, or doesn’t remember, which way to go. She looks left and right, but these roads look the same to her. The phone starts ringing again – she grabs it, and swears at the caller. Then she throws the phone down in a fury, revs up the engine, and chooses a road apparently at random. The car picks up speed again.

Now she’s going down a road she doesn’t recognise, a narrower road, rough and gravelly, bordered by trees which tower overhead like giants watching her. Donna looks at that bottle. She wants a drink. She needs a drink. Oh, but she’s not allowed… the baby… Damn it, she can’t manage without.

As she looks up from the bottle, her face turns to horror. What the hell? What’s that woman doing there? How can she have got there? And why doesn’t she move? Get out of the way! Get out… too late.

As the story develops, see how Donna’s situation worsens as the choices she makes lead her to abandon maternal concern in favour of self-preservation and, ultimately, wickedness… and the consequences of those choices as supernatural forces intervene and take a terrible revenge.