It was said that on the day Commander Maggot was born God was sick. What a profound statement to be made, as the film opens. We then see the grubby looking vagrant, waking up disoriented and battling strange voices in his head. Is he really taking to someone, or is this all a figment of his imagination? That is the question that gets raised, as Daniel picks himself up and wanders the streets in search of some answers.
This short film was shot in 2008 by Spider Gun Productions, and it was originally spawned from a dream that writer Kenneth Gallant had experienced. Some quick sketches were made and once they were shown to artist Rich Leggatt history was made shortly after.
The character of Daniel Brannon went through several revisions over time, but once the final concept was agreed upon it was smooth sailing from there. Only one actor was needed, and that went to friend Robert Leathem who agreed to don the ragged clothes and monster mask to help bring the movie to life.
The film was shot guerilla style, so all the locations were shot outdoors and in some cases relied upon public locations to create an effective atmosphere for the story to gestate. It was shot in a single weekend and then quickly edited a week later. The film runs for about 15 minutes and it has been shown online to family and friends.
This concept of Daniel Brannon is simple, but through and through this is a monster movie done old school. The short is inspired from movies like Phantasm, David Cronenberg’s Shivers and Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case. There’s also a creepy feeling of dualism that helps to push the narrative, effectively creating a chilling portrait of a man spiraling out of control.
This was the first film for the newly formed partners of Kenneth Gallant and Rich Leggatt and it helped to launch them into a series of shorts that followed. Of all the films done by these two partners Daniel Brannon has stood out the most.
Kenneth Gallant, Editor HMS
THE CONCEPT OF DANIEL BRANNON
I just wanted to add a few small tidbits of info to Ken's already extensive coverage of the process. I can recall Ken showing me a drawing he had made of this particular dream that he had; a simple and very quick sketch of a shrivelled man in an old suit holding a spike. At his feet was a large worm. Ken told me that this individual was the keeper of the worm which was called the Nidhogg. When the worm feasted on the living, the shrivelled man would rehydrate (for lack of a better description). I found this symbiotic relationship fascinating and I immediately told Ken that, one day, we would create a film around this concept.
What was most interesting about this whole occurrence was that this sketch which Ken had shown me was not what he had intended to show me when we met that day. We actually met to go over a comic we were working on at the time. He only happened upon the sketch while he was going through his notes about the comic. If he had not flipped to that sketch accidentally, I might never have heard about this amazing idea of his!
Additionally, although I knew we would eventually make this film, it wasn't until two years later that Ken had a more developed story. He and I had worked on a few different projects between the time he had first shown me the sketch until the time he had a story in mind for the script. Add that to the fact that the story he approached me with at that point would eventually go through several major revisions until it became something that we could realistically shoot for almost no money (and using a simple digital compact camera!).
But the one thing that remained consistent throughout the process was Daniel Brannon himself. So with that, Spider Gun Productions proudly presents it's first online film:
The Conflict of Daniel Brannon
Richard Leggatt, Designer HMS