Von Der Asche: Dark Purposes

Von Der Asche

Years ago in a land far, far away with a bag full of optimism and a satchel packed with energy, Will Worrall and I embarked on our most ambitious and insane short film; Von Der Asche. This was our homage to the films of the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s. Our shared obsession, German Expressionist cinema, inspired our grad film. The plot was simple, two scientists – one mad, one grieving – joined forces to transfer the brain of the latter’s deceased wife into the body of a captive young woman in a secret lab near the end of World War II.

Two edits of the film were intended. For film school, we were given a time limit of 15 minutes which worked somewhat well. It earned us a decent grade at least. The full cut however, was nearer 20 minutes long. Will and I never felt completely happy with the shorter cut of the film, missing shots created little plot holes and shorter cuts of scenes lacked moments that shone light onto the inner workings of the characters minds. It just felt incomplete. We never had a way to explain to others why we were so desperate to show our film in its entirety. That is, until Batman vs Superman was released on Blu-ray with that spectacular extended edition of the film.

If you have seen both versions of BvS you can easily surmise how Zack Snyder must have felt amidst a torrent of harsh (and in many cases, unfair) reviews of the cinematic release. Will and I felt a similar way, even if our reviews were somewhat kinder due to our inexperience in our overly ambitious ode to early cinema. Sadly, for us, due to typical film-school-technical fuck ups, we lost three invaluable shots of the full cut – still missing to this day. These shots make or break that cut, without them, it remains perpetually incomplete. It lacks the finishing touch that takes it from a passable piece to a proud, shining accomplishment.

Despite this hugely expensive failure, Will and I loved the universe and characters we created and have always wanted to go back to it in another form. After much discussion, planning and a butt load of procrastination over self-doubt and fear of another failed attempt at our passion project, we chose how we would keep that world alive: comics.

Me and my creative mirror, Will, are huge comic geeks and as it’s a medium we both love working in, chose comics for the freedom it gives us to tell this insanely macabre tale. We have the first four-issue arc, Dark Purposes, scripted and two further arcs planned. Dark Purposes acts as a prequel to the short film, the mad genius Doctor Enstrom’s ghastly origins.

We are currently looking through artists’ submissions to work with on the project. So, if you have a passion for Expressionism and want to throw your talent into the mix, drop us a message with some sample pages of your art!

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