A few years back, director Darren Scales and his dedicated team produced The Drift, a full length space-set science fiction film made for £5k. More impressive than it being so cheap was that it was actually pretty good (our review is up on this very site), and as any film fan these days knows, something being actually, you know, pretty good and not just the sum of ‘brilliant marketing x underwhelming product = regular disappointment’ is getting sadly rare.
For short film Edge of the Storm, Scales is continuing to expand upon the DARKWAVE concept established in The Drift. Over 100 years in the future, humankind has colonised space using faster-than-light crystals. The 'darkwave' was a catastrophic event some decades earlier, which destroyed this capability and left colonies devastated as well as ships stranded throughout explored space. Where The Drift focused on a salvage crew encountering something dangerous out in space, Edge of the Storm moves that focus onto a planet. A young family find themselves on the run from the omnipresent martial law of the Ministry. Making their way to an outpost, and in dire need of rest and food, the family instead find something waiting for them as their hunters close in.
Edge of the Storm is, at its core, nothing particularly new. But then that’s really true of most films and TV shows ever released. To be successful, the trick is trying to present something in a fresh way and doing it well. For the most part, this is what Edge of the Storm achieves. Scales has gone for a lived-in future with recognisable technology; it’s a not-too-implausible future, with a feeling of verisimilitude coming from only one major discovery (in this case crystals) making space travel and colonisation possible. The family at the centre of the story presents the human front to what this kind of future could be like: people trying to get by, to keep safe and find food, missing their relatives stranded impossibly far away across space. Although it’s still a relatively low-budget production, this doesn’t really show on screen, and Scales has gone for a high-end feeling to proceedings, assisted by a full score that helps to convince that this is a professional product made to be taken seriously.
The dialogue is a bit unpolished and some of the acting is a bit rough too, but then again, when you don’t have the luxury of a long pre-production, shooting times or rehearsals, you make do. Overall, if the desire from producing Edge of the Storm was to encourage people to get interested in exploring this universe further, it’s certainly capable of achieving its aim. We hope there’s more to come from Scales, his crew and the DARKWAVE universe.
DARKWAVE: EDGE OF THE STORM / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: DARREN SCALES / SCREENPLAY: DARREN SCALES, SUE MORRIS, DOMINIC K. BRIGHT / STARRING: NATHALIE COX, SHANE RIMMER, ROBIN KIRWAN, STEVE HEALEY / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16TH