Where it all began…
Since it’s premiere hosted by Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool.com at the BNAT Film Festival, The Pit and the Pendulum short film has screened in over 200 film festivals and comic conventions around the world including AFI Dallas and Comicon San Diego. Nearly 100,000 visitors logged into the film’s website within two days of the film’s premier in Austin, TX, and has continued to garner a global fan following. Director Marc Lougee is amazed with the response to the film and the cross-platform opportunities presented since its release on DVD.
Part of the strategy to extend the film experience included releasing the film and story over multiple platforms for maximum accessibility. The core idea was to enable students, teachers, fans and the mere curious every opportunity to see the film, read the story, and help propagate a deeper understanding of Edgar Allan Poe’s legacy.
Susan Ma, producer on the stop motion adaptation of The Pit and the Pendulum, says the interactive comic is a wonderful extension of the film. “ In producing the film, we sought to bring the story to life for a broad audience, while staying as close to the original story as possible. We were especially keen to see the story develop with a strong visual aesthetic and real storytelling. In realizing the film images as an interactive comic book, I feel we’re accomplishing the goal of making the story very accessible. We’ve been surprised with wonderful feedback from teachers and professors who are thrilled to have a resource like the film to teach Poes works in class.” Director Marc Lougee adds ‘” I think between the comic book and the DVD, we’ve got a wonderful package to create interest in Edgar Allan Poes literature through visual means, starting with The Pit and the Pendulum. Gothic horror, comic books and Edgar Allan Poe- who wouldn’t be thrilled?”
Comic books, or sequential art, present a powerful means to tell stories. Animation shares a close kinship to comic book art, and I sought to extend the experience of The Pit and the Pendulum via release of the ‘interactive’ comic book, online. This adaptation of the story, using a mash-up social media techniques and the internet, enables the reader to interact through various means integrated into the story via links to information, images, maps, etc – many hidden within the work – allowing viewers to plumb the depths of the story. Ultimately, our aim is to inform and develop a more distinct perspective on the political / religious climate of the Spanish Inquisition, it’s protagonists, antagonists and historical geography.
In the end, riches await the wary few to wend their way toward light at the end of the tunnel. Hidden within the comic is lots of information via hyperlinks, QR codes, hidden websites, puzzles, etc. Finding passage into one dungeon leads to another, successively. You can wander a much as you like, but be warned; puzzles and hidden sites prove increasingly difficult as you explore the depth of the dungeons. Wander freely – surely you’ll see, hear and read more information expanding your knowledge of the story. Click the banner above to download the comic!
Maximize your experience; I urge you to work through the interactive aspects of the book. I believe you’ll leave with more than with which you started. I hope your journey proves enlightening.
“Persensi, primum de origine lumen illustrata sulphurea cella.”