13 06 2014

Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins: His Heavy Heart


The Cult Comic Book Outsider Blurs the Line Between Fiction and Reality in His Latest Work with the British Director

A semi-fictional local clown and a tattooed and buxom burlesque dancer vie for attention with their creators Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins in this short captured on the set of their forthcoming short film, His Heavy Heart, the fifth part of the Show Pieces series made with photographer and director. The thick-bearded, permanently smoking mystic Moore is one of the most prolific generators of fiction alive. His roster of graphic novels turned Hollywood movies—WatchmenFrom HellV For Vendetta—reads like a role call of wildly popular yet intelligently designed comic fantasies. He started his current novel-in-progress Jerusalem (rumoured to be around 600,000 words long) after losing faith in the world of blockbuster movies. “Most films today recycle ideas from 30, 40, 50 years ago,” he says. “The current superhero fad is probably a good example, and also things like Pirates of the Caribbean, which is based upon a theme park ride. You can see pop culture just devouring itself.” Instead, Moore and Jenkins—who are in the planning stages of a TV show and feature film—favour the local in place of the lure of distant dollars. Showcased in this film from Emile Rafael, the narratives found in the Lex Projects-produced Show Pieces grew out of Moore’s experiences in his hometown, the Midlands town of Northampton in England. A strange thing happened after most of the series was shot last year—sightings of an anonymous costumed joker the “Northampton Clown” went viral 'creepypasta'-style, freaking out coulrophobics worldwide. “Mitch started getting emails saying, ‘This is you and Alan isn’t it,’” Moore recalls. “No it wasn’t, yet it was a perfect expression of something that we had written—this story with a clown who only exists in dreams, breaking through and manifesting in the streets, which is kind of what happened.” Below, Mitch Jenkins speaks to NOWNESS about the creative collaboration.

How did the Jimmy’s End project come to fruition?
Mitch Jenkins: 
After Alan had suggested writing the screenplay, he turned my characters into Bobbles the Clown, James and Mr Metterton, thus creating "Jimmy’s End" and the wonderful array of strange but beautiful inhabitants of the Workings Men’s Club in Northampton. We have spent the last three years creating the world of The Show.

Can you tell us about the creative process?

It really is a true collaboration, every detail is discussed, Alan then writes the words and creates the world. It's my job to turn what's written on the page into film. Throughout the process we stop and take stock of each new element that is added, discussing it’s merit, making minor adjustments until what we see and hear is what we both want.

What’s next?
Alan just finished writing the feature film, The Show and we are also pre-planning the TV series. Add to this, the launch of our R&D project Electricomics two weeks ago.

The Show Pieces home media box set will include a DVD of all films from the project and a separate book of storyboard illustrations by Kristian Hammerstad that sit alongside the original screenplay and the soundtrack to the films. Pre order here.


Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins: His Heavy Heart on Nowness.com


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