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Frame 137 is a short film based on the works of James O’Barr, the creator of The Crow.  He wrote the comic in the mid-nineties with plans to create a graphic novel taking place  in a bleak, Bladerunner-style setting.

 

 

At the time, his press commitments for The Crow, which had just been released, became too demanding  and  O’Barr abandoned the pursuit of the graphic novel. But several short stories had been written which were published in various comics.  Frame 137  first appeared in issue #61 of Dark Horse Presents in April 1992.

 

The comic caught the attention of Australian filmmaker Judd Tilyard, and in 2004  he approached O’Barr about expanding the comic into a short film. O’Barr gave his blessing and the film was eventually shot in Queensland, Australia in 2009 after several years of development.

 

Frame 137 belongs to the post-apocalyptic cyber-punk genre, which is a post-modern and science-fiction genre characterised by its focus on ‘high tech and low life’.  Cyberpunk characters have been described as ‘marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body’.

The plot of Frame 137 begins as ‘Jonny Z’ waits at the underground tech saloon run by ‘Mac’, one of the few people he trusts. When Jonny realizes the presence of a ‘Grey’ might scare off ‘Leo’, his expected client, Jonny is forced to start a massive bar fight before personally persuading the Grey and her followers to leave. Anxiously awaiting Leo’s arrival, Jonny receives a surprise pick me up from his dealer ‘Big T’, just before Leo shows. Pondering his past and the requirements of his job, Jonny heads to the back room to confront and kill Leo.

 

 

James O’Barr describes the completed short film as ‘phenomenally well-done’.  He will continue to collaborate with Director/Producer Tilyard in development of the full-length feature film to be shot in Detroit, USA.

 

 

Looking up at the image of a brilliant perfectly white sky. Slowly widening to blue as the towering shine of the future stretches into the sky defining it.

Descending into a world of glass and chrome, clouds speeding by, as we sink into a soft fluffy bank of artificial clouds. Amid the clouds, soft glowing white balloons take shape, of flat and round the cables trailing down past a second layer like a wedding cake, as shiny white chrome skiffs drift between the layers.

Pausing briefly over a hole in the second layer to empty there metallic bowels through the ring and into the gaping maw of the giant grey floating Garbage Processing Platforms (GPP’s), suspended by the balloons.

Trash pours into the grinding turbines of the GPP, loose debris catching the wind and drifting into the range of the automated sentries, only to be fried black before plunging back into the abyss of metallic teeth below. Descending past the grinding belly of these mechanized beasts, the furnaces roar, consuming, melting and processing the refuse from the heavens.

We pass through a cloud of the ionized filth hanging to the slow turbines that disperse the ashen remains like a thick black snow. Thick tar and soot collects amid the black ion clouds, as the finer ash dances its way to earth. We now travel past the grey lifeless foundations of the world above.

Slowly blackening with streaks of age rust and filth wearing into the expanding cement walls. Aged by acid rain and tortured by years of neglect, descending into the cesspit of civilization that is the underground.

The rumbling whine of machinery and life builds.

Slowing, tilting and coming to rest on a murky horizon, as ash hangs in the damp air. Worn army boots stomp along as a broken angry rhythm joins the grinding hum. We follow, wearing a familiar path, beneath the dirty shadows of the endless towers; once sky scrapers reaching for the heavens, now merely foundations. Stepping to the muted cacophony and broken rhythms of angry musicians born centuries ago, a diminutive figure,  Jonny Z, cloaked in flickering shadows and leather, stalks the twilight streets.

 

 

 

 

‘Jonny Z’

SAM RANSOM

A very young and very dangerous man. He likes it raw, no plants, no metal.   Just candy swirling through his system…

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‘Mac’

LEE WHICHELLO

Bartender and proprietor of the Mainframe Underground Bar.

He lives by his rules – No Greys. No Guns. No drugs.

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‘Archon – The Grey’

 MICHELE MADDEN

 

Slender and regal, dressed in red damaged velvet.

‘Wet-waring’ at the bar and does not like to be disturbed.

 

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‘Leo’

PAUL MARTINO

Leo (aka The Leopard), a mean looking son of bitch without a shred of compassion in his expression.  A pimp complete with, mirrored glasses, tattoos, and hat, all to a leopard skin theme.

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‘Big T’

TY HUNGERFORD

 

Big T, a large Cowboy like character in a full length black trench coat

with a face full of scar tissue, smiles like a nightmare come to life.

Jonny Z’s dealer.

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Rags

 

Raggedy Boys. Lead by Jax.

Young, dumb and full of tech.

 

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Bolts

Older, slower and decidedly more dangerous, The Bolt Throwers, lay low with their leader Nixin. Eyeing off the Rags and some of their ‘shinier’ tech.

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