Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

July 16, 2014 at 2:17pm

On The Trail of a Killer: Going dark for "Olympia in Obscura"

Lights, camera, action, Olympia!

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Thanks to a vacation and last-minute commitments, it was well after sundown before I could set up a phone interview with David Caulfield, director and co-creator of web series Olympia in Obscura. Perhaps that's as it should be. It's a series that evokes darkened alleys and, as the Shadow once knew, the evil that lurks in the hearts of men.

In this Oly-set yarn, Colin, an erstwhile cop turned narcoleptic private investigator (oh, that old story, right?), is on the hunt for a serial murderer, the Chehalis Trail Killer. In order to nab Obscura's "big bad," Colin will need to overcome personal demons, elude the charms of a wily femme fatale, and, one suspects, order late-night eats from Quality Burrito. The first series will unfold as a half-dozen ten-minute webisodes, to be shot over three months this autumn.

Caulfield spelled out his vision for the series. "We're in pre-production right now. We start casting next Friday at TCTV (Thurston County Television). They're open auditions. We gotta find our leads! We wanted to take cool locations here in Olympia and make them the backdrop for a crime noir, taking classical elements but adding twists to them, taking people we're used to seeing in a certain classical sense but giving them a modern twist. Each segment will end in a cliffhanger, to hopefully leave people wanting more. Put together, it'll be about an hour and 15 minutes. It'll work like a pilot to a television show, but people will get to see a beginning, middle, and end. We're definitely pushing the envelope visually. We've got a lot of surprises in store."

I can believe it. With co-creator and director of photography David Goodman overseeing a variety of moody visual effects, the team is well-prepared for its coming adventure. "I've made two micro-budgeted crime movies," Caulfield explains. "I just finished the second one, called Spaced Out: An Intergalactic Crime Saga. That's a science-fiction, action-adventure piece we did on a really low budget. We were able to shoot a fun movie for about a thousand dollars. My first movie, Smothered, is on YouTube, and we have a website called SpacedOutMovie.com. People can see the first eight minutes there to see what I'm about."

I've watched those eight minutes of Spaced Out. Say what you will about it, it is absolutely, beyond question the finest movie I've ever seen that begins with a Dune shout-out followed by a Volvo approaching a wormhole in space. The visual effects and kinetics are engaging and snazzy. If Caulfield & Co. can apply what they've learned to craft a darker, more layered aesthetic, then Olympia in Obscura could be something truly memorable. Lights, camera, action, Olympia: Goodman's cameras will soon be pointed at you.

Just be careful. Don't step too far out into the dark ... not, at least, until Colin has cornered his lethal prey.

Filed under: Screens, Olympia,
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