The Inheritors have become the curators of the Obsessives; a civilization that left behind very few coherent fragments. The meaning of their stories are mostly a mystery now and may always remain a mystery.

Produced by Bill McKenna

I heard of the festival from a friend and quickly turned around the film over the course of two or three days to meet the submission deadline. I had the shape of the story in my head, wrote the script, created original music, shot the footage, recorded the voice-over (in English) and then re-recorded the voice-over in a made up language.

The language has roots in my experience as a video editor going back almost 30 years. Before non-linear, everything was, of course, on tape and the forwarding, rewinding, cueing mostly took place in real time. I can imitate pretty accurately the sound of the English language going backwards. It's sort of a party trick in some ways. I eventually altered it to a point where people can actually be convinced that I am speaking an odd, sort of Eastern European language.

The voice-over of the alien - "The Inheritor" - is basically a slight alteration of that original "party trick."

The footage itself has an interesting background. Initially, I wanted to go around Washington DC or to Baltimore Maryland to shoot abandoned buildings but I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough time to meet the deadline. I had heard about Hashima Island from a story by the Japanese broadcaster NHK. Then about two months ago, I discovered that Google was documenting historic locations for their street view maps including the abandoned island called Hashima which is also known as Battleship Island or Ghost Island.

So, over a day or two, I recorded my "web journey" around the island by sticking a video camera in front of my computer screen. I probably recorded a total of about 2 or 3 hours of footage which I then strung out on a timeline, reduced it to something a bit more manageable and, eventually, I was left with about 10 minutes of footage that was used in the finished film.

Here's some interesting background on Hashima Island:

This film was produced for the "Alien's Guide Short Film Festival" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art which won the Audience Choice for Best Film..

Cheers, WM

Bill McKenna
BBC News

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