“In Search of the Dead” Selected for Wales International Film Festival

We are overjoyed to announce that “In Search of the Dead” has been officially selected for the fourth Wales International Film Festival!

The Wales International Film Festival was founded by Euros Jones-Evans and Samira Mohamed Ali to showcase the work of filmmakers from across the globe. This year’s festival will be held between 16th and 18th September 2020 at the Gwyn Hall in Neath, South Wales. You can find out more about the festival on their website.

Official “In Search of the Dead” Full Trailer and Release Date Announced

Our debut feature documentary, In Search of the Dead, will be released 15th November 2019. We have just announced the release date alongside the full trailer. Watch the new trailer below.

The documentary will be available to view on Vimeo, as well as on The Paranormal Scholar‘s YouTube channel via channel membership (launching soon). As always, you can sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with all news regarding In Search of the Dead. Equally, you can visit the documentary’s official website for more.

Can you believe it? There is now just over a month to go!

New teaser trailer and test watchers

After years of production, our debut feature documentary – In Search of the Dead – is almost ready. Yes, you read that correctly… it will soon be available to watch!

Despite (or perhaps because of!) having watched the film what seems like at least a million times, Erik and I want to check that we haven’t made any silly mistakes. As such, we are looking for keen-eyed viewers to spot any glitches, typos or volume irregularities which we might have missed.

Check out our latest teaser trailer and see what we’re talking about…

If you are interested in being a test watcher (and getting early access to ISOTD!), you can apply here. The form will be available to fill in until Monday night. After that we will be contacting those who we have selected with more details.

As always, we want to say thank you for your continued support and patience. We truly cannot wait to share “In Search of the Dead” with you!

Sound, sound, sound!

Over the past couple of weeks we have seen leaps and bounds worth of progress with In Search of the Dead, with “sound” and “audio” being the two most commonly used words in our office. Not only has our hugely talented composer finished all her (heavenly!) compositions for our soundtrack, but we have also hired an audio engineer to smooth the documentary’s sound and have recorded the final takes of all the voiceover in studio. Phew!

I hardly dare to say it, but I believe we are now in the Final Tweaks stage of post-production. I cross my fingers and hope that it won’t be too much longer until we will be looking for test watchers to help us identify any last errors or issues with the production. So, keep an eye out if that sounds interesting to you!

To end this short update post I must once again thank you all for your constant support and patience. There is a not a video on our YouTube channel that does not have a comment asking after In Search of the Dead. We know that you have not forgotten our crazy dream to produce this documentary, and are just as excited to see it finished as we are. Each comment warms our hearts and reminds us of how fortunate we are to have such an enthusiastic and understanding audience. So, thank you.

The great bump in the road

For the past couple of months we have been rather quiet regarding In Search of the Dead. Far from purposefully leaving you all in the dark, we have been navigating great stress and upset.

In early March a Windows Update forced itself onto our computer, right in the middle of our working day. We were in the process of backing our work up onto an external hard drive at the time. When the computer restarted it was immediately clear that something was not right. The computer was sluggish and slow to response. Yet, the extent of the damage was not yet apparent. After wrestling to restore it to normal speed by uninstalling the update, we realised that much more had been damaged. Our files – both on the computer and on the external hard drive – had been damaged. All our In Search of the Dead files (and strangely, nothing else) were completely inaccessible.

Since that time, technicians have been working hard to restore the files. Yesterday, we received the salvaged files. All of our raw files have been either partially or entirely damaged. Our project files are entirely gone. Our post-production work has to be restarted, using whatever remains of our footage.

However, we will still be able to make In Search of the Dead.

At times over the last few weeks we thought that everything we had been working on for the past year was lost. Figuring out how to tell you all was the hardest part. So, we are so very happy to be able to share this with you. It is still bad news, but not as bad as we were preparing ourselves for.

We cannot wait to get this project finished and present In Search of the Dead to you. It has been the most incredible and challenging venture we have ever embarked upon – far in excess of what we imagined.

Thank you all for your support and patience. We read every kind comment left on our videos and websites, and are always especially touched by those expressing enthusiasm for this project.

Gallery of screenshots: Our vision for In Search of the Dead

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Post-production and composing a soundtrack

Now that we are back home (and finally at the end of our filming!) we have a lot of work to do.

Post-production for a two-person team is proving challenging, time-consuming but also greatly rewarding. Being able to watch back through over 30 hours of footage, and consolidating everything we have done, is overwhelming. Did we really begin this journey just a few months ago? It seems worlds away now.

We cannot wait to share the finished product with you, but before then we have a long road to trek.

One of the most exciting aspects of the next few weeks for us is the production of an original soundtrack for the documentary. We are honoured to have the chance to work with a hugely talented, aspiring composer. From the beginning we knew that we wanted the music for In Search of the Dead to be different and well-thought out. A welcomed change, you might say, from the ‘make do’ approach we normally have to adopt. Now that we have greater resources available to us, we hope that we can deliver something spectacular – something ethereal.

So, keep your eyes peeled as we enter 2018. The wait is almost over.

Imagination is a vehicle

Throughout this trip we have encountered the notion that imagination plays a fundamental role in our ability to interpret the world around us. Indeed, humans are creative creatures, and so it makes some measure of sense that since perception is subjective, an individual’s imagination must shape interpretation.

As this documentary is a personal experiment of sorts, I have decided to test my own ability to use imagination as a vehicle to interpret the world. Now in the final stages of this journey, I have been doing stream of consciousness writing to help guide our archival research.

Akin to the methods which a medium may use to channel spirit, I have been using a combination of meditation and loosely channelled imagination in an attempt to retrieve pieces of information. Whatever words or phrases first come into my emptied mind are written down. Thus is the hypothesis: raw imagination can provide the truest insights. In this case, the truest insights into our search for the dead. In short, this is an experimental approach to test the validity of mediums using imagination as a tool for spiritual communication.

Undoubtedly, this is difficult to explain!

Our ability to keep an open-mind has been a point of consideration from the very start of this journey. Just as we can adopt a rigorously scientific mindset, we have to at least attempt to take up a spiritual mindset also.

Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, this method has actually yielded some form of result so far.

What I may ultimately produce using this method is as of yet unknown. However, the experiment is not over. I will continue to keep an open mind and search for answers using whatever methods are at my disposal, and imagination, it seems, is a limitless pool.

A most unhappy castle

Since our last trip to the UK, we felt like we had unfinished business in regards to witnessing mediumship in action.

At the start of this project, our intention had been for a broad observation of belief in ghosts, spirits and the afterlife. However, as we have progressed we have come to realise the essential and central role which mediumship plays in these beliefs. The Spiritualists’ National Union (who enshrine “The Continuous Existence of the human soul” as one of their seven principles) provides accreditation for those who demonstrate a good level of mediumistic ability. The academia also takes an interest, with many studies, past and ongoing, focusing on the anomalous abilities demonstrated by those who identify as mediums. And indeed, the existence of a group in society who not only believes in survival but possesses the abilities to prove it is an inticing concept to believers and sceptics alike.

Last night we were fortunate to be able to enhance our insight into mediumship by meeting, once again, with Paranormal Now of Wales. Previously when we met with them our understanding of life and death was fundamentally challenged. Even now I am still struggling to integrate the experiences of our last meeting. Left with more questions than answers, we returned with a series of interview questions which we hoped would clarify certain aspects of mediumship. We also arranged to visit a supposedly haunted location, to once again witness them in the field.

The choice of location had been motivated by two concerns: our legal ability to film, and my own personal bewitchment. A ruined 14th century castle, seemingly entirely unbeloved by modern society, captivated my sentimental, historian heart. Yet, the location, it would seem, had more to tell. Once we arrived, the night quickly revealed itself as one which I would not easily forget. We all – medium or otherwise – experienced anomalous phenomena, ranging from intense feelings of presence, to the hearing of disembodied voices, to the witnessing of full-bodied apparitions. Whatever its true history, it felt like a most unhappy castle.

At the time of leaving, concern for safety had overtaken desire for documenting the paranormal.

I mentioned previously the sense of spiritual awakening that I have been feeling on this journey. This sensitivity was at its highest last night. Whilst I could feel the heaviness and tension of that location, I also felt extremely grounded, calm and – perhaps much to the counter of my teammates last night – safe. Whatever entities lurked at that castle, worldly or otherworldly, I felt a connectivity to and surety of my spiritual self unlike any other time in my life. All of this has left me seriously contemplating how it may indeed be the case that there is is a medium in all of us, and that with the right exposure and discipline we can attune ourselves to this most misunderstood of paranormal phenomena.

Without a doubt there will be more to follow.

Back to where it began

The end is within sight.

After weeks of preparation, filming in various countries, preliminary editing, and the release of In Search of the Dead‘s first trailer, we are ready to complete our final round of filming, back where it all began, in the UK.

From the 28th of September to the 8th of October we will be travelling across the country for yet more interviews and investigations. Not only that, we will make an attempt to find our own proof of life after death, by digging through local archives using information given to us by psychic mediums. It is our hope that we can not only find something spectacular for the documentary, but also for ourselves. Undoubtedly, our level of personal involvement in this project has far exceeded what we had expected. Now we want to find closure.

In keeping with our previous trip to the UK, we will once again be meeting with the academia also. This time we hope that we will have a chance to discuss the practical, as well as theoretical, side of researching life after death. We are honoured to say that our interviewee is greatly experienced in conducting experiments around survival, in particular in partnership with mediums. We are hoping to have our minds boggled!

This project is our baby. When all is said and done, we will be able to say that we gave it our best. What happens after that is down to all of you, our audience. We hope that this can be the start of a wonderful career for us. But, more than that, we hope we can bring something fresh to the paranormal genre: something serious, yet personal and emotive. We want to make you think. Whether or not you choose to believe at the end of it, is, as always, in your hands.

Until next time.