Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 9th 2015 Contents B1
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True Talk No Lie
In the year 2018, civil war breaks out. A
massive bomb has been launched on T&T,
with disastrous outcome.
That's the scenario in Black Land, an
upcoming TV series that is the brainchild of
Dystopian future visions of T&T are all
comic book enthusiast and burgeoning tele-
vision producer Harris thinks about.
Over the past four years, Harris has been
exploring the darker recesses of the local imag-
ination. He has two upcoming television proj-
ects, Tarsin and Black Land.
Tarsin will be a five-part miniseries created
for television. The project is still in production
and casting has been confirmed with soca
songstress Caryl "Trini" Jacobs signed on to
voice the main heroine, and dancer/choreo-
grapher Jilla Cato confirmed to perform as
Tarsin on screen doing all live action stunts
as well as body acting.
"I have been doing comics since the age of
six," said Harris in a recent interview.
"I published my first comic book, RAZOR,
in 2005. It was available at Ishmael M Khan
and Mohammed Bookstores. I launched a
company in 2010 named Ville Ventures Films."
Harris manages the company and works
alongside a small but passionate group of
young T&T creatives collaborating to make
local television and film content for the modern
Both upcoming projects incorporate his love
of comics as well as television.
"Four years ago I had an idea to do a motion
comic based on a super hero living in Trinidad
so I got inspiration from a Spider-Woman
motion comic. One day I saw it online and
was impressed by it so I had the idea of doing
a motion comic myself."
As Wikipedia explains, "A motion comic
(or animated comic) is a form of film content
which combines elements of print comic books
and animation. Individual comic book panels
are expanded into full motion picture format,
while sound effects, voice acting, and anima-
tion are added to the original artwork."
The heroine of Harris' imagination is Tarsin,
a superhero from the city of Port-of-Spain
who stands for justice. The setting is a bleak
future T&T, where crime and criminal activity
have taken a turn for the chaotic.
Her origin story begins with the character
Nicole Baker, a hard-working, daredevil T&T
police detective who is fighting against the
insurmountable rise in illegal activities, gangs
The synopsis reads: "When a truck carrying
a rare chemical-mechanical fluid called 'Tarsilin'
crashes into young detective Nicole Baker she
is exposed to the substance. The result is that
her body begins to transform from organic
material into highly advanced machine tech-
nology. Now she fights against the person that
is responsible for this substance and for the
fate of T&T."
Three others involved in the project are
Vechenko Noel, who is responsible for record-
ing the voice-over work and for producing
the musical score, Adrian Beauche of Cirus
Media Ltd, who does all the special effects,
and Clifton Harris, who creates all the line art
Black Land is the second project from Ville
Ventures Films. It is done in an innovative
film style created by Harris, used exclusively
in the Black Land thee-part TV mini-series.
The new film style, which is yet unnamed,
comprises a mixture of 1940s comic art, spo-
ken word, animation, motion graphics, and
A similar approach was made by the creators
of Frank Miller's Sin City, which was critically
acclaimed for its innovative cinematography.
Sin City's colour processing rendered the film
in sharp black and white but added or retained
colouring for selected objects, as Wikipedia
Ville Ventures Black Land takes the film
comic idea further by squeezing the look of
live action and animation even closer together.
While Sin City left its actors mostly unani-
mated and instead superimposed them on to
green screen animated and motion graphic
environments, the effect applied to Black Land
consumes all its actors, scene environments
and action sequences using a custom
black/blue cartoon-like filter along with motion
Creative director on the series Roland George
said, "This new art style is different and we
hope it spreads worldwide. Our official first
test using the format is Black Land and so far
we have received lots of good feedback about
Black Land looks at T&T in the year 2018.
A civil war wipes out a large portion of the
country's citizens and, in the following calm,
few survivors remain. The survivors are citizens
struggling to keep on living, and form an
underground resistance fighting to expose the
cause of the war and expose the hidden political
agendas at play.
The official soundtrack for Black Land will
be done in partnership with local rock group
Cabezon the Band. On Black Land's TV release
Cabezon will issue the track, Liberty, along
with an official music video made in con-
junction with Ville Ventures Films. Cover art
for the miniseries and the Cabezon single were
also designed by Clifton Harris.
As director and producer of both projects,
Ancil Harris is seeking local television distri-
bution for Tarsin and Black Land. He also
intends to look at online and regional distrib-
utors and will also consider a DVD release, he
Black Land is expected to be completed this
year, and Tarsin is expected to be released by
Comics artist to bring T&T dystopia to TV
Caryl "Trini" Jacobs voices Tarsin. IMAGES COURTESY: VILLE VENTURES FILMS
Tarsin, the hero of one of Ancil Harris'
upcoming animated projects.
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