Ren: The Girl with the Mark tells the story of a young woman who, after an otherworldly encounter in the woods, is marked by an ancient spirit. Cast out from her small village, she is forced to leave behind the family she has spent her whole life protecting and journey across the country to find the real meaning behind the mark she now bears. Kate Madison, director of Ren: The Girl With the Mark, gives Legendarium Media an exclusive inside look.
Ren: The Girl With the Mark internet series
After releasing my Lord of the Rings prequel Born of Hope online in 2009, Christopher Dane and I spent a number of years pushing some feature film ideas but felt like we were going around in circles, nothing came to fruition and we became quite frustrated with the industry. With Born of Hope becoming so successful online—to date it has over 35 million views—we decided we should come back to the Internet as our main platform. Our audience was online, they already loved what we had done, we could reach them directly there and we could raise our budget through crowdfunding. A series also gave us a chance to have a continuous story rather than just one event like a feature. We could follow characters through many adventures, meet new ones, change and grow and tweak as we went along, and give our audience a chance to feel involved.
If we could go back and do it again, there are always little things we might change, but I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved as a team. The only thing I wish is that we had more money, as it would have made life a bit easier and because so many people worked so hard on the project and deserve so much more than a thank-you.
The most challenging scene
There were a lot of challenges due to actor availability or the great British weather! The series opens with a chase through some woods at night. We shot this in Epping Forest and on that day it rained and rained and rained! It was relentless. None of us had ever been so wet in our lives! It might have been incredibly hard and quite miserable to film, but it looks great on camera and gives added drama to the opening of the show.
Another unexpected bit of weather was Hurricane Gonzalo, the tail end of which swept through Cambridgeshire during our shoot and severely damaged our village set. We literally had to stop filming because parts of the set were blowing down. The next day we put it all back together and carried on!
There are so many great memories from the shoot, it’s kind of hard to pick just one. Our road trip to Wales on day six was a crazy thing to do. We headed off at around 8 p.m., drove for about six hours across the country to the middle of the Brecon Beacons in south Wales, got about four hours of sleep, shot until sunset, and then drove all the way back to Caxton.
Interestingly, many of the great memories from the shoot though are actually not from the filming but the bits in between. Our studio in Caxton became a home away from home for many of us as we were living there, too, so we became one big Ren family. This included eating together, celebrating holidays and birthdays, Nerf gun battles at 3 a.m. and personal heart-to-hearts. Those times were some of the best ever, and the camaraderie is one of the things I miss the most.
Future plans for the series
We’re currently airing the first season on our Mythica Entertainment YouTube channel and although we have loads of ideas, we’re not certain exactly where the show will go from here. We’re only just starting to talk with distributors, broadcasters, and production companies, and depending on how those talks go, we could end up doing a second season for the Internet or expanding into traditional television. We’re also exploring expanding the franchise into other media like games, books, comics, and feature films. There are endless possibilities, really, so it’s all very exciting.
If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out the show, and if you like it, spread it around to as many people as possible. Our best hope for doing more with the show is having a large audience who supports it and wants to see more, so the more views and YouTube subscribers, the better!
Places To Find Ren: The Girl with the Mark
WEBSITE – http://rentheseries.com
FACEBOOK – http://facebook.com/rentheseries
TWITTER – http://twitter.com/rentheseries
INSTAGRAM – http://instagram.com/mythica_entertainment