Video: Watch ‘After the Darklights,’ Episode 2

The pilot episode of “After the Darklights,” above, and the newly released Part 2. Each runs about 10 minutes.

By John Moore
Oct. 29, 2012

The second episode of “After the Darklights,” an online, post-apocalyptic web series written and directed by Denver’s Michael Morgan, has been launched.

In the story, the world as we knew it ended “the night the lights came.” Those who watched fell where they stood in the glow of the unexplainable strobes. But not all. A bloody few, called “ferals,” rose, changed like ravenous animals. The few unchanged survivors are fighting every minute to survive against a world that wants them all dead.

The pilot episode debuted a year ago. Since then, Morgan, producer Brian Landis Folkins (an instructor with the Denver Center Academy for the past 14 years) and his all-local cast and crew have been working to raise the money needed to continue telling the story to their exacting, professional standards. The cast includes Emily Paton Davies, Leah Watson, Josh Hartwell, Jim Hunt, Andy Waldschmidt, Brian Colonna, Channel 9 news anchor Kirk Montgomery and others. Music by Bop Skizzum. Future episodes will feature Karen Slack, Jude Moran and more. Special effects were designed by nationally recognized make-up artist Todd Debreceni.

We were on set for the recent filming of Episode 2, and shot the photos featured below:

Photos: On the set of “After the Darklights”

To see caption information on any photo above, or to see the gallery on a mobile phone, click here. (It will be on the lower-left corner.) Or just click “show info” on any photo.

Here’s a link to a video podcast we aired in 2012 from the launch party for Episode 1.

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My 2012 journo year in review: Highlights from a year on the cheap, er, brink

By John Moore
Jan. 1, 2013

A professional and personal look back at the year just past. (The unemployed year, that is):

 

Favorite writings:

Eden Lane. Photo by John Moore.

Eden Lane. Photo by John Moore.

1. Eden Lane: The first transgender journalist on mainstream TV opens up about her life and challenges (see bonus extract below)

2. Personal blog: My stoma: To Die and Live in L.A.

3. A look back at the era of yellow journalism, when The Denver Post was known as “The Bucket of Blood”

4. Iddo Netanyahu interview: Is there “A Happy End” for our troubled world?

5. My first-ever byline in the New York Times: For the Colorado Rockies, a four-man rotation by committee

6. That’s one way to recover from gut surgery: Visiting 30 Parks in 30 Days

7. John Moore and Mark Collins: Two ex-theater critics, sitting around having coffee

John Hutton talks about his role in "Lincoln." Photo by John Moore.

John Hutton. Photo by John Moore.

8. Actor John Hutton on Spielberg, “Lincoln” and on being invited to the party

9. What companies can learn from the reinvention of Curious Theatre Company

10. Launch of the 2012 True West Theater Awards

11. Remembering Michael Jackson as “Thriller” turns 30 (and I interview Quincy Jones)

12. Germinal Stage’s theater to close, but company will play on

And … just for fun:

My house under attack: A blog not at all for the squirrely

Some creative writing: My short story, “-30′-

 

Videos:

Five-part documentary: “The Making of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

 

Accepting a Henry Award for journalistic excellence

Amy Board: 2012 Colorado Walk for Hemophilia

The wedding of Dan and Gary

Three minutes with … Pam Grier!

Launch party for “After the Darklights” video series

Phamaly’s Jeremy Palmer wins Denver Foundation volunteer award

Creede Rep says goodbye to Maurice Lamee

 

An added bonus: The deleted Eden Lane excerpt:

Sometimes you get lucky to find remarkable people who trust you to tell their remarkable stories. And, almost every time, some of the most remarkable parts get cut out from publication. Here’s my favorite part of the Eden Lane story. It got distilled into a few sentences in the version of the story that got published.:

 

    Sometimes the best way to know a person is through the person who loves them. Lane has been legally married for more than 10 years to a man named Don who never knew a gay person in his life until a fellow serviceman came out to him in the Air Force. His first thought: “Is he the same person he was two seconds ago? He was, of course. So I said, ‘OK, fine.’ ”

But it says much about the world we still live in that Lane’s husband cannot talk openly about his love for his wife — while also publicly revealing his last name.

The reason, Lane said, has nothing to do with shame or embarrassment. “It has to do with a safety concern for our daughter in high school,”  she said.

Because high schools still have Bunsen burners.

“I decided a long time ago there would always have to be a certain sense of guardedness,” her husband said. “I am protective to the point of overbearing. That was a decision I made early on, because I love my wife.”

Lane graduated from high school early and went off to New York, where she would later perform in one of the seminal productions in Broadway history. She doesn’t claim that experience on her resume, or her college degrees, because she did so under a name that no longer exists.

When Lane completed her gender realignment surgery, a process she finds as interesting as the details of your hip replacement, she took on her new name. She says Eden Lane “is both a way to honor my grandmother, and part of the name that I was given at birth.”

But she never tells that birth name, she said, “because it feeds into that idea that the identity I have now is somehow false.”

More than a decade ago, she moved to Colorado and began her TV career contributing to both the longtime PBS gay-issues news program Colorado Outspoken and CBS News’ Logo channel. Lane met her husband crossing paths at a 2000 charity benefit for Children’s Hospital she was covering. He was by then working in automotive sales management.

Dating for any transgendered person is fraught. The dating pool is much smaller. The danger is much higher. Lane was cynical at first, and Don knows why.  “Her cynicism was earned,” he said. “It has both protected her — and kept her safe.”

They each faced moments of truth — Eden had to tell him her story; he had to tell her he was a divorced man with joint custody of a toddler.  His opportunity came when Lane’s car broke down, and she needed help.

“I had decided that no matter who I was seeing, I wasn’t going to introduce them to my daughter until I felt some connectivity with that person,” her husband said. What better moment than to say, “Well, this is my daughter … Can you watch her while I work on your car?”

Lane never knows whether new people look at her and instantly know she’s different. She’s an evidently tall, buxom blonde who quotes Lenora Claire by saying: “I am more ample-size than sample-size.”

But do people know when they see her? Some do. Her husband didn’t.

Entertainment reporter Kirk Montgomery from KUSA Channel 9 did not know until someone from a focus group mentioned it, “and I spit out my coffee,” he said. I had no idea, and frankly it didn’t matter at all — I just felt like the last one to the party.”

Last month, Lane interviewed actor Ben Dicke, who was seriously injured just before the opening performance of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” at the Aurora Fox. Dicke watched Lane’s piece with his parents, telling them first, “I have a secret to tell you about Eden after the show.” When he told them, they were a bit baffled, these churchgoing folks who grew up in rural Kansas. “All they saw was someone who is successful, smart, well-spoken and in the spotlight,” Dicke said.

Lane has never made her medical history a secret. “To me, secrets are poison,” she said. But when it comes to a romantic entanglement, “there comes a point where you have to discern whether they know, because they deserve to know your history,” she said. “You certainly are not trying to fool anyone.”

But, she greatly understated: “Not every man can handle that sort of thing.”

Lane chose to tell her husband in what they now fondly call their “Taco Bell drive-through moment.”  She chose there because it’s a safe place. “You can get out of the car and get away if you need to,” she said.

She didn’t need to.

“For me, I was always looking  more at the person, and I liked what I saw,” her husband said. “I asked myself, ‘Now that I know the back story, do I still care about her?’ And the answer was yes.”

In the end, he decided, “People are people, and love is love.”

They have lost some friends. “But,” his wife adds, “we’ve made many more.”

 

A few favorite photos from 2012

Rose and Jim Engagement Shoot. Photo by John Moore.

Rose and Jim Engagement Shoot. Photo by John Moore.

 

My niece, Aaliyah. Photo by John Moore.

My niece, Aaliyah. Photo by John Moore.

 

Rhonda Brown on opening night of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile." Photo by John Moore.

Actor Rhonda Brown on opening night of “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.” Photo by John Moore.

 

Ben Dicke on opening night of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" ... my favorite photo of the year ,

Ben Dicke on opening night of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” … my favorite photo of the year ,

 

 

Video, photo coverage: “After the Darklights” web-series launch party

By John Moore

Oct. 10, 2012

The 10-minute pilot episode of “After the Darklights,” a new post-apocalyptic web series written and directed by Denver’s Michael Morgan, was launched today as a free online offering. The video posted above chronicles the launch party held at the Laundry on Lawrence artists collective at 27th and Lawrence streets in the RiNo neighborhood just north of downtown. The video posted below is the actual pilot episode.

Morgan, also a local actor who will next appear in Curious Theatre’s “Time Stands Still,” opening Nov. 3, filmed the pilot with an all-local cast and crew that includes Emily Paton Davies, Leah Watson, Josh Hartwell, Brian Landis Folkins, Pamela McCreary, Mike Marlow, Chuck Fiorella, Channel 9 news anchor Kirk Montgomery and more. The series is produced by Brian Landis Folkins, who also appears in the series. Future episodes will feature Karen Slack, Jude Moran, Jim Hunt and others. Specials effects were designed by nationally recognized make-up artist Todd Debreceni.

Here is the official summary statement describing “After the Darklights,” which is most easily categorized as a zombie tale — but the undead evil ones here are better described as “ferals”:

The world as we knew it ended the night the lights came. There were a few of us who missed their coming. The few survivors. The rest who watched fell where they stood in the glow of the unexplainable strobing and fading in the sky. Most died. But not all. Many rose, bloody, shaking. Changed. Like animals. Ravenous animals. The last of us woke to a world where the air hurt to breathe, the sun burned you alive in minutes, and the risen hid in the shadows, waiting for nightfall, waiting to hunt. Waiting to feed. We are the last of who we once were, and we’re fighting every minute against a world that wants us dead…

The creative team has launched a $20,000 online fundraising campaign to help pay for the filming of the next several episodes.

Look for “After the Darklights” to be featured on the Friday (Oct. 12) episode of “In Focus with Eden Lane,” airing in Denver at 7 p.m. on Colorado Public Television Channel 12.

 

 

Photos from the Oct. 7 launch party:

Emily Paton Davies and Mike Marlow. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

 

Elgin Kelley, director/writer Michael Morgan and Cat Tobiasson at Monday’s launch party for “After the Darklights.” Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

 

Full disclosure: The author of this article has a cameo in the pilot episode of “After the Darklights” as a dead body. John Moore was made that way by a feral Pamela McCreary. An inauspicious film debut for Moore.

 

Director/writer Michael Morgan was joined by Denver Comic Con director Charlie LaGreca at Sunday’s launch party. Photo by John Moore.

 

Director/writer Michael Morgan is interviewed by Eden Lane for an episode of “In Focus with Eden Lane” that airs at 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 12) on Channel 12. Photo by John Moore.

 

A still from the pilot episode of “After the Darklights” featuring actor Josh Hartwell. Photo by John Moore.

A still from the pilot episode of “After the Darklights” featuring Emily Paton Davies. Photo by John Moore.

Actor Mike Marlow. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

 

“Feral” Pamela McCreary and feral flee-er Emily Paton Davies. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

 

Actor Leah Watson. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.

 

“After the Darklights” producer Brian Landis Folkins with director/writer Michael Morgan.

A still from the pilot episode of “After the Darklights” featuring actor Emily Paton Davies.Photo by Brian Landis Folkins.