Poe Comes to Life with “Riddle of the Black Cat”

Hallowe’en is still almost two months away but Riddle of the Black Cat, a Kickstarter-backed short film based on a classic Edgar Allan Poe tale, is bringing the spook a little bit early this fall. Rather than simply look to the famous American writer for tonal inspiration (like, say, nearly every one of the works of Tim Burton) the group of artists behind the project are seeking to provide a more direct adaptation that gives viewers the opportunity to delve into some macabre mystery through a unique visual style.

Based on Poe’s The Black Cat, Riddle of the Black Cat is described by its creators as “a new interpretation” that retells the story with an intense “gothic feel”. The screenshots and teaser videos revealed thus far seem to do just that. Riddle‘s smoky black and white aesthetic is a perfect match for Poe’s gloomy brand of storytelling and the manic grandosity of the music provides an excellent backdrop that fits well with the subject’s time period.

This isn’t suprising, especially given that Riddle of the Back Cat is adapted by a verteran team of writers, artists and filmmakers, well versed in their respective crafts. The principal writer and artist, J.W. Rinzler is known for his work in TV scriptwriting and in providing concept art for numerous films and videogames. Illustrator Greg Knight, editor Dave Sidley (of Lightstream Animation Studios) and sound designer/composer Chris Vibberts round out the team with years of experience in their fields. Given the artists’ pedigrees, Riddle stands a very good chance of becoming one of the more memorable iterations of a Poe story to date.

Rinzler, Knight et al are now requesting help from those interested in seeing their ambitious short come to life. Any money that they’re able to generate through their current Kickstarter campaign will help to expand the vision of their film and finance its entry into various film festivals. The Riddle of the Black Cat crew are already at work but are in need of money that can be put into voice acting, further artwork, editing and sound mastering.

Through the miracles of modern internet science and a website created in the grim laboratories of Kickstarter Mansion, Poe and short film enthusiasts are able to grab up some tasty treats in return for their philanthropy. Pledging rewards include a DVD copy of the finished short, copies of original concept art signed by the creators, producer credits on the film and much more.

Samples of Greg Knight’s (very nifty) art are available through his official website while some of J.W. Rinzler’s work can be checked out through his webpage. While the current sample videos aren’t indicative of what the final film will look like (they’ve been hased out in iMovie) the Kickstarter video is also worth checking out for those who want to get a taste of what could be. Riddle of the Black Cat is aiming to raise $7,849 and will be funded on Friday, September 23rd at (the very scary hour of) 3.00am if this goal is met on time.

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