Avatar Press and Mischief Maker Studios proudly announce that legendary comic book writer Garth Ennis will be premiering his short film, Stitched, at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday evening, July 21, at 8:15pm in the convention’s Room 6DE. Featuring Ennis’s debut as a filmmaker, Stitched blends supernatural horror with a contemporary war story, creating a terrifying landscape which will be explored further in an ongoing monthly comic book series.
The 15-minute long film is written and directed by Garth Ennis, best known as the writer of such best-selling comic books as Preacher, The Punisher, The Boys, and Crossed. A Mischief Maker Studios production, Stitched was produced by Brian Pulido, Francisca Pulido, and Ed Polgardy. Adam Goldfine served as Director of Photography, while both Garth Ennis and William Christensen, the founder of Avatar Press, served as Executive Producers.
In Stitched, three survivors of an American helicopter crash (played by actors Tank Jones, Lauren Alonzo, and Kate Kugler) struggle across the high mountains of Afghanistan. They’re injured, without food, water, or medicine, and moving through Taliban-controlled territory. Among the sun-bleached rocks, they discover something worse than enemy fighters: an ancient supernatural power – murderous, unstoppable, and serving a 21st-century evil.
“I’ve been thinking about (directing films) for a number of years now,” says Ennis. “Ever since the interest in a Preacher film became more solid, and the options on it and The Boys were picked up. I’ve written screenplays and treatments for things like Crossed, but I haven’t really devoted myself to a film project before, not the way I have with Stitched. I’ve always loved movies; my comics are much more heavily influenced by film and TV than they are by other comics. So having a go at this seems quite natural.”
Regarding the concept, Ennis says, “Stitched began as little more than a series of images, really – three little figures stumbling across a barren landscape, exhausted people struggling to survive, blood on the rocks of the mountains, and lots of frantic, close-in combat.” As production got underway, “you’re watching Taliban fighters, SAS troopers, and a U.S. helicopter crew wandering around in full uniform and equipment, AKs and M4s slung, Berettas holstered. It all started as words on the page and then translated to so much hard work and commitment.”
Hosting the premiere of Stitched at San Diego Comic-Con marks a first for the convention; although it regularly hosts panels featuring actors or sneak peak footage of upcoming films, SDCC has never previously premiered a film on-site. San Diego Comic-Con is the largest convention in the western hemisphere, drawing 130,000 attendees annually. With Ennis being a name brand in the comic book community, the convention anticipates that his one-evening – only film premiere will draw a maximum capacity crowd. San Diego Comic-Con attendees will also have an opportunity to purchase exclusive early release DVDs on site for an autographing opportunity with creator Garth Ennis.
The footage filmed for Stitched comprises the opening conflict of a script intended as a full-length feature film. The full Ennis-penned script will be the basis of the first story arc in the upcoming, ongoing comic book series. From the behind-the-scenes footage available on the DVD release, Ennis says, “Stitched is going to have legs beyond just this 15-minute short. Most immediately, we’re going to launch a new comic drawn by the always-excellent Mike Wolfer. The first series will tell the complete story that the film only begins.” The first issue of the comic book series will be released in November alongside the nationwide Stitched DVD release.