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D'Ark Secrets

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Gothic musical Anthony Head is writing.

  • See also, Fat Chance Productions.

  • Away from Sunnydale, Head has been devoting his time to producing an animated film, which he hopes will begin shooting immediately.

    "We finished the treatment and it's looking great," he enthuses. "You know you've got something good when your partner says, 'Please let's not fax this unless we have to, don't leave it lying around...'

    "We're trying to do as many things that have not been done before in animation as we can. Generally animated films follow regimented paths; there is a way of doing things and we're busting out a little bit. We've got a very interesting take on casting it."

    The project's roots go back 16 years, when Head and his brother began toying with ideas. The actor's high profile has certainly helped propel the script forward and Head admits that his role as Frank'N'Furter in the stage version of the The Rocky Horror Show gave him awareness of a genre that was woefully ignored.

    "I've done a few musicals in England but Rocky is the only one that is simple, hard core rock and roll," he insists. "They are great songs and it stands or falls on the fact that you don't have to have a 40 piece orchestra sawing away under the stage. You don't have to have incredible sets--Rocky was originally done on a bare stage with bits of stage cloth.

    "I set out to write something that was simple that could be done either way--with a lot of money or on the cheap. The animated film has moved on from that particular area because the point of animation is that you can go anywhere. Your imagination is no longer fettered by the concepts of it being on stage." (Xpose, November 1999)

  • As to where Head himself is going next, he has some very definite plans. "I'm producing an animated film called D'Ark Secrets. It's going to be a fantasy/musical along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've always been a big fan of that show, and not too long ago I realized that there hasn't been a musical like that in quite a number of years. I co-wrote the book with another Englishman, Matthew Bell, and I wrote all the 15 songs. It's a strong story, fairly dark, but funny. It also deals with something that I believe has never been touched on before--at least not in a musical.

    "My agents tried to sell D'Ark Secrets as a straight live show, but they weren't having too much luck. Then, one day, I was talking to a man I had met in a restaurant called Scott De Las Cassas. I mentioned that I was having some difficulty selling D'Ark Secrets. It turned out that Scott was an animation producer. He showed some interest in the script, said he wanted to see it. After he read it he said, 'You know, this may just work as an animated film.'"(Cinefantastique, March 1999)

  • "It was originally going to be a stage musical, but now I am putting a treatment together with my co-writer Matthew Bell and we could be in pre-production on it next year," he said. (Bath Chronicle, December 1998)

  • The hugely entertaining Horror series has kept him busy since then along with his many other hobbies and projects. "I love writing music. I have a studio at home in England and I've been writing a musical--forever. It's called D'Ark Secrets. I was thinking stage but we're starting to talk about animation and we've got something going. To say it's an adult musical is kind of limiting its appeal but I wanted to write something I felt Rocky Horror provides. It doesn't talk down to its audience and it doesn't plagiarize. There's so much out there that is the same old thing. It's Gothic and dark, producers I've been talking to have said, 'it's surprisingly dark. I didn't know you were that dark.' Yep, I am." (Cult Times, January 1999)

  • "He is co-writing D'Ark Secrets with Matthew Bell, a friend in England. Head has said it will be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show and hopes it will become an animated feature." (Daily Campus, October 1998)

  • (Q: Is D'ark Victory still being made into an animated picture, and will you be singing the male lead? Also, do you think they'll ever have you sing on Buffy?) A: "Hee, hee. It's D'ark Secrets. Yes it is. We've got serious interest from one of the studios and we are putting a package together at the moment. I don't know about singing the lead. It might be that I sit back and produce and allow someone else to do it. Because I don't look at it as a chance for me to get up and say, look I can sing, too. Of course, I'll sing on it but I don't have to sing lead to make myself feel good." (Yahoo.com, July 1998)

  • (Q: Any news about the musical you're writing?) A: "That's what occupying most of time other than Buffy at the moment. I mean I have a couple of screen plays I'm looking at at the moment. I'm looking for a writer here to work with. I have a series I've pitched in England at the moment. Principally we have interest from a major studio here, and it's looking very good. We are talking about possible people to play in it. It's looking extremely promising at the moment is all I can say. The difficulty has been that while I've been away from the States, the producer here, even though we live in the computer age, communication has been difficult. But now that I'm back here we're back up to speed." (Yahoo.com, July 1998)

  • "I've written a gothic, Rocky Horror-esque musical, D'Ark Secrets,about a 40-something virgin who's saving himself for a princess." (Soap Opera Digest article, March 1998)

  • "In what free time he has from Buffy, Head is working on a Gothic musical he has co-written entitled D'Ark Secrets. Tired of huge orchestral scores in musicals, Head says this will be the next Rocky Horror Show. (1998 press kit)

  • "I'm doing this musical, D'Ark Secrets It was something I thought, the only life it would have would be started in England, but since I've been here, that's been difficult. I've gotten mixed reactions most of which are positive but they need table readings and all and it's just not possible. So I tried to think about here. Trying to launch a stage production here is difficult. Because it's such a big country, we thought about San Diego and .....So we started to talk about animation and we've got something going. To say it's an adult musical has kind of limited its appeal but I wanted to write something I felt Rocky Horror provides, which a doesn't talk down to its audience and b doesn't plagiarize there's so much out there that is the same old thing. If you can come up with rock and roll that's not going to date, so it's largely soul with a little bit of R&B thrown in cause it doesn't date. The songs are all new, and some were written 11 years ago and they stay current which is a testament. So it's so far, doing the job I wanted it to do. Now somebody has to put some money in it. And we'll go direct to video. We talked about maybe serializing it for TV, and BBC radio is interested but direct to video leaves you free and in control. D'Ark Secrets, it's gothic and dark, producers I'm talking to said "it's surprisingly dark. I didn't know you were that dark." Yep. There's enough of an audience, witness Rocky and a number of things not aimed at a young audience. It won't push them away but it's not aimed at them." (unedited notes for Playgirl interview, February 1998)

  • "But um, I do like doing musicals when they're good. And um, so I've written one meself. Which..." Q: "A musical?" A: "Yeah." Q: "Alright - a rock musical?" A: "Yes!" Q: "Fabulous, like a Tommy?" A: "No - I mean basically, as a model I used, I mean I used a Rocky Horror because, because Rocky, is, is so simple, it's small cast, I wanted to get, I'm tired of seeing huge spectacles and I don't mean glasses. I mean um, I'm tired of seeing, you know, those huge weighty musicals that rely too much on effect and on 40 piece orchestras sawing away under the stage. I'd like to get back to, you know, the simplicity of ,of Rocky which is just, just serious fun, it's very light and, and uhm, it's a bit moody in places, and a bit, sort of a bit, um, it touches on a few subjects which, not my musical but Rocky, which uhm, makes people think a bit. My musical doesn't make anybody think about anything. But, uhm, it's fun - and we've got some interest, we're talking to a producer over here and BBC radio is talking, is interested in it over in England." Q: "So you're shopping it both in the States and..." A: "Well yeah, I was actually, I was concentrating just in England and I suddenly thought - what are you doing? Because musicals don't - I don't know how how they work here, I don't know how stage musicals get off the ground here, the country is so huge. In England it's really simple, you just basically find a producer and you go on the road for about 6 months and you bring it to the West End and give it a shot. But here, the um it's um, I don't know the trail that it takes to get to Broadway. So um, it just suddenly occurred to me, I met somebody at a party we just got to talking and I suddenly went Duuh Why not get that way, so we, we're talking. It's a funky sort of Rocking Gothic tale." (Realhollywood.com, January 1998)

    Sources

  • Biography from ASH press kit, 1998
  • Soap Opera Digest, March 17, 1998.


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    Page created August 1998; last updated February 18, 2001. Original material Betsy Vera (bentley@umich.edu). This website is for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by others.

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