“In God We Trust” is a collaboration between childhood friends Alex Gingell, Dan Haigh, Bastiaan Koch, and Alex Westaway. Together they conceived, produced, handled practical FX, directed and appeared in “In God We Trust”. In post-production they shared the duties of editing, sound design, musical scoring…and creating a host of extensive 2D and 3D visual effects for the piece.
By assuming all of the traditional filmmaking roles by themselves, this four man team completed “In God We Trust” for less than the cost of a second hand car. This ambitious project was created for the meager sum of £1200.
“In God We Trust” serves as a demonstration piece designed to attract the attention of Film Studios and potential investors utilising a “Look what we have created with no resources, imagine what we could do with a reasonable budget” approach.
The low budget necessitated many examples of guerilla filmmaking:
Friends and family were widely recruited for almost all roles, including Alex Westaway’s Dad for the notorious “cigarette shot”. On one occasion when a 3D head scan was required for a particular shot, the team had no choice but to sneak into a well known London post house to attend a 3D scanning technology demonstration seminar. Masquerading as employees the team managed to get their actor 3D scanned as a demonstration and subsequently obtain the data free of charge. The team also revisited the school where they first met in order to make use of the drama facility’s green screen studio. Tracking markers on stands allowed a completely computer-generated set to be dropped in around the actor. Later, the lack of a super techno crane for a key crane shot was overcome with the improvised use of a cherry picker borrowed from a nearby farm. The trailer also features a customised British Army ‘Humber Pig’. With the help of their friends, the team took the concept of performing multi disciplinary roles a stage further, visually and mechanically resurrecting this 1950’s armoured truck to working order.
The team dived headlong into teaching themselves how to create bullet-hit and other squib effects. Most of the budget (£750) was spent on theatrical micro-dets which turned out to be massively overpowered for nominal bullet impacts and so subsequently all actors involved were required to wear deep sponge and lead protection at least an inch deep! One day while facing a problem over the complexity of a proposed fully CGI headshot effect, the team found a satisfying practical solution. A friend with a shotgun license was summoned to the set and a number of fresh melons were promptly dispatched with 12 bore rounds. Ultimately the organic and instant results proved an excellent time saving measure.
Sometimes things seemed to be guided by a certain degree of destiny. While working on a treatment revision on tour in Las Vegas, Dan was approached at a gas station by a homeless man wearing rags. The man silently presented him with a tatty piece of paper which bore the bible quote used towards the end of the trailer.
“In God We Trust” imagines a near future in which society is on the brink of collapse due to the Earth’s deteriorating environment. Multinational corporations and international governments have merged to form a small number of elite corporate power groups, each vying for ultimate power and control over the remaining populace. The story revolves around a momentous discovery made by high-ranking research scientist Piotr Drabik. Employed by a corporate entity known only as “ORTUS”, Drabik believes that his research has enabled him to make direct contact with God. Chilling revelations are uncovered as Drabik discovers the true nature of God’s will. As rumours spread, shady elements within ORTUS orchestrate Drabik’s abduction in an attempt to subvert the end of days and realise their own nefarious ambitions. All the while, the highest echelons of the church are acutely aware of God’s true will. Having kept their best defence against armageddon alive for centuries they prepare to fight once again. Caught in the middle of the web, Drabik must find the strength to confront his fears and ultimately decide the fate of us all. The only question which remains is whether humanity’s future involves salvation or annihilation.