A Night In Arkham is a stylized adaptation of Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. For the longest time I had wanted to do a black and white, silent film of the Batman and eventually found Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s story would make an interesting one for that particular style. I even ended up using Morrison’s original wish to have the Joker on drag, choosing to wear a nightgown while portraying him. That, and a few changes in the order of events, as well as a level of ambiguity, helped to make this version a little more unique.
It wasn’t easy to see this “love letter” come to fruition, though. I’d had it set up so that many friends and family would pitch in to help play parts or provide camerawork, but, scheduling was impossible. At the point of defeat one day, alone and depressed, I decided, well, what if I try playing all the parts? I thought it out and came up with some simple camera tricks to portray Batman and all of his rogues, and the dream was on again.
Before storyboarding, I spent a long time listening to classical orchestral pieces I wanted to use for the film. The definitive sound or mood I wanted was gothic, and tried to find composers who have a similar style, so as to have a better continuity in a musical sense. Russian composers definitely ended up being the MVPs, I think, since they elevate any scene with their masterful “contributions” in the short film.
It’s by no means perfect, and re-watching it I find many things I wish I would’ve done different. However, for my first time going behind the camera and actually finishing a project, with the help of my brother and wife as camera operators, I can at least say it was an enjoyable effort.
In the future, I’d consider doing a short film of The Question, and have put a lot of thought into what story or how to tell it. I’m a lover of film and cinema, and a hopeful participant of it even if just with my small project. I have no aspirations, but only the selfish one of trying to see my art come to life beyond the vision of my mind’s eye.
– Luis Quevedo