Production on the Screen Queensland funded television series pilot, Cursed, was today shut down after reports that the filmmakers accidentally released a demonic curse whilst filming a scene from the show’s first episode.
The scene in question involved a character named ‘Toby’, a conspiracy theorist, played by actor Mitch Wanless, who attempts to summon a demon in a video for his weekly YouTube series.
Producer Tristan Barr released a statement earlier “the scene followed Toby setting up a pentagram, taking a blood sacrifice and reciting the Demon’s Prayer in an effort to make contact with the other side. The show is a work of fiction. We ripped the Demon’s Prayer off Wikipedia. It’s scripted, or so we thought.”
What followed would interrupt production, and put the cast and crew in a state of perpetual danger.
As actor Mitch Wanless received advice from fellow comedian Josh Wade during the make-believe ritual scene, all electricity on site was blown and when crew tried to call for help their mobiles were out of signal, whilst actor Omar Al-Sobky was reportedly convulsing on the floor, bleeding from several orifices.
A crew member present on set at the time told FilmInk, “The lights started to flicker, and a weird smoke started to arise from the centre of the prop pentagram.
“We didn’t think much of it at the time. I thought it was just the practical effects team doing their thing and an actor going full method,” says Director of Photography, Jarryd Hall.
The following days of production after the summoning told a different story. A series of strange mishaps and unfortunate setbacks led the cast and crew to believe that they were in fact cursed themselves. Many of the cast and crew fell victim to a serious viral infection and were hospitalised, including comedian Neel Kolhatkar who is still recovering. It’s yet to be seen if this is related to the production in anyway.
A series of unexplained on-set fires followed, one of which burnt down an entire set piece, leaving only a Bible amongst the ashy remains. Actress Cleo Rose Massey, best known as her regular character Kim Sertori on the popular TV series H20 – Just Add Water, said “The taps went dry, we couldn’t find any water.”
There were countless sightings of ghosts around the location from various crew members, and during a night shoot, screaming could apparently be heard from the within the walls.
“Thank God for ADR, right?” said the location sound recordist when asked.
More strange incidents followed. Actor/Comedian Elliot Loney, who makes a living from impressions, without any prior bone or muscle damage, lost the ability to walk and now resides in a wheelchair. Experts are puzzled with this phenomenon. Elliot is now limited to one impression, his own.
Producers deemed the working environment hostile, a risk to the cast and crew’s safety and finally pulled the pin on the production, though are currently under scrutiny as to why it took them so long to cancel shooting despite the obvious dangers that posed a threat.
Writer and director Connor Fairclough declined to comment, and is currently in a physiotherapy ward in Brisbane with extreme trauma.
Since the occurrences, major Hollywood studios and networks have sought to acquire the rights of the project and behind the scene footage, but the producers are looking to release the material themselves as they are afraid what further Cursings the material may cause.
The official accounts are still live so hopefully we see some more information to come:
Here is some behind the scenes footage that has been leaked that gives some insight to the Cursed production: