Words by Tyrone Samuels
The inspiration for Eden Grey was born from a number of concepts. I guess the principle factor is the ambition to write and shoot an action-based story. This stems from a love of films like Besson’s Leon and the Wachowski’s original Matrix movie, among others.
While Eden Grey is entirely fictional, when writing the story it was important to ground the lead character within some kind of tangible reality.
Eden Grey, our protagonist, was initially based on a female gunner officer who featured in a documentary about whether British female soldiers will be allowed to serve on the front line.
The officer was regarded as a hot prospect; relatively inexperienced career-wise but highly skilled, courageous and surprisingly honest with her feelings as she prepared for deployment. That candid openness and desire to serve became something I wrote into the story.
The 'programme' we come across in the film was somewhat influenced and supported by research into Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and their quest to enhance soldiers.
In the reports I discovered, a number of military experts predicted that future battles will be decided by the soldiers who are the strongest, fastest, smartest and quickest to heal if wounded in combat.
All of these things could be influenced through advanced sciences. The fact that such possibilities are actively being explored today struck a chord.
Looking to the past, there are many claims of covert trials carried out by various organisations on soldiers. In some cases without consent.
Closer to home, there was the 1960s LSD tests conducted on British troops (readily available for viewing on YouTube), as well as the numerous recent stories to have come out of the Porton Down military facility near Salisbury, in Wiltshire.
These off-the-record trials helped form the basis and motivation for the film's antagonist known as The Agency.
Referencing and entwining real-world events, I felt, offered an interesting layer of authenticity. Perhaps the audience would be prompted to ask themselves whether Eden’s story could actually happen.
Eden Grey will be the second fiction film I’ve written and directed. It comes after Project Skyline, a short crime thriller that was shown at the British Film Institute as part of S.O.U.L. (Screening Our Unseen Lives).