The "Hero's Journey" story arc was a conceptual series of eleven to fourteen short films by Eternal Silence, with each chapter building a spiritual story with common themes and threads running through otherwise-standalone films. The project was never completed, though two of the entries, Possession and Bounded, were released.
The project was conceived in 2010 as a means of finding common threads in a series of film ideas created by Jim Elton. When arranged in a particular order, the films would tell the overarching story of an archetypal hero who goes through a transformitive process after losing his girlfriend to a rival, and being forced to reinvent himself as a vigilante.
#1: "The Protector"Edit
- Main article: Protected
The first film was partially scripted, and several music cues were created for it. This story would introduce the hero and his wife, the latter of whom would be targeted by an unknown assailant in her apartment. The titular "Protector" would fight off the villain, keeping his identity hidden from the woman, though the audience would learn it was actually her husband, secretly protecting her while apparently off at work. It was designed to establish the arc-character as a hero before his fall in following films.
Elements of the story, such as the attack on a woman in her apartment, were re-used and integrated into Captive, Chapter Two.
- Main article: Possession
The first film completed for the project, Possession follows a group of students as they explore a supposedly haunted building, before disappearing in mysterious circumstances. In terms of the arc, this was to establish the rivalry between the hero and the villain, which survived into the final film with an argument between the two, and a reference to the rival believing the hero to be showing off for an unnamed girl. The capture of the hero by supernatural forces at the end of the film was intended as a lead-in to Bounded, which would have revealed the Rival as the entity behind his disappearance.
#3: "The Marble"Edit
- Main article: Bounded
Bounded was completed in November 2010, and contains several references to the aborted story arc: The Captive and the Rival discuss their animosity, with the Rival claiming the hero doesn't deserve his friends because he mistreats them. The girl appears in the form of Ellen, whom the Rival claims as his prize after abandoning the Captive inside the green marble. The "Love Theme", intended as the central motif for the relationship between the hero and the girl throughout the arc, can be heard twice during the film, both times in reference to Ellen.
#4: "Blood Brothers"Edit
Continuing the theme of loss, this drama was to have focused on the impact of the death of the protagonist's brother, as a metaphorical extension of the hero's loss and fall from grace as depicted in Bounded. The story was to have dealt with the protagonist's perceived guilt over the "wrong" brother dying, seeing himself as inferior to his late sibling.
This film was to have explored the arc-character's state of mind after his losses, with an extended scene in a phychiatrist's office, and a call back to Bounded with the metaphor of a white room in which the protagonist mentally situates himself. The story charts his attempts to recover from and come to terms with his losses.
#6: "Out of the Blue (Into the Black)"Edit
This film, originated as a solo project by Tom Menary, was marked for possible inclusion in the arc, as it dealt with the failure of a hero despite his best efforts; thereby complicating his supposed recovery in "White". A full draft script was completed, and focused on a young police officer attempting to solve what appeared to be an accidental drowning, which the officer spun out into an elaborate conspiracy theory.
A genre production based on film noir, this entry in the arc would have seen the arc-character going "back to basics", becoming an efficient detective and uncovering a plot perpetrated by his female client. This was intended to allow the arc-character the chance to move on from his former relationship by uncovering a hidden truth about the female of the story, which was a theme carried over into Camera Obscura.
#8: "Depressed Photographer"Edit
- Main article: Camera Obscura
This film received a full script treatment and several music cues. It focused on a photographer pining over the death of his girlfriend, who is led into an encounter with her spirit which allows him to say a final goodbye and move on into a new life. The story introduced a second love interest for the arc-character, and established the beginning of a new relationship that carried over into subsequent chapters.
#9: "The Underdog"Edit
This was a short film showing the arc-character returning to his heroic status by taking on a group of bullies after studying up on martial art forms.
#10: "The Assassin"Edit
"The Assassin" was conceived of as the turning point for the arc-character into a new way of life through the redemption of a professional hitman. The character was to have been slowly seduced by a female client, until he finally refused his boss's orders and began a new life with his lover. Elements of this story, notably the concept of an assassin refusing to kill his target, were re-used and integrated into Captive, Chapter Two.
#11: "Vigilante Longboarder"Edit
This film was to have been an adventurous finale following the deeds of a vigilante longboarder who dispensed justice to gangs of punkish thugs in a post-apocalyptic setting. This was intended as the arc-character's triumph, finally earning his freedom by becoming a vigilante, free of both rivals and relationships.