Director Interview: April Dark from Everglow

It’s just a girl and her dog in a parched, post World War III world. Is she the last survivor? What are these strange dreams she has of a beautiful warrior in a high tech world?
 
The director’s description is that she is ‘a young woman living post-Third World War who decides to set out to find other survivors. Whilst traveling, she experiences troublesome dreams. They are a mystery she desperately wants to solve.’ Don’t start watching unless you have time to finish cause it’s seriously bingeworthy! Let’s meet the director, April Dark!
 
Tell us a little about yourself. 

First, I would like to thank you for this interview. I didn’t know that I would ever be mentioned on this site. I have been a big fan of Sims Film Fest since I can remember. I’m feeling so honored. It’s awesome that you all support other sims machinima creators.

My real name is Natalia, but I prefer April. I’m 17. I love script writing the most. It’s my favorite part of creating machinimas. Besides that, I’m interested in psychology and I want to study it at University in the future. I’m also a mother of eight lovely cats.

Thank you, promoting machinima is our mission! Wow, eight cats! (High five here from a fellow cat lover) Your interest in psychology also gives some insight into your great character development and the script writing in your series. So how and when were you first introduced to The Sims?

My friend show me The Sims 3 when I was 6, but I didn’t have my own computer at that time, so I forgot about this game. I got back to playing when I was 11 because I saw the trailer of The Sims 3 Supernatural and I enjoyed it.

How and when were you first introduced to machinima?

I started creating machinima in 2013 I believe. I felt inspired to start because I had seen a recreation of H2O sirens in The Sims 2 before. First, I was creating videos just for myself because I wasn’t ready to join then.

What inspired the story behind Everglow?

I think there were a few things that inspired me to create “Everglow.” First of all, years ago I had a dream that directed me to write a thread about events after the war. Besides, I was also inspired by my grandmother’s stories about World War II. She managed to remember a lot from that period and she told me about it. My grandma once said to me she thought that one day there would be another war and almost all people in the world would die then. Survivors would be desperate to even see another human being. It gave me a lot to think about. Moreover, several songs by Marina Diamandis inspired me, for example, “Immortal” and “Savages”. Her lyrics are amazing and hide many interesting themes under the pop melody. Ultimately, I started thinking seriously about that series after watching “Blade Runner 2049”. This is undeniably the best movie I’ve ever seen. A lot of things inspired me in it – music, settings, dark atmosphere of neo-noir and its slow pace. I think that all these things influenced me the most.

All of that inspiration came together to create a masterpiece. A lot of sci fi stories fall flat in the ‘world building’ stage but you created two very distinctive, very realistic worlds. There was the post war world of devastation, heat and drought, and then the pre war world in the flash back scenes that was modern and high tech. Did you create all the sets on your own? 

In my series, not all settings were created completely by me. I downloaded and edited houses very often, e.g. Alec’s house or the residence of Marika’s parents. Both of these buildings were created by the talented Pralinesims. I mainly decorated the laboratory by myself – the one you can see in the first episode. I think the lighting gave the biggest effect and made the scenes look a little more realistic.
 

The lighting in Everglow was stellar. You used it so well to create moods and feelings, and the soundtrack adds such drama. The cinematography was incredible. Everything combined to make Everglow look like a project from a film studio. Do you have any professional training in film making?

Oh, really? It’s nice to hear that. No, I sadly haven’t. All my knowledge is based on watching movies and series. I do everything by feel. I can sense if a shot suits the whole thing. I remember that when I was younger, I wanted to be a director and go to film school, but my plans have changed for some reason. to get the look I want I use Reshade while recording and then I edit every single clip using Magic Bullet Looks plugin in Sony Vegas.

It’s hard to believe all your film making and editing talent is natural! If you went to film school… nevermind. Psychology is a wonderful and needed profession too! As we mature we learn more about what we want from life.

Do you plan to enter “Everglow” in Season 19 of Sims Film Fest?

To be honest, I haven’t thought about that. I have never participated in Sims Film Fest before and it would be wonderful to try my hand this time.

TRAVELLER

We look forward to seeing your entry! In the last episode of Everglow you mentioned that you are taking some time off while you work on your next project. Can you give us any hints about what that might be? 

I think that at this stage I can confirm that I’m working on the second season of my older series “Traveller”. This is not a popular series, but it is still very important to me. Maybe even more important than “Everglow” in some respects. In short, it is a series about a young girl who has some teleportation skills and wants to find her father’s killer to take revenge on him. I’m also mentioning the topic of mental issues and a sense of not belonging to the world. I’m planning to maintain a similar atmosphere as in the first season. The pace will be a bit slower, but almost every episode will end with a plot twist and they will be much longer (about 20-25 minutes). Currently, I’m going to make some improvements to the script. For now, I have finished the first episode. I hope I can bring this project to an end.

So this weekend will be spent binge watching the first season of Traveller! The first episode is intriguing. And eternal thanks for the English subtitles in your series. 

Thank you for your kind words! It really means a lot to me. Thank you for the opportunity to interview. I’m glad you’re doing so much to support machinima creators.

Everglow Playlist:

 

Traveler Playlist Season One:

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