Former Akarusa Yami vocalist Tom Brumpton has announced his latest project; “The Guiding Light”, a short film that’s been described as “La La Land if directed by David Cronenberg”.
Brumpton, who co-founded Akarusa Yami in 2011 with Guitarist Tom Clarke, parted ways with the band in 2015 after releasing two EPs (2011’s “Ouroboros” & 2012’s “Trace Element Rebirth”) and an album (2015’s “Heavy Climb”), states he hasn’t performed live since leaving the band. “I had a lot of fun in Akarusa Yami. I got to do things I’d always dreamed of with people who to this day are among my best friends and made music I’m still very proud of. However, by the end I’d lost my passion for performing live and that was a big contributing factor as to why I left.”
Having been an actor for many years outside of music, Brumpton spent the next two years appearing in various films and co-directed and produced a handful of projects with writer and best friend Adam Luff. This included 2016’s “Nurture of the Beast”, which was nominated for a number of awards, including Best Actor for Brumpton, and was screened at various film festivals around the world. In mid-2017 the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, a sprawling surreal film that in Brumpton’s own words “Is a celebration of life, those we share it with and the idea of legacy”.
The inspiration for “The Guiding Light” comes from a particularly difficult period in Brumpton’s life. He lost his Aunt Pat in April 2016 and later his Aunt Kath in late June 2017. “My aunts were wonderful people. I was very close to them and losing them felt like losing a family home.” As the pair began working on “The Guiding Light”, Brumpton aimed to create something life affirming. “I didn’t want my last memory of these women to be death and misery. I wanted to turn that grief into something positive”.
The film follows Barbara, a world champion dancer who after years of struggling with autoimmune disease is forced to retire. Shortly after, she contracts pneumonia and becomes critically ill. Minutes from death, she’s visited by the mysterious Angela. The two embark on a journey through Barbara’s happiest memories before she’s forced to face her pending mortality. The film is set to be filmed in the East Midlands in late Summer/early Autumn 2018.
Asked on his inspiration for the film, Brumpton stated “Whatever happens, blame Nicolas Winding Refn!” he jokes “I discovered him in 2009 when I saw “Bronson”, and fell in love with his work. His use of music and lighting is a massive inspiration. As Adam and I worked on the “The Guiding Light” we agreed we wanted to push our boundaries as film makers and sought to draw in a wide array of influences, specifically body horror and musicals.”
Despite the bleak sounding subject matter, Brumpton thinks of the film as a celebration of love and life. “To me, “The Guiding Light” is a celebration of life and the people we share it with. It’s about looking back on the things you achieved with a sense of pride and completion, and the role the people closest to us play in the value of those memories. Adam also wanted to tackle the idea of legacy; what do we leave behind and how will we be remembered by those close to us and the wider world. I liked that idea a lot, and it’s been fun melding these different ideas into something expansive.”
The pair are running a crowdfunder via Indiegogo which can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/