The Story of DIFYRENT: Dreaming Bigger Than We Should.
Updated: Oct 30
DIFYRENT is an award winning Creative Studio founded by Dylan Odom, Maria Grech and Adam Ryan. Armed with their unrelenting passion to creating cinematic and episodic experiences that captivate the masses, DIFYRENT is a household name in the making.
That's what we tell people at least. We have to. If we can't imagine our names in lights, then how can we ever expect anyone else to?
Pictured: Maria Grech, Adam Ryan, Dylan Odom
WHERE WE STARTED
This whole thing started by mistake. I'm not joking, we never set out to make a film production company, or to leave our day jobs and schools and just go all in on filmmaking. It started where all the best things start: absolute, rock bottom boredom.
It was 2020 *yes that 2020* and we were all stuck inside by ourselves itching for an escape, and oh boy did we find one. One game on Zoom with friends, become 2 became 45 and eventually we ran out of games. That's when I (Dylan) pitched a wild idea:
"LET'S WRITE A MOVIE"
And we did! Well, a short film. Maria and I were practically living together at the time, and just sat on her bed for days and days writing what would eventually become our first film "In The Dark"
Pictured: Greta Holland and Lily Gabriele in the poster for In The Dark
I'm still not entirely sure how, but in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, we somehow managed to muster up 10 or so friends and shoot this little gem of a movie. Inspired by our pre-pandemic binges, (namely Stranger Things), we told the story of a young girl who escapes her mundane life whenever she's bored, into a dream world made up of her own drawings and ideas.
Things are great and all magical until her real-world school nemesis comes along and ruins everything.
Considering it's whopping €300 budget, and that our idea of 'recording sound' was taping a microphone onto a stage mic stand and having one of our good friends Mark do his best to hold it, it actually turned out pretty well. We spent the rest of the summer composing our own custom music for the film, doing about a month of VFX and yes you read it right: SMOKE MONSTERS!
I'll attach the trailer below for you to judge for yourself (and feel free to judge. We do!)
That was when we decided we were ready to take on an even bigger project, and oh boy were we wrong!
OUR FIRST 'BIG' MOVIE: The Way Back
Armed with an infinite amount of creative energy, and a much sharper sense of what to do (or more like not do) when making a movie, for some reason we decided going from a tiny short film to what we called a Blockbuster Feature Film was a great idea.
Pictured: Jeanine Scerri as Maggie in The Way Back Season 1.
Once again, tasked with writing a film in the midst of the apocalypse, we wrote would would become a 3 episode crazy feature film with visual effects, stunts, huge sets... you know, all the things you should have in a small indie first time movie...
"Following the disappearance of their mom on September 31st, a boy and his rag-tag group of friends set out to unravel the strange truth about a failed 40 year-old government experiment, before the night is over and his mom is lost forever."
But alas, we somehow managed. We scraped together funding from anywhere we could think of. We sold ads to anyone would listen, small company 30 seconders that we shot ourselves and played between the episodes. Luckily, I had been working in visual effects and advertising up until that point so we managed to rack up enough money (all €14,000) of it and make our movie!
We built a massive basement set completely from scratch, cast actors, drove trucks, whatever it took.All things considered, with all the things that went wrong (sponsors pulling out last second, not having enough time to shoot the scenes, etc), we put together a fun time-capsule of all of our crazy ideas that we'll always look at as our cute (however bumpy) first child.
Pictured: Stills from The Way Back Season 1
On the 7th January 2022, we released the official trailer, and then later that year completely sold out our very first premiere!
When everything settled, and once the never ending list of things to get done was finally ticked off, all we could think was- let's do that again, but BIGGER.
THE WAY BACK: 1982
By now you know the story: We wrote the script, built the sets, did everything it took, aaaaand...
We're actually still working on it. We shot the bulk of it over the Summer of 2022, and we've been working hard on it ever since.
With 600+ Visual Effects Shots, Custom Music, and not 3 but 4 Episodes of time travel fun, we simply can not wait to show everyone what we've been working for. While we don't have a release date quite yet, rest assured that The Way Back 1982 will be in cinemas by mid-next year (2024).
In the meantime, since we can't show you the trailer, here's the poster!
(The poster says Streaming 2023, but the poster is known to lie and should not be trusted) The quotes from fans are real though!!
Pictured: Stills from The Way Back 1982 that look AMAZING if we say so ourselves.
Winning The Malta Create Film Fund and Making "I Wish I Never Existed"
Finally after years of blistering hard work, fueled by nothing but passion and a mild Coca Cola addiction, we made it to the big leagues.
Pictured: Dylan Odom, Maria Grech, Adam Ryan, James Nunn at the Golden Bee Awards 2023
At a Gala Event I was way underdressed for (I have a severe allergy to pants that aren't denim), our hard work and filmmaking was recognized for the very first time in the form of a grant to make a massive Short Film that doubles the budget of all of our previous films COMBINED.
Together with The Malta Film Commission and our excellent Producers (who we now call friends) James Nunn and 2-time Emmy Winner Jon Cassar, we're once again Writing, Building Sets from scratch, and Dreaming way bigger than we should, only to make the movies of our dreams.
We will not stop making, not stop working, and not stop having the time of our lives. We know where we want to be, know it's practically impossible to get there, and yet, are doing it anyways.