STEM UAB graduate students produce sci-fi film entirely in Birmingham

SCP D-Classified co-producers Ryan Murphy and Faaiz Saad
If you saw Ryan Murphy and Faaiz Saad on this rooftop you might mistake them for a couple of Hollywood big-shots. Photo via Scruffy Chandelier Productions.

The Magic City has been all over the film scene lately. And you can spot Birmingham in every scene of the new web series and movie, “SCP D-Classified.” Get the scoop from the producers themselves. Plus, find out how you can watch and support the local sci-fi series!

Ryan Murphy and Faaiz Saad introduce you to the SCP universe in their latest project, “SCP D-Classified.”

The ten-episode sci-fi series and the final feature-length movie (both produced and filmed entirely in Birmingham) focus on Omar Minhaj. He’s a D-Class personnel imprisoned by the SCP (Secure. Contain. Protect.) Foundation. SCP is a global organization with a mission to track down and capture all things supernatural.

After these “entities” are contained the SCP gives them a designation number categorized in the files of the Foundation. It makes you wonder, what how dangerous is D-Class?

Here’s where it really gets interesting. The series follows Omar’s story as he slowly regains his memory and begins to determine what his role is in the mysterious, possibly evil, plots of the SCP.

Who’s behind the SCP D-Classified?

Faaiz Saad, featured at the computer, is about to get hit with something a lot harder than a paper file folder. Photo via Scruffy Chandelier Productions.

It’s inspired by the SCP Foundation Universe. However, this alternate reality stems from the minds of director and co-producer Ryan Murphy and Faaiz Saad, the lead actor and co-producer.

“Starting the Morbid Memories YouTube channel with my college roommate, Nicholas Bolin, was my first real experience with any ‘narrative-style’ videos, and from there I started to dream bigger and wanted to someday direct my own feature film.”

Ryan Murphy

The UAB Stem grad students both agree they have a strong passion for the art. However, in their not-so-free time, the duo studies science and medicine.

Ryan has experience when it comes to the film industry. He’s won several awards for presenter-led programming, PSAs, and educational videos. Suffice to say, he holds a lot more talent than the videos I made in 5th grade for my Youtube channel (no, I won’t be sharing the link).

In addition to experience with filmmaking, Faaiz has acted in contemporary theatre productions, musicals, and comedies. Not to mention, he’s recognized at the state level for his performances.

“One thing I would like aspiring film makers to know is that if you have an idea of a project you want to make, go out there and do it.

Don’t say, “I’ll do it later” or, “I can’t because of this or that”. The hardest part is starting. Once you start, everything has a way of falling into place.”

Faaiz Saad

Ready to binge it like season two of “You”?

Shot from "SCP D-Classified"
Me questioning my life decisions after eating three pieces of cheesecake for breakfast. Photo via Scruffy Chandelier Productions.

Me too, but we can’t just yet. After completing the script in August of last year, the co-producers have battled obstacles to bring this series to you. Operating as an independent filmmaker means always being on the hunt for resources. Producing an entire series means you need a whole lot of them.

“We have also received some props for films and permissions to shoot in locations from a number of Birmingham residents and businesses, tokens of support which cannot be understated, especially for SCP D-Classified.

I have even had two pieces win best-in-category awards at the 2018 Steel Reel Film Festival and one piece win second place at the 2018 UAB Expo Research Video Awards, so I have been very thankful for the support I have received from the Birmingham community.”

Ryan Murphy

The episodes release biweekly and the movie cut will be available after the entire series has aired on YouTube. However, while the series and movie will stream for free on the Youtube channel, Morbid Memories, to truly make the series shine the team needs help with post-production costs.

This includes things such as props, location expenses, and visual effects. You can support the film through their Kickstarter. I mean, don’t we want to help get all the bad guys off our streets—real or imagined?

What would supporting the film mean for Birmingham?

SCP D-Classified cast
Next stop for the cast of SCP D-Classified? The red carpet.Photo via Scruffy Chandelier Productions.

First off, the cast is comprised almost entirely of Birmingham residents. And who doesn’t want to see our awesome city and residents on screens everywhere? The more support we give, the more Ryan and Faaiz are able to show off.

“From the start of pre-production, Faaiz and I both agreed that we wanted our film to reflect the diversity of our city in the representation of actors we chose for the film, and we put a lot of thought into choosing our actors based on their skills, personalities, and what unique perspectives they each could bring to the project and their characters”

Ryan Murphy

Ryan and Faaiz are eager to not only showcase their talents, and what they’ve learned from there time at UAB. but also all of Birmingham. Filming in the city allows them to promote local talent, display unique settings in Birmingham and form connections in the community.

Follow along with Ryan and Faaiz’s progress through their Youtube and Twitter. Keep the story rolling by supporting the team through their Kickstarter.