New music videos for Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson produced by Falmouth lecturers, alumni and students

15 February 2024

Red text on a screen saying 'The Afterglow of Ragnarok'
The Afterglow of Ragnarok

School of Film & Television Associate Lecturer Ryan Mackfall has directed two new music videos for rock icon Bruce Dickinson. Both films were shot in Cornwall, with the first of the two videos an accompaniment to the Iron Maiden frontman’s first solo track in almost 20 years.  


Afterglow of Ragnarok

Afterglow of Ragnarok is the title track from Bruce’s forthcoming solo album The Mandrake Project, due for release in March this year through the BMG label. The video draws from the comic series of the same name created by Bruce Dickinson and realised in collaboration with 2000AD, DC and Marvel writer Tony Lee with art by Staz Johnson for Z2 Comics, with both the video and comic launched at ComicCon in Brazil in 2023.

An eight-page comic book prequel features in the 7” gatefold vinyl release of the single and will be followed with 12 quarterly issues that will be collected into annual graphic novels over the next three years. 

The video brings Dr Necropolis, the protagonist at the heart of The Mandrake Project, to life and was produced by Ryan together with Falmouth alumna Ella Turner, assisted by a crew of 40 that included a number of Falmouth students. The video racked up 500,000 views in the week following its release and has surpassed 1 million views a month later. Ryan’s company Crashburn is a production company based in Cornwall working with label commissioners all over the world to create music promos, short films, documentaries, and multi-camera live performance releases, for bands as diverse as Green Day and 21 Savage. 

Rain on the Graves

The second video to be taken from the album is Rain on the Graves, a twisted Hammer horror story performed with Bruce's band, who flew to Cornwall from LA to perform in a specially constructed set. Released at the end of January, the video has again chalked up over 900K views in the weeks since its release.

This film was produced by the Cornwall-based production company Myskatonic, established in 2019 to develop feature film and television projects, run jointly by Ryan and Falmouth's Head of School of Film & Television Kingsley Marshall

Ryan told us: “At Myskatonic, our work is primarily about identity and place, and we're drawn to stories where characters find themselves displaced from the everyday into otherworldly situations that challenge their perceptions. We’re intrigued by the unknown, and particularly in how stories situated in personal identity and psychogeography can say something beyond the literal. We’re committed to developing new and emerging filmmakers and providing work placement opportunities for people from a diverse range of backgrounds in a real filmmaking environment; that has been a keystone in our ethos.” 

Kingsley explained: “Since 2010 Falmouth’s Sound/Image Cinema Lab has been able to wrap professional production around work-integrated learning. Working with production companies including o-region, Bosena, Film4, Early Day and Stormforce Films, it has created hundreds of opportunities for students to work on short film, feature film, documentary, and music video projects over the last few years.  

Working on a professional set as a student was a great experience because it gave an opportunity to observe how a set operates - Tom, current student

“Working with more experienced crews really helps students build their confidence in their creative voices at university, and their careers beyond it. With Ryan at Myskatonic, we’ve provided over 80 placements in the last few years, and it’s terrific we’ve been able to extend this into these music videos with the generous support of Bruce Dickinson and his team. What has been great is that some of the team were graduates working locally – including the producer, production manager, 1st AC, and gaffer – all of whom graduated from Falmouth in the last few years and had worked on similar placements while they were at university, including Mark Jenkin’s recent feature Enys Men, and the forthcoming The Severed Sun from lecturer Dean Puckett.” 

Tom Beal is a current Film BA third-year student who worked on the project. He told us: “Working on a professional set as a student was a great experience because it gave an opportunity to observe how a set operates and how, even though it was very focused, you can have a fun environment in a professional setting. Everything was so slick; if they needed to change a lighting setup it was done with ease and in a couple of minutes which is hugely important when you’re dealing with a tight schedule.  

“Being a runner meant I was able to speak to pretty much everyone at one point or another and it was where I met an actor who I have recently cast in my final year project. The thing I valued most from the experience was being able to observe the director, Ryan Mackfall, work with the crew. As someone who wants to direct, it was informative for me to be able to see how Ryan talked with the actors and how he maintained the morale of the crew.” 

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