Our working relationship with writer/director Kendal Sinn and his frequent collaborator Patrick Rea goes back several years, just about to 2001, which is when Sinn first started conceptualizing Shadow Falls, an Internet horror/sci-fi serial about eerie goings-on in a creepy Kansas town. His end goal was to have 36 short films and then finish with a feature. Instead of working on the shorts, however, Sinn jumped ahead to the finale, and thus, we have Shadow Falls Memorial.
Why the change in plans? His first season of short films about “Shadow Falls, Kansas” was a critical and popular hit when it debuted online in 2003, and Season Two was supposed to go up in 2006. But things didn’t work out that way, and Sinn decided to end the series to focus on other films. He explains, “I got married [to producer Sally Cummings] and we had a baby, and [while] we were shooting all of these other films, I was just sitting there with Season Two on my hard drive.” The business end of the filmmaking process was what was holding up release. “After three years I just wanted to make something new.”
So he did. In 2009 he decided to end the series, using much of what was shot for Season Two with an additional 30 minutes of new footage, wrapping up the story. The end result is the feature film Shadow Falls Memorial.
“Fans will either love it or hate it, Sinn says. “No one will walk out saying ‘Meh’.” It’s the same ending that he has been walking around with for almost a decade. “The whole concept started around the ending, and I worked my way backward. The ending is the same, but the way we get there is different. Every moment, every shot, every performance, and every line of dialog has been leading to one moment; and it all makes sense in the end.”
At least he hopes.
“This is the most complex thing I have ever written, maybe not best, but most complex. People will watch this once and get it, but then they will go back and watch it again. Then they will go back and watch the first season, and everything will seem so obvious. All the answers were right in front of them the entire time.” For this reason Sinn recommends watching Season One first. You can order the DVD (which comes with a whopping three hours of special features) from EvilShop below or view all eight episodes for free at various places on the Net.
How about a brief synopsis?
An event happened 27 years ago in the halls of Shadow Falls Memorial Hospital so horrific that it changed the town forever. Only one person escaped, and her whereabouts are unknown. Now one man is the key to undoing the wrongs of the past and charged with bringing back the fabled River Child. In this shocking feature film conclusion to the acclaimed web series, the stories of past and future collide, and the secrets of Shadow Falls are finally revealed in a haunting climax that will stay with viewers for a lifetime.
Niarba Sirrah – “Billy Pilgrim”
Allen Lowman (Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula) – “The Phantom Stranger”
Val Smith – “Alicia Stephons”
Criag Boyd (Air) – “William”
Tom Davis (The Empty Acre) – “Alan Stephons”
Natalie Nicole (Wild Hogs) – “Mischief Pixie”
Jennifer Plas (The Empty Acre) – “Kitty Stephons”
Darrell Weston – “The Man From Lod”
Shadow Falls Memorial will have its world premiere at the Fright Night Film Festival, which is being held in Louisville, Kentucky, August 14-16. After that it will play in festivals around the country before its release on DVD in early 2010.
Now that Shadow Falls is finally put to bed, what’s on the horizon for Kendal Sinn? He’s currently prepping the science fiction feature film Annex Nation and also wrote the screenplay for director Patrick Rea’s Nailbiter,, which we should be hearing more about soon.
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