With a number of award-winning shorts under his belt, Gene Blalock is certainly a filmmaker to watch. His latest, Among the Shadows, has been receiving overwhelming acclaim, so be sure to check it out below.
But first read our Q&A with him to learn how he created such a unique film.
DC: How did the idea for this film come about? Was there any personal experience involved?
Gene Blalock: I have no personal belief in the supernatural, but all the superstition behind those archetypes make for great stories. I first heard of Shadow People on “Coast to Coast AM,” which is a late-night talk radio show that discusses the paranormal. After some research, it seemed like an interesting topic – one that I had not seen many films address – so it seemed like a fun topic with a lot of possibility. The Hat Man had this sort of iconic appeal to him.
DC: Do you really believe that childhood fears of things lurking in the dark are irrational, or is it reasonable to fear the things in the night?
GB: Even as a child, I much preferred the night. People that you pass on the street every day scare me far more than anything lurking in the shadows.
DC: And you’ve got a lot of CGI effects on-screen, something relatively unusual for a short. Was the visual style a decision that you had from the beginning?
GB: We had a great actor, Andrew Varenhorst (Argo, It’s in the Blood), who played Hat Man in the film, but we always knew we would have to enhance his performance with visual effects. After meeting the amazing Tony Hudson (former ILM visual effects artist – check him out on fxvet.net), I think we stepped things up a bit. But honestly, that is how I would prefer to work – have a physical character interact with the environment and then use VFX to further the story.
DC: How do you feel about the awards that you’ve picked up?
GB: It is always nice when others appreciate what you create. I try not to read too much into whether any of our films receive awards, but rather the feedback I get from our fans and other viewers. That said, I’m happy that it has done as well as it has!
DC: Looking at your IMDb profile, you’ve got a ton of successful shorts under your belt. Do you plan to make a feature anytime soon?
GB: I’m currently finishing up a feature-length documentary on a musician, Johnny Indovina, but I am also hoping to start our first narrative full-length film later this year. We are already in pre-production and planning, so if everything comes together as we are hoping, we can begin production on that soon.
“It’s only a shadow…”
The irrational terrors of childhood – monsters hiding under the bed and demons waiting in the closet – fade into the nightmares of our youth. You’d have to be crazy to imagine that the flicker out of the corner of your eye was real; it was just a shadow, a moth flitting by, surely nothing malevolent. But denial is only a defense against the imaginary and holds no sway against true horror. When old playmates return, is it madness or worse? Answers lie Among the Shadows.
Awards for Among the Shadows:
Best Editing – Indie Horror Film Festival (2016)
Best Director – International Movie Awards (2015)
Best Cinematography – International Movie Awards (2015)
Best Editor – International Movie Awards (2015)
Best International Short Film – International Movie Awards (2015)
Best Musical Score – International Movie Awards (2015)