The Directors’ Commentary for Shadows of a Stranger is now available on Amazon Video. Chris Clark and Richard Dutton recorded the commentary for the feature film back in November, and it has also been enhanced with the inclusion of a range of bonus material. This includes never-before-seen behind the scenes footage, clips of deleted scenes, alternative scenes, and random oddments that were discovered when the directors raided the archives. You will also be able to see some of the ‘blue screen edit’ to see what the film looked like before the visuals were created.
This commentary film is a fascinating insight into the filmmaking process that the two co-directors went through on the Shadows journey, as they talk about the serendipitous occurrences that happened during production, the dramas and tragedies that they suffered, what it was like working with the various cast members, the risks they took, and much, much more.
Hopefully it will stand as a valuable insight into low-budget indie filmmaking.
The film is available on Amazon Video in the UK and the US. Again, viewers have the option of buying or renting the film digitally, or Amazon Prime customers can stream it for free.
Virtual reality is being found in so many different areas and has become quite the buzz word, not just in the entertainment world. With networks creating VR experiences of popular TV shows at conventions and VR experiences becoming a part of film festivals like Sundance, it’s exciting to see the developments being made, blurring the lines between cinema and gaming. Perhaps some new hybrid creature will emerge from this convergence, the new experience of ‘Cinematic VR’. Who knows exactly where it’s going?
With this VR beast being so cutting edge, it may not have been an expected area for a micro-budget independent film to step into, but that is where we find ourselves with the development of the Shadows of a Stranger Virtual Reality Game.
Another murder… the opening scene of Shadows of a Stranger
Having produced a CG-based film and creating numerous 3D environments as we built our storyworld of Meridian, we also kept an eye on the VR developments in anticipation, knowing that Shadows of a Stranger lends itself perfectly to this new platform. That’s when fellow Stranger Andy Taylor (writer and performer of the song in Satan’s Cellar, Lost) stepped up to develop the app.
So what’s this VR game all about? You are placed into the shadowy city of Meridian, into the opening scene of the film where Asmo has left behind his murder scene. Instead of the policemen bursting in, you are given the mission of entering this environment and solving a mystery in order to complete the game. To help you on your challenge you have the assistance of one of the central characters, the psychic Xander, who uses his powers to talk to you and act as your guide.
Inside the VR world of the Shadows of a Stranger game
The game is truly a mind-blowing experience, something that has not been possible for indie filmmakers of this size of production, where the audience will be able to authentically experience the world of Meridian that they saw on TV and cinema screens, as the very same textures from our production have been used to create this VR world. And more than that as the VR world is augmented with new elements and new narratives as we expand the world and demonstrate a possibility for so much more.
Discovering the grim remains of Asmo’s murder victim
VR expands the universe for films, allowing the viewers to submerge themselves in it, exploring new things, becoming a part of the narrative and making friends with the characters. It’s perhaps only a matter of time before the platform will be embraced even more, when it becomes a thrilling companion between episodes of TV shows, or people can explore the far, far away worlds of cinema without having to go a theme park.
Co-director Chris Clark (who plays Xander) experiencing the Shadows VR game
With our own world, Shadows of a Stranger’s Meridian, we are endeavoring to continue expanding it…
Back in November, the co-directors of Shadows of a Stranger, Chris and Rich, recorded a commentary for the film. The final checks are now being made but it is hoped that the commentary version of the film will be available on Amazon very soon. This one is more than just a simple commentary video as it also includes various bonus material in the form of behind the scenes footage and photographs, clips of deleted scenes, and various oddments that were discovered when Chris and Rich raided the Shadows of a Stranger archives.
The commentary video also features the ‘blue screen edit’ for a few scenes, so you are able to see what they looked like before the visual effects were created, and to see the different elements that went in to the composition of the individual shots.
A trailer has been published for the commentary video, and it borrows some clips from interviews of Chris and Rich that were recorded at the time of the main production, way back in 2010. But this gives a flavour of what to expect in the commentary as the directors talk about such things as: how they brought about this ambitious micro-budget feature film, the dramas and tragedies and coincidences they had along the way, the risks they took, what it was like working with the different cast members, their inspirations to embark on such a project, and also the deeper meanings behind the film. It is sure to be a valuable insight into the world of low budget, indie filmmaking.
The commentary video should appear some time in April. In the meantime, you can listen to an interview that Rich recorded with Extra Features Podcast, where he talked in depth about making Shadows of a Stranger, again providing some insight into the process that saw this project come about, along with some lighthearted talk about favourite films and what he likes to eat when he goes to the cinema. Please give it a listen and stay tuned for the Directors’ Commentary!
Whilst there has never been any plans for a sequel to Shadows of a Stranger, the writer has instead come up with a novel that features some of the Shadows characters in cameos. Broken Melody was released just last month and is set in the same story-world of Meridian, with some of the film locations also featuring and being explored in greater and more intriguing depth.
The story is about a young and carefree student called Melody who wakes up one morning with a ‘fangover’ and must go on a frantic and twisted journey to find the vampire who infected her before she too will turn into a blood-sucking creature of the night. There’s a definite shift in tone with this story, with a lot of twisted and adult humour, not to mention the introduction of supernatural creatures to Meridian!
The book is available on Amazon in eBook and paperback form. Please do check it out and also stay tuned for some further Shadows-related releases in the near future!
Shadows of a Stranger was shown this month at the Anglicon Film Festival in Seattle, and we are delighted to announce that the film picked up the judges’ award for Best Feature!
Anglicon is a film festival that, as the name suggests, celebrates all things British, with a leaning towards Doctor Who, so our film was a natural fit for the event, particularly as Shadows is set during the lead up to Christmas! Attending the festival were the 5th and 7th incarnations of the Doctor, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy, so we sort of plugged the gap between them seeing as our film stars Colin Baker!
Sadly we weren’t able to attend the event – it’s a long way from Sleaford to Seattle! But we hope that you all enjoyed the film over there. Thanks for watching and thanks for the award!
Check out the Anglicon website for more information on the event.
It is a monumental day in Shadowsland as today, exactly 8 years on from when pre-production properly began on the film (read about that day on writer Richard Dutton’s website), Shadows of a Stranger has officially now been released for the first time.
The film can be viewed through Amazon Video which is available in four different territories: the UK, the USA, Germany / Austria, and Japan. Viewers have the option to buy a digital copy of the film, rent it, or Amazon Prime customers can view the film for free.
Already on Amazon.com we have had a review of 5 stars, so we hope that this is a sign that the film is finding its audience at long last. We look forward to hearing more reflections on our film so please do let us know what you think to it!
Welcome to the new Shadows of a Stranger website, as we gear up to finally release the film upon the world! The main trailer of the film has now been released – check it out on the Home page or Trailers page and stay tuned for the imminent release of Shadows of a Stranger…