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A sinister nightly visitor makes its presence known in the new short horror film, Among the Shadows. You can watch the award-winning short right here on Daily Dead, and we also have exclusive comments from co-writer/director Gene Blalock, who reflects on the challenges, collaborations, and triumphs he experienced while bringing the project to life.

From Among the Shadows Director/Co-Writer Gene Blalock: "Film can be used to express almost anything. It can make the viewer feel and empathize in new ways. It both educates and entertains. And, ultimately, film as a method of storytelling, is a crucial part of our DNA. Humanity’s innate search for meaning likely gave birth to the very first narratives. Storytelling links us to our past and provides a path into our future.

Filmmakers are storytellers, working in a medium that has a huge impact and relevance today in no small part because of the detail and accuracy which can now be portrayed by film. Personally, I’ve had three loves throughout my life—art, music, and film—each a way to share the stories in my head. I have been fortunate enough to be able to create and explore using each method. Motivation has never been an issue for me—I have to be creative—I know I would never survive in a job that did not allow me to express my stories creatively.

As it relates to Among the Shadows: I first heard of Shadow People on the radio program Coast to Coast AM, a late-night talk show dedicated to the supernatural and paranormal. While I have no belief in either, 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 possibilities. The most commonly reported shadow person is “Hat Man,” a tall dark figure in a trench coat and hat, with piercing red eyes. He had this sort of iconic appeal to him that we thought would look menacing on film. My DP Andria Chamberlin, who also wrote the script for Among the Shadows, and I talked about the story we wanted to tell and the mythos surrounding shadow people. Andria took those ideas we shared and went off to write the script.

Challenges are ever-present in low-budget indie filmmaking. Shooting Among the Shadows, we were so low-budget that we had to ask locations to allow us to film for free, or at least, at a much-reduced rate. All the cast and crew volunteered their time for the love of storytelling. The single biggest obstacle involved the visual effects. We knew from the start, even though we were doing things with as many practical effects as possible, that we were going to need to accent the film with digital effects in post-production. After our original choice for post-effects left us without usable shots, we were lucky enough to connect with ILM alumni Tony Hudson. Tony was able to really bring the film to life and it turned out better than I could have ever hoped. Honestly, it worked out perfect, as that is how I prefer to work—have a physical character and practical effects to interact with and then use VFX to further the story.

I have to share that the indie horror community is great. It’s filled with dedicated filmmakers and fans that want to make and watch interesting horror films. Being able to have Among the Shadows shown around the world and connect with devoted fans and other creators has been amazing. I’m a bit sad it’s coming to an end for this film, but that leaves me excited for what’s next."

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Among the Shadows synopsis: "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."

Directed by Gene Blalock from a screenplay he co-wrote with Andria Chamberlin, Among the Shadows stars Raquel Houghton, Andrew Varenhorst, Samantha Rund, Louis Deseran, and Lyle Kanouse.

To learn more about Gene Blalock and Seraph Films, visit:

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