Welcome to "The Shadow of the Bear" movie blog!

We are an independant young adult-run production based in the U.S. Midwest. The film has been in pre-production since summer 2008, and wrapped up filming on August 26th, 2010.

We premiered the project on June 23rd, 2011 at the St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis, MN to a delighted audience of over 100 viewers.

For details about the future of the project, click here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Set Report from Day #2

Whew...so...yesterday we had our first *official* day of filming. It was completely amazing.

(side note- this isn't a great picture of Sharayah, but you can see her cool coat and hair color. Note about the hair- Sharayah had QUITE the time getting it to that color. She had to dye it twice, and use dye remover in between that. It was a bit crazy!)

The day started with a flurry of preparations. While my younger sister (taking on the duties of props mistress) assembled Mrs. Brier's grocery bags and the winter version of the rosebushes, I drove over to a friend's house to pick up some huge outdoor lights to use in filming.

Then I came home and packed up my car with the various props and equiptment. To my surprise and extreme delight my brother and sister both agreed to come along and help at the shoot. They were both great assets, as my sister ran around helping to keep everyone warm and my brother used his size, strength and skill to help make our lighting changes swift and efficent.

We met at the house of our Blanche and Mrs. Brier. Everyone had assembled by a little past four and we watched the footage from Saturday, talked over the upcoming shoot, and prayed. This is God's project over and over so prayer is so vital to this film!

Then we sorted out the driving situation and figured that all...fifteen of us? Could fit into four cars.

In addition to our crew from Saturday, and my siblings, we also had two friends of mine from former film projects and another young gentleman who will be running sound for us on future shoots. Plus, of course, Mrs. Brier, and her husband and daughter.

It took us about a half hour to get down to the area of the city where we would be shooting. The house we are using as the Brier's home is just lovely- light blue with white trim and a closed in porch, set on a bit of a hill. However it's in exactly the sort of somewhat rough neighborhood you'd expect to see as the modern metaphor for the dark forest of the fairy tale. In fact, one of the neighbors who stopped by during our filming told us that the house next to ours had once been a drug house! How weird!

We started getting set up a little after 5:30 and worked until 10:00. Everyone was just amazing. Despite the extreme cold there were no complaints, only cheerfulness. In fact, Jed (our Bear) loves the cold so much that we had a hard time getting him in to warm up!

I had storyboarded the entire snowball fight sequence and that made things move much smoother. It also gives me confidence that we're going to be able to edit it together easily because I put a lot of pre-planning time into making sure all the shots would fit together properly.

It was awesome to watch Jed and Hannah and Sharayah. They all fit their parts so perfectly, that even though I was directing it, there wasn't nearly as much for me to tell them as you'd think. They just instictively knew what they should be doing. I'd say "action" and immediatly they [i]were[/i] Bear, Blanche and Rose. And they were hilarious! The snowball fight scene has to be the most laughter-inducing scene of the whole story and it was just so fun to watch them play it out.

It was just a blast. I think everyone had a great time. We have a good comradarie among the cast and crew. It just blew me away to see everything going so well. In fact, as I told my brother and sister later, by the time I got home I just about cried from happiness. God has his hand so evidantly in this project and it just amazes me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Set Report from Day 1

First of all, as I think you can see here, we took some promo pictures, one of which I edited up for you all to see. Hannah isn't wearing her wig yet, but you can see Jed with his hair and costume as they should be, as well as the almost finished white dress. (I don't know if you can spot the key/heart necklace or not).

This first day was a preliminary filming day, sort of a trial run if you will. I was able to see how well everyone worked together, as well as some things that I can do differently to make things run quicker and smoother.

Overall it was a great day. The cast (just Hannah and Jed for this round) and crew gelled pretty well. We had lots of jokes flying around, and yet people were also very focused. There's a good professional attitude amongst us.

We had a good sized crew. Camera A was operated by our cinematographer, and Camera B was operated by our lighting designer. We also had two other guys to hold the mic (on a boom pole) and various lights. Plus we had Janny (Froggy on the forum) as our continuity director and my PA.

We shot about a page - page and half of the script from the scene when Bear asks Blanche to prom. None of it will end up in the finished film, but we're going to edit it together anyhow and probably post it here for you all to see.

We praise God for bringing everything together the way he has, and ask for continued prayers of good weather and good health for the rest of the week.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Filming begins today!

Well it's 2:00am and I'm just about to catch some sleep before the big day! Just wanted to let you all know that we're going to have our first official day of production (although technically it's a prefilming day, which means none of the footage we shoot will end up in the film) today! Prayers would be much appreciated! I expect to show up again in about 24 or 36 hours to let you know how it all went!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Adult Actors

Hi, this is Laura, Trinamariah's mom. I was wondering if you had planned on having adults play the adults in your screenplay? If so, do you have any of the adult roles cast yet?

I can't believe I haven't mentioned them yet! The answer to that is yes and no. We have the two most important roles (Mr. Freet and Mrs. Brier) cast. Mr. Freet is going to be played by Sharayah's dad, and Mrs. Brier is going to be played by Hannah's mom. Other parts such as Dr. Freet and Sister Geraldine are still up in the air.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Inspiration of this Film

A couple of weeks ago I promised you all the answer of how this project began. I'm afraid it's rather a long story, so bear with me!

I've actually been interested in filming my whole life. When I was a newborn baby my father and uncle made this really cute film about me- not a home video, an actual movie with a plot and interviews, etc. So I can really say that I've been a filmmaker from the get-go.

My first really serious project came at the age of 15. My friends and I came up with the idea to make our own version of a popular fantasy film (If I tell you it was not Harry Potter, you should be able to guess what it was). Before I knew quite what had happened, I had become scriptwriter, producer, director and one of the only significant female actors. Woweee!

That project ended up taking about 15 months of my life, was two hours long, was shot in half a dozen locations across the state, had over 50 people on camera, and premiered at our church to an audience of about 125 persons.

As you can imagine, after that I was ready for a break.


The very next summer, the year I was 16, my fellow filmmakers and I were introduced to the first Vision Forum Film Festival, held down in San Antonio Texas. We decided that we needed to submit our own film to the contest, and quickly set to work writing another script. Or rather, I wrote it and they picked it apart.

This one was an original story, had a smaller cast (about a dozen people) was filmed completely in five days time (with a few pick up shots) and was edited in one month. The total running time was about 50 minutes.

So yes, you could say it was a smaller film, but we were still able to do cool things like film at our State Capitol and the nearest International Airport.

(Incidently, we found out later that the Coen brothers had started their film career filming at that same airport!)

Two films in two years. Were we ready for a break NOW? Well, sort of. We had plans for a film about the Scottish Rebellion of William Wallace that we had been tossing around for awhile. However, it was a pretty big epic scale project that was taking a while to come to fruitation. And while we were working on the script for that...

...I visited this amazing house.

Seriously. The family that owned it had decorated it to fit the Victorian period. The furniture, the wall paper, the curtains...everything was so perfectly period! I stared at it, turned to my friend (who lived there) and said "I need to film a movie here."

And that was how we began "Little Women."

Originally we'd planned for a small, half hour film to take place over that January. What happened was that we spent the next eight months filming, with another year of editing, shot the whole thing on a Canon XL2, had an original score composed, and had another premiere two years after the beginning of the project with another 100+ audience.

I pretty much realized that I was never going to be able to do a small film.

Over the post-production period on Little Women I went off to college and enrolled as an English Lit Major and Film Studies minor. I had plans to go off to L.A. for the fall of 2008. I also read a book called "The Shadow of the Bear" by Regina Doman.

God seemed to have plans other than movie making for me, however. In 2007 I realized that going into film was not compatable with my other dream, raising a homeschooled family. So I dropped the film minor, came home from college and took up a nannying job, and focused on directing and costuming local church and community theatre productions.

Before this point I had fallen in love with the Fairy Tale Novels. By the time I read "Waking Rose" (which has so many similarities to my life at the time) I was reading Regina's blog regularily. It was there that I realized that Regina had a really vocal and loyal fan base who didn't have a good way of communicating with each other. So I stepped out on a limb and asked Regina for permission to start a fan forum. She agreed, and now a year later we have a vibriant and thriving community of over 300 members.

But it didn't end there.

This past summer, while I was involved with a community production of Beauty and the Beast, God started bringing some interesting things into my life. Through a friend of mine he told me that I needed to go back into filmmaking. I was pretty stunned by this, as I had more or less given up my filmmaking dream. But there was one thing I knew. I wanted more than anything to make a film version of "The Shadow of the Bear." And I knew the author well enough to ask her for permission.

And I had just met a guy who seemed to fit the description of Bear exactly- something I had never dreamed I'd be able to do.

So I sent off an e-mail to Regina, which was quickly followed by permission and a series of e-mails that determined just how this would work. I began to realize that, yes, this could really happen. Within a matter of days I also realized that I knew three other people who would fit the parts of Rose, Blanche and Fish. So I talked to the four potential actors, recieved a series of positive answers, and knew that, for some reason, this was actually meant to happen.

Since then God has continued to send a parade of "yes's" and people my way. There is little doubt in my mind that this is God's project and God's will and that he means for all of this to happen. I don't think I can even begin to explain how humbled I feel by all this, or how much it has already done for my own life.

We're a week away from filming now, and just about everything seems to be in place. There's still a part of me that can hardly believe that it's true.

And yet, it is.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Introducing Rose Brier

Sharayah, whom I first met while she was in the role of the beautiful and spirited Belle (from "Beauty and the Beast") is our actress for the part of Rose Brier. Rose, the younger of the sisters, is imaginative, stubborn, loyal and inquisitive.
(And before you ask, yes, she just informed me that she is going to try to get blue contacts.)
Elena: So Sharayah...how long have you been acting?
Sharayah: I've been acting basically since I could walk - this being before I could talk. My parents could tell what I liked from the faces I made. When I could talk, my friends and I started writing plays in my basement, and that was that! An actress was being created! Acting is definitely one of my passions, and although I haven't had a ton of experience in the actual professional field of acting, that's where I hope to end up.
Elena: Wow, I can definetely tell you are passionate about acting! Which is great for Rose, of course. What have been some of your favorite parts to play?
Sharayah: Hmmm. Well, one of my first larger roles outside of my small church-musical world was Dorothy Gale. That was really fun to do, because the three actors I was with were an absolute blast! And I became rather good friends with the "Wicked Witch of the West" as well. But currently my favorite role was Belle in Beauty and the Beast in my backyard! Feisty women always catch my attention, and Belle isn't your average "Disney princess," which is why it was so much fun. Plus, I got to look beautiful without leaving my house... whenever I dress up and try to go somewhere it somehow gets messed up, I dunno wherein lies the problem, but there you have it.
Elena: Hahaha! I can totally understand that. And those are great roles. Rather funny too, because I can see elements of Rose in both of them. Would you agree?
Sharayah: Yes! The imagination and sort of wistfulness in both of them are strikingly similar...
The creativity element, too.
Elena: It's really funny how you can cast someone and then find out even more ways in which they fit their character. I credit it to God's planning of this project, though. It's really amazing. Anyhow, this is your first film project, correct?
Sharayah: Yep!
Elena: What inspired you to agree to it?
Sharayah: Well, film is just something that I've always aspired to... I don't want to be a movie star or anything, but just something I could get up close and personal and really tackle the little quirks of a character sound extremely exciting to me. So this opportunity was sort of irrisistable... I mean who in their right minds could honestly expect me to say no?! :)
Elena: Hahaha! Well I'm thrilled that you said yes! Especially since you and Rose are so much alike. Why don't you tell us about some of the things you two have in common?
Sharayah: Oh where do I begin?
Elena: At the beginning. It's a very good place to start, you know!
Sharayah: Well I'll start by saying, when I read the book "The Shadow of the Bear" for the first time, I was actually shocked by the similarities! For instance, Rose likes to look at people as sort of... how did she put it? Other people or creatures trapped in the bodies of whoever they appear to be. It's rather fascinating that I actually do that myself! For instance, on of my social studies teachers was a rather inquisitive rat. (Don't tell!) Another of my friends was an empress, forced into hiding by her rebellious subjects and humbled by the situations of everyday people like me. That's how I found the gumption to forgive her about things.

So that's just one of many incredible similarities, and if I can find something like THAT, you can IMAGINE how many others there must be... like how talkative Rose is, for instance? Yea okay, except I know when to stop talking.. which I'll do right now...
Elena: Hahahaha! Nno, I love to hear you say all this! It's really cool! It just makes me go..."This is so Amazing!" Boy, I can't wait to start filming. What do you think you're looking forwards to the most?
Sharayah: Um, filming?
Elena: But like what scenes?
Sharayah: Haha actually I'm really looking forward to a couple of scenes we're gonna film... first off, the scene where Rose confronts Rob? WOW what a woman. I'm also looking forward to the scene in the basement with Fish when Rose has a plastic bag over her head? Call me crazy, but that is going to be instense!

And any scene with Blanche in it will be great. I love Hannah. Love love love love love love love Hannah. We get along quite like Blanche and Rose get along, actually.
Elena: So I've heard! I think that is awesome! Well, I think that just about covers my list of questions. Anything else you'd like to say to our fans?
Sharayah: I hope you like my interpretation of Rose? Books that people are fans of, once they get turned into movies, leave a lot of very disappointed and sometimes very bitter fans. Please don't be bitter. Put a smile on! Just like McDonald's commercials... MAN commercials are annoying, can't television just be free? If everything was free, people wouldn't be losing money, because they wouldn't need money to pay for anything else! It's a rather silly system. But what's done is done.

Elena: Hahahaha! I love it. Thanks for taking the time to do this!
Sharayah: Of course!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lights Out

Both Hannah and Anthony mentioned their last big film project "Lights Out" in their interviews. Since the film has just screened at two film festivals (one in San Francisco, one in Italy) I thought I would put up the link to the film website for you all to take a look at.

It is an Independant Christain Production and operated in a very similar way to what we'll be doing with SOTB (although we're on a smaller scale). It was actually through the director of this film that I had the chance to meet and befriend Anthony and Hannah. So you could say that without "Lights Out" SOTB would not be in production.

Here is the link to the main website. I believe they are intending to get a trailer up fairly soon.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Questions and Answers

Serendipity (I believe)
This is so wonderful!! But I have a question: You said earlier that Hannah (Blanche) would probably be wearing a wig. If that is so, what are you going to do about her eyebrows? (I know...it's a weird question, but...)
November 18, 2008 1:48 PM

We will be darkening them. We've got a couple of make-up tricks up our sleeves.
(Actually, I'll probably tell you more after we try it and see what looks best)

Elizabeth said...
I was wondering if you will include some of the more difficult scenes to film, considering where they are located, such as St. Lawrence's church when Mr. Freet falls through the floor boards?

That's up in the air. It may be a case of constructing a floor in a seperate location and filming carefully, or we may end up rechoreographing the scene to elimenate the need.

And someone on the forum asked what scenes we would be filming over Christmas break.

The short answer is- all the exterior scenes with both snow and Bear.

In more detail- that would be some shots from the first night that they meet Bear, and the whole exterior part of the Opera/St. Lawrence/Snowball fight night.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Production soon to begin...

It's official. We now have a cinematographer and camera and so, if all continues as well as it has been, we should begin filming on or shortly after the 27th of December.

Prayers would be MUCH appreciated! There is still a ton to do before then!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Questions and Answers

Hello again! Apologies for the long silence...I've been waiting to give everyone a chance to get their question in...

And before I write more, I want to remind you that if you're interested in hearing about my ten day trip to visit Regina Doman, check out my personal blog here.

All right. Questions.

Lucia said....
When filming is completed how will I be able to get a copy? Where will it be sold?

If the film is produced to Regina's satisfaction, you may be sure that there will be information on this blog (and probably Regina's own) on how to order a copy. Another good way to keep informed is to join the Fairy Tale Novel Forum.

Phoenix A. Cullen said...
Hi,just wondering when you will have pictures of the other characters and actors.I can't wait to see more updates on the site.

It's a matter of getting me and the actors in the same place all at once. Our Rose is pretty busy, and our Bear is at an out of state college, so it may not be until the end of December.

Lucia said...
Do you have a release date yet?

Oh no. With an independant film like this it is almost impossible to set a release date. We plan to have principle photography wrapped up by the end of August, 2009, but editing could take anywhere from six months to a year to complete. Possibly longer. It all depends on the time frame God leads us to.

When will there be a preview?

Well, if our editor has the time and interest, it could be fun to put something out after our December filming. However there are a lot of things that could push that back, so don't get too excited.

Do you plan to have one big trailer or a teaser and a normal one?

I expect there will be a couple differant ones, but it really depends on how much time and energy we have. Producing an independant film is a LOT of work!

lenore said...
Are you going to be castinf for extras? And if so would you advertise that here?

It probably will be a local effort of connections. Which means I'll send out an e-mail to the people in my area, and ask them to pass it on. If you're connected to me or one of the actors, there's a good chance you'll get invited. But since this is a student production, I can't just go putting our personal location information out on the internet.

David S. said...
Elenatintil,I left you a Private Message at the Fairy Tale Novels forum a while back. Just checking to see if you got it.

Yes, I did get it. My apologies to you and everyone else who has had their pm's go unanswered over the past month. I've been traveling a lot and working overtime, plus there are a lot of things I just don't know yet. I haven't forgotten you though!

Kat said...
Hey! I'm so excited about the movie!! I know it would be awile, but are you planning on making a Black as Night and Waking Rose?Thanks!

No, not seriously. Living where I do, Black as Night would be vertually impossible to do. And without Black as Night, it would make little sense to do Waking Rose. Plus, unless we somehow get a large enough budget to pay our actors, I can't expect our principles to stay on for the four or five years it would probably take to do them. But let's just get SOTB done and see what God does next!

Anonymous said...
Have you found a character for Rose yet?-an excited fan of Regina Doman

Yes we have. Her name is Sharayah, and there are pictures of her in the post from the Screen Test.

P.S. How did you get started doing this?

Whew! This deserves a post of it's own! I'll try and write something up in the next couple of weeks, okay?

Will you be interested in other filming other Catholic books after this?

Right now I have no plans to film anything else. SOTB was a huge surprise, as I'll explain why in the answer post to the previous question. I love filming, but it's not what I'm planning to do for the rest of my life. God has final say, however, so it's really up to him, not me.

I'll be more than happy to do another question and answer post, so if you do have questions, feel free to post them here. That'll be the easiest way for me to keep track of them. If you post them in other entries, I can't guarentee that they'll get answered.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Well, preproduction continues, though there are still a lot of details to fall in place.

However, some exciting things coming up.

First of all, I've been making some connections with other young filmmakers that may be very beneficial to the production.

And secondly, later this week I will be heading out to Virginia to meet Regina Doman in person! This is a wonderful opportunity and I am so excited to meet her in person and talk over all the scripting and movie details floating around in my head. I will definately keep you all updated on that!

Also, I know some of you have had questions about various parts of the film. If you would like to resubmit those questions as comments to this post, I will then do a FAQ post to answer them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Introducing Fish...

Fish, also known as Benedict Denniston, remains something of an enigma during SOTB (although his story is fleshed out later during Waking Rose). Like his brother he enjoys art, music and poetry, but is more cautious and cynical. He remains on the borders of SOTB, but is much more critical to the plot than he first seems.

Playing Fish is Anthony, who also agreed to give us some time and answer some questions about his previous acting experience and why he chose to take on the character of Fish.

(Photo by Cypress Dreams Photography)

Elena: So, Anthony, how long have you been acting?

Anthony: I have been officially acting since 2005.

Elena: Officially meaning-?

Anthony: Officially meaning I had no acting experience before that.

Elena: Wow. So your first project was Lights Out? That's really impressive! I mean, your acting in that film was amazing.

Anthony: Thank you.

Elena: Can you tell us a little bit about that project? I know Hannah mentioned it in her interview. What is it about? How did you get involved with it?

Anthony: I was actually dragged to an audition by a friend- almost literally. I auditioned at the last audition to be an extra but the director felt that I could play one of the leads.

Elena: That must have been a surprise!

Anthony: It was definitely a surprise. I got an e-mail notifying me that I could be an extra and then a week later I got a phone call from the director asking me if I would play T.J., one of the leads.

Elena: And you said "yes," obviously. What was that like, going from no acting experience, to suddenly being a major part of an independent film project like that?

Anthony: Um, crazy. It was incredibly crazy. I felt kind of scared considering that out of everybody there I probably had the least acting experience. But the director said just being yourself was the best way to go, so I almost had no choice but to do that.

Elena: Two more Lights Outs questions: What was your favorite part and least favorite part of being on a film set?

Anthony: Favorite part was the people. I got to meet a lot of people that I wouldn't have otherwise. Many of my current closest friends are from the movie. Just the experience of doing it as a whole was - as far as I can remember - the best time of my life. As far as what I didn't like...there were some pretty late nights in some pretty cold places. But even that was definitely worth it.

Elena: "Pain is temporary, film is forever, right?" So are you excited to be taking on another project? (i.e. SOTB)

Anthony: I'm very excited about taking on another project, especially this one. But I also have seen the amount of work that goes into a film, so I'm trying to prepare myself.

Elena: Well I certainly agree with that. Thinking about this project is...intimidating at times. Definitely. So with that in mind, what made you decide to come on board SOTB?

Anthony: I love the idea and I love the characters. The story drew me in right away. It's so picturesque. Usually when I read a story or see a movie I find myself imagining what it would have been like if I were a character in that story but with SOTB I found myself playing Fish instead of another character of my own making.

Elena: Do you find yourself connecting with Fish in any ways?

Anthony: Yes, very much, very much, in an almost scary way.

Elena: Even the cynicism? Because I don't really see that in you.

Anthony: Let's just say it's tempered. I definitely relate to Fish in that regard.

Elena: And what about the way he and Rose communicate? They have such a hilarious and fascinating relationship- do you see yourself connecting to that at all?

Anthony: Well personally I haven't found my "Rose" yet, so I can't completely relate or understand, but I love the character of Rose. I would say there should have been more written about Rose. I agree that Fish and Rose's relationship is pretty funny.

Elena: Oh yes, their conversations are some of my favorite parts in the series. And speaking of favorites...final question now...what scenes do you think you are looking forwards to the most?

Anthony: As far as the scenes that I'm doing- all of them. I'm very excited to work with both Jed and Sharayah. They're both such talented actors. I would say my favorite scene, the one that I'm looking forwards too the most, is probably Fish and Rose in the Park.

Elena: Not the torture scene?!?

Anthony: Not the torture scene!

Elena: Awww! But that's going to be so fun!

Anthony: Oh, it definitely will be....

Elena: There's that cynicism!

Anthony: Lucky you. But really, the scene in the in the park- it's not only the start but the essence and a window into what their relationship becomes and the relationship between our four characters.

Elena: You should start a blog..."Inside the mind of Fish"...

Anthony: *laughs*

Elena: All right, well thank you very much for giving us your time tonight! I can't wait to get working on filming in earnest!

Introducing Eileen...

An extra treat for you all...Karina, who will be playing Eileen (one of Blanche's main tormenters at school) stopped over at my house today and I was able to get an interview with her! So today you get to meet her as well! (And isn't she just lovely?)

Elena: Hey Karina!

Karina: Hi!

Elena: So...this is your first movie project, right?

Karina: Yes. Very first. I'm excited!

Elena: But you've done a lot of theatre, haven't you?

Karina: I've done some musical theatre, but mostly background stuff. Make-up, that kind of stuff.

Elena: Elaborate?

Karina: I was in choirs, musicals at church 1st-6th grade, and then two outdoor community theatre musicals (Oliver! and Beauty and the Beast) with Sharayah's mom, Lori. And I did make-up for Oliver Twist and Robin Hood for CB Productions.

Elena: and then you took acting classes too...

Karina: *nods*

Elena:...which is obviously how we met!

Karina: Yep!

Elena: So...SOTB...you get to play the evil girl...

Karina: *laughs* I'm excited! She's so differant from me, it's like playing alter-ego or something.

Elena: And you get to pretend to smoke...

Karina: *laughs again* Yes!

Elena: I was saying to Anthony that in this film we get to pretend to do everything our parents warned us not to do as kids...smoke....drugs...point guns at people...put plastic bags over heads...etc.

Karina: Don't forget the fighting!

Elena: Oh yes! Definitely! I'm so looking forwards to choreographing those....including the one that you and Rose have.

Karina: I'm looking forwards to that too. It'll be interesting considering that Sharayah's my friend...

Elena: Yeah. That's why it's called "acting." Speaking of which...what are you looking forwards to the most on this project?

Karina: Probably the meeting the people and having the experience and having fun...and like the clothes...I could go on and on!

Elena: So could I! ;) It's just such an awesome story...it gives us so much to work with, doesn't it?

Karina: Too true!

Elena: What in particular jumped out at you- or what did you connect with when you were reading the book?

Karina: *long pause...giggle...* the clothes! I love fashion and clothes and stuff so just...thinking about sequins...makes me laugh!

Elena: This really is the perfect part for you...

Karina: It's kind of scary! But I am nice! I don't pick on people!

Elena: Yes! You can be the poster-girl for the "Nice Blondes." You know we all accuse Regina of having something against blondes because she has so many blonde villians/villianesses?

Karina: Maybe when I meet her I'll change her mind!

Elena: Lol! She says it just happens. Not intentional or anything. ;) So, speaking of an actress...what challenges do you forsee in this? Taking on an evil character? Working on screen instead of film? Have you been thinking about that at all?

Karina: Probably...not laughing! Remembering my lines. And I guess making sure I stay in character...you know like, in the middle of the scene going..."oh, are you okay?"

Elena: Well, that's what I'm here for! That's my job!

Karina: Good! You'll keep me on top!

Elena: And really, that's the nice thing about film. You CAN stop the camera. It isn't like the stage where you have to keep going. And you only have to remember your lines for a certain section...not that long at all. You have a lot of flexibility and the chance to try your lines in a lot of differant ways. And then I don't have to choose what I'm going to use until we get to the editing room.

Karina: Well don't you have the easy job!

Elena: Er....yeah....about that...

Karina: Okay, maybe not.

Elena: Yeah so...it's all good.

Karina: Yes.

Elena: Well thanks for the interview! This will be everyone's first glimpse of you so...it's cool! :)

Karina: No problem. It was fun! I hope people aren't disapointed!

Elena: How could they be?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Screenwriting progress

The current screenplay is 61 pages (that's about an hour of film time) and I have just begun writing the prom night. So it's a bit longer than I'd like...(it should only be about 50 pages right now) but we'll see how the rest of it goes. I will tell you all that the blue "Cookie Monster" coat is in this draft. ;)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Introducing Blanche Brier

The heroine of SOTB is 18-year-old Blanche Brier, whose dark black hair and fair skin earn her the nickname "Snow White." She is cautious, introvertive, a great reader, and possesses hidden courage.

Portraying her in our film is Hannah, a talented young actress, who has agreed to answer a few questions for you all.

(And yes, I edited the photo so that you could see what darker hair looks like on her.)

Elena: So Hannah, how long have you been acting?

Hannah: When I was five, in my first and only dance recital, I kicked and screamed and wouldn't go onstage for our song. However, when they convinced me to go on for the finale I had the time of my life and knew that I was meant to be on stage (or in this case screen).

Elena: (laughs) that's awesome! So what sort of productions/parts have you been in/had in the past?

Hannah: Some of my favorites have been "Sleeping Beauty" (I was Sleeping Beauty), playing Agent 99 in "Get Smart" (with Anthony, who is Fish), and being Frenchie in "Grease" because it was so out of character for me.

Elena: You've been involved with some films too, haven't you?

Hannah: I was an extra in "Lights Out" which is an independant film directed by Linda Holmes that is hopefully going to be released sometime soon. I'm currently working on producing my first short film which is called "Melody."

Elena: Tell us more about "Melody."

Hannah: It's basically the story of the last day of a girl's life before she's planning to commit suicide. I wrote the script after a young man in my class committed suicide a year and a half ago.

Elena: Any chance you'll put it online when you're done? (I know we'd love to see it.)

Hannah: We'll definetely be releasing it some way, I'm not sure how yet.

Elena: Well I loved what I've seen of it so far- I can't wait for the rest of it!

Hannah: Me too. It's been a hard but satisfying project to work on.

Elena: Aren't all films? Speaking of which...after that, what convinced you to take on this project? (SOTB)

Hannah: I loved the story. Being able to get into another person's head and become the character is an amazing part of acting. Me and Blanche are basically the same person- and now I get to experiance her story and work together with other passionate people to use that story to impact others' lives.

Elena: How exactly are you and Blanche alike? What makes you identify so strongly with her?

Hannah: We think the same way. I'm very discerning (or intuitive) like her and I tend to see more of the shadows rather than the grand adventure. Then there's all the little stuff like pale skin- we both sew- I love turquoise prom dresses- we fall for the same types of guys...I keep reacting to situations and then you (Elena) get weirded out because I'm reacting just like Blanche.

Elena: That's certainly true! What do you think you are looking forwards to the most? (As in, what scene to film?)

Hannah: The whole prom scene will be really fun and also a challange. There's the big dance and the fight outside the school- that'll be really fun, plus I get to wear a pretty dress! There's also the more vulnerble moments that I'm both excited and nervous about getting into.

Elena: (smiles) you'll do great! Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions!

Hannah: Absolutely. I'm super excited to start filming!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Well, Regina was quite happy with the actors that I cast so...after the long wait...I finally have the pleasure of introducing you to five of the leads for "The Shadow of the Bear"! Eventually I hope to get a bio page up for each of them, but the pictures below should give you a nice taste of their looks and personalities.
I should note that these are all from the screen test which took place two weeks ago. At the time they had all been aware of the project for only about two or three weeks- it came together incredibly fast. Since we're not filming until November, none of them have their hair exactly the way it should be. Rose will have red hair, Rob black, Bear dark brown, Blanche black and Fish's will be longer.
Also, the pictures below are screen captures from the screen test footage. The quality is not the highest, and they are not "posed" so there are some blurry areas. But I think you'll get the idea.
First I would like to introduce Sharayah, who will be playing Rose, and Dave, who will be playing Rob.
Secondly we have Hannah, who is playing Blanche, and Jed who is playing Bear.
Blanche and Bear again (this is from the poetry scene- the beautiful one that almost made me cry ;)
And Anthony, who is playing Fish. (Love the brother conflict here!)
Rose and Fish....

I do have a few more screen captures that I may show you all as time passes...I hope to get better pictures of the actors themselves for the bios though.

And I do hope that you all love them!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Screen Test Update

Just a brief update to let you all know that the screen test has finally been uploaded and sent to Regina. As soon as I get a reply from her, I will let you know the results of that and hopefully will be able to introduce the actors to you then!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Screenwriting and waiting on technology...

I apologize for the delay in getting pictures...my brother, who is helping me with some of the technical aspects of getting the footage rendered, started college this week, and, as I'm sure many of you understand, this has taken up most of his time. Should be soon though!

In the meantime, I'm still working on the screenplay. I must admit, it's more of a challange than I first anticipated. A fun challange, but one that requires a lot of careful thinking. Especially because I know all of you will be watching very carefully and voicing your opinions quite adamently!

The beginning is the hardest though, I think, because it has to draw the viewer in without loosing the beauty of the philosophical conversations that Bear, Blanche and Rose have. A tricky balance. Later on when more actually *happens* I believe it will get easier.

One offshoot of the screen test is that, after seeing the great comraderie between our probable Bear and Fish, I realized that I had to have more Bear/Fish scenes. So right now I'm working to see if I can smoothly integrate a scene or two from the radio drama (which has more Bear/Fish time) into the screenplay. The main difficulty is that I don't want to give away their relation to each other, or Fish's real identity too soon. Shadowy lighting and abstract dialogue should help...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A wee bit of info about the Screen Test

I thought I'd give you all a bit more information about the screen test...

We had five potential actors there (potential meaning that I love their portrayals, they want to do it, and we're just waiting for Regina's "okay") including Bear, Blanche, Rose, Fish and Rob. We read through six scenes and filmed single takes of five of them. This was really a chance for me to see how they all worked together, and if I liked how they chose to portray the character, and to give Regina the chance to see that as well.

The scenes we did were as follows:

Bear asking Blanche to the Prom

Rose meeting Fish in the park

Rob telling Rose about Fr. Raymond's murder

Fish and Bear arguing in the penthouse after prom

Bear and Blanche's discussion after he chases Rob away.

I'm not going to say much more, except that after the final one, I was very nearly crying over how beautiful it was.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It begins...

Hello Friends...

Welcome to the official blog for the upcoming adaptation of Regina Doman's book "The Shadow of the Bear." Currently we have entered the preproduction stage, having just gotten official permission from the gracious author herself.

Over the next twelve months I, the director, (who will answer either to "Elenatintil" or "Elizabeth") will be updating this blog with information and pictures from the production. Although we do not official start filming until November, I hope to have cast pictures up for you very soon. We held our screen test last Tuesday, so as soon as those are officially approved by Regina I will introduce them to you.

Until then- please keep us in your prayers!