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.

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!