In part one, we had a look at Shadow Bound, an IAWTV Award nominated silent horror web series, produced in Springfield, Missouri. We talked about its genesis, and some of the obstacles that made producing this show difficult at times. Now, we look at the Horror genre today, and how Shadow Bound fits in.
Shadow Bound creator, Nathan Shelton makes the point that so much of today’s horror leans too heavily on gore and visceral action, and not enough on suspense and mental fright. That’s what he has striven to produce in Shadow Bound.
“True horror is is NOT jumping out and scaring you, blood and guts, and loud sound screeching. All those gimmicks create passive viewers and are the major problem with modern Hollywood horror films. With our web series we are going back in time to a period when Hollywood knew that the imagination of the viewer was the best way to build tension and create real scares.”
Even though Shadow Bound is set in the 1920’s, it does utilize some modern VFX, although minor. The effects are very subtle, used mainly to enhance what’s already onscreen. Shelton says:
“Every episode has VFX involved, but we have an amazing VFX artist, Matt Lathrom, and he painstakingly works his art in the series without viewers being aware. Primarily he helps us create the world of Veritas in the 1920’s by digitally removing modern cars, wiring, signage, and other objects. He also works within the frames to enhance the shadows of Veritas and tweak our nightmare sequences. A few effects Matt designed practically with us and helped us map them out for digital enhancement in post.”
The world premiere event for Shadow Bound was held at 11:59 p.m. on Halloween night at Springfield’s historic Pythian Castle. Episodes I & II were screened in the theatre there. Pythian Castle’s theater was originally built in 1914 as a silent movie house and it was an amazing experience to premiere the production there and really bring the venue back to its origins. Some scenes from Shadow Bound were also filmed on location at the Castle.
Back to the IAWTV award, this is a very prestigious award, and not to sound clichéd, but just to be nominated is a huge honor. To give you an example of the caliber of work being considered, Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is another nominee, albeit in a different category. Dan Smiley is Cinematographer, Editor, and Co-Producer for Shadow Bound. When asked about his nomination, he said:
“It is a huge honor being nominated for such a prestigious award in the WebTv community. Just having my name in this category is a huge accomplishment. Not only for me, but for Shadow Bound as a whole.”
One of the many obstacles facing the Shadow Bound crew, was the fact that they had to use a modern city to recreate Veritas in the 1920s. Kevin Keppy is Executive Producer on the series and can relate some of the difficulties behind such an ambitious project.
“In making Shadow Bound appear authentic to the period of the American 1920s/30s, we needed to be acutely aware of our locations and the visual content in our shots (e.g., costumes, hairstyles, props). To do this took great awareness of things that looked modern, and sometimes you really had to look because we have all become accustomed to the modern world around us.”
The IAWTV awards will be held on January 7, 2014 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The epic finale of Shadow Bound goes online Thursday, December 26, at 8 p.m. You can catch up on episodes I-IV by going to www.shadowboundseries.com. There is also a YouTube channel that can be accessed by going to YouTube and searching for Shadow Bound. There is also a Facebook page for up to date news on the project, www.facebook.com/shadowboundseries.
This is a phenomenal web series one would think it came straight from Hollywood, and not Springfield, Missouri. Just the mere facts that they were able to produce this series on a less than shoestring budget, making Springfield look like the 1920’s and that this series is both frightening and visually stunning, make this production all the more impressive. It will truly haunt your dreams. If you ask Nathan Shelton what he would say to someone getting ready to watch episode one, he says:
“Take a breath. Turn out all the lights. Adjust your screens brightness and turn up that sound. Try and give yourself the perfect “movie house environment” with no distractions. Turn off your phone. Shut the animals in the other room. You are only giving up 15 to 20 minutes of your time to something that, if you let it, can really get under your skin… let it. Let yourself get into the story and be infected by it. Whats the worst that could happen? It’s a thrilling thing to release and give yourself over to a film. Terrors await you in the shadows, but don’t fret…. we are there too. See you in the shadows…”