Alan Collett has a great new ghost story film out now called The Shadows in which he stars in and helped produce. The Shadows follows five friends seeking refuge in an abandoned islands lighthouse after a near fatal collision with an unknown vessel. As they start to settle in, odd noises, strange artifacts and mysterious shadows emerge, bringing the group’s personal conflicts and secrets to the surface. When they receive a frantic warning that pirates are coming, the friends start questioning what is real and what is surreal on this mysterious island. Before long they must prepare to defend themselves against the foreboding "shadows" that threaten to take their souls. Collett also has the feature film 'Truth' coming out later this year about a terrorist cell that takes three Americans hostage and threatens to expose a secret that will shatter America's soul; and he is currently in-production on a third picture, the comedy 'Technicolor Llama.' Both films are being produced under Collett’s production shingle. Check out my latest "Versus" to find out more about Alan Collett , The Shadows and his other film projects.
Brian S- Hey Alan, first off tell me how you got into acting.
Alan Collett- It was sort of by surprise. I was asked to be in this play when I was a teenager. I was a very quiet kid. So I figured maybe they just need someone to be in the background. But at the first reading I found out that they wanted me to play the lead role. Me? It was wild. Everybody was shocked. But I figured if they thought I could do it, I’d give it a try. Well I loved it and we even won an award. I was pretty much hooked from then on. I spent several years performing in community theater but kind of avoiding it as a career since it’s so difficult. But after more than 40 productions, I realized I was denying something that was inherently a part of me. So I changed course and made it my dedicated career.
Brian S- You're in The Shadows, can you tell me a little about this movie?
Alan Collett- Well it’s about this group of friends who are very close and they go out on this sort of pleasure cruise but end up getting in a boating accident and marooned on an island with a strange old lighthouse and nothing else. Then there are these mysterious ghost figures that are watching them and they’re not some slashers, they really are ghosts who plan to take away their souls. So the story takes some really unexpected twists from then on. I think one of the things I love about it is that it’s not typical. The plot may seem familiar to begin with, but it shakes up pretty quickly. And the characters have serious real-life issues that reach a point where they have to confront them. It’s much deeper than your standard thriller. I was grateful to have the chance to put a commentary track on this film which helps explain a lot of things you just don’t catch the first time watching it. We had no trouble getting quality talent. Once they read a few key scenes, they were hooked, we could get anyone we wanted.
Brian S- How did you get involved with this movie?
Alan Collett- I was involved from the beginning. It originally was going to be a stage play but we saw bigger things in it. The script went through many stages of evolution. The nice thing is that it made the characters more specific and distinct. No one is going to confuse them. And each one is important with very vivid and memorable personalities. They’re all likable in some ways. You get mad at them now and then but they’re still likable. I think it makes the ride better if the audience can connect with the characters.
Brian S- Tell me about your character.
Alan Collett- My character is Adam. He’s not loud or power-hungry or demanding but he is the leader of the group. That already made him an interesting and unique character for me. He is smart and dedicated to his wife and friends and fiercely determined to do anything necessary to save them. You get the feeling that Adam has always been put in charge, the person everyone counted on his whole life and there is a burden because of that. He seems to feel that he’s not allowed to make mistakes or have weaknesses. There is a line that I really liked in the film where he says kind of to himself, “Adam isn’t allowed to have dreams.” So Adam addresses his own inner struggle and ‘weakness’ during the most difficult battle of his life. It made for a very intense experience as an actor. I loved it.
Brian S- It's a really small cast, did all of you bind pretty well
Alan Collett- We did all bond very early, even before we starting shooting. Because of the budget and complexity of the characters and story, we rehearsed the script months in advance. The more prepared you are, the smoother things go during production. We only had 14 days in which to shoot the film (most films have 25-60 days) so we had to have everything down before the camera started rolling. And as the producer I really worked to make it a kind of family environment on the set; professional but relaxed and playful. Home cooked catering now and then. My Dad was even part of the crew and people pitched in to help each other when needed. It’s like we were all in this together. So we definitely had fun shooting the film. You can see some of that in the bloopers reel.
Brian S- The film is shot very dark, was that the director's intention to give the film this dark atmosphere?
Alan Collett- There was a problem in duplication with some of the screeners which came out too dark. That mistake was corrected in the final film release copies. Generally the film is dark in topic and tone so the director shot with a very dim moody feel. And I really like how each room has it’s own tone and mood set by the lighting and color schemes. The lighthouse it’s self feels like another character in the story. I think lighthouses, to begin with, have an mysterious, nostalgic aura about them and this film really utilizes that as the backdrop.
Brian S- Any cool, interesting story while filming you can share with me?
Alan Collett- When we rehearsed the attack scene on set for the first time, it was chaos. People forgot where they were suppose to go at what moment and what they were suppose to have in their hands and what they were doing. Putting up boards or blocking the door. Searching for their prop on the floor. It actually became funny as the stage directions were being read off people were laughing. Clearly this was going to be a complicated and fast-paced scene. So we rehearsed it over and over again until we had it down solid. When you watch it, you don't realize how much work had to be put in for it to look so natural.
Brian S- Where can the horror fans find The Shadows?
Alan Collett- We have our own website: www.TheShadowsFilm.com and we are also on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shadows/134762446563256 which has photos and regular updates. It’s available on Amazon through a few resellers. If you search for “The Shadows Alan Collett”
You can also buy it at http://www.braindamagefilms.com/midnight-releasing/shadows-the/prod_302.html Also the Video Store chain, “Family Video” has picked up the title so they will have it in stores. It also has a Spanish voice over track.
Brian S- What's up next for you?
Alan Collett- I’ve always got some short films and TV gigs coming around. My Facebook page is updated regularly with what I’ve got going on. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shadows/134762446563256#!/quirky.pal
Clips of my work can be seen there and also on my website www.AlanCollett.com
We will be releasing this year another of our feature films called, “Truth” which is about a small terrorist cell that captures three Americans and threatens to expose a secret that will shatter America’s soul. It’s a very intense political thriller. I play Thomas, which is one of the hostages. We’re also working on our first comedy called, “Technicolor Llama” about a pair of Morticians who accidentally burn down the family mortuary and in order to raise the money to rebuild it, must pose as the greatest new wave painters to hit the art world. We’re always looking for additional funding for our projects so anyone interested in investing should contact us.
Brian S- Would you like to say anything to the cool horror fans checking this out?
Alan Collett- Well I really appreciate this opportunity for the interview and to talk about the film. The fans are our primary focus. Some producers are making the films they want to see, but we want to produce the films that our fans want to see. So we really encourage their interaction with us. We read every email and comment on our Facebook page. We want to provide the films the big studios don't have the guts to make. So thanks again to you and to all our fans.
Until our next adventure.