Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What It's Like on the Inside

by Shayne Leighton

I'd say, it's very rare that an author get's to actually live (I mean physically live) inside the world they've created. I cannot recall many instances (especially when writing fantasy) where that would be possible, though I suppose many would want to, especially if they've manifested a literary hunk within their pages that they'd like to meet. 

Thanks to the art of filmmaking, it was odd that I actually was able to experience this -- even for just a little while. Not odd because of the fact that I was able to see my world play out in real time before my 
eyes, but odd in the sense that, while I was acting within it, it didn't actually feel like it was my story.

That was the conversation Michael Welch (The Twilight Saga, Born Bad) and I had on set this past October while we were in North Carolina filming scenes from the Of Light and Darkness movie that is currently in the late stages of development. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated, after only being a part of small, independent projects, that I was now on set with creative professionals from Los Angeles who were busily working to make the world I created a reality. (At least on screen.) I felt constantly on my toes, watching everyone, taking everything in, as I tried to learn as much as possible to the extraordinary experience that was packed into only one week of filming in the VERY small town of Snow Camp. 

Mr. Welch turned me while we were filming a scene together and asked, "So, is this weird for you? Because you wrote it? Your character must come pretty easily." 

I thought about that for a moment, for is indeed was a logical assessment. My character should come to me pretty easily, since she was birthed from my imagination. But when I considered my process as an actor and everything I had done thus far to prepare myself for this moment, I am up with the conclusion of; no. She was just as difficult as any other character I'd played from other people's stories

I found that conclusion to be odd as well. But in truth, while we were filming, it really didn't feel like my story at all. While I was "Charlotte", it felt completely like the script belonged to someone else's mind. I chalk that up to having to wear multiple hats at any given time, but you can never wear two hats at the same time. Does that make sense? 

Dean Jones (make up for Pirates of the Caribbean and Emmy-Award winner for Star Trek) helmed the project along with Worth Keener as the Director of Photography. Co producer of the feature, Candace Charee was on set, making sure everything was running smoothly, and indeed, wearing my other hat while I couldn't. 

Aside from Michael Welch, Cassie Scerbo (ABC Family's Make It Or Break It) and Johnny Pacar (Playback, Make It Or Break It) were also starring as "Sarah" and "Lusian". 

It was one of my favorite experiences filming anything. Super intimate -- as we all stayed in the same house during production at the Hollywood Horror Show. Filming during Halloween didn't hurt either, as a few of the other local actors were made available to us. 

The video is currently in post production now. I'm a little eager to get it out there after two and a half months of the footage sitting in the can. 

Hopefully, what's next is the next stage in production for the feature film. You can follow the progress of the novel series and the film development on Facebook.com/OfLightandDarknessSeries and by checking our status on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2122436/

Thanks for reading and more soon! 

Shayne Leighton  


Kathleen said...

It all sounds exciting to me! I can see how it can be difficult to switch roles. I'm looking forward to the final stages. All the best as you continue this journey!

Nishi Serrano said...

Congrats Shayne! How exciting to have the book to film--wow, can't wait to see it! :)

Barbara Elsborg said...

Ditto to what the others said. What a fantastic experience!

Tina-Sue said...

Really enjoyed reading about this fantastical experience and find the contrast of having your character come to you easily in written form and harder as an actor, intriguing.