SILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW played to rave reviews at the WILDsound Best of Horror/Thriller Festival in February 2016.
Read interview with the director Scott Lyus:
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Scott Lyus: My main motivation was story and character. I wanted to explore the idea of love for our dreams or our love for another; all within a horror film and the tension that can cause within a relationship. And from that Silently Within Your Shadow was born. Add my ambition to make an old school horror film that didn’t rely on cheap jump scares, blood or gore and instead focused on strong characters and story.
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
SL: From inception to completion was about 5 months. Once I had the screenplay down and knew exactly where I wanted to take the story, I found my cast and crew and we were shooting within a few months. My crew mainly consisted of the same guys that made my last two films Supernova and Order of the Ram. We’ve developed a great way of working together. They know exactly what I want and how I work, and are the best team in the world at making that happen in a short amount of time.
MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?
SL: Retro Horror.
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
SL: It’s the struggle all indie filmmakers face, budget. We didn’t go over budget and actually came in slightly under once all was said and done, but unfortunately we only made a quarter of our budget via our Indiegogo Campaign, with another quarter coming from private investment and the remaining half from my own pocket. While I was perfectly happy fronting half the budget to ensure we completed the film, it did mean I had to push pre-production back a month or so while I saved the money we needed to complete the picture.
MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
SL: Going into the video I was already aware we didn’t win any of your awards, so I was just hoping and praying the audience enjoyed it. But once the dust was settled, I was left with a giant smile on my face. Our ambition for this film was to create a horror film that caused debate. Go back to a time when horror meant something more than cheap jump scares and blood and gore. We wanted people to watch our picture and talk about the themes within the film, the hidden meanings and subtext. I was amazed to see how much everyone really dug into the heart of the film and debated all the hidden meanings. It really was a fantastic reaction.
MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
SL: The main theme of the film is the choice between love for your ambitions and dreams, or your love for another and the sacrifices you have to make. It’s something that’s very close to my heart and I choice I have struggled with myself. I try to create my films with multi layers. In this case, the top layer is an old school horror film about a creepy puppet, but underneath you have strong subtext and subject matter. If you want to go in and just be creeped out, I hope we do that, but if you want a little something more, an idea you can sink your teeth in, well hopefully you’ll find that too.
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
SL: I’ve been asked this question a few times and everyone always expects my answer to be horror related. While the original Frankenstein and Texas Chainsaw Massacre come in second and third place respectively, the film I’ve seen more than any other and my favorite film of all time is Casablanca. For me its the perfect film, the best screenplay ever written and I must watch it at least twice a year.
MT: What is next for you? A new film?
SL: Right now I’m touring with Silently, having played 14 festivals to date since October 2015, while also running a solo screening tour in the UK. Project wise, I’m currently in post production on an extended cut of a short film I made for a 60 Hour Film Challenge called Holding Back. Once complete we hope to play a few festivals and maybe add it to a few dates on the Silently screening tour. However the next big project is my debut feature. I’ve just turned in the first draft of the screenplay to my producer and we’re hoping to shoot later this year. So keep your eyes open for that one.
Watch Audience FEEDBACK Video fo SILENTLY WITHIN YOUR SHADOW:
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.