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Shadows In Mind Production Retrospective

Shadows In Mind - There and back again…

By MARK SCHWAB

@June 10, 2022

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There is quite a bit to the story regarding the journey of Shadows In Mind. From its improbable production schedule to its hectic and frustrating distribution. A lot of it has been written down by me in book form (over 110 pages so far) which hopefully will see the light of day after legal people comb it over. Even thought the adventure of Shadows In Mind is far from over, I can hit some of the main bullet points of my memory on it.

Principal photography began on August 9th, 2017 in San Jose, CA. We had an impossibly difficult 11-day shooting schedule but I didn’t know that at the time. There’s no way we would have made it if it wasn’t for my DP Dante Yore and his extraordinary crew. Even though it was super tight with a good amount of night shooting, the imagery Dante pulled off was astonishing.

With my co-owner Mark Balunis, we edited Shadows concurrently; he edited all of the “crisis hotline” scenes and I edited the rest. Together we delivered a rough cut to a potential sales agent. Although offered a contract, we decided not to take it at that time to wait for any other potential offers and soon enough we got one. This time it was from a distribution company that specialized in a lot of slasher and science fiction titles - none of which seemed to apply to Shadows in Mind. When I asked the CEO why wanted our film, he said that he wanted to start a new division in his company…one which focused on “higher-end/artistic films”.

Unfortunately, we quickly became an all-too-typical indie film horror story. After two years, we never saw a dime from our distributor and they tried to market Shadows as a cheap slasher film called Crisis Hotline. It goes without saying they were totally unsuccessful in marketing our film despite the fact we got great reviews and a lot of press (almost exclusively garnered from my own legwork). Once we got word that this distributor was facing criminal and arbitration lawsuits, we decided to get the film back in the hands of Diamond in the Rough LLC. Thankfully, we were able to re-acquire the rights without much difficulty (I’m pretty sure this distributor had bigger issues on its plate).

Now, we are very proud to be able to show Shadows In Mind as it was meant to be. With all-new color grading, some new editing, a new prologue, new commentary by myself and former San Francisco Film Critics Circle President Tim Sika and a fully enhanced and new original music score, Shadows In Mind is at full speed and hitting on all cylinders. I’m truly excited to get the film out there again the way it always should have been.