Thursday, March 1, 2012

My time on SHADOWS

The following is a little blurb I wrote for the SHADOWS wiki website. SHADOWS was a student-run science fiction television series at Boston University that I starred in and worked on for about three years, probably sometime between the years 2001 and 2004.

Matt Burns

I'm pretty sure I auditioned for SHADOWS on two separate occasions. I think it was the end of my freshman year and the crew was looking to re-cast the part of "Daniel". I remember going to the audition and reading a monologue from the book A Clockwork Orange. I probably freaked everybody out with my impression of Alex, that psychotic droog. The SHADOWS crew ultimately decided I wasn't quite right for the part, but they wanted to find something else for me to play in the future.

Flash-forward to the beginning of my sophomore year. The SHADOWS team basically scrapped all their old characters and plot-lines and started the series from scratch. The producer Melissa Carelli wanted me to audition again for a character whose name was still Daniel but later turned to Reese. The audition took place on the evening of 9/11 and I remember stressing over my audition pieces, still not fully aware of everything that had taken place earlier that day in New York, Washington D.C. etc.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I got the part and played Reese for the next three years, off and on. By the time junior year came around, I started getting more involved with the production, helping to build the sets, operating cameras etc. The lighting director and DP Jake Kassen kind of took me under his wing and showed me everything there was to know about lighting sets. About midway through my junior year, I replaced Jake as Director of Photography and had a good time designing the lighting schemes for all the scenes that were shot on the soundstage. The funnest scenes to light were ones that took place at night. I'd use blue gels to create moonlight and blink a red light to imply that there was a flashing neon hotel sign nearby or something like that.

All in all, my experience working and starring in SHADOWS was kind of a blur. We would shoot every Friday afternoon and I just remember how tired I was by that point in the week. I was writing papers, writing screenplays, shooting short films, working at a supermarket and juggling my load of other course work, all on top of SHADOWS. But I'm glad I was part of it. It was a magical time and I realize now that a lot of the girls I co-starred with were rather sexy. I wish I had urged the writers to put me in more kissing scenes.

Here are three episodes of SHADOWS that I star in. My acting is cheesy and porno-like, but it's funny to look at.

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