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Vels Signature Reveals First Look of ‘Shapes of Shadow’, a Science Fiction Short Film

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Poster of Shades of Shadow

Vels Signature, the platform founded by Tamil film producer Ishari K Ganesh for showcasing short films, released the first look poster of its fourth project, titled Shapes of Shadow, on social media, on Thursday.

The sci-fi film, written and directed by filmmaker Naresh Kumar, is set to be released on the official YouTube channel of the platform.

Speaking to Silverscreen India about the 32-minute film, Naresh, a Vellore-based filmmaker, says, “The story revolves around a scientist who achieves the speed of light in order to travel in time, and as a consequence, he enters a dark sphere present in another dimension. Whether he is alive or not, and if he can make his way out of the dimension, is the crux of the film.”

Shapes of Shadow includes only three cast members, Alfred (the scientist), Sivaram, and Ashwin, all of whom are friends of Naresh.

The filmmaker says he read and researched space-related book and videos before beginning to work on the script. “I was reading about time travel and the multi-dimensional aspects of the universe, just out of interest, when suddenly, a one-liner struck me. I wrote it down immediately and later, I developed the script with some fictional elements.” He cites books on Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, sci-fi novels, and the films of Christopher Nolan as some of his references.

Shapes of Shadow is co-written by Vaanadhi Nedhumaaran. Naresh met Vaanadhi through social media and he attributes the film’s inspirations from the epic Mahabharata to her. “The scientist character is named Abhimanyu. That was her idea. In the epic, Abhimanyu knows how to get into the maze during the war but does not know how to come out. Our protagonist suffers a similar fate.”

The script was completed in February 2019, and the film was subsequently shot  in and around Vellore as well as at Vainu Bappu Observatory in Tirupattur. It was filmed by Vel Murugan in hand-held style with a Canon 600D camera. “After shot division and storyboarding, we decided to shoot completely using natural light. The film has a warm tone that suits the title, Shades of Shadow,” says Naresh.

In addition to being a reference to the protagonist’s travel through the dark world of shadows, the filmmaker notes that the initials of the title spell out SOS (the Morse code for help), which plays a crucial role during the climax that is set on a highway.

Naresh came across Vels Signature’s call for short films in March. “I sent my film immediately, but given the pandemic situation, it took a while for them to get back.”

The release date of Shapes of Shadow is yet to be decided.

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