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An Interview with Chris Clark, Co-Director and Star of Shadows of a Stranger

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2017

Chris Clark on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Shadows of a Stranger - in a few words, what is it about?


The mysteries of the mind, the seductive power of evil and the perils of running your own PI business!


How did the project fall together in the first place?


My co-director Richard Dutton [Richard Dutton interview - click here] and I were working for a guy who was creatively inept. It was very frustrating, so we plotted to go and make something ourselves. Rich suddenly divulged that he had written a script, so I stole it off him and read it. I was surprised to find that it was actually amazing! In my mind, we had to make it. But how could we afford to build all those sets and organise all those locations ...


Do talk about Shadows of a Stranger's approach to the thriller genre for a bit!


It's not your obvious "go to" for first-time filmmakers, so for that reason alone I love the idea of flirting with the thriller genre


You filmed Shadows of a Stranger mostly in front of a blue screen, using quite a bit of CGI - why, and could you talk us through the process of filming that way for a bit? And how did it influence you as director?


Bluescreen is a nightmare! It takes a lot of imagination to act correctly in front of it, and it's difficult to direct people who aren't used to the process (most had never done any acting on bluescreen before). But it was really the only affordable way for us to get at all close to what was in the script on our (lack of) budget! 


With the experience gathered from Shadows of a Stranger, would you ever shoot another movie that way?


Not without a lot of money and a team of CGI people to do all of the backgrounds for us! In fact, no. No I wouldn't!


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


My role was more technical and blocking-related. I tended to direct people's actions more, due to the fact that I did most of the storyboarding. Rich was in charge of getting the right emotions out of the actors. We both crossed over into each other's territory of course, but that's the way it mostly worked.


You also play one of the leads in Shadows of a Stranger, so do talk about your character, and what did you draw upon to bring Xander to life? And can we find any of Chris Clark in your character?


There's probably a bit too much of Chris Clark in there, I'd say. Although Xander is far more serious (I'm an immature clown, mostly).

I wanted to play Xander as soon as I read the script. I think I saw a rare opportunity to play a character within my age range that has some real depth and intrigue.

Xander's "look" is close to how I like to look in real life... but his hair is bigger!!


What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?


It's a real mix of people in there. Some from theatrical backgrounds, some first timers and some seasoned TV and film actors.

There are many who have appeared in Doctor Who. That's probably my fault, because I am a huge fan of Doctor Who and thought this was a good excuse to work with some of its stars!


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The constant blue glow of our set actually made for a really surreal, dreamlike atmosphere. I think that has seeped into the feel of the movie to a degree and I like it.

On the whole, we had a good laugh with everyone on the cast and crew and kept things rather silly and fun. It was damn hard work though and I remember some particularly gruelling summer days when the temperature was quite unbearable in our huge tin oven of a studio!


Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Shadows of a Stranger yet?


It seems to be a love it or hate it film. Which is fine. The people who hate it are generally the ones who miss the multi-layered complex elements of the story.


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Your shop for all things Thai

Any future projects you'd like to share?


Video Nazi! A horror comedy from our warped minds. We've teamed up with new production member, Dan Sumpton for this one. It's going to be horrible!


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Thanks for the interview!



© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD