Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kathryn Leigh Scott's Return to Collinwood

Pomegranate Press have released cover artwork for the new reference book Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood. Featuring contributions from original series actors Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), Lara Parker (Angelique), David Selby (Quentin) and a foreword by Jonathan Frid (Barnabas), the 208-page softcover book is due out in May. From the publisher:
Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood presents a look back at five decades of the classic Gothic horror soap opera that made sympathetic vampire Barnabas Collins a pop culture phenomenon and prompted the big-screen revival starring longtime fan Johnny Depp, directed by Tim Burton.

Includes hundreds of rare photographs and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Kathryn Leigh Scott, Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker and David Selby, who appear in cameo roles with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pfeiffer in the new Gothic epic. With the ongoing fascination for all things vampiric, this book about the making of the new film and the history of the original series is an enticing volume for new and old fans alike.
Return to Collinwood can pre-ordered now at a discount price by clicking here. Pomegranate Press are also offering a signed photo with the first 200 pre-orders made through their website. The Dark Shadows News Page caught up with co-author Kathryn Leigh Scott to chat about the new book and her cameo role in the new Dark Shadows movie...

Kathryn, what's the format for the new book?
Return to Collinwood is five decades of Dark Shadows in all of its incarnations – including the two original films, the 1991 series, the Warner Bros. pilot, and of course the original television series. It's our Dark Shadows family album. Ben Martin found a treasure trove of new photographs that we did not have when we did the previous books and we came across quite a few others, so it's nearly all new photographs, too.

What was your reaction when you were asked to appear in the new Dark Shadows movie?
It's highly unusual, because people always want to reinvent the wheel and make something new and their own. Hollywood just normally doesn't do that. But I think that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and everyone connected with this project... for them, it's a labour of love. They wanted us to be a part of it. That's so refreshing and so wonderful. I think that, more than anything, has endeared the fans to this new film.

From the original Dark Shadows studio to Pinewood must be quite a leap. Do you think the new movie feels recognisably like the original?
Yes, I think so. I love the sort of Rip Van Winkle twist... The film starts in 1972 and Dark Shadows went off the air in 1971 – I love the idea of that. I think that what they have done with the story is to make it fresh and new – to really appeal to the sensibilities of an audience some 40 years later. They needed to make it their own, but the fact that they included us and made us a part of it is really magical.

Johnny Depp has spoken about wanting to make Barnabas a classical vampire. Do you think that will work for a modern audience?
With this huge current interest in all things vampiric, this is film has the advantage of being about the granddaddy of all contemporary vampires – Jonathan Frid's Barnabas. Johnny Depp has created what is essentially a valentine to Jonathan Frid, while at the same time making it very distinctly his own. So I think for someone 14 years old, who has no awareness of the original show, they will be be catapulted into the heart of the real Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp will become their Barnabas Collins.

That's an interesting way of putting it. How do you see Dark Shadows enduring beyond this film?
There are certain shows – things like Star Trek, I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners... and we're now in that pantheon. There's no question that Dark Shadows is now iconic and I think that has a great deal to do with the fans, in collusion with the original actors. Because, were it not for our books and appearances at events over the years... together we've really nurtured it. Rather than preserving it in aspic, we've created a legacy that's an ever-growing thing.

For you and the other actors making cameos, how did it feel to see a new cast playing your roles?
It was a nice feeling. In Return to Collinwood, Lara Parker and I both address this. I created Josette, she created Angelique, and there have been others who stepped into those roles. One does feel a little proprietorial about it, but on the other hand one is fascinated by what another actress can bring to those roles. So we feel both territorial and kind of willing embrace a new interpretation. It will be very interesting to see what Eva Green brings to that role of Angelique. We did the original Dark Shadows on a budget that wouldn't pay for a day or two of filming on this new production. They have so much more, by way of resources, and will use them. We have only what we originated, 45 years ago.

Original creator Dan Curtis tried many times to remake Dark Shadows on a grand scale. Do you think he would have approved of this version?
Dan had – if you'll forgive the word – a very rigid interpretation of Dark Shadows and he always stayed within certain parameters. He wanted to produce his vision in a big budget way. He was so excited about the 1991 primetime version – I think that gave him enormous satisfaction. Tim Burton's interpretation is going to be Tim Burton's interpretation, and I'm really looking forward to it. He's just an amazing film maker, and I can't envision anybody else but Johnny Depp taking on this iconic role. I think that it's a match made in heaven.

Does this feel like signing off from Dark Shadows?
None of us feel that we're handing the show over to a new generation. We really feel like the baton is still in our hands – I think it's wonderful that the new production realises that we're still very much a part of the world of Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp may not be the last Barnabas Collins. He certainly wasn't the first, but he's now part of the Dark Shadows legacy too.

To pre-order Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood at a discount price, click here. UK readers can also order by clicking here.

Complete Series DVD Set Information

MPI Home Video have confirmed full details for April's Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series DVD set. As previously reported, the new release will include every episode of the show in a coffin-shaped case.

The box features nickel hinges and a matte finish with foil printing, with the episodes housed in 22 amaray cases on 131 discs. Each limited edition unit is numbered and includes an exclusive postcard signed by Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins), along with an illustrated booklet of episode summaries.

Along with the bonus interviews and extras from the original DVD releases, the new set will also include "special Bloopers, Treasures and Behind the Scenes DVDs". The set can be pre-ordered now at a 30% discount price (saving over $175.00) by clicking here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie News Bites

  • Chloe Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) has called the new Dark Shadows movie "revolutionary". Speaking to MTV recently, she said: "It has everything... supernatural features, vampires, witches – all the fun stuff."
  • Meanwhile, original Dark Shadows stars Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) have spoken about filming their cameo roles for the film. At a panel discussion at the West Hollywood Book Fair in October, Lara revealed: "We got to meet them all [the cast], and they were wonderful to us. When they first took us on set, the crew just looked at us... [as if to say] 'Why are we being interrupted?' Tim Burton said, 'This is the original cast' and they all applauded." Kathryn suggested: "I think Lara and I both gave in to our inner fan." Lara agreed: "We were not allowed to take pictures... I snuck a picture of Alice Cooper!" To view a video of the full panel, click here.
  • And finally, the March issue of Fangoria magazine is set to feature an interview with Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith. The writer will be discussing the new movie and his other film project, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Picture of the Week: Mother of the Bride

This week, here's a rare picture of Collinwood's original matriarch Joan Bennett (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) at the wedding of her daughter on August 21 1963. 20-year-old model Stephanie was marrying Frederick E. Guest in New York City. The early 1960s marked a lean period in Joan's career; her role in Dark Shadows was still three years away.

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Complete Series DVD Cover Artwork

MPI Home Video have released cover artwork for the new Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series DVD set. The coffin-shaped package opens to reveal Barnabas sleeping inside. Click on the image for a larger view.

As previously reported, the mammoth set will include all 1,225 original episodes of Dark Shadows, along with the bonus content from the original releases, including interviews, rare footage, documentaries and more.

It has been confirmed that the set will comprise 131 discs, and that the opportunity has been taken to reinstate some footage accidentally missed off the original DVD releases; Episode 451, which featured the infamous blooper of actress Anita Bolster as Bathia Mapes being prompted offscreen, will now feature as originally aired, and episode 695, which lost a scene between Barnabas and Maggie, will now include that cut sequence. These edits were originally made without the knowledge of both MPI Home Video and Dan Curtis Productions, so were not known at the time of manufacture.

Dark Shadows: The Complete Original Series is due out in April and can be pre-ordered at a discount price by clicking here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Dark Shadows Novel For September

Tor Books have announced that they will be publishing Angelique actress Lara Parker's new Dark Shadows novel Curse of the Full Moon on September 25. As previously reported, ahead of this release, new editions of Lara's other books, Angelique's Descent and The Salem Branch, are being released in April.

Speaking at the West Hollywood Book Fair back in October, Lara revealed: "It's about the werewolf [Quentin] and his painting... It's sort of like the picture of Dorian Gray and based on that mythology. He turns into the werewolf at the full moon because he's lost his painting."

To pre-order Curse of the Full Moon, click here. UK readers can also order the book from Amazon.co.uk by clicking here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Picture of the Week: Backstage Boys

This week, it's a candid shot of David Selby (Quentin Collins) and Jerry Lacy (Gregory Trask) with crew on the Collinwood set, taken during rehearsals in October 1969 by fan Gloria Lillibridge. David was a relative newcomer to Dark Shadows and was still adjusting to his newfound fame and being recognised: "I hope there is never a time when I just look on the people and have no feeling," he told Flip magazine later that year. "I don't think that will ever happen though, because people are so different and really very kind."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dark Shadows Complete Series DVD Set Announced

MPI Home Video have announced three new titles for April tying in with the release of the Dark Shadows feature film, including a long-requested complete series box set. Provisional artwork for the set is shown left. This and two new compilation releases, Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas and Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites, will be released on April 10. Cover designs for the other two titles is being finalised and should be unveiled soon.

Dark Shadows: The Complete Series is a collector's box set offering all 1,225 original series episodes at an unbeatable low price. The set retails at $599.98 but is currently being offered at a 30% pre-order discount, saving over $175.00.

To pre-order Dark Shadows: The Complete Series, click here. To pre-order Dark Shadows: The Best of Barnabas and Dark Shadows: Fan Favorites, click on the hyperlinked titles.

Friday, January 20, 2012

News in Brief

  • Matthew Hall, the son of Dark Shadows actress Grayson Hall (Dr. Julia Hoffman) has begun writing a blog featuring recollections of his mother away from the cameras. To pay a visit, click here.
  • Original Barnabas Jonathan Frid is offering a 2012 calendar via his official website. Each one comes personally signed by Jonathan and can be ordered by clicking here.
  • David Selby's (Quentin Collins) new play Necessary Sacrifices has had to re-schedule its opening performances after an unforeseen cast change. The show, which features David as Abraham Lincoln will now run from January 26 until February 18 at Washington's historic Ford's Theatre. For more information on the date changes, click here.
  • And finally, Amazon are holding another sale for the Dark Shadows DVD range, with selected titles discounted. For a limited time DVD Collection 11, Collection 16, Collection 19, Collection 24 and Collection 25 can be purchased for half price. Click on the hyperlinked titles to order.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Dark Shadows Movie Images

Warner Bros. have released two new publicity stills from the upcoming Dark Shadows feature film. The first, showing Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard debuted in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, with a second photo of Depp surfacing in the Los Angeles Times at the weekend. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

Images © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Picture of the Week: Pull To Open

Here's a great snap of David Henesy (David Collins) peering out from the secret doorway in the Collinwood drawing room. Although Dark Shadows began as a rather more conventional soap opera, this hidden entrance was built into the set from the start and incorporated into the storylines as time went on. It also served a more practical function, allowing access to both the back of the scenery and the doorway located on the neighbouring foyer landing. Look closely and you'll see the handgrip on the centre panel.

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tim Burton Talks Dark Shadows Post Production

MTV's Movie Blog caught up with director Tim Burton to get an update of how post production work is progressing on the Dark Shadows feature film. "We're editing and doing effects," he explains. "It's not an effects-heavy picture, but it's still got stuff in there."

As in previous interviews, Burton again spoke of the challenge of capturing the right mood for the story: "Dark Shadows... was a very hermetically sealed world. It's mainly the internal family melodrama. You get a little bit of the sense of the world, but it's like Grey Gardens, where these people are in their own sort of world." Finding the right people was crucial: "It's not something that a lot of people necessarily know... I felt really lucky, because the cast is really good. People like Michelle [Pfeiffer] (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) grew up watching it. Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn't, but they were all game for it — getting into the weird spirit of what Dark Shadows was."

Speaking about the original show, Burton said: "It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama... It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn't really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone. We didn't do any real rehearsals, because the cast all came in at different times." The film's cast shot proved to be an important bonding exercise for the actors: "There was an old photo of the [original] cast which I always remembered... Before shooting, we got the whole cast together to take a similar shot so everyone could see each other and get that vibe. That helped set the tone more than anything."

And in other Dark Shadows movie news, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine includes the film in its preview of 2012's cinema and features a new production still of Johnny Depp as Barnabas alongside co-star Michelle Pfeiffer.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie Desktop Wallpaper

There's now just four months to go until the new Dark Shadows feature film from Tim Burton hits cinemas and to celebrate, why not download the iconic first cast shot, formatted as a fantastic desktop wallpaper. Click on the image for the full-size version.

Dark Shadows is released in cinemas from May 11. To read all our coverage of the film's production, click here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Notes From a Producer

Reader Joe Escobar has kindly shared some rare Dark Shadows production documents from 1968. These original script pages, featuring handwritten notes by the show's line producer Robert Costello, offer some fascinating insights into the day-to-day running of the show. Click on the images for a larger view.

Episode 578 (recorded on August 30 1968): Nancy Barrett missed the taping of this instalment due to illness, so for one day only Carolyn was played by Diana Walker. The script notes the replacement's contact details and a drafted additional opening voice over explaining the change for viewers.

Episode 584 (recorded on September 12 1968): A trying day for the Dark Shadows production team is recorded for posterity. This episode featured a flashback to an episode from 1967 which needed to be re-staged, as the show had since moved to colour broadcasts. A morning pre-taping session was rendered useless by cross-talk (interference picked up on the soundtrack), resulting in "much time lost". As a drastic solution, the episode's dress rehearsal ended up becoming the performance taped for broadcast.

Episode 632 (recorded on November 15 1968): The casting of Molly Jennings (the original name for Chris' little sister Amy) seems to have threatened to cause headaches for the production team. Costello's notes suggest deferring the taping of her debut scene in this episode until the morning of November 25 (the day before broadcast). In the event, the instalment was recorded with Amy present and correct, played by Denise Nickerson. The cast list notes that the character of the Nurse was originally earmarked for Natalie Norwich, a regular stand-in on the show. Bobbi Ann Woronko took over the role, having won the guest spot as part of a Miss Polish America promotion.

Episode 635 (recorded on November 21 1968): Scheduled director Sean Dhu Sullivan was replaced by Lela Swift, and the cast list notes that Victoria Winters will now be played by Betsy Durkin, as pregnant actress Alexandra Moltke had left the show earlier than originally anticipated.

Episode 641 (recorded on December 2 1968): Costello notes that Roger Shope replaces the assigned director, Lela Swift, and records planned script amendments.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film Advance Information

Yesterday we reported about Titan's forthcoming tie-in book for the new Dark Shadows feature film and more information has now surfaced in this official teaser for Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film:
Dark Shadows, the cult classic television series, comes to the big screen under the direction of Tim Burton. Produced in close collaboration with Tim Burton and the production team, this official companion volume to the film will include a foreword by Burton plus scores of photos, concept drawings, and production designs plus interviews with the cast and crew.
Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film is published on May 8 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk, clicking here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Dark Shadows Movie Book Announced

Titan are to publish a special book to mark the release of the new Dark Shadows feature film. Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film will be a large format hardback featuring 176 pages of imagery from the production. The title is set to hit stores on May 8, three days before the movie's release.

Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film is currently only listed for publication in the United Kingdom, though it is likely that a US edition will be announced shortly. To pre-order the book from Amazon.co.uk, click here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dressing a Vampire

Reader Chad Evett has written in to share a picture of the Barnabas Collins costume he recently made, based on Colleen Atwood's designs for Johnny Depp in the new Dark Shadows feature film. Chad is studying costume design and has recreated some of Atwood's other creations, including the Mad Hatter from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

"I have been recreating Colleen's work since 2006," explains Chad. "Colleen and her team are absolute geniuses when it comes to manipulating fabric and texture. By learning the techniques she uses, I am able to enhance my own skills and define my personal aesthetic." Chad was immediately impressed by the new wardrobe for Collinwood's resident vampire: "I love what she has done with the classic Barnabas look. The colour scheme of his suit and coat looks fantastic. I also like the hat and sunglasses they have added."

While the accessories for Chad's costume were all found items, Barnabas' suit and cape are both handmade. "The fabric I found for the suit was in short supply, so I was only able to complete the pants for the time being. I made the Inverness coat using a vintage pattern from the 1970s, and I added the cape. I also recently found a stunning silk tie that I am going to add to the overall look."

Sourcing authentic-looking fabrics proved to be a challenge: "The hardest thing to locate was the lining for the coat. I used a cotton/polyester blend that would have been popular in the 1970s, when the movie is set. If I interpreted the leaked pics correctly, it looks like his coat is lined in a paisley, which would also fit into the 1970s setting. The lining fabric actually was stumbled across by my friend Tim who was out fabric hunting with me." The other components were a little easier to find: "The ring is available online, the gloves I ordered from Italy and I am in the process of making the sunglasses. The cane was one thing that had worried me, but lo and behold a friend of mine already had it!"

With his costume nearly completed, Chad is looking forward to the release of the new movie in May. "
Dark Shadows being brought into the consciousness of the younger crowd will serve the legacy well. If it is successful, then I'm hoping for a faithful reboot. The original series was just so much fun to watch."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Picture of the Week: TV's Cool Ghoul

Here's an original bubblegum wrapper featuring Barnabas Collins, part of a trading card set that launched in towards the end of 1968. As ABC-TV began targeting Dark Shadows merchandise at a youth audience, Collinwood's resident vampire formed the focus of their strategy, with the tagline "TV's cool ghoul" appearing on several products. It's interesting to note that the title Dark Shadows doesn't appear anywhere on the packaging – brand identity was a concept still in its infancy.

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email webmaster@collinwood.net