Gene Blalock is a lauded director who crafts films in assorted genres. He is regaled for his family features and horrorvignettes. This August, Gene is scheduled to speak on a panel about making indie films at Scare LA. His work is entertaining and thought provoking and he has won awards for editing, directing, cinematography and musical score. Noting Gene’s impressive track record for producing exceptional quality work, it is not surprising that his most recent short film titled “Among the Shadows” has been a smash hit at film festivals all across the United States and is a popular video on YouTube.

Recently, he spoke about his experiences working as a director:

Early inspiration

Blasting News (BN): What inspired you to become a director?

Gene Blalock (GB): Be it through writing, music or film I have always been compelled to tell stories. When I was little, I enjoyed going to the cinema and watching a story play out on a 60-foot screen. I was captivated by the language of cinema: how stories, performances, visuals, and sounds could convey and express emotions; how the filmmaker could make their audience see the world in a way I’d never imagined. I watched films repeatedly, deconstructing the scenes, trying to understand the methods. I was obsessed with figuring out the magic behind it. Growing up in a rural community in central Virginia, my creativity was viewed as a hobby.

At university a friend suggested I could make films. I switched my major and haven’t thought twice about that decision. I’m still working on the indie level but strive for more.

BN: Do you have a favorite film?

GB: I lean towards the bizarre and macabre. I often work in the horror genre though I prefer the psychological side, not merely gore.

Still, give me a film with heart and I’m sold.

Present projects

BN: How did you get involved with “Among the Shadows”?

GB: Andira, my Director of Photography, and I wanted to try a longer narrative. I heard about “shadow people” on Coast to Coast AM, a late-night talk-radio show that discusses the paranormal, and it was a topic few films address.

“Hat Man” is the most commonly reported figure and we thought he would look menacing on film. We wanted to tell and the mythos around shadow people.

BN: You also own Seraph Films. What kinds of projects are you interested in?

GB: We do a lot of horror and thrillers but we are not exclusive to that. Honestly, as long as it’s a good story we want to do it. I prefer films that have something to say, films that make me feel and think – when I don’t want to get up at the end but just sit there and let it sink in. We have in-house writers but we are always up for reading a good script.

BN: What has been the best part of working in the entertainment industry?

GB: The amazing filmmakers I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

I’ve met some of the most creative, hard-working, driven and inspiring people; many of whom I now call friends.

Future aspirations

BN: What would be your "dream project"?

GB: “The Shadow Guide.” We produced a teaser film for it in hopes of raising some interest. You can find it on our website.

BN: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

GB: Hopefully doing what I’m doing now on a much bigger scale.

BN: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?

GB: We are in pre-production for a feature thriller called “Two Wolves.” We should be in production by November.

BN: What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be a director?

GB: Make films; learn as much as you can about every part of making films. Get on sets and observe. Cameras and gear have never been more accessible to the low budget filmmaker. Know your strong suits and find others who have strengths you lack. Be humble and grateful.