The Shadow Effect was released this past Tuesday and is available on VOD, ON  DEMAND and DVD. Even with a small budget, The Shadow Effect offers plenty of wonderful things to keep movie-goers entertained. I had never heard of actor Cam Gigandet, but I thoroughly enjoyed his performance, and I will be looking for him in other features. The film reintroduces us to Action star Michael Biehn, and it was awesome watching him again, I particularly remember Biehn from James Cameron’s 1984 Smash Hit The Terminator. The Shadow Effect is more of a thriller-action film, and the real horror of stems from nightmares and attempting to decipher what is is reality and a nightmare, scary stuff. The Shadow Effect does have a great twist and is worth checking out. Obin and Amariah Olson direct the film, and iHorror spoke to the two regarding their project.


Obsessed with gene regeneration, and fascinated by the phenomenon of the waking dream, Dr. Reese (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) explores the psyche of Gabriel Howarth (Cam Gigandet), a young man whose life is turned upside down when his violent dreams begin to blend with reality. When Gabriel’s dreams mirror political assassinations, he must race against the clock to not only save himself and his wife Brinn (Britt Shaw), but stop an experimental government program. With time running out, and Gabriel’s life on the line, only Dr. Reese holds the key to unlocking the truth.

(L-R) Brit Shaw as Brinn Howarth and Cam Gigandet as Gabriel Howarth in the action thriller “THE SHADOW EFFECT” a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum.

Interview With Directors Obin and Amariah Olson – The Shadow Effect

Ryan T. Cusick: Hi guys. One thing I was impressed with was the acting. How was it directing Cam?

Amariah: Well you know Cam as an actor is very much in his role. It was kind of an interesting experience with the difficult challenge of working together, and I think that he has a very strong vision. And of course, as a director, you have a very strong vision. I think at the end of the day the end result is what speaks what is on the screen what can we create you know working together is always the goal.

RTC: It looks like he had to get pretty deep, just with the post-traumatic stress and the whole psyche thing was really powerful.

Amariah: It was chaotic a very tight schedule, a lot of stress for the crew, a lot of stress for the actors; he was almost able to live out his traumatic experience through his character on screen and make it more believable because of that. He definitely disappeared into the character many times.

RTC: It was a great performance, and I felt for him too, his character, I really felt bad for the guy. I recognized Brittany Shaw from the latest Paranormal installment; it was great seeing her. How was it directing Brittany?

Orban: Brittany was fabulous. She was very happy to have a role in this movie, which I think is kind of an expansion for her character. She was very easy to work with, upbeat, ready to give it all, all of the time, a very sweet girl.

RTC: It was great seeing her again, I had not seen her since that film [Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension].

Orban: She has that natural girl next door look, and she was very magnetic on screen.

RTC: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Having two directors on a film is pretty unique, how was it? Did you guys have any creative differences working together?

Amariah: All the time every day.

RTC: [Laughs]

Amariah: [Laughs} Just kidding. We have been directing together for 15 years. There is always a conflict, but at the end of the day, there is a single goal, to make a film with the time and budget that you have.

Orban: At the end of the movie, Michael Biehn has a big dialogue scene, and it is pretty dramatic. That particular setup and scene in the movie we didn’t have the resources and the time in this location at all, stuff kept falling apart. What happens in a situation like that is kind of cool, I’ll grab a second and third camera and half the crew and go somewhere else, literally, and be shooting the entire next scene, while Amariah [Olson} is finishing another one up. So it really comes down to it, and there is absolutely no way you’re going to make this day, you are going to have to cut your script or do something very dramatic.

(L-R) Brit Shaw as Brinn Howarth and Cam Gigandet as Gabriel Howarth in the action thriller “THE SHADOW EFFECT” a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum.

RTC: When it comes to time crunches it is very essential to think outside the box. I saw that you guys had worked on a couple of other films together, the name has seemed to have escaped me, I believe it was called Operator. I haven’t seen it yet.

Amariah: We have done three other films. One is called Uknown Caller the other is called Operator, and we just finished a film earlier this year called Body of Sin, and those we are producing and directing altogether.

RTC: Beautiful, Body of Sin, is that a horror film?

Amariah: Body of Sin is a thriller, female in jeopardy diamond heist, thriller.

Orban: We are in post on that right now.

RTC: Very cool, Yeah Operator caught my eye because for my evening job I work in a communications center for ambulances, for 911 so when I was reading the synopsis it really caught my eye.

Orban: Yeah, it is a stressful situation. We had gone around and visited a lot of them, kind of got a concept of what that job is like. Definitely not your normal 9 to 5.

RTC: Oh yeah, definitely. When you guys were working on Shadow Effect, did you guys have anything to do with the writing or was it Chad Law, were you guys involved In that as well?

Amariah: Chad Law is the original story developer, and we came in, made a lot of changes to the scenes, like structure. So we re-structured it kind of how we saw it come together.

RTC: Did you guys have to do a lot of research into the psychology of everything?

Orban: I think most of that was on the page already from Chad. We more or less took the essence of what was there and changed some of the sequencings of what we had. The concept was interesting and strong, that is why we picked the script, and I think for this type of movie its all about the essential question and how do you not tell the audience stuff and keep them from wondering what is going on and hopefully we did that pretty well.

Amariah: Definitely on the psychology aspect I spent a lot of time studying up on psychology and how it affects people, how it affects their emotions, and how they respond. And then you have Britt who is basically playing him through the whole movie, and then you have the psychology of how does she feel and if she really feels something for him, even if she is playing him. We even went as far as watching domestic fight clips on youtube to get a sense of couples that love each other but are pushed to the brink, how would they respond? How would they react? I think that we got some interesting and dramatic moments out of that, for sure.

RTC: The performances felt very authentic. You guys did a wonderful job directing him [Cam]

Amariah: Yeah, I mean that was the goal, keep it the authentic feeling. To get a good dramatic performance  It is about creating a scenario and if the scenario follows the mood of the reality of human beings the actors can just act freely in the scenario and the performance will come out as real. If you set up the scenario incorrectly, then no matter how good you try and make the dialogue, its never gonna come out right. That is what we wanted to do here, especially on the re-write was to create the scenarios, that would cause the conflicts to come out naturally, even if the actors, were not 100 percent on page on script,

RTC: Thank you so much for speaking with me today, hopefully, we can do it again soon. Take Care.

Both: You’re welcome, bye Ryan.




(L-R) Michael Biehn as Sheriff Hodge and Sean Freeland as Deputy Truvio in the action thriller film “SHADOW EFFECT” a Momentum Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Momentum Pictures.