Spook yourself up some pre-Christmas jeepers with League of Legend Keepers: Shadows, an adventure-packed, fright-crammed horror treat for the whole family! A family of archaeologists find the fifth pendant that has been missing for centuries. Unfortunately, a spirit has also been searching for this pendant. Once all pendants are brought together the shadows from the past are released. Will Sophie be able to save her town from the shadows?
Starring and co-written by award-winning young actress Isabella Blake-Thomas (Once Upon A Time), and directed by Elizabeth Blake-Thomas, Legend Keepers: Shadows stars Richard Tyson ("Kindergarten Cop"), Jake Brennan (The Orville), Britt Flatmo (Super 8), Marcelo Tubert (G.I Joe : Retaliation), and Abigail Titmuss (Days of Our Lives").
Dove-approved and equipped with enough Stranger Things to entertain through the holiday break, League of Legend Keepers: Shadows hits DVD and Digital December 10 from Uncork'd Entertainment, Mother and Daughter Entertainment and Manik Productions.
When did you know you wanted to be an actress?
I actually fell into acting because I loved being with my mom on stage when she was directing. Even from the age of 3! I also loved playing with dolls and Barbie's and I would create stories for them. I love telling stories as well so it was a natural progression.
And were your family supportive of the decision?
My mom is amazing. She understands that these opportunities don't just come along everyday and that if you want something you have to go for it. She taught me how to make the most of the opportunities given to me. The experiences I've had and the people I've met and that are in my life now are everything I could ever ask for.
Now I know your mother is a filmmaker. Was she when you were a child too? And did that play a part in spurring you towards this career goal?
She was a theatre director so neither of us had thought about film or TV. Hollywood was also never in our world. There was an open call audition for a show on Cbeebies which is a children's channel for the BBC. I actually got the role aged 4 and haven't stopped since.
Where is home for you?
Wherever my mom and dog are. We live on a boat in LA and it's everything I've dreamed of and more. Home is wherever I'm happiest and feel safe and currently that's LA.
Did you start your career there?
I began my career in the UK and occasionally went abroad to shoot projects. It wasn't until I was 7 that I first visited LA but we didn't know living over here was an option. At age 10 I got a lead in a film and that was the beginning of it all.
You're now in the U.S though, I believe?
Each day is wonderful, waking up to the sounds of the sea lions and being in the warm sunshine. I am truly blessed to live this way. My mom has taught me to be grateful of the small things so we say thank you for what we have everyday.
You shot Once Upon A Time here?
In Vancouver, that was an incredible time of my life. I got to be in the show I loved and watched. The cast were so welcoming and they really made me feel like one of the family.
Tell us what that role did for your career?
It definitely showed me what it was like to be part of a huge production that runs for many seasons. My following on social media grew overnight and it feels unreal to get invites to events because of the show.
And did it also lead to an added interest in the supernatural and fantasy worlds - as explored in your new film - or were you always a fan of the genre?
I've always believed I had magic powers. In fact my mom made sure to explain that even though I was Young Zelena with powers, I don't actually have them. I did ask her once why she couldn't have been a fairy as then I would have had magic. I find it sad that as we get older, wishful thinking and magical ideas start disappear. It's important to keep that in our lives which I do in any way I can.
So how did League of Legend Keepers: Shadows come about?
We wanted to write a film that I could watch at Halloween when I was aged 12. There was nothing suitable for me so we decided to create something ourselves. I had no idea my Mom would end up directing it and we would make it with such a great cast. It's something I want young adults to be able to watch every year on Halloween and not be scared for the rest of their lives.
And you and your mother not only direct and star in the film, respectively, but produce? Was this your first producing credit?
The project Sand Angels was my first producing credit, then from that moment onwards, my mom and I realized we made an excellent team working on this together. It's why we created Mother & Daughter Entertainment together. We wanted to be able to make content that matters so from that moment on, we've been a filmmaking duo.
Did you and mom ever have to compromise on anything?
There's always compromise in any project. My mom and I are very all right with the fact that things change when making movies. If there's a compromise, generally it's my mom and me against the budget. That's why things get cut or changed, the budget. For example, even though Sophie and Edison save the world with what they do, we only show the effects of them saving their town.
How did you and your mother pitch the film to investors and distributors?
We pitched is as a family film that could play every year! That whole concept of bringing family together and tradition is what people love. Take films like Elf. It's a Christmas movie that I watch with my mum every year. No matter where we are for Christmas, we watch elf. We wanted that feel for Halloween as well. You're with your friends or siblings and it's a movie that you know you enjoy.
Are you a fan of Stranger Things? This might be seen as a more family friendly version of that.
My mom started watching Stranger Things before I did so she got be hooked a bit later. I enjoy the jump scares and the feeling of being watched that you get from the show which definitely inspired the feeling of the horror.
How do Stranger Things and League of Legend Keepers differ beyond that, you think?
Beyond the fact that Stranger Things is TV and League is a movie, it's different because the storylines aren't the same, the goals of the characters are different and I know that with league, as Sophie ages and the audience ages, the films will get scarier. That's one of the beauties of the movie, that they progress with the audience so you never grow out of them.
League of Legend Keepers: Shadows is released on DVD and Digital 12/10 from Uncork'd Entertainment.