“Shadow Play” and "Laura"

When I started thinking about what would become “Shadow Play” I thought I’d give a nod to a film that has Noir elements to its plot and execution, but really isn’t considered a full bore Film Noir

I had no idea “Laura” would end up the movie with the most influence over the final work.

That may be because “Laura” wasn’t made at Warner Bros. or RKO, but at 20th Century-Fox which designed it for a larger, female audience, something the studio often did during the Second World War.

Whatever the reason, “Laura” is more haunted than other hard-boiled detective movies from the period.  And it does “skew” female.

I knew very early on I wanted Sasha Pieterse to pose for a portrait as Alison that would echo the painting that drives so many men mad in “Laura.”

The job of creating the portrait went to the Pretty Little Liars Property Master, Chris Vail.  The portrait of Alison isn’t a portrait, but a large photograph that has been digitally manipulated to look like it was painted on canvas.

Sasha posing for her portrait was the first time I saw any of the cast in hair and make-up and it was the moment I became certain that this whole crazy idea would work.

When “Shadow Play” finished shooting I commandeered the portrait.  It now hangs in the Pretty Little Liars production office at Warner Bros.  It’s just outside my office, so Ali can keep an eye on all the writers.


Music by David Raksin

Lyrics by

Johnny Mercer

Laura is the face in the misty light

Footsteps that you hear down the hall

The laugh that floats on a summer night

That you can never quite recall

And you see Laura on a train that is passing through

Those eyes how familiar they seem

She gave your very first kiss to you

That was Laura but she's only a dream

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