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Robert W. Chambers (short story)
Aaron Vanek (story)
A young art gallery owner, facing bankruptcy, dreams about a painter, who she discovers actually exists. She tracks him down in a dilapidated hotel and asks him to show at her gallery. He agrees, provided she poses for him. | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Aaron Vanek's latest horror adaptation is his finest yet See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Shawna Waldron ... Tess Reardon / Camilla
Dale Snowberger ... Aubrey Scott / Aldones
David Reynolds ... The Watchman
Andrea Gall ... Edith Carmichael
Chloe Moore ... Young Tess
Forrest G. Wood ... Clergyman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shawn Crosby ... The Stranger (voice)
Colleen Kennedy ... Various (voice)

Stephanie Sheh ... Various (voice)

Directed by
Aaron Vanek 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert W. Chambers  short story (as R.W. Chambers)
John Tynes  screenplay
John Tynes  story
Aaron Vanek  story

Produced by
Fred Dekker .... associate producer
Kevin Flanagan .... associate producer
Ken Lobb .... producer
Aaron Vanek .... producer
Kathy Vanek .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mark Fauver 
Cinematography by
David Howard (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Aaron Vanek 
Production Design by
Arid Chappell 
Art Direction by
Lisa Horn 
Costume Design by
Shira Harten (wardrobe and costume designer)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sonia Rossier .... first assistant director
Art Department
Julie Crane .... set designer
Andrew Leman .... propmaster
Blake Middleton .... assistant art director
Jason Voss .... painter
Sound Department
Mark Fauver .... sound recordist
Rick Santizo .... sound
Visual Effects by
Ken Lobb .... visual effects producer
Camera and Electrical Department
Matthew Feath .... assistant camera
Jitsu Toyoda .... gaffer
Kozo Tsuchimochi .... grip
Editorial Department
Jennifer Albright .... assistant editor
Jerry A. Vasilatos .... on-line editor
Music Department
Drew Cady .... additional music instrument designer
Ken Mesford .... additional mixing and music processing
Other crew
Thomas Chappel .... production assistant
Svetlana Dekic .... production assistant
Felicia Dickerson .... production assistant
Kirsten Hageleit .... caterer
Brenda Micetich .... production assistant
Charley Moore .... production assistant
Ellen Nguyen .... production assistant
Ron Preston .... production assistant
John Ross .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:47 min


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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Aaron Vanek's latest horror adaptation is his finest yet, 20 June 2004
Author: Tim Emrick (thastygliax) from Somerville, MA

Indie director Aaron Vanek has previously done several short H.P. Lovecraft adaptations, including "The Outsider" and "Return to Innsmouth". "The Yellow Sign" is his longest film to date (47m), and probably his most finely-polished work. It is not yet in general release, but he's working on fixing that. Meanwhile, you might get lucky enough to catch a showing at a horror convention or film festival, especially if you're on the West Coast.

This film is inspired by the Robert W. Chambers story of the same title. Like H.P. Lovecraft, Chambers is a difficult author to adapt to film. "The Yellow Sign" is one of a set of loosely connected stories about sensitive individuals discovering an obscure play, "The King in Yellow", then becoming obsessed with the story's intrusion into their own lives. The emphasis is less on plot and characterization than on creating a eerie, disturbing atmosphere. Vanek, with colleague John Tynes of Pagan Publishing fame, have taken the sketchy plot of Chambers' story and built a more complete screenplay around it, while still capturing the proper weird, disconnected, dream-like fantasy feel.

The main character, Tess, is a struggling gallery owner who dreams about an artist and his work, then learns that he is a real man. She tries to persuade this recluse to exhibit at her gallery, but he only acquiesces after she agrees to pose for him. They chat as Aubrey works, and his statements challenge Tess's very identity and sense of reality. Interspersed with all these events are strange glimpses into Tess's dreams that, like Aubrey and his work, hint at dark secrets behind her comfortable, boring life.

There is a sort of mystical journey at the heart of this story, but the revelations it promises are not reassuring. "Have you seen the Yellow Sign?" If you have, you will not be the same ever again...

Vanek has done an excellent job with difficult source material. He is showing steady improvement in his craft and vision over his previous work, and I look forward to seeing his future weird tales.

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