Friday, February 18, 2011

Currently working on interview with Laume Conroy for DMW!

I have been talking with Laume Conroy the director of "Dawna of the Dead,"  for a good two to three months.
I have been interested in interviewing him since Fall of 2009.  It wasn't until recently that I was able to get in touch with him.

I was delighted to see he was able to find a distribution home  with Film Trauma for "Dawna of the Dead."

I have to say this is a really interesting and provocative entry in zombie culture!  In my opinion  this is the first real adult zombie film ever made.

If you check out the website please be advised it is NSFW.


For those of you not familiar with "Dawna of the Dead,"  here is what people have said about the film:

“Dawna of the dead crosses the line, runs over it and lights it on fire. A balls to the wall, gonzo-raunch ride into the sexiest guts of grindhouse hell...”

-Corpsey, Girls and Corpses

"DAWNA OF THE DEAD" is so wrong on so many levels, that it actually achieves high art in cinema. Plus, there is simply nothing sexier than something you shouldn't be seeing."
-Dave Navarro

"The DAWNA OF THE DEAD trailer is obscene, disgusting and just plain wrong... So naturally we are now dying to see the whole film!"


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Meeting Kim Paffenroth in New York!

This interview was technically in my backyard.  Living in the Hudson Valley, it was the least amount of travel time (not that I mind traveling).  Today I met Kim Paffenroth at Iona College where he currently teaches.
 Now Kim Paffenroth was the second person I contacted for this project.  I picked up his book, "Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth,"  as research material early on and just read on and on and on.  What an excellent study.

I don't think it's any secret that I am a big fan of George Romero's work and it's always interesting to something most people wouldn't take so serious get a scholastic and analytical treatment.  Kim Paffenroth did that with this book.

Paffenroth is a religious scholar and a professor of theology.  Imagine writing zombie books (on top of books on the bible and religious studies) and teaching religion classes.  I love it.  It's the perfect example of combining work and a passion and/or past time.  

In Gospel of the Living Dead, Paffenroth thoroughly examines Romero's "dead" series and their cultural significance.  By doing so he presents the idea that the zombies in these films are

The most intriguing aspect of the book was the connection these movies have to religion.  Paffenroth delves into the films use of Christian imagery.  Dante's Inferno is a predominate basis of comparison.  It sounds like a mouthful and like heavy reading but its absolutely interesting.

I was able to speak to Kim at length for the documentary.  His office is adorned with autographed posters, books and movie collectables.  He's easily the coolest Professor on that college campus.  I look forward to sharing his words on the subject matter with you.  In due time of course :)


Documentary almost wrapped / Narrative Portion of project pushed to April

I must say I am extremely happy that everyone that I originally had on the roster to interview for this project has been confirmed; most have already been interviewed.  It is such a great feeling to watch a project come together and shape itself.  I sit.  I interview.  What really makes this special is what everyone involved in the project as a contributor has to say.

I walk onto this project as a lover of film and a fearful fan of zombie films still wet behind the ears when it comes to the hordes of other fans and how much of "dead culture" they consume.  I hope to make them happy with this project but also to answer the questions that I sought and contribute to the genre.

me (L.E. Salas) sitting in for a set-up shot.
   Setting up this documentary has been sooooo different from my last project.  I'm a fan of fusing documentary projects and crossing media platforms to either make points in an interesting way or simply using a platform to make up for the fact that there wasn't enough money in the budget to reenact or recreate a scene.

One thing that is different this time around, I work 10-6.  I cannot complain because I love my job but it does limit the time I have to schedule and coordinate a project.

BUT my biggest issue this year was the snow; I know right, who'd a winter.  The narrative portion of Dead Man Working was to be shot in February but has now been pushed back to April.  It is a matter of shooting the entire film at one time as oppose to filming a couple of indoor scenes now and shooting the outdoor scenes later.  Whenever I have worked on a project that has had that happened, the energy just seems to die.

I have a good solid month for some rewrites and making sure that every frame in my mind is translated to video.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Interview with Jeffrey Mantz

Washinton D.C. and Virginia treated us with a break from the typically cold weather when we woke up at the Hotel.  After an initial scare securing a location for the interview, I was fortunate to have heard back from Alison the manager at a local coffee house in Arlington call the Northside Social.

It is a coffee and wine house, pretty packed hour to hour so I was surprised to hear at about two days notice they were willing to accommodate us, but Alison spoke with me about her love of the arts and helping out as much as she can.  She was an alumni of George Mason University, which happens to be Professor Mantz's academic home at the moment.

I had the privilege of interviewing Professor Jeffrey Mantz today.  I can say I am always nervous when I contact prospective interviewees for projects, with no reason, I am never shocked at how down to earth they are, most people for the most part.  All you can do is ask and the worst they can say is they are too busy or no.

I read an article Professor Mantz had written for NPR and from the introduction I learned he had just introduced a class at GMU revolving around, what else, zombies.  Not only does he love zombies a la "Romero," he's also an anthropologist who has traveled to parts of Africa and the Caribbean and has been on hand studying the traditional or shall I say more "pure" roots of zombies and zombification as well as other economical issues that affect these regions.  Mantz is also very knowledgeable of zombie folklore in many countries.  Yea, eat that Wade Davis.  I was very happy to have finally interviewed him and can't wait to share the interview.

P.S. Nothing against Wade Davis....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Interview with religious scholar, professor and author Kim Paffenroth confirmed!

We're happy to announce that Kim Paffenroth will sit down for an interview for DMW.  Paffenroth is a religious scholar, professor and contemporary American horror author.  His book Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth was a must read while researching for this project.  I am happy to finally be able to meet and discuss with him!

Check out Kim Paffenroth's blog here!