Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Interview with Author Roger Ma currently in the works!

Roger Ma; Author of "The Zombie
Combat Manual."
I'm excited to say that Roger Ma, the author of "The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead," has agreed to join us for an interview for DMW!  

The other day while surfing the internet, I came upon an interview the gothamist website had conducted with Roger Ma and was automatically intrigued.  

A zombie book yes, but like many of the authors interviewed for DMW, Ma puts his spin on the subject matter involving an arsenal (pun intended?) of weaponry that would be useful for those of us who would have to come up against a horde of zombies without guns.  

"The Zombie Combat Manual," serves as guide that is meant to show anyone how to become an effective fighter against the forces of the undead!

Let's face it, if a zombie apocalypse were to happen, I'd rather be apart of the, oh I'd say 30% that would make it out alive. 

Ma also is the founder of  The Zombie Combat Club.   "The Zombie Combat Club has a single objective - to educate the public on effective blade, bludgeon, and unarmed combat techniques to eradicate the threat of the living dead. We are not a school, dojo, or military unit. We are an open civilian group dedicated to providing accurate combat theory and education to fight the walking dead without a firearm, and survive." (taken from the website)      

Check out the video below that can be found on youtube or on the website to get an idea of how Ma puts his spin and makes the zombie genre his own-

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trouble sleeping invokes more ideas and different directions

It is hard to get people to visualize what you see in your head; or at least hard when the people you are working with are new to movie making. I'm fortunate to have my partners Larry and Luis helping me along with funding this low budget (I prefer "budget conscious") indie and happy that the closer we get to the shooting the more intricate portion of the project, the more excited they get and the more ideas they shoot out, I love it! Then I drive home and I'm left to my thoughts and my books.

I finally picked up a copy of Jovanka Vuckovic's "Zombies: an illustrated history of the undead" in Maryland before I drove up. I will start reading it tomorrow.

Vuckovic's "Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead"
From the little I read I can tell it's going to be a good read. It's funny I thumbed through it quickly and I came to the chapters and one is entitled "dead man working," i was like that's cool. There was a short film with the same title made in 2008; I didn't lift DMW from there either, lol. If fact the play on words or the off-shoot of the phrase "dead man walking" is not new, I see it everyday on my commute to work. I participated in it for three years. The idea of "DMW 2011" is something I would think would have been done before, but to my delight it hasn't.

Im working on what I thought would be three more key interviews, one is almost already known, I don't even have to mention it, but aside from "the man," I've found a couple more people that after reading their work would make for interesting contributions for the documentary portion of the project. It's amazing, some of the key people on the production are not fans of either zombies films or horror films. Horror films aside, if they only watched some zombie films or at least the significant ones they would see how the horror doesn't have to be the zombies and the make-up and the fact that they eat the living, the horror is in the message; sometimes subtle, sometimes right in your face.

Wouldn't you be afraid if she was behind you?
One of my goals when making this film was to get over my fear of the living dead, I think I may just do it. That does not I won't stop looking over my shoulder.

Sleep's kicking in.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Locations, New Updates and Trailer for The Zombie Autopsies!

First things first!  Did you see this yet?!?!

The Zombie Autopsies with Steven Schlozman, MD from GCP authors on Vimeo.

This is a Book Trailer for Steven C. Schlozman's The Zombie Autopsies. Great information on the subject of the book. The video was made by filmmaker Hugo Perez.

Oh! Hi New Jersey-
I just did my final location scouts for the narrative portion of Dead Man Working (part documentary, part film) and as my original idea, it will be a New Jersey production.
You know, I love New York, I honestly do, but I can't get the small town look that I want for a lot of the scenes.  Besides, after running some numbers, one location in NYC would be like 1/3 of the budget. Remember this is the little indie that could (and will).

After speaking with my long-time friend David Schoner over at the NJ Film Commission, who rounded up a couple of locations, I made the calls and am securing the locations for an April shoot.

Next up, I am doing one more re-write, heading to another meeting with the producers down in Maryland tonight, solidifying the cast, crew and all that other fun stuff. I will be posting the cast and crew and a brief bio as they are added to the project, so make sure to check in. Oh and I'll be working on the website; it's needs a serious facelift.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What am I reading now? Zombie, Ohio

Just a quick note, I finally got a minute to start reading a book by Scott Kenemore's newest book, Zombie Ohio.  We interviewed Scott for DMW back in January and I think I received the book around a week after that, but was in the middle of a couple of other ones as well.   I only get a solid ten minutes during my commute to read on, but so far so good, and very visual and interesting!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meeting Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, author of The Zombie Autopsies.

We just got back from our second trip to Boston for DMW.  After corresponding via email over the past couple of months, Steven Schlozman invited us up to Boston and granted us an interview.  We were originally slated to meet last month but I'm happy that it was pushed back.  This allowed time to read his just released book, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notes from the Apocalypse.

Steven C. Schlozman, MD, author. The Zombie Diaries: Secret Notes form the Apocalypse

The Book 
 I originally remember hearing it would be on store shelves March 25th of 2011, but when I did a quick check online I saw that it was in stores!  Looks like some stores jumped the gun.  Now, I had no excuse for not reading the book, so I rushed out and picked it up this past Saturday afternoon and stayed in to absorb as much of it as possible as we were leaving to Boston Sunday afternoon.  I was determined to read Schlozman's work:

A. Because if you're going to ask an author or filmmaker or artist  
     for an interview, you should be familiar  with their work.

B. Um, it's the right thing to do?!? (lol)

The research aspect of it is already second nature at this point and it definitely helps if the book is well written; The Zombie Autopsies was an great read.   I opened the book at around 7:30 in the evening and finished a good chunk of it at around 1:00 in the morning right before springing the time ahead.  So many authors and artists are creatively reconstructing the ancestral zombie and Schlozman is no different, recruiting his profession for his fictional writing and also for his love of the zombie genre.

Illustrations is © copyright Andrea Sparacio, Sparrow Arts.
After reading the book, I pretty much summed it up as "an observation constructively critical of evil as brilliance that can only be man-made."   I don't think that I did it justice, even still, don't just take my word for it, get a copy and read it!  I mean Romero was scared...Romero!  I love it!

Needless to say upon meeting the author today I couldn't help think about the crab cakes I had eaten for lunch right before (when you read the book you'll get it).  I also couldn't help but gush about the book,  not only for the "zombie factor," but also for the questions that arose from my reading, Schlozman's  ill-fated protagonist, Dr. Stanley Blum (spoiler?) and most importantly the all too realistic and familiar feeling of...doom.

We sat and spoke before the interview while Ryan, the director of photography set up, and discussed our appreciation for cult films in general, George Romero, Max Brooks, Scott Kenemore, his fans, etc...Since the book's ink is still fresh I figured Schlozman may be tied up with doing press, I can honestly say I had the pleasure of sitting with him while he's in the eye of the storm.  It was a great interview and look forward to sharing it as soon as the project is all done.  Who knows maybe we'll release some teaser footage in the near future.  Thanks again to Steven Schlozman.  Oh and to Mrs. Schlozman for the welcoming vibe of the office!


It's 3:30, what are you doing?

I'm in a hotel in Boston. And yet again I can't sleep. I'm not nervous. I'm never nervous before interviews, more anxious than anything. So here I am watching "The Predator" on AMC.

I will say this time around in Boston, a good two months later I'm very happy with the progress of the project. We have a couple of interviews left but production is a month away on shooting the narrative portion of the project which super excites me. I can only imagine what people think when I try to explain the entire premise of the film. Everything will be illuminated once all is said and done.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gearing up for our interview this Monday with Steven C. Schlozman in Boston!

We are on the road again this weekend to grab an interview for DMW with Dr. Steven C. Schlozman an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and a zombie film and culture enthusiast.  His new book, The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notes from the Apocalypse is now in stores.  Check out the teaser video for the book:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Romero's "Diary of the Dead (2007)" eerily mirrors aspects of 2011 civil unrest around the world

Official Movie Poster
You know, somewhere down the line I heard that George A. Romero's "Diary of the Dead was technically not considered a part of his "Dead Series,"  and I excluded watching it again for this project.  I think my mistake was reading it was "not a direct sequel,"  in one of the descriptions, but all of them are really not a direct sequel.

All of Romero's movies in this series have a significant amount of social commentary.  I remember watching "Diary" in 2007.  By then, Google was a good 4 or 5 years old, Facebook had been around for  three years, Youtube was two years old and Twitter, please, Twitter was a year old.

One thing was for sure, the internet was already an alternative source for news.  "Diary" opens with a news reporter arriving a the scene of a homicide then learning that the bodies of the dead behind her are getting back up.  We watch a gruesome attack unfold in front of the camera.

Diary of the Dead
The news reporter is attacked off camera but later falls into frame.
The cameraman runs to her aide.  The footage then cuts out.Several newscasts are heard and a voice over describes the mainstream media's neglect of truth.  The voiceover then goes on to describe that the footage from the beginning of the news reporter being attacked was uploaded to the internet by the cameraman so that people around the world can see what is really happening.

We can all agree that a zombie attack or epidemic to the proportions of Romero's "Diary," or any of his other films have not happened...yet, but one thing is for sure, his commentary is dead on (no pun).  The media has always had a way with distorting reality and reporting on what they deem as newsworthy, but with the advent of the internet and it's freedom from regulation, until they get their greasy paws on it or figured out how to regulate it, we are all reporters and journalists.  The only problem it presents so far is because anyone can put anything up on the internet you have to sift through the garbage.

One thing is absolutely certain, George A. Romero is a genius.  He can make a splatter film.  He can make Zombie films.  But he can also make social commentary and forecast.   look at Youtube, Facebook and Google today.

Neda lies dying from a sniper's gunshot during Iranian
protests in 2009.  It was all caught on camera.
Who would have thought that protests in Iran in 2009 would have sparked so much worldwide attention.  Sure, the mainstream media is not all bad but putting thousands  upon thousands of cameras into the hands of the people instantly gave a face to Neda Agha-Soltan whose death was caught on camera and gave a face to the struggle and injustice in Iran.  

Who would have thought that something like Twitter among other social networks, whom many including me perceived as useless would help Egypt uprise and bring down an tired and oppressive government?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My eyes are on Jovanka Vuckovic!

I first heard about Jovanka while researching to find women who love the  To put in a less scary way for some of you, female fans of the zombie genre.  I think I have a solid core for the documentary with the gentlemen I have interviewed but uh, let's face it, men do not make up the only fan base of enthusiasts of zombie culture.  I did an extensive search, even after I was told Arriana Huffington is a zombie fan. (I'm would still love to interview her as well, a sound bite wouldn't hurt right?)  
Arianna on the phone with me, I'm asking her 
to give me a soundbite and all she kept asking 
me was if she should  merged with AOL, duh!

Jovanka Vuckovic
I was however, able to come across a lot of information on Jovanka Vuckovic.  So in a nutshell, she is an author, filmmaker and a horror expert.  She resides in Toronto and is currently working on a short film, "The Captured Bird."

The Captured Bird is a darkly poetic fable that begins with a little girl drawing figures of people with chalk on the cement of a playground. She takes notice of an unusual crack in the pavement that is seeping a mysterious black fluid, which she follows to an ominous building. Inside, she encounters several bizarre phenomena, including walls that bleed black and tentacles that emerge from the ceiling to touch her. She then witnesses the birth of five terrifying supernatural beings that threaten the existence of her world.

A teaser still from "The Captured Bird"

She also just released the book, "Zombies:  An illustrated history of the undead."  It's right down my alley as it goes right form the origins of zombies in Haitian Voodoo, zombie lore, to zombies in popular culture.  

So here goes, I begin my courting process :-)  All kidding aside I would love to her speak with us about her interest in the zombie genre, her new book and give us details on her short film.  
For more info about the Captured Bird she has a very informative website (better than ours definitely...Thanks to our Graphic Designer, oh wait we don't officially have one yet).  Take a look:

Jovanka's "Zombies! An Illustrated History
of the Undead."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

L.A. Zombie / Otto; or up with Dead People will be discussed in Dead Man Working.

An Interview with Director Bruce Labruce shot on location of L.A. Zombie will appear in Dead Man Working.  The conception of this documentary is thanks in part to my experience working on that film set. I mean it is what prompted me to ask...why?  Otto is considered the first "gay zombie film,"  L.A. Zombie blew it out of the water, taking the title of "first gay zombie porn."

L.A. Zombie movie poster
L.A. Zombie is a 2010 queer cinema zombie film. This is the second zombie or undead film entry by the director.  Production was a bit intense but in the end all well worth it.  The film premiered in competition at Locarno International Film Festival inSwitzerland in 2010.

I remember being at Yoga practice and receiving a frantic text message from one of the producers about the film's entry into the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia on the 7th and 8th of August 2010.  Turns out they outright classified L.A. Zombie as blatant pornography masked as art!  Festival director, Richard Wolstencroft held a screening in protest, only to have his house raided by the police on the morning of November 11, 2010.  Wolstencroft admitted to police that an August 29 screening had occurred but claimed to have destroyed the only copy of the film afterwards. 

Francois Sagat; Star of L.A. Zombie

Crazy Shit huh?!  All in all, this is an important example that Dead Man Working relies on

Dir. Bruce Labruce
Bruce LaBruce is a Toronto based filmmaker, writer, director, photographer, and artist. He began his career in the mid eighties making a series of short experimental super 8 films and co-editing a punk fanzine called J.D.s, which begat the queercore movement. He has directed and starred in three feature length movies, "No Skin Off My Ass" (1991), "Super 8 1/2" (1994), and "Hustler White" (1996). More recently he has directed two art/porn features, “Skin Flick” (2000)(hardcore version: “Skin Gang”) and “The Raspberry Reich” (2004)(hardcore version: “The Revolution Is My Boyfriend”), and the independent feature “Otto; or, Up with Dead People” (2008). 

“Otto; or, Up with Dead People” also debuted at Sundance and Berlin and played at over 150 film festivals, culminating in a screening at MoMA in New York City in November of 2008. 
Jey Crisfar; Star of Otto; Or Up with Dead People