Monday 8 March 2010

The Inevitable Decomposition of Zombie Man (2010)…

In the summer of 2006 I shot a daft, off-the-cuff zombie comedy called I Am Zombie Man. In spite of its roughness it found fans in the online zombie community due to the sardonic titular character.

A sequel followed six months later that stepped up the look of the film (as I was now armed with a DVX100B) and advanced the character into realm of the “celebrity zombie”. I re-cut IAZM2 in 2010 (taking out 7 minutes), as the original 25 minute cut is a bit indulgent.

We intended to shoot IAZM3 in December 2007, but due to career developments for both Gareth and I, we didn’t get around to it until December 28th 2009. The delay allowed me to bring an additional three years of filmmaking trial, error and experience to the project. My camerawork, editing, writing and directing had all improved a great deal, and it was about time to close the Zombie Man trilogy once and for all.

Staying close to the DeadShed “literally no budget” style, the only money spent was on a few props. Further to that the shooting window was as tight as always, shooting the entire film (except for stock footage from my archives) in four hours on the only clear day during a harsh winter. I am adept at ‘run & gun’ filmmaking (particularly useful on various Arts Council projects I’ve done), and the skill certainly came in handy.

The editing process afforded me two key creative opportunities – to try out new software skills and editing ideas, but most importantly to stick religiously to a strict 10 minute time limit. Said limit really made me focus on what was absolutely necessary (and indeed unnecessary) in order to tell the story, establish scenes, and provide the visual comedy with a constant, assured beat to the cutting. I succeeded in meeting my 10 minute running time, producing a film that I’m really quite proud of, which boasts an efficient and water-tight pace.

Gary Ugarek and Brian Wright (fellow filmmakers who were behind American indie zombie flicks Deadlands: The Rising, and Deadlands 2: Trapped) very kindly composed the vibrant musical score, which put the cherry on top – boosting the visuals, propelling the film forward, and even acting as its own character.

I’m very pleased with the final product, and we achieved more than could reasonably be expected with what we had at our disposal, and in such a tight shooting window. The quirky character established in 2006 remains, going out on a darker, but no-less sardonic note, presented with camerawork and editing that boosted it far beyond its predecessors. The idea with every new film you make is to hone your skills and try new things, and I feel I succeeded on both counts with this, the third and final film in the I Am Zombie Man mini-trilogy – something which began life as a slap-dash bit of fun in the summer of 2006.

View more images (in full size) on my Flickr photostream via the embedded player, or the links list, on the right hand side of this blog.

Watch the film on YouTube via this link:

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