Friday, March 05, 2010

Zombie Q&A

What's the most important thing?
Safety. Absolutely the most important thing is that we all be safe. If you feel unsafe at any time, put your hands up and yell "stop!" and we'll stop and you'll be safe. I'd rather takes got ruined by you yelling "stop!" than even one skinned knee. Seriously.

OK, what should I wear?
Make sure it's seasonable and layerable firstly. We're going to be outside for three hours, so whatever you're wearing should be good for that.
Wear comfortable shoes. If you've been asked to wear some sort of specific shoes, then please also bring some comfy sneaker-y shoes.

I really don't want this sweater to get dirty or get holes in it.
Please don't wear it then. Only wear clothes you wouldn't mind getting theatrical blood on. We're getting the non-toxic blood because we feel it's more important that you not get detergent in your mouth or eyes than have it just rinse out. But the blood we use should be machine-washable-out.

What colors should I wear?
We're looking for blacks, browns, greys, and other muted neutral colors.
Specifically don't wear RED. We actually have a bit of a color fetish thing going on here and only one character wears red.

What about patterns?
It would be better to stay away from herringbone or other tight patterns in your clothes. Big, solid, muted colors are best.

Can I wear my funny T-shirt?
We can't have corporate logos, and it would be better to not have any English-language things as after all, we're going to try to sell this movie overseas. Other than that a funny T-shirt might be fine except that it's likely that nobody will actually be able to read it on screen.

So what's up with this? What kind of zombie am I?
The "zombies" are actually people who were left alive by the first wave of the invasion (nanobots, if you must know) who had serious mental health issues. They were left alive only to be caught by giant alien robots to have their brains operated on and turned into automotons.

Dude, that sucks!
Tell me about it. This story is autobiographical.

What important things should I remember?
Safety. That is the most important thing. I can't stress it enough. And you have to make sure you're safe. I can't always see what's going on when I have my eye pressed to the eyepiece. Please stay sharp. Look out for traffic. Look out for your fellow actors. Heck, look out for me if you see me doing anything stupid.

What sort of makeup effects will we have?
The "drones" (what you're playing) bleed from the eyes and nose. Some might bleed a bit from the ears. The robots are not very good brain surgeons. Your Master Brain Surgeon today with be Laura. She will be running around with a large bottle of blood and Q-tips. She is the Queen of Mars.

Will there be a lot of blood?
You can choose how much blood you want. I think that a single drip of blood from an eye will look really nice. If you want a bit more, that's fine too. We'll have nappy wipes on set but we don't have running water on set. More about that later.

Will there be lots of blood when I'm shot?
That blood will be added in post-production, so for you (the actor) the answer is "no". There will not be lots of blood.

What's my motivation? I'm not kidding, that's a real question.
You have little control over what you do anymore. In your head a loud voice says "kill them" (the humans) and that's what you must do. You hate doing this. You hate the voice in your head. You hate the people you have to kill. You hate yourself and long for the sweet release of death. But in the meantime you're going to kill these people.

Are we fast zombies or slow zombies?
You are right between Romero and 28 Days Later. You can run, but it's a bit pained. You're more furious than accurate.

Will this movie be distributed?
Our last 5 movies have been distributed at least somewhere. We will certainly hope to do so again.

What kinds of things are important while we're on set?
Safety. Look out for traffic. Be aware of what's going on. If you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable please tell David Ian Lee, Laura (the producer), or me (Drew). Nobody wants anyone to even almost get hurt.

What kind of rating will this movie get?
Contractually we're obligated to get no greater a restriction than an "R" rating. With the amount that Tom curses in this picture, we're almost guaranteed to get an R.

What kind of budget is this movie?
This is what's called a "no-budget" picture. Think eight thousand dollars. And a lot of sweat. Somewhere in there.

Uh, oh. I have a bad feeling about craft services on this one.
You should. We're going to have bottled water, breakfast bars, some other sorts of snacks, and maybe fruit on set. But there's no "craft services" other than the open trunk of my stepmom's car.

What's up with the bathroom?
It's six blocks away. Sorry 'bout that. I would never deny anyone the right to use the bathroom. If you gotta go, you gotta go. We'll just shoot something else while you're gone.

So that's where the running water is?
Yes, six blocks away. We'll peel someone off to take you there. It's Laura's apartment.

What sort of contract or release do I sign?
It's right here. If we make more than $50,000 on this movie, you'll make 1/10th of a percent on our revenue. We've never made that much on a movie. Hopefully we will on this one. Have you heard about the movie business lately? It's not doing so great.

You'll have a copy of this for me?
Yes. You only need to fill out your name, the name you want to be credited under, and sign the bottom with your email and address and such.

I'd rather not use my name, can I be uncredited?
Yes. But you'll miss out being in the curtain call we put at the end of our movies. Just write "DO NOT CREDIT" or some such in the credit block of the contract.

Can I use another name for my IMDB credit and/or the credit in the movie?
Yes, there's space for that -- just write it in the contract.

So when will I be on IMDB?
Every year IMDB makes it harder on us to get our listing up. So we make no guarantees. Right now they're making us show them a distribution date to be considered eligible for listing. Sheesh!

Will I get a copy of the movie if/when it comes out?
I'd love to say "yes" but the fact is that we end up having to buy copies used and such off eBay and Amazon. So no, we can't give you a copy of the retail version of the movie.

But I want a copy for my reel.
That we can do. Do you see the inordinately handsome guy over there in the fancy hat? His name is Maduka. He will have the raw footage of what we've shot in the next two days. If you can wait a few months, we'll have your footage edited together. If you wait six months we should even have final color correction and a sound mix done. Bring a hard drive and we can roll a copy of the movie off for you (or just your parts).

Are you producing under a SAG contract?

But I'm SAG. I want to do the movie anyway. Do you care?
My interpretation of federal law is that it would be illegal of me to discriminate against you based on you belonging to a labor organization. So no, I don't care. In fact, I'm not paying attention. "La la la la la!" I'm not listening!

What do you suggest I do?
You have a number of options. This, of course, does not constitute legal advice. But as an exploitative, sleazy, amoral, producer I would suggest you go "core status" with your labor union.

Isn't "eploitative", "sleazy", and "amoral", just redundant when describing a producer?

What have other people done when they're members of SAG but want to work on your movies?
As far as I know, other people have just ignored SAG and just worked on a movie, some have used a different name for our movies than their "official" SAG name. Some have been "core status". But officially I don't know and I don't care and your union status has no relation to whether you've been hired or how much I love you.

Does not being a SAG producer affect your distribution?
Yes, it makes our distributors not instantly pissed off at us for signing a SAG contract.

Can I bring home made cookies?
Yes, we'll give you an extra closeup if you do.

I have a whole lot of cash lying around and have always wanted to produce genre pictures.
Talk to me. Bring a checkbook.

OK, so what's the deal about lunch?
We're shooting a bunch of other stuff after the fight scenes and then we're going out for Chinese food. You're welcome to join us for fabulous lunch specials or just take off because you're wrapped. It's your choice.

Can I see the script?
It's right here.

I want David to name his baby after me.
Prove that you're the mother of his child and he just might.

Is that really the camera we're using? It looks like a still camera.
Yup. And you're right. But it also shoots HD. We're early adopters but in the next two years all the low-budget kids will be doing this.

You're going to put my zombie picture up on your blog, aren't you?
Hells yeah.

Sounds awesome! I'm in!
We're privileged to have you aboard.

Is there anything you've forgotten?
Be safe. Be warm. Get enough liquids. Be aware of traffic. Be aware of your acting partners. Be safe and have fun.

1 comment:

Chance Shirley said...

You write the best Q and A.