Zombie 101

Zombie 101

There are a number of departments for this short film I would have to do it myself because folks keep vanishing.

I think the irony is hilarious, though. Years back, trying to get a film off the ground, I had no money, and asking people to work with me was like pulling teeth. Now that there is money, people still disappear. Can’t take any of it personally, and maybe they just don’t think the project is a fit for them or the budget was too low. At the same time, I don’t beg and I’m on a schedule.

Earlier on, I needed a special effects person to develop the zombies associated with the screenplay. I already knew, based on the budget of the short, I wasn’t going to go the absolute ‘visual’ route. I was going to have to go with an old storytelling method of letting the audience fill in the blanks to what they ‘don’t’ see. Still, there would have to be enough ‘zombie’ created that required someone with talent to make a few things. So, when searching for that person came up blank, I had to take a couple of crash courses.

First thing I did was lock down a subscription through the Stan Winston School. Each and everyday, I’m pouring over the techniques involved to create latex masks, arms, legs, other body parts using tools and chemicals I’ve never used before. I’ve got the time to put into it to figure things out. 

I’m also practically on replay over at the Brick in the Yard website. That’s where quite a few of my supplies come from (if not Amazon). This site has some of the greatest tutorials you can ever learn from.

So, the question can be asked: “Why don’t you hire a professional mask/prop maker?” and my response is, “I tried. No one wants to work with me. No matter what I can afford to pay them.” But that can’t mean I do not do the project at all. Time is on my side and the money I would have paid a professional, I spend it on the Stan Winston School subscription and supplies. I spend a lot of time testing the process and building a battle plan. The image you see on this page is the latest sampling of a molded hand with quick placement of nails/claws to see how it would look. Still got a ways to go but I’m very pleased with the progress. 

Oh, you got to know the story to understand why body parts need to be molded as opposed to a ‘costume’. No one is wearing a mask, or being done up Walking Dead style through makeup. It might be the ‘different direction’ that scares off people.

Shit, if I pull this off, guess who might just have their own prop/mask department in-house.


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