Your new movie Not
Another Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead - in a few words,
what is it about?
Another Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead is not just another zombie apocalypse film. We
like to call it a "zomedy" that pits a group of
"unique" individuals together who have to band together to
survive the zombie outbreak. Although technically a spoof of the zombie
genre, the characters in the film are very interesting, and some original
such the mentally retarded Oscar (David Perry), the stoner Peanut (Calvin
Evans) and the accidental asshole Mike (Jay Davis). Some of the characters
and scenarios are based off of other zombie films/show but Jay managed to
create something original with most of the script.
How did the project fall together in
the first place?
Around late 2012, Jay Davis [Jay
Davis interview - click here] asked if I'd
be interested in directing a feature film. I asked what he had in mind and
he sent me the script to Not
Another Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead. We were in the middle of shooting our 2nd
sketch comedy project when I read the script and told him we needed to do
this. I told him that the script was great and we couldn't wait for
someone to greenlight it, so we decided to try to do it ourselves.
What can you tell us about your
writer/producer/star Jay Davis, and what was your collaboration
like? And how did you two even meet to begin with?
Jay around 2011. He showed up on the set of a music video I was directing
for R&B artist J Hollins. J (Hollins) suggested that both Jay and I
could benefit from working together so we started shooting comedy sketches
that eventually became Choke on That. Jay is a very talented writer, he
could easily be writer for your favorite sitcom or TV show. I think the
combination of his brand of comedic humor and my visual and technical
skills has been a benefit to us both.
what extent could you identify with Not
Another Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead's brand of humour?
worked with Jay Davis prior to this project I've become very well adapted
to his sick sense of humor. Plus I'm a fan of the zombie genre. What some
may not know though is that I've even given Jay a few ideas that he has
incorporated into our new sketch comedy Choke on That Reloaded. Along with
Jack Johnson, we actually throw around some ideas that Jay uses and
writes. But ultimately, a good portion of what we do comes from his sick,
perverted mind, lol.
the zombie genre a genre at all dear to you, and some of your genre
favourites? And what do you think makes Not
Another Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead stick out of the
crowd of zombie movies?
I've been watching horror/zombie
films for a long time, since I was about 5 or 6 and I'm 36 now. One of the
first movies I saw and still one of my favorites is Return of the Living
Dead. It was more funny than scary and introduced me to the genre. Other
films/shows I like are The Walking
Dead, Zombieland, and the Troma
cult classic Class of Nuke 'Em High.
What can you tell us about your
over-all directorial approach to your story at hand?
always first want to get a mental picture from the script. I have a vivid
imagination but a good script puts me in a zone where I can draw a visual
from it. Secondly, I have to be able to get the emotion that the writer
intended whether it be humor, horror, suspense, etc. With Not
Another Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead, I couldn't
stop laughing while reading the script and knew immediately that I wanted
to do the film.
talk about your collaboration with co-director (and star) Jack Johnson for
a bit, and what did he bring to the table?
Jack was great
to work with as an co-director, actor and stunt coordinator. He has many
years of experience in the business and not only brought his added talent
being the stunt coordinator but was my other set of eyes on the set as the
co-director. He was also perfect in the role of Franklin, especially being
that he and Jay have such good chemistry on camera. I look forward to
collaborating with him on future projects.
What can you
tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was great although I had a lot of work to do. The first day of
shooting was actually shot at my house and over 100 people showed up to be
either zombies or victims. I only wish was able to network and meet with
more of the cast. I wasn't able to meet many of the cast members during
filming because I was usually focused on the scenes we were shooting.
future projects you'd like to share?
Well, Jay and I are
wrapping up Choke on That Reloaded, the sequel to our uncensored sketch
comedy Choke on That, which will be released this fall, and we are also
currently in the pre-production stages of Not Another Black Movie which we
plan to start shooting sometime next year. I also have various music
videos and other film projects on the table for next year.
What got you into
filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal education on the
I've wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a kid. I
used to draw a lot and did a lot of creative things as a kid but when my
parents bought me a Fisher-Price camera when I was 5, that was it. Around
age 10 I started to really study films and music videos. I eventually went
Illinois State University and minored in Cinema Studies.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior
to Not Another
Zombie Movie ... About the Living Dead?
ISU, I shot everything I could from various live performances to scripted
projects such as PSA for The United Way of McLean County which I also
wrote. My first short was a 2002 "mockumetary" which I
also wrote, directed and edited entitled The Legend of Bootnee Lee
After college I went to work in the world of TV news as a photojournalist
and editor, which is what I've done for over 12 years. In addition I've
also shot live performances, music videos and commercials.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I'm not a very
loud vocal director. If you're looking for a yeller or someone who
belittles the cast and crew, I'm not that dude. I hate that. I will
however get tough if things start to get crazy. I'm more laid back. I like
for people to be relaxed and be natural and make the role their own. I
prefer to communicate with cast members and let them know what I need from
them. I'm also always open to new ideas, although I may not always use
them. Also because I've been a TV news photojournalist for so long, I'm
used to being able to make changes on the fly if need be.
who inspire you?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, John Hughes,
Martin Scorsese, Robert Rodriguez, and the list goes on.
Your favourite movies?
The Right Thing, The Five Heartbeats, Hurricane, Selma, Goodfellas, The
Breakfast Club, Malcolm X, American Beauty, etc.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I don't like
Twilight or movies like it. As a filmmaker though, I try to be open-minded
when it comes to various projects. I do respect the work that goes into
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!