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An Interview with Sergio Myers, Director of Zombinator

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2012

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Your upcoming film The Zombinator - in a few words, what is it going to be about?

 

A fashion blogger documentary turns into a zombie horror nightmare when college students come face to face with the undead in Youngstown Ohio. Their only hope of survival is a former soldier turned zombie killer, The Zombiantor.

 

With The Zombinator being a zombie movie, is that a genre at all dear to you, and your genre favourites?

 

It's a genre I wanted to venture into as a filmmaker for a long time. I'm glad I did and I've received an amazing response from zombie fans around the world.

 

The Zombinator starts out as a documentary about a fashion blogger before things turn ugly. Why on earth of all things a fashion blogger?

 

In our present times people spend a lot of time on social media, they live online and it reflects the current state of society. Joanne as a fashion blogger seems to be a person the social media generation could relate to. I wanted to make it feel as real as possible and keep the audience wondering... unable to predict what will happen next.

 

What were your main inspirations when writing the story for The Zombinator?

 

The inspiration for The Zombinator character came 30 seconds after meeting Joseph Aviel. I meet this gentle giant in Florida and before we could finish our hand shake told him "I'm going to put you in a movie, there's no script but trust me it will be great". I felt like Johnny Depp playing Ed Wood, lol.

 

The inspiration for the story came when I visited Youngstown Ohio. The vacant buildings, the people of Youngstown who are working as hard as they can simply to maintain and survive. Living a life like this can make you feel like a zombie. The stories from some of the people I met inspired me to put a spotlight on this city and create a movie centered around them and give them something that they can be a part of.

 

The Zombinator was filmed without an actual script as such, right? Why, and as the director, how do you see to it that your actors make it from point A to point B nevertheless?

 

It takes a lot of trust from your actors. The idea is to get a perfect balance of what, when and how to tell them what you need at precise moments. Then of course they have to trust you. All of the ideas and scenes are flowing around in my head like puzzle pieces and I just pull out one piece at a time, and this is what I give to the actors.

 

According to my information, The Zombinator was filmed in a short 4 and a half days, which I suppose must have lots of pressure on you and your cast and crew. So what can you tell us about the shoot as such and about the on-set atmosphere? And would you ever consider making another (zombie-)movie in 4 and a half days?

 

Joseph Aviel, Patrick Kilpatrick, Sergio Myers

It went extremely well. I was extremely surprised at how well everything went, considering at times we had upwards of 300 people on set who just wanted to be involved. I would do it again in 4.5 days and right now working on ideas for The Zombinator 2.

 

Your lead villain is played by veteran actor Patrick Kilpatrick. Why him, and what was it like working with him?

 

Patrick Kilpatrick is simply an amazing actor and all around great guy. When he speaks on camera, just simply just want to watch what he says. Funny thing when I first spoke with him about the movie which was about ten days before filming began, he said this was the first time in 30 years he'd done a movie without a script. I thank him for trusting in me and my process. He also came on board as a co-producer.

 

The Zombinator himself, Joseph Aviel - a few words about him?

 

He is a gentle giant and a great friend. The fact this guy isn't starring in major blockbuster movies is a shock to me. People simply love him. He's extremely talented, works really hard on being his best. I believe he trained every day preparing for this role.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast and crew?

 

There were 8 other cast members that applied to a casting I sent out. I had over 5000 submissions from NY, Chicago and LA. I held casting by skype and ended up with 8 other main cast members. The cast are extremely talented. They truly did an amazing job improvising the scenes and trusting me as a director. As for the crew, I can't say enough about how greatfull I am for their hard work and commitment to the movie. Most of them were from the Youngstown area and just wanted to be involved. The zombies were also from the Youngstown area and were great with to work with. Everyone was really committed to the project. The movie would not have been possible without the help of the Youngstown people.

 

Of course, no zombie film without blood and guts - so what can you tell us about the gore effects in your movie, and was there ever a line you refused to cross regarding on-screen violence?

 

We decided to go old school with The Zombinator. Basically the gore and zombie effects team consisted of 3 people who are hardcore zombie and horror fans and most importantly artists who created everything on the spot. As far as crossing a line, I think should be up to the individual filmmaker to make a choice on how they want to be represented.

 

It might be too early to ask, but when and where will your film be released, tentatively?

 

Officially not sure but planning on a few special screenings in different areas, starting with Youngstown sometime August, September.

 

Any future projects beyond The Zombinator?

 

Yes, The Zombinator 2.

 

Let's go back to the beginnings of your career: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?

 

The first project I ever worked on was an horror film and since then I've always enjoy this medium. I studied communication theory.

 

As far as I know, you actually started out as a documentary filmmaker. What can you tell us about making documentaries as opposed to shooting fiction, and could you talk about your documentaries for a bit?

 

Documentaries are unpredictable, you never know what story you will get. My first major documentary was on the Heaven's Gate Cult and then I ended up producing, directing E! True Hollywood Story. The cult story was extremely tragic and moving. Documentaries take a lot out of you emotionally (and financially).With fiction you have control of the story.

 

You have also had your hands in reality TV, right? What can you tell us about that aspect of your career?

 

Reality television seemed an obvious field to jump into. It was a way of telling stories over multiple episodes and focusing on individual stories around characters and creating character arcs. I really enjoy making reality television.

 



After documentaries and reality TV, what made you take the plunge and start filming fiction?

 

I felt it was time. I wanted to great a new genre and blur the lines between reality and fiction.

 

Any of your pre-Zombinator-movies you'd like to talk about?

 

LA Love Story Part 1 and LA Love Story Part 2. They are short dramas inspired by a few events in my own life as a reality television creator/producer.

 

How would you describe your directorial style, and could you talk about free flow filmmaking for a bit?

 

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Keep the audience guessing. Due to the massive success of reality television and the collapse of the independent film industry back in 2008, I created the "Free Flow Filmmaking" genre as a new way for future indie filmmakers to make a powerful, interesting and cheap movies. This is the age of Youtube, the social media. This genre "Free Flow Filmmaking" is current with the age we live in. A lot of big blockbuster movies spend millions to get this look. I've made two other movies with this genre. Jordon Saffron: Taste This! starring Rachel Hunter, Steve Schirripa and myself, and Becoming Pony Boi. If any filmmakers want to give this genre a try and would like some help, advise, send me a message at www.facebook.com/directorsergiomyers.

 

Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

My official FaceBook: www.facebook.com/directorsergiomyers

The Zombinator official: www.facebook.com/thezombinator 

Twitter: @7ponies

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003265/ 

 

Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Thank you for taking interest in The Zombinator.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
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Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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