Your new movie How
to Kill a Zombie - in a few words, what is it about?
Killing zombies :)
prompted you to film a script by your own son Ben, and a zombie script at
was talking to me about an idea he had for a book, and I said I thought it
would make a great movie. I like to have a project to work on, and
his idea seemed very do-able. Ben had lots of creative ideas, and it
is just so much fun to work with someone with ideas. The zombie part
of it was not what attracted me to the project, it was the creative
process and the fact that it seemed like something that would be a good
Is the zombie genre something you're at all fond
of, and some of your zombie favourites?
really don't watch horror at all. I know that must seem odd, but my
husband watches enough for both of us :) I did watch Evil
I did enjoy it. But I covered my eyes sometimes...
To what extent
could you identify with your movie's brand of humour?
recognize most of the humor from my son's younger years... I am not sure
men ever lose that little boy sense of humor. As the director, I
think I only laughed when my sound guy added the groan when Norm gets
kicked. And when Ben reacts to getting hit with the shovel... that
was really funny, his reaction was great.
would you describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?
think I am very practical in my approach. I break the script down
into basic categories, come up with a shot list, make the schedule, find
locations, come up with costumes and props. I just look at each
scene and do what needs to be done.
was it like to direct your own husband [Bill
Steven McLean interview - click here] and son, what was the
collaboration between the three of you on the project like?
and Ben take direction well, and they are always very professional on set.
Ben did not think of me as his mom on set, and worked like any of
the actors would. We all work well together, and so it was a great
project from beginning to end.
Ben McLean, Bill Steven McLean
can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
cast was chosen for the chemistry they brought to the roles. We
really tried to bring the characters to life, and we did have some
specific ideas about certain characters. We did have to make
different choices for a couple of people who were not available to take
the roles that they were given.
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?
was every weekend for ten weeks, so we were a pretty close group. The
very first day of shooting was the campfire scene on a Saturday. The
crew had been to a production meeting the night before, so the first day
was a real pressure test. We started first thing in the
morning, around 7 am. We shot all day and into the night, ending at
1 am. But it was a success. After that first day, everyone
involved knew that this was not just for fun, that we (Freight Train
Films) were really committed to making a movie.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie so
it has been positive. The critics usually concede that it is fun,
despite our obviously low budget. And since a fun zombie romp was
the intention, I am happy with that.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
would love to start H2KZ... anybody want to help?
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
film career started when my husband rented a movie camera in Montana and
we made a movie with some of his Air Force buddies. Later, I filmed
and edited football highlights for my son's team. I worked on some
other movie projects that my husband was involved in, and the creative
process appealed to me. I have worked with people with formal
education... and I always try to pay attention. You can really learn
a lot from other people if you are willing to listen.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to How
to Kill a Zombie?
games helped me learn to be very steady with the camera, and to follow the
action. We also did a movie called Scooter McGruder, which taught me
how much work it is to make a movie (look for it in 2016).
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
Filmmakers who inspire you?
have respect for anyone who makes a movie. It is a lot of work. I do love the movie
The Next Three Days. Paul Haggis did an awesome
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Next Three Days,
Lord of the Rings, True
Lies, Liar Liar,
... and of course, films you really
come to mind.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Nope. I think you
did a great interview, thank you!
Thanks for the interview!