Monday, July 15, 2013

ON TO POST: The Z Line (A Collaborative Short Film)

   The idea of my first apocalypse/zombie film hit me in June. Our latest short film project "Brotherly Blood" was nearing it's end and I knew it was time to start something else. It was based off of a video game (only the trailer for the game) and I felt discredited with the plot. I loved the film, but I wanted to create something original.
   I wanted to do something that was big, but wasn't going to take money or months to accomplish, so I decided making this a collab project was the way to go.


   How can I get people involved all over the world to make this film make sense knowing we can't all be together to film it? 
   So we have a small town that is quarantined because of an infection. They are cut off from the rest of the world. The perfect opportunity hit me. Why not have vloggers (because our lead character is a vlogger) outside of the town talking about the events for the opening of the film. This quickly became a great chance not only for me, but other filmmakers and youtubers to get some cross promotion. I talked to Michael Green of The Dangerous Brew about possibly doing a part for a web chat scene in the film and he was down to do that. So many chances to get faces and names from around the world. There was also many local people involved to make this a full collab project.

   Pre-production of this film wasn't that hard. I already had a hand full of local actors and actresses that were more than happy to be in a SilasRowlandTv Production. The hardest obstacle was finding locations, and the long nights of advertising to find people all over the world who would dedicate their time and skills to working with a 17 year filmmaker new to the industry. 
   When writing this film, I only had the idea of being quarantined in a town with zombies. Filming was five days away, and I didn't want to go in unscripted. So, I sat down and drained the world from my mind into Celtx. I wanted to create something that was strong in story, and less in gory. People hear zombies, and they think that's the story. No, I wanted to make something else more interesting. 
   So why not make the enemy, the story, circled around this line? Zombies can tear at your flesh, but safety being only a few steps away, and heavily guarded will torment you. It will change you. What would you do to cross a line to freedom? Locked in a tomb, our lead character must decide what he will risk to cross the line. 

   Three days, that's what I wanted to do.
   Day One came, and I was beyond prepared. Cast was ready, location was ready, and everything was perfect. I was clean, and running on 0 hours of sleep. That's right, Chris and I pulled an all nighter the day before filming because we could not stop preparing and sleep was nowhere to come. We knocked it out with an excellent DP and our shot list helped plentiful. 
   Day Two comes, and I finally have sleep. Rain threatening to stop us, our Director and DP improvised the scene to make since else where. So we were saved. That day I went in pumped to finally have zombies. I also wanted to work with Wayne Yates for the first time. Going in more motivated to do better with my acting, we knocked out a day that should have last til 8 around 6pm. Everyone did an amazing job. 
   Day Three was the best. We had so many people show up, and Gabriel Marulanda doing make-up for the first time was awesome. He honestly needs to get into that! We had a great number of talent and zombies that day. 

   Now we are in the final edit. It's looking great, and we got someone to compose music for us! Now, it's time to schedule a premiere. Should be done in the first week of August. 

   Filmmaking is something else to me. It's a job, but it's also a lifestyle. There is no right way or wrong way to do it, you just tell a story and hope the rest can understand it. If not, you, the creator, still love it. No matter what people say, you know what you wanted, so you made it the way only you had visioned. BUT STILL YOU GOT TO MAKE A STUNNING FILM!