DVC 10 - "Zombie Love" - by Meryem Ersoz at DVinfo.net

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Old October 29th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #1
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DVC 10 - "Zombie Love" - by Meryem Ersoz

Okay, so it's not exactly scary. The six-year-old audience in these parts loves it, though, so I guess I hit my mark--wholesome family-oriented gore.

I'm not much interested in contemporary horror, but I have heavy nostalgia for the B-movie horror of my youth--Chiller Theater, the World Beyond Movies, etc. I grew up in Pittsburgh, where "Night of the Living Dead" was the movie that actually brought filmmaking to our fair smoggy city, and one of my childhood friends worked for George Romero, so I'm sure that I was digging into the past a bit to cook up this zombie fare, so to speak....

This was a lot of fun to make. We had to shoot it in a very short time, because it was 30 degrees on the day of the shoot, so we were all freezing in the graveyard. Two takes on any given shot was about all any of us could stand. The zombie army shrank considerably due to thin blood. I think for the framing of the fixed camera, the number of zombies worked pretty well.

We went out for dinner afterwards in full zombie make-up and the kids complained that they were avoided at the bar (they're all 21 or older except for the victim...), so next year they want to make a film that deals with the serious issue of zombie discrimination.

It suffers a bit from the scale of the web. It's definitely better on the big screen, where more zombie expressions are perceivable and the long shots appear more threatening. But otherwise, I'm pretty happy with it and plan to cut a longer, yuckier version to show the kids. It's a 5-minute movie wearing 3-minute clothes.

Special thanks to Tommy Dolph from the band After the Party, who lent me his theremin version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" for the endeavor.

Tech details:

Canon A1s
Senny ME66
Look by Nattress, using the "Beauty" filter from the Big Box O' Tricks, I think it gave a nice creamy, contrasty look.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #2
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Meryem:

I like this film. Lot of fun, and quite an undertaking to take a crew that size to a grave yard. How did you get away with that ? :)

I liked your decision to go monochrome, something I toyed with too...and after seeing yours, wonder why I didn't. Lots of fun angles shot, and I see a bit of UWOL crept in with the animal life :)

And a happy ending to boot.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Meryem:

How did you get away with that ? :)

And a happy ending to boot.
uh, it was 30 degrees on a sunday night! it was deserted!

of course, this being colorado and all, there was still 1 hard-core runner and 1 hard-core dog-walker puffing their way around the graveyard (who runs in a graveyard?? especially surrounded by beautiful open space and moutain trails mere steps away...nutty necrotic jogger!)

you'd have to ask the victim about how happy the ending was...she was dismembered and eaten by zombies after all...my 6 y.o. called her on the phone to make sure she was still alive.

thanks for the feedback, glad you enjoyed it, chris....
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Old October 29th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Hi Meryem!

What a great film! Hey, Zombies need love too. I think the black and white choice was absolutley the only way to go.

I was having flashbacks to late Saturday night creep shows on local tv. Wonderful stuff.

Nice rack focus shots. The squirrel was priceless. The bird shots add to the drama too.

The Zombies did a fantastic job and each should be congratulated on their performance. Especially braving the elements. Being a Rocky Mountain cousin, I can completely sympathize.

Anjulie did a nice job too and looked rather tasty. Did she come with chocolate syrup?

lol on the Mmmmm! from him and the Hmmm? from her!

But I can't help falling in love with you. Terrific weird version of that song fit just right.

Yay!
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Old October 29th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #5
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The wildlife shots helped build tension! Your zombies lurched along in a really creepy, realistic fashion! One of the first shots that really caught my eye was the male zombie who tilted his head in such a way that made his neck appear as if it were broken. Not campy at all! Great makeup! Wow! I would have loved to see the expressions on passers-by as they watched a bunch of walking dead lurching through a cemetery! Using black and white was the perfect touch and that smorgasbord scene at the end just grossed me out (and I donít gross out that easily!) Thank you for the wonderful ending. Your camera work and pacing were great.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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I can't help

I can't help falling in love with the munching scene in the end.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #7
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Enjoyable film. Not scary, sorry, but I think you went the right way cutting this, because it's cool as is.
The squirrel was nice foreshadowing, sorta an odd tension builder but also a hint at something peaceful in the end.

I love the strangely unfitting dismemberment that leads to love. Very nice juxtaposition there.

Zombies looked good, though their closesups seemed more real than the far shots; perhaps it was the angle, or were they just trying a bit harder with the camera up close?

Nice location; fun story; good shots.

The whole thing could have been a bit tighter, but perhaps you went for a looser style, considering the less frightening approach.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #8
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Great look to the whole thing. The shot of the birds at the beginning made me think I was watching a Hitchcock film.

plus some funny dialog, "Grandpappy, How I never knew you.."

But the way your lead fell down, when the Zombies were after her, made me think she wanted to be eaten alive. Women are like that though, pretending one thing and wanting another. Something I never really figured out...

It was nice to see the Zombies sharing their meal, and finding true love in the end. Makes me think there is still hope for true love. True love, can overcome death itself (Didn't Billy Crystal say something like this?)
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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:20 PM   #9
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thanks for the feedback, fellas. i had a better "fall to the ground" by the victim, but she fell out of frame, and we only had enough light for two takes of everything. i actually like the stage-y fall, because it adds to the overall goofy campy feel--it was supposed to be archetypal. i wanted her to wear something white and diaphanous, but it was too damn cold for diaphanous, so we went with the innocent schoolgirl look instead.

"looser style" is an understatement, daniel...we couldn't get out of the cold fast enough. you give good, honest feedback, though, thank you.

hugh, i'm glad somebody was scared! i myself was cracking up through the entire edit.

just a production note, Tommy Dolph and Beth Shiveley, who play the closing song, built their own theremin from parts. my kind of folks!

bradley, i will pass your "tasteful" comments on to anj--she'll crack up!
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #10
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All right, Meryem, that was gross and hilarious all at the same time! My gosh, you let them eat that sweet young girl and didn’t stop the camera! ;)

I felt like I was in 8th grade again at the noon movies in the auditorium. You nailed the look perfectly. What a fun film!


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Originally Posted by Dick Mays View Post
But the way your lead fell down, when the Zombies were after her, made me think she wanted to be eaten alive. Women are like that though, pretending one thing and wanting another. Something I never really figured out...
LOL! We really need to get you into therapy, Dick. ;)
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Old October 29th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #11
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I was really curious to see what you were going to do with "zombies".

The monochrome look was great, I think color would have almost ruined what you were doing. The zombies looked great lurching and stiff moving, the "critters" almost seemed like they had been cast in their roles and rehearsed, they added to the visual treatment.

I liked your cinematography, composition and angles work well, and the editing flow was just right.

I enjoyed it!
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #12
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Watch out!! The zombies are coming!!!

Hi Meryem, this was fun to watch!

I am glad you chose to make it black and white. I agree with Bruce, using colors here would have ruined the film.
Nice to have the birds and the squirrel there too.
Well done!!
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Old October 30th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #13
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"my 6 y.o. called her on the phone to make sure she was still alive"
Funniest line I have seen in a month!!!!

This was great Meryem. Black and white worked real well.

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Old October 30th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #14
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thanks, you guys. yes, monochrome was really the only choice here, first because i was shooting for the b-movie look and second, because my victim's father is from India and the only limbs available at the local Halloween shop were decidedly caucasian. i had to keep those hand and foot shots a little darker, so it would not be so obvious.

with more time, i probably would have dabbed a little dark paint on them, but it was hard enough to convince the zombies to lick those plastic bones, though you would never know it from their fabulous snarfing noises and hollow zombie laughter. the group of sinew-chewing zombies are working on a bag of Oberto beef jerky...

one thing i learned: don't set a shoot for supper time hours or your cast will want to snack on the props before you're done with them...i should have brought 2 bags of beef jerky, instead of only one....
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Old October 30th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #15
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Hi Meryem,

The film starts off and ends with the sound of a film projector. Was this like the wedding movie for a pair of Zombies?

In true Romero fashion - Kind of makes me wonder if we're not all really Zombies.

Some very nice (and some pretty lousy) Zombie acting, nice mix.

I had some trouble with how you edited the spooky "Mars Attacks" music. Maybe you should have just let is run under the whole length of the Zombie march, including during the wildlife reaction scenes. It bothered me that it stopped right at an edit seam, and then started again later for no clear reason.

This may be nit picking, but didn't the nice young girl who had just been devoured by the neighborhood Zombies turn into the star crossed lover of one of her devourees? I always wondered how Zombie victims who seemed to be eaten completely, turned into Zombies themselves (like, there is nothing left to turn into anything, or am I wrong).
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