As genre fans we are quite acclimatised to the site of genre films that never saw a cinematic release taking up space on the shelves of our local DVD stores or being recommended to us by our movie download site of choice.
These films probably fall into one of two categories, low cost labours of love by genre fans or low cost by-the-numbers cash-ins solely in existence to make a bit of money, but be they one or the other they are available at bargain prices and make the best fodder for boozy, pizza coated nights in with friends, providing thrills and/or freights and/or laughs.
We’ve all heard numerous times about how low budget features are put together and the associated anecdotes from cast and crew contributing to the rides that eventually became, say, The Evil Dead or El Mariachi, DVD bonus features have made production experts of all of us, and we know that sometimes, through sheer happenstance a film defies all odds, makes waves in the mainstream and launches the careers of their creators.
But what about the films that don’t get immediately picked up and distributed a la Clerks or Monsters? What about the films that have no more ambition than to be a flick that you can randomly pick up at a low, low price and enjoy with a beer? What route do they take after their, no doubt, intense and rousing production periods? How do they get on to those DVD store shelves?
We at Fanboy Confidential intend to find out and have been handed the opportunity to do just that.
The makers of Zombie Hood, a micro budget feature, occupying the reliable sub-genre that its title would suggest, kindly invited Fanboy Confidential to sit in on their cast and crew screening the day before its sold out public screenings at the Nottingham Contemporary. There we put it to write/director, Steve Best, and producer, Susan Hayes that we follow the progress of Zombie Hood from this point through its festival/distribution plans to whatever successes it might garner, to which they generously agreed, promising access to them whenever required.
So, a little about the film to date; Zombie Hood was shot with a relatively small crew but a cast that eventually numbered into the hundreds, in and around the city of Nottingham, England and entirely utilised local talent. As stated it is a micro budget feature, which typically means that all concerned worked for zero payment, instantaneously putting it into that ‘labour of love’ category we mentioned earlier.
Its pre-production started in 2010 with the shoot proper commencing in January 2011. Shooting mainly on weekends, the production period lasted a whopping year and a half, finally coming to a close in August of 2012, with post production duties that included a musical score, CGFX, hefty editing and so forth, barrelling along at an impressive pace to have the film ready for its January 2013 premier.
On viewing it can be honestly stated that many elements that usually suffer as a consequence of a micro budget are here presented in ways that totally belie those budgetary restrictions. The music and cinematography are of a very high standard, but most notable are the scale of production and the incredible make-up FX. Only dedication of the highest order could have generated such results and the production was blessed to attract the talent that it did.
To learn more about Zombie Hood, go take a look at their official website.
Next time we will look into what the film’s immediate plans are now that this major milestone of production completion has been hit.