Rhiannon Irons, a.k.a Ahlephia, here with a nice surprise for all Indie horror movie lovers. Want to be a part of creating a unique zombie film? Then you might want to read on as I sat down with Indie filmmaker AD Lane to talk about his project INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD.
Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing author John F.D. Taff and Hollywood actor Muse Watson. Now I get to add another name to the ranks. Indie horror filmmaker, AD Lane, whose creation is a new take on the field of zombies and promises to be something we’ve never seen before. We talk about his film INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD, as well as why he chose to fan fund the entire project and what’s next on the agenda for him.
Without further ado, ladies and ghouls, AD Lane.
AD: It was actually a dream of mine in my last year of film school. I had a couple of well known filmmakers come in to do a talk about the industry and their advise was to not trust anyone with your film ideas – they gave a pretty horrible description of the film industry, basically due to how they had been screwed over with their projects, and when I began thinking about INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD, I took a lot of what they said and I guess it was out of fear, that the idea for me to fan fund my movie came about. There was also a few projects that hit the net in 2006, showing that people was warming up to backing ideas online, the biggest problem in the UK, if you was to go through a funding body, or investors or even a studio system, the movie you originally wanted to make, wouldn’t be the film you end up making, the money people have to tick all the right boxes to make sure their risk is low and the return is huge, and for me, a lot of the best horror films have been independent and have come from true horror film fans wanting to make their ultimate horror movie. That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what inspired me to go all or nothing into the world of crowd funding to make my movie and my dreams come true.
REI: What advantages and disadvantages have there been in regards to the funding?
AD: Well… haha, the biggest disadvantage is time. You have to put a lot of time and patience into using the internet to fun fund. Unfortunately, when I first attempted it and failed, the internet was not ready for such a crazy concept. Back in 2007 no one wanted to back a film. It wasn’t until 2009 that people began to take notice and I guess ultimately began taking my project seriously, so much so that people began donating, but again, without a fan base you spend a lot of your time fundraising and getting very little in return. That’s where patience kicks in, and with using twitter and doing monthly twitter film fundraising marathons, it was less about it being a chore and more about it being fun. That’s the key. If you’re going to go all out to make it work, you must make it fun for you and for those watching your journey unfold. Over the course of the next couple of years I did 18 monthly no sleep film fundraisers, ranging from 50-107 hours. The advantage to this, it helped spread the word of the project, but the disadvantage was it began to deteriorate my health, I was becoming a zombie to make a zombie movie. Hmm, guess there is irony there.
REI: How much have you raised so far? Is it enough to get your film done?
AD: We have raised close to 80% of our overall budget, which means we can concentrate on shooting, the other 20% will cover the post production and will be fund raised as I go through post production. The idea has always been to have enough money raised to make the film in its various stages, so we can do exactly what we need to do. A lot of people frown at this way of crowd funding, but then, a lot of people frown at crowd funding in general. I personally frown at people who don’t do everything in their power to make their dreams a reality, or people who begin, find it tough and quit. This project has been my life for over 6 years. I’ve shown no sign of quitting, and my passion is still as high as it was the day I left film school back in 2007.
REI: You state on your site that INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD is an original concept. How does the film differ from other zombie films?
AD: Yeah… I’m a huge fan of the original Romero zombie movies. I also love the comedic take on it like in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD as well as ZOMBIELAND. Then we have a trillion other zombie movies either so poorly made that they are unwatchable, or they’re just the same movie made over and over again. When I began developing my idea, it was to make something new and original. The zombie genre is unfortunately dying rapidly or getting lost in the hundreds of low/no budget zombie movies being made each year, so in late 2006, I came up with an original idea that didn’t even focus on zombies, but instead on something called the NOT QUITE DEAD. Don’t get me wrong, our film will have zombies but they’re not the main focus. First of all our main focus is characters, story and yes, we do have some big zombie sequences. So I guess to answer your question, the fact we have something called the NOT QUITE DEAD is what makes our film original, and we hope people like our take on the genre.
REI: What can you tell us about the film’s production, cast, crew and storyline and how close are you to filming and distributing the movie?
AD: We are just putting the full crew together as I write this, so they will be announced shortly, but what I can say is this: We have a group of incredibly talented filmmakers who are just breaking into the industry and it’s amazing to know that INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD will give them something to really get their teeth into but being on such a small budget it means every person on the crew has to bring an incredible energy and passion for us to do the almost impossible. We are about 70% cast now, with a few of the smaller roles left to do, which will be happening over the next month, and our ultimate goal is to have a finished version of the movie ready for Halloween 2013, so all our backers will be able to see it online that evening, even if its not 100% completely finished, for what ever reason, our goal is still to put it online for them to see and be the first to see it. Afterall, if it wasn’t for all these amazing people, we wouldn’t be in a position to make this movie and my ultimate dream a reality.
REI: How did you come up with the concept for the film?
AD: The actual NOT QUITE DEAD concept came from a simple idea, that just evolved, and when you watch the film, I believe a lot of people will see quite a few classic horror movie influences. After all I’ve been a huge fan of 70’s and 80’s horror movies all my life and when you get a chance to write your ultimate horror film, its impossible to not be influenced by certain movies. I’m actually going to add in a horror movie drinking game to the special features so every time you think something has been influenced, you do a shot, this will be very popular with the students, haha.
REI: What horror movies influenced you in making this film?
AD: Wow… ok, off the top of my head, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, DAWN OF THE DEAD, THE THING, THEY LIVE, THEM, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE FOG, FRIGHT NIGHT, GREMLINS, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.
REI: What are your all time favourite horror movies?
AD: You know what, it depends on my mood, but the two horror films that keep taking the number one spot are THE THING and DAWN OF THE DEAD, but for overallness, if that could be considered a word, the overall work or John Carpenter, who is my biggest influence, when it comes to horror movies.
AD: One of the reasons I’m so excited about making it now and completing it for Halloween next year is due to having other projects pending. My co-producer, Steve Davis, has a dream movie he wants to make called CHRISTMAS SLAY which will be our next feature project. I also have a couple of WWII films and a time travel feature I’d love to make, but one thing I’ve learnt is not to spend years waiting as it can send you absolutely nuts. But I’m pleased to say my passion is still there and I just can’t wait to start cranking these movies out, and being known for filmmaking as opposed to crowd funding, or the guy who went without sleep for 107 hours, so obviously, instantly people think I’m bonkers, haha.
REI: What is your stance on remakes?
AD: Mixed feelings to be honest. Overall, I’m not a huge fan. I mean, why fix what in many cases isn’t even close to being broken, but I say this loosely because there have been a few remakes that I do really enjoy, like the updated HILLS HAVE EYES, DAWN OF THE DEAD, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. I’m really not a huge fan of this remake era, hence another reason why I’m so excited about putting something original out there.
REI: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
AD: I’ve learnt a lot doing what I’ve done this past few years, and my biggest advice is to get out there and do it. If you have a dream, go for it. Don’t let anyone stop you or even let their negativity sway you. But I’d also give advise on not being so obsessed with making your first feature be everything you dreamed it would be. Just do the best with what you’ve got around you. I have put three years of my life into fundraising, mainly because I wanted to keep it 100% twitter fan funded, and it was that originality about my project that I loved, but it took one hell of a toll on me. Three years of fundraising can really make you down, depressed and loose sight of a few things, and so, my biggest advice is, get out there and create. Don’t follow in my footsteps, you can miss out on a lot in three years. I’m proud to have stuck to my guns and have kept my project 100% twitter fan funded, but I wouldn’t do it again, even if it meant making films with no budget. That’s what I’d do, so I can keep doing what I love.
REI: What are you hopes for the movie once it’s completed and will we have a chance to review it for Truly Disturbing?
AD: To be honest, my biggest hope is that people like it, but with me making something original and not ticking the conventional horror boxes that maybe a corporate suit would tick, I’m expecting the worst. But I do hope that the people who backed me at least like what we’ve done, and if they love it, that would just be amazing. As for reviewing it hell yeah, you can review it, that would also be amazing.
Thank you very much to AD for taking time out to answer a few questions for us.
If you like what AD has said about INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD and would like to donate you can by following AD on Twitter – @indywoodFILMS or by checking out this link. Remember, this film is 100% fan funded so every dollar counts. http://www.indywood.co.uk/
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