For Zombies Takes On High Capacity Magazines

It’s come to the horde’s attention that there’s an ongoing national gun control debate centering on a proposed ban on high capacity magazines.  We thought we should weigh in on this.  Many of you breathers feel the need to stockpile weapons in preparation of a zombie apocalypse.  Some even go so far as to prepare for a fight against government forces.  More on the former stockpiling in a moment.  As for the anti-government militia crowd, if you really think your cache of AR15s can stop a predator drone or an A-10 wart hog bearing down on your compound, you’re in for a rude awakening.  The days that a militia stood a chance against an organized military are long gone.

Go ahead and get all the high capacity magazines you want.  That’s fine by us.  Every bullet is like ringing the dinner bell.  Keep letting us know where to come calling. You might feel safer keeping your distance, but you won’t feel so secure when there’s hundreds or thousands of us surrounding your stronghold.  Blades and bats require close combat, but they’re more precise and don’t get our collective attention.  We’d rather see a ban on katanas.

We do encourage you to put in on full auto and don’t mind some perforation.  It cools us down on those hot summer days and makes for fine music in a high wind.  Good luck with the headshots, though.  You can feel like Scarface until you need to switch magazines. No matter how much you have, we know you’ll run out at some point.

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Merry Holidays From For Zombies

The For Zombies  team has been busy, busy, busy the past few weeks with editing and other end of year activities that don’t require the rending and subsequent consumption of flesh.  So much so that we realized that we weren’t going to be able to do a reprisal of our rendition of “Jingle Brains” from last year’s A Very Zombie Christmas.

But have no fear.  At last year’s Wizard World Comic Convention in Philly, John and I had the good fortune to have a run-in with Santa Claus.  When we saw the jolly old elf walking by our booth, we looked at each other and said “We must film Santa!”  We had a quick pow-wow and crafted a question having to do with elves and reindeer, then we had a friend man our booth as John and I grabbed our video camera and went shambling off in search of our prey.

Fortunately, Santa was perfectly willing to ask a ridiculous question to our zombie alter-egos!  As it turned out, Santa was involved in a video documentary project which was following him around in the off-season.  So while we were filming Santa, we had a documentary film crew filming us.  The joys of show business.

And now we present to you just in time for Christmas Dear Zombies – Epsode Six:

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Long Haired Zombie-Killing Freak #23

I looked around at the four pairs of eyes that were drilling holes in my skull, and really wished I were anywhere else but on the floor of the bar. In the back of my head, Leonard Nimoy was explaining to me how the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, or the few. As soon as he finished the speech, I had a few imaginary goons waiting to pound the farts out of him.

“Frank, I hate to be harsh on you, what with your purple testicles, and everything.” Marvin called out from across the room. “But I really need you to get the fuck outside before they burn down my home. I promise we’ll back you up if we can.”

I took a deep breath, and yelled. “I’ll be out in a minute! I need to pull my pants up!”

There is a unique and horrible sound, one I’d never fully appreciated until it was at my expense: the derisive laughter of a gang of zombies. I couldn’t do much more than listen to it, pull up my drawers over my swollen crotch-décor, and slide my katana through my belt. The .45 already had a round “in the pipe,” so I just held onto it.

“Good luck, dude. Sorry I didn’t get to meet ya until today.” Shawn said, and gave me a jaunty little wave… with a hand the size of a smoked ham.

“Likewise.”  I said, and I’m sure it came out as unexcited as I felt.

Managing good grace when people are sending out to die is an art. I assure you, it is not an art I’ve mastered, apprenticed at, or even considered attaching to my rucksack of odd hobbies. The most I could manage was a surly bow to everyone, as I turned to trudge towards the perforated front door.

I’m not going to record the litany of bad language that was tearing through my head at light speed. Suffice it to say, it was awful, multi-lingual, and could have created an international incident in the right circles.

I grabbed the doorknob, and it came off in my hand.

“Well. That’s just fucking hilarious.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes.

I pushed the door open with my gun hand, and held on to the knob. What possessed me to keep the brass turd in my hand, I can’t say. There was an up side to all of it: I was so pissed off; I forgot how badly my nuts hurt, and just kept walking.

My opponent from earlier, looking a little worse for wear, was standing on the other side of the four-lane stretch of asphalt, called Route 29. Like a good boy, I looked left, and right, before I considered crossing the street. There were at least three other shooters nearby, all of them armed with military-style machineguns. More naughty words rose to the fore of my mind, and unlike before, streamed out of my mouth.

“You micro-cephalic, creamed cheese-felching, kono ecchi yaro ga, asno del chupacabra, lame-ass, excuse for a post-apocalyptic fiend. I’ve met piles of shit scarier than you. Hell! I’ve dropped piles of shit that are scarier than you! How the hell dare you threaten my home and people I ostensibly care about—when they’re not shoving me out the front door to a certain (almost certain) messy death—when you suck so hard that you prolapse every colon that comes hear you? What the fuck? What the fuck, I say! You! Yes, you!”  I pointed at him with the doorknob. Eloquent, don’t you think so?

He actually looked taken aback.

“You,” I continued, at the top of my lungs, “and your cheap ‘I-failed-Hell’s Angels’-twenty-four hour internet correspondence class-ruffians’… can just drop your trousers and circle-jerk until the coming of the Lord! I hate you. I hate your mothers. I hate your fathers. I hate each and every one of your sisters that I violated with my massively bruised love-tackle! Your brothers aren’t worth pissing on, much less buggering until they shriek like exploding lemurs in a microwave oven!”

“Are you finished, little man?” He shouted from across the road.

I heard new rounds being jacked into the chambers of guns, and knew that my last stand had arrived. My heart hardened. My bladder let go. My embarrassment blossomed like the nerdy girl next door, after a year away at college. With nothing left to do but die, I threw that doorknob with all my might, straight at the jackass in question.

I didn’t stop to see if it hit, I just moved. I rolled left, brought up my .45, and made the head of an undead biker explode like a watermelon at a Gallagher show. From somewhere behind me, in the bar, I heard other shots ring out. When I threw myself backward, away from the zombie I put to rest. I caught a glimpse of one of the other gunmen go down with a baseball-size hole in his chest.

Grand! Support!

A few bullets tore up the sidewalk near my feet, and I spared a glance to see where they came from. My little friend, my target, the fucking apple of my eye, was clutching his bleeding face with one hand, and trying to shoot me with the other.

I guess I knobbed him. Bonus!

My moment of glee faded, just slightly, before I shot him through the eye.

(Hi, sorry for the delay. Life has been strange, hectic, and filled with STUFF. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Winter Holiday of Choice, and exhort you to share your loaf of my work with your friends in the coming New Year. Thank you for your support in 2012, and in 2013, too… provided the Mayans were wrong. Otherwise, catch y’all on the cosmic flip side! -James Crawford)

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The Zombie Casserole Chronicles – Part Six

So, we’re making a movie.  Okay, it’s a short film, but it still needs to be promoted.  We need a poster and swag to hand out when we’re at conventions and other events. That’s the direction I took this week while Sanj was busily editing and recovering from a flu.

Prior to filming with considered several ideas for an image to represent “Zombie Casserole.”  Maybe a cartoon image of a zombie carrying brain in a casserole dish or a casserole dish stuffed with zombies would be appropriate. They certainly reflected the title, but didn’t tell you much more about the movie than was conveyed in the title. The plot revolves around zombies attempting to fit into society and failing miserably.  We thought that having a zombie couple sheepishly proffering a green bean casserole gets the point across rather nicely.

This is part of an effort to get an IMDB page for Zombie Casserole.  Alas, that is not to be, at least, not yet.  We wanted to give our cast and crew recognition for their time, effort and participation with early IMDB credits; however, the site does not permit short films to be listed in post-production, only full-length features.  You win this round, IMDB, but we’ll be back.

Our make-up artists, Derek and Alicia, did a wonderful job of zombifying our horde and themselves and asked if they would be willing to pose together, as an undead couple, holding a green bean casserole in front of a green screen.   Here’s a sample raw photo. Some variation of this will eventually become the poster.

Zombie Casserole

In the mean time, I wanted to get some pint glasses together for some promotional swag.  Printing images on glass gets prohibitively expensive – maybe not for Paramount or Universal, but for those of us paying out-of-pocket we need a less pricey option.  Even two tone color printed pint glasses on Cafe Press were $15/glass.  With my order of 30 glasses, that put the cost at $450.  Ouch.  DiscountMugs.com could do the job for $202 (with shipping) which brings it down to $6.73/glass.  I could drink to that, but it would come with some compromise.

First, I had to create a silhouette from the green screen image.

Zombie CasseroleThat’s a good start, but it needs a title and a little something extra.

Zombie Casserole

Better. Now to send it off to the printer.  Part of the process involves approving any changes from the printer.  It went through two revisions.  The first one toned down the gradient on the font which came as no surprise.  The blood splatter and font is maroon whereas the silhouette remains black.

And the second solidified the font.

The font isn’t as stylistic as I would have liked.  We’ve been using Mom’s Typewriter and, despite the friendly name, it makes wonderfully creepy text when shaded red.  Unfortunately, the proofers at DiscountMugs didn’t think it would print well.  At least we get our red font.

I received a shipping notice earlier this week and expect to receive it by December 20th. Looking forward to having my first beer to go with a Zombie Casserole.

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The Zombie Casserole Chronicles – Part Five

After three weekends of filming Zombie Casserole on multiple days using multiple cameras, John and I have found ourselves with the daunting task of sifting through all the footage to correlate it to the scenes in the script.  Given that the files all have obfuscated names like MOV37345_1.MOV or are in folders called things like 19077765_1, this is a highly distasteful task.  Since this is an extremely small-scale project, we more or less remember which scenes were shot on which days – however we still need to review the clips to make sure we have the right ones.  Fortunately, we invested in a production slate so we can look at the video and determine the scene and take number from the slate.  That’s of course assuming that the slate was actually fully in frame when we were using it.  Otherwise we have to listen to the audio.

For the most part, though, we’re pretty much able to find the slates and piece things together from there.  It could be worse though.  The audio was recorded onto the video while we were filming.  Otherwise we would need to sift through a bunch of sound files, determine which files matched which video and then sync the audio track to the video file using the clapperboard on the production slate.  It’s something we may take on in another effort, but we’re not ready to take on that task in our first major effort.

As it turned out, in the first scene I worked on, I decided I wanted to use footage that was recorded on two different cameras.  We had two cameras recording the same scene from different angles and I wanted to use the different angles to make it visually more interesting.  The audio on one video file was significantly different from the other – given that on the main camera we were using a boom and a higher quality mic.  In that case, note the comment I made above about manually syncing sound?  Using the editor, I pulled the audio track from camera A, removed the audio track from camera B and then synced the audio to the video on camera B using the clapperboard.  Now I have two video tracks with matching audio.  Much easier to play with.

At this point, John and I have decided that the best tack to take is to just blast through the footage, edit all the scenes together, more or less as we have them in the script, then put them all together and look at what we have.  This cut will be *extremely* raw.  The audio won’t be leveled, won’t be cleaned up and there will be no music.  Once we have that produced, we’ll look at the film, decide what we like and what we don’t like and then recut it from there to get to our final version, which we’ll then hand over for audio work and music.

It’s a lot of work – but as each piece is completed – it’s very satisfying to watch our vision come to life.

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