by: Shane Maus
Who are you and what do you do?
How did Revenge of the Dead come to be?
Me and Nikhil who had been doing the wasteland photo-shoots with a bunch of our buddies. We really want to do another photo-shoot. I really want to do SFX stuff, I really want to do monsters. He’s a camera guy, wants to photograph stuff, so lets do a zombie photo-shoot, I get to do zombie makeup and design some cool zombie stuff and he’ll get to photograph it; and that’s kinda how this Revenge of the Dead thing kinda took off.
How did it go from a photo-shoot to a film?
I was at work and a guy came in trying to find parts for a camera rig he was building. We started bullshitting about cameras and gear and he offered.. he’s like ‘Dude, why don’t you come out to my ranch? I got a ranch out in Vacaville. Why don’t you come out and do some photo-shoot stuff there?’ I said hmm, m’kay. Then he said, ‘hey wait… I’ve got a RED Scarlet. Why don’t we film a zombie movie out there. I want to do some horror stuff, and you do effects and got guns and stuff. Let’s film a horror movie, a zombie movie.’ Um, okay!
Did anything go wrong?
It’s the simple effects that end up being the biggest pain in the ass. We had a nice shot where they wanted a blood spurt on the side of a car. It’s too easy right? heh! Take one, squib goes… completely clears the car. Not a drop on it, it’s a white, like a sedan. Not a single drop on the car, it just goes right over the car. Okay, reset. Re-fix the squib. Ready? Take two.. go. I’m holding the squib the wrong direction and the director just gets it all in the face. Nobody said anything
because it was so funny. It just went right off in his face and he was like, ‘Alright, let’s go for take three’. At this point, they said, ‘If it doesn’t work on the 3rd try man, we’re just going to take a hand full of blood and throw it on the window, cuz, time.. time’. Ok, cool, so… no, I build these things, there gonna work! Set it up… third time. Ready, go! pop! .. and I’m standing too far back. and Instead of this nice WHAM! Blood spurt on the window, it’s like this ‘sis’ and everyone’s just like uh. ‘Yeah, right, whatever. Haha! Let’s just go We got more shots… more shots.
What did you take from the experience?
So, uh… towards the end I actually started having a whole lot of fun. Everyone was, .. got past the being tired part and being, you know… it was hot, of course… It was Vacaville. It was probably 98 degrees out. Um and then everyone started having a lot of fun with it and trying to come up with some cool stuff. Overall it was kinda neat. It was a really, really good learning experience. I was telling myself up until about 1 am the night before that, if this turns into a
complete train wreck at least I’m light-years ahead of doing effects stuff two months ago. I can build stuff now that I never built before. Yeah, it was awesome!
What stage is the project in now?
We should have a really cool trailer by the end of this month and I’m hoping to share it at Sinister Creature Con this year.
Watch the video version of the interview here.