October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween: My Fake Trailer for 'Zompires!'

A global pandemic breaks out just in time for Halloween... and election season.

I actually shot this two years ago and never released it, but in the spirit of Halloween I thought I'd post it here -- a couple of days before Halloween, given we don't know what the frankenstorm is going to do to our power/internet/etc here in NYC.

When I shot this trailer, I felt Zompires! was one of the simultaneously smartest and stupidest ideas in my notebook, and that was an intriguing combination (plus I hadn't done any comedy stuff recently). But even though it was just a trailer, it didn't seem like the right thing to release at the time, especially as MANCHILD was the idea I really wanted to pursue. However, given the political clime of this particular Hallow's Eve, Zompires! seems even more relevant today than it was when I put this together. Also, the actress in this trailer, Vanessa Y. Lane, wrote me last week asking for a copy, and I realized I'd totally forgotten about it -- and re-watching it I thought, "hey, this is actually pretty funny, I should post it!"

Here's the pitch I sent to the actors before our one-day, no budget, no lights shoot:

Zompires! asks: what would happen if a virus infected half of the earth's population -- but instead of turning us into mindless, flesh-craving monsters, the virus actually made us SMARTER? If the infection activated the 90% of our brains that we supposedly don't use, how would that change our lives? And what if it also happened to turn us into creatures that look like a cross between a zombie and a vampire? Zompires! posits that we would be filled with immediate, existential dread; that we would instantly quit our day jobs; that looking in the mirror would cause us to lose all sense of vanity; and that our familial and romantic relationships would be thoroughly tested. It's an absurdist, existentialist meditation on religious and political divineness in our country -- with totally absurd makeup.

I hope you got a good laugh or two out of it! If you did, please share it around!

Credits

Writer/Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Editor/Colorist/Blah Blah Blah
Ryan Koo

Producers
Zack Lieberman
Damian Washington

Starring
Damian Washington
Vanessa Y. Lane
Nicholas Job
Lee Lobenhofer

Music
Two Star Symphony

Zompire Illustration
Benjamin Edmiston

Protest Image Credits [CC]
Fibonacci Blue: 1, 2, 3

Technical

I shot it on a Canon 5D Mark II with the following lenses: Zeiss 28mm f2.8, Zeiss 50mm f1.4, Zeiss 85mm f1.4, Zeiss 135mm f2.8, Lensbaby Composer. I edited and post-produced it using Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Audition, Magic Bullet Suite, and Neat Video, all running on a Hackintosh.

Thanks to everyone who participated and donated their time and talents! I'm a big fan of the Houston-based orchestra Two Star Symphony and feature films should be beating down their door for original scores. Check them out! Also, thanks to Benjamin Edmiston for his original illustration of a crying zompire. It was great to be able to feature both of their works in a video (even if it took me two years to get over the negative guy sitting next to me here enough to release it).

This exists for no other reason than to entertain, so again, please share around if you liked it! And let me know what you think.

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Your Comment

28 Comments

Looks good! Blade with a really bad case of eczema! Good luck on ManChild!

October 29, 2012

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Mike

you should make a halloween film about skateboarding ghosts

October 29, 2012

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john jeffreys

That was awesome! Got me motivated for my next flick!

October 29, 2012

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Funny Koo. Joss Whedon,The Avengers director made this: "Zomney" ...Similar makeup.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TiXUF9xbTo&feature=g-all-xit

October 29, 2012

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Rob

massive lol ..... let's move forward with Meat Romney oups sorry Mitt Romney

October 30, 2012

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Davinci

Hmmm, Spam has it's own key....

Koo, Don't be that strung out military type, who has been out there too long, taking the kind of damn fool chances that will get us all killed.

November 4, 2012

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Dave

Never commented on this site... but this is too good to ignore. Awesome work!

October 29, 2012

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Innovate Imageworks

Man, koo you got stop listing to that other guy. This is good

October 29, 2012

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lond[on]off

*listening*

October 29, 2012

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lond[on]off

a zombie movie with substance. risky idea but i think you were ahead of your time. may be we could try a zombie have feelings flick next. just kidding great piece of work nonetheless. did you shoot while in film school?

October 29, 2012

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adam

Very nice work Koo! I like films that combine archetypes into a hybrid - but then you completely flipped all of the genre conventions on their head. I agree that you shouldn't have held back on releasing this film. It's very clever and funny! Also, well executed acting and visuals. Glad you released it for Halloween.

October 29, 2012

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Thanks Randolph!

October 30, 2012

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avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Post more of your work! We want more!

October 30, 2012

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David S.

This request also applies to Joe and the other NFS contributors.

October 30, 2012

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David S.

I'm working on them :)

October 30, 2012

1
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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I miss The West Side!

October 30, 2012

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RebelPhoton

Thanks! Me too!

October 30, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Hey, what picture profile did you use? Can't believe you got this image out of a MkII. When I first looked at it, I would have said C300! Colouring, sharpness, grain. Shows how much I know.

October 30, 2012

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Thanks! This was before there were a lot of good picture profiles out there, so I just shot it on Neutral with contrast/sharpening turned all the way down and color saturation halfway down.

However, the h.264 codec was quite difficult to push in post as far as I did. It's a pretty extreme grade and the footage got really grainy pretty fast -- I ended up using a lot of Neat Video to clean it up and not just on the low-light stuff.

October 30, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Nice work man. What mics did you use?

October 30, 2012

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Renico

The audio's pretty much crap but we didn't have an audio guy, so....

I used a Sennheiser G2 lav and an Audio Technica AT897 shotgun.

October 30, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks for the prompt response. I thought the indoor audio was good. Just the scene by the bridge where the gate kinda struggle. Still above average bro. Cheers.

October 30, 2012

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Renico

Damien!!!

October 30, 2012

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Joel Vargas

REALLY nice work! It's always nice to see someone who's paying attention;) Bravo!

October 30, 2012

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ba

wow your 2 years ago work makes me feel vastly inferior. ha ha

October 31, 2012

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Familyfirstj

you could use a good graphic designer dude.

November 4, 2012

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Billy

This is brilliant! I'm MANCHILD backer. If you ever want to make this ZOMPIRE movie I'll back you up. Its so good. "This isn't supernatural, this is a biological virus!" Priceless :D

November 9, 2012

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Great Stuff !

It would be awesome to have a detailled article on your post production process for this short movie.
It seems really interesting, especially the grading part with the noise cleaning (Magic Bullet Suite and Neat Video).

Thanks,
Fred

November 10, 2012

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