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Happy Halloween: My Fake Trailer for 'Zompires!'

10.29.12 @ 1:40PM Tags : , , , ,

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!



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

Zack Lieberman
Damian Washington

Damian Washington
Vanessa Y. Lane
Nicholas Job
Lee Lobenhofer

Two Star Symphony

Zompire Illustration
Benjamin Edmiston

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


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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Description image 29 COMMENTS

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

  • john jeffreys on 10.29.12 @ 2:29PM

    you should make a halloween film about skateboarding ghosts

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

  • Funny Koo. Joss Whedon,The Avengers director made this: “Zomney” …Similar makeup.

    • massive lol ….. let’s move forward with Meat Romney oups sorry Mitt Romney

    • 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.

  • Innovate Imageworks on 10.29.12 @ 3:48PM

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

  • lond[on]off on 10.29.12 @ 4:51PM

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

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Post more of your work! We want more!

  • RebelPhoton on 10.30.12 @ 1:50AM

    I miss The West Side!

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Nice work man. What mics did you use?

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • Joel Vargas on 10.30.12 @ 1:58PM


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

  • Familyfirstj on 10.31.12 @ 10:13AM

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

  • you could use a good graphic designer dude.

  • 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

  • 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).