Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interview: Nerd of the Living Dead director Stu Dodge Part 2.

Here's the second half of my chat with Stu Dodge, director of the irreverent, outrageous new zom-edy Nerd of the Living Dead. Check out the film's facebook page here for all of the updates you could ever want, plus a ton of cool behind the scenes "making of" pics. Thanks, by the way, to the 57th Fighter Group for being so cool and giving us the run of the place to do the interview. No, they didn't pay me for the plugs, although I certainly wouldn't argue with some free food. With that said, lets get to the interview...

SOC: Now that the movie is done and out, how happy are you with how the finished product turned out?

SD: I am very pleased with the picture. It came out like I thought it would come out, but I didn’t realize going into the picture how much work it was going to be. I probably need to step away from it for a month or so and then watch it and I’ll probably have a better answer. I’m not going to say I’m sick of seeing the footage, but I’ve seen this footage 10, 12, 14 hours a day for the last six months, so my perspective is skewed. When I watch it with someone else and they chuckle or are visibly enjoying something, it lets me realize I’ve got something fun and interesting there. Of course, like any producer or director, if we had more money or more time… how do I put this, there are very few things I would change unless I had a lot more resources. For what we had, I’m very pleased with what we were able to do and I’m very pleased with the performances I got out of everybody.

SOC: What have the initial reactions and reviews been like?

SD: They’ve been overwhelmingly supportive and positive. The words people have been using are “entertaining” and “unique,” which I like. The criticisms are what I expected, a sound level or film grain might not match up exactly here or there, but the process of making them even barely similar was impossible, so making it match 95% of the time, I’m very proud of that.

SOC: Currently zombies, or ghouls as they’re called in both Night and Nerd, are enjoying a big surge in popularity. Why do you think that is?

SD: Because people are so damn sick of vampires. I’m not a big fan of the new vampires. I think that’s run its course. It had a good few years run. I think zombies and ghouls are more interesting certainly to me, and I think most people, because they’re the average Joe, all f**ked up. There’s something timeless about that.

SOC: Why do you think zombies lend themselves well to comedy?

SD: Because in most cases the ghouls don’t have any real personality, I think you can pretty much do whatever you want with them and people don’t get offended. We didn’t necessarily do that in Nerd, but I think that’s a true statement. They’re devoid of their personality and their person, so they’re basically walking meat, and directors and writers feel free to do anything with them without worrying about offending anybody.

SOC: We have a couple of questions from the readers. Tyler Judd wants to know when Dawn of the Nerd will come out.

SD: It’s funny that you mention that because I just googled “Dawn of the Nerd” today, and there is a Dawn of the Nerd that has made its presence known on youtube. It’s not a full feature, but that takes the possibility of using that name out of my world. Tell Tyler that’s a very clever idea but somebody beat him to it.

SOC: Nerdy McBrant asks “What conditioner does that fool use?”

SD: That fool I suppose would be Elvin, the main character, so I’d say Brill Cream. A little dab will do ya.

SOC: Speaking of Elvin, there’s a long tradition of nerds in movies. Where would you place him on a list of all time great cinematic nerds?

SD: If he weren’t so damn tough at times I’d put him at the top. It’s been pointed out in reviews that there’s a little bit of toughness to him that kind of negates “biggest nerd of all time.” At certain points in the movie it looks like he might be able to kick some butt, and that usually isn’t…well, George McFly did that too, didn’t he? He can’t sit up there with the top five because he’s a little too strong willed.

SOC: Do you have any plans to do a similar thing with public domain movies again?

SD: In the middle of editing I was saying to myself “I will never do anything like this again” just because it was too much work. But, as I get away from that, I start thinking “where’s that science fiction picture that’s public domain? We could shoot that all on stage, and that means no exteriors in the cold.”

SOC: On Nerd’s facebook page, you teased a big announcement coming. Do you want to say anything in regards to that?

SD: No. Everyone will have to keep checking Son of Celluloid and the Nerd of the Living Dead facebook page to see what that announcement is, but it’s a big one. Let’s just say I’ve got something in the works that I can’t talk about yet.

SOC: Fair enough. Tell the readers where they can get a copy of Nerd of the Living Dead.

SD: It’s available on DVD on Amazon and it will be available in the next few weeks on Amazon for download to rent or own. We also have it available from a company called flickrocket as a flux DVD, which is basically a quicktime movie with DVD functionality. With that platform you can download just the movie just to watch or one with menus for burning. There are about five different options there. It’s also available from Egg Up. The neat thing about them is that in the “egg” along with the movie itself, you can open and read the script, you can print the poster, there’s a lot of interesting extras stuffed in this digital “egg.” That’s right now, there’s more coming up. Hopefully Netflix, hopefully hulu, hopefully voodoo, hopefully Blockbuster Online, these are all platforms that I’ve got things in the works with.

SOC: Well, thank you for joining us. Do you have any last words you want to leave the readers with?

SD: Get out there and see this and please let me know what you think of this picture. Again, besides being a narrative story front to back and a hybrid picture, since it’s derived from both Night of the Living Dead and this new scripted work, I want to know what you think about it because it’s really an experiment. I really want to get people’s feedback because, like I said, with the special announcement and the next project, a lot of it depends on the feedback from you guys that see the picture.


So there you go folks. Check out the movie. You've got plenty of options. There are links to Amazon, Createspace, and Flux DVD Video on Demand from FlixRocket on this page. The Egg Up download, which is the best picture quality you can get, is here. Also, stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled, as, if you're good little freaks, I just might be giving away a copy in the near future. Now get out there and support indie horror (and horror comedy)!

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