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Exclusive: Lost Zombies: An Experiment in Community Filmmaking

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A zombie pandemic has broken out. There is widespread chaos all over the world. As one of the survivors, you want to communicate with others out there, but you aren’t sure where to turn to get your message out. What you need to do is get yourself over to LostZombies.com and tell your story.

You may be wondering what exactly is going on since there really hasn’t been an actual zombie outbreak. All of this is part of the world dreamed up by Skot Leach and Rob Oshima, the two visionaries who devised a place where people could come together in a community of collaborative storytellers.

Lost Zombies wants you to check reality at the door and play along with the zombie-filled landscape they’ve created alongside the 8,000 users on the site. When all is said and done, the minds behind the site will be crafting submissions into a feature-length film.

Leach said, “We’ve gotten over 14 hours of raw footage and 5,000 photos submitted as well as a ton of written stuff from our members. We’re still learning how to work out everything though, especially with the amount of content we have now.”

“We want to use some of the written submissions in the film itself, being read in a documentary style, and then are hoping to use the rest to compile a book because I think both ways are compelling avenues for telling a story,” Leach added. “We want the book to be an extension of our storyline because the format we’ve created allows for so many different voices to be heard.”

Lost Zombies: An Experiment in Community Filmmaking

As a long-time horror fan, Leach recognized the potential of having a community-driven zombie project. Using zombies as a plot device worked in terms of having a story subject that was flexible and engaging enough to get submissions based off of.

“We talked about a bunch of different scenarios,” said Leach. “We estimated submissions wouldn’t be much longer then a couple of minutes, so we felt we needed a theme that could allow for significant drama, suspense, and action in that time frame.”

Leach added, “Additionally the theme had to be epic in scope, it had to be something that could be happening all over the globe. Zombies felt like the perfect fit. Add to that that I have a bit of a zombie obsession.”

Of course, when dealing with the topic of zombies, the never-ending debate of slow versus fast zombies is bound to be a topic of discussion. For Leach the solution was simple: Use both.

Lost Zombies: An Experiment in Community Filmmaking“We decided that the film needed both fast and slow zombies, and because it’s really the members’ film, we let them each decide which type they want to use in their content,” explained Leach. “Honestly, fast zombies end up allowing for more scares, but we definitely still love the slow zombies for what they are too.”

“What’s funny is that obviously horror fans either go one way or the other on the topic, and the site has hosted some very heated debates on the topic. It’s great to see how passionate everyone is though, no matter what side of the debate they end up on,” Leach added.

When it first started out, Lost Zombies had an initial storyline and timeline in place. Leach soon realized that creating those restrictions really hindered the very creative process he was trying to cultivate in other storytellers.

“The only thing we’ve really put into place now is just a basic storyline,” explained Leach. “We only ask our members to keep our timeline in mind when making anything just so that we can craft a cohesive story out of user’s submissions. It was important to us that we didn’t explore how the zombie outbreak started so we’ve only set up the ‘when’ factor to the story.”

Leach added, “I think you can lose some focus if you try to figure out why it all happened and that can slow down the storytelling process.”

What makes Lost Zombies so user-friendly is the fact that the site isn’t set up so that only experienced filmmakers can take part. Pretty much anyone who has a creative streak and a story to tell can be a part of it.

Leach said, “Some people have talent, but they just don’t know where to start. With Lost Zombies, it exists in a way that allows members with lots of different skill sets to get involved.”

The community of members is at the forefront of Leach’s focus with Lost Zombies. He realizes that ultimately it’s their voices and visions that matter most and is keeping all that in mind as they start to put together the film.

“The worst thing you can do is not listen to the community,” said Leach. “Every one of our members is excited for this project and to see the finished product, especially since it really belongs to all of them. We keep that in mind with every decision we are making.”

Lost Zombies: An Experiment in Community Filmmaking

Since Lost Zombies is one of the few collaborative storytelling efforts on the Internet and one of the only places where a group of 8,000 people are coming together to make a movie, Leach has come to realize that this creative movement could end up being a game-changer in terms of making films in the industry.

Leach said, “I truly believe that our platform is an epic idea that should scare conventional Hollywood. We like to pretend along with the members that we’re overthrowing the movie-making industry.”

Leach is currently working on putting together the contributed materials into the final movie, and according to him, they are hoping to get the film moving along the festival circuit once it is finished.

“Whatever happens, in terms of the movie finding a distributor or anything that involves money, we will find a way to profit-share with our members. We just aren’t sure yet how that is going to all work out. Obviously, it will be very complicated,” said Leach.

As for the future plans for Leach and for Lost Zombies, he said, “What we’d like to do after Lost Zombies is use what we’ve done here and build a platform prototype so that the idea of collaborative storytelling can live on in other forms. If our members want us to keep Lost Zombies going beyond the movie and the projects, we’re definitely open to doing that. After all, if we didn’t have our members, we wouldn’t have a story.

Heather Wixson

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Ellen Page and The Cured Come Home to VOD

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We’ve been talking about the new zombie flick starring Ellen Page entitled The Cured for quite some time now, and we’ll soon be able to sink our teeth into it courtesy of IFC Films.

The flick stars Page (Juno, Hard Candy), Sam Keeley (Anthropoid, In the Heart of the Sea), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Infinity War, The Infiltrator), and Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, “Ray Donovan”) and is directed and written by David Freyne in his first feature film. Look for it in theaters and On Demand on February 23, 2018​.

Synopsis:
What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life—but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? Pulsing with provocative parallels to our troubled

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#Brainwaves Episode 74 Guest Announcement: Creature Designer Mike Hill – The Shape of Water and More!

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We’re getting monstrous on Episode 74 of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio as joining us will be award-winning artist, filmmaker, and creature designer Mike Hill, whose work you can see right now in a little film called The Shape of Water.

Join us this coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

Brainwaves Contact!

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The Saw Chapter Comes to Dead By Daylight January 23!

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Time to play a game of Dead by Daylight! We told you last week that none other than Jigsaw would be coming to the hit PC and console game, and today we have a brand new trailer for you detailing what to expect when the hardest working corpse in cinema history gets digitized for an all-new adventure.

Let’s Play a Game… The Pig is here to create a whole new version of hell for all Survivors. Mentored by Jigsaw, she comes carrying Reverse Bear Traps into the Realm of the Entity. So if you’re gonna play, you have to accept that the stakes are high. The SAW Chapter comes with a New Killer (The Pig), a new Survivor (David Tapp), and a new Map (Gideon Meat Plant).

Jigsaw joins the previously released original killers alongside Freddy Krueger 2010, Michael Myers, and Leatherface.

For more info:
WEBSITE: www.deadbydaylight.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/deadbybhvr
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/DeadByDaylight/
STEAM: http://store.steampowered.com/app/700280

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