The main character of Dead @17 happens to be one of this rare breed of female and she’s kicked so much ass that she managed to get the attention of filmmaker Mark Steensland (“Lovecraft’s Pillow”), who dropped us a line today with the very cool news that he’s run with the idea of a Dead @17 short film and is now in post-production on it.
For those not familiar, Dead @17 is the story of two friends, Nara and Hazy, dealing with a zombie outbreak in the quiet suburb of Darlington Hills. The comic was created by the one-man team of Josh Howard and became one of the biggest hits in the indie comics world for publisher Viper Comics back in 2003. Steensland’s been a fan of it for a while, going so far as to interview Howard briefly for a former column he ran at Broken Frontier (read it here), so when he wanted to do another short film after the rolling success of “Lovecraft’s Pillow”, Dead @17 was the first thing to pop into his head;
“I wrote to Josh and pitched him the idea of a short film which would cover only the very beginning of the whole Dead@17 story,” Steensland told us today. “And although the film rights are owned by someone else, he gave me his blessing. So technically, what we’ve made is *just* a fan film. I can’t ever make money from it. But then that’s one of the reasons I was able to get bands like Demon Hunter, Fewleftstanding and Impellittteri to let me use their music.”
Now there’s s good piece of advice for indie filmmakers everywhere! Shooting on Dead @17: The Short Film (a working title) got rolling just over a month ago and already they’re in the post production stage, which just goes to show how passionate they were about getting the project in the can.
Though they’ve not decided how it will be released yet, Steensland confirmed that he and Howard are toying with ideas, everything from putting it up exclusively on MySpace for a limited time (72 hours, max) as well as arranging a screening in Steensland’s hometown of Erie, PA. “[But] we will definitely be on the festival circuit for the whole year,” he verified.
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