Exclusive: Writer/Producer Loren Semmens Talks Dead Season and More
A few weeks back, Image Entertainment released the zombie flick Dead Season on DVD everywhere and to support its home debut, Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with writer/producer/editor Loren Semmens about the project.
Dead Season follows a group of survivors a year after a zombie outbreak to a remote island where things aren't exactly as they seem and the undead running amok may not be the biggest threat to the residents living there. Directed by Adam Deyoe, the film stars Scott Peat, James C. Burns, Marissa Merrill and Corsica Wilson.
Check out our interview with Semmens below and look for Dead Season on DVD shelves now.
Dread Central: Can you start off by telling us how Dead Season came about?
Loren Semmens: Well, the director Adam and I had been friends for a while and we had always wanted to make a zombie film together. We took a trip to Vieques (off the coast of Puerto Rico), the island where we shot the film and that's what inspired the setting and some of the story in the film. We're both huge zombie aficionados so we knew this would be a totally different backdrop than you'd normally see in these kinds of films so we worked over the next several weeks putting the script and everything together. Then we were off and running.
We didn't want to make the same old zombie movie though so Dead Season, to us, is like the unofficial sequel to all the zombie movies that preceded it; we pick up a year after the outbreak which isn't the story audiences usually see. Most zombie movies start with the outbreak itself but we wanted to go out of the box on this and so we set our story well after the outbreak because we wanted to see just how people would really handle things.
Dread Central: You wore a lot of hats on this project- writer, producer and editor; did you find it daunting to juggle three huge aspects of production on Dead Season at all?
Loren Semmens: It was a challenge but I knew I could handle all of these roles. Producing was pretty difficult on Dead Season because we had a limited budget so we had to be very creative with our decisions. It was pretty ambitious to make a zombie movie on this island as opposed to just shooting it in Los Angeles but we knew that if we could pull it off, the rewards would be worth it.
Dread Central: Were there any problems during production on Dead Season?
Loren Semmens: I've sort of said all along that shooting on Vieques was both a blessing and a curse; sure the locations were stunning and really influenced our story but the shooting environment was incredibly hostile. When you weren't worrying about the heat and the humidity, there were bugs, weather that delayed our shoot, wild animals running around and that kind of stuff to contend with.
Because we were isolated, it made things very difficult any time that equipment would break or we'd need something for production. It wasn't like we had resources available to us there so any time we had those kinds of issues, it meant someone had to take a long ferry ride to get whatever we needed to keep working. That was definitely challenging but I think being pushed to deal with all those issues helped us make a great movie in the end.
Dread Central: Because of the ending you guys went with in Dead Season do you and Adam have a plan for a sequel if all goes well with the DVD release?
Loren Semmens: We didn't write our ending this way deliberately with a sequel in mind but we do have some ideas for a sequel if this movie does well. Hopefully, we'll get a bit more money next time and take this story to an entirely new level.
Dread Central: So what's up next for you guys then?
Loren Semmens: Adam and I have a handful of projects for different venues; we're working on some television and cable projects and a few web ventures too. Adam actually just directed a teen dance movie which couldn't be further from Dead Season but we do definitely want to get back to horror soon.
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