LEGLESSCORPSE: The information released for ‘The Walkers’ talks about the “infected” and a virus that spreads through saliva and blood, it is indeed a Zombie flick isn’t it?
BRENDAN BYRNE: Well it’s not your average run of the mill ‘zombie’ flick… by that I mean, you don’t have to wait til the person dies to become a ‘zombie’, it isn’t based on re-animation. In fact, the word ‘Zombie’, is actually never used in the script, that’s why we prefer the term ‘infected’. This is a disease that is transferred into a host and feeds off the fresh blood in the human (or animal’s) body. But you definitely still have your ‘Zombie-esque’ style film with ‘The Walkers’, which I personally feel is a lot more terrifying, because anyone can become infected at any time. But for arguments sake, we can definitely categorise it as a ‘Zombie Flick’.
LC: How did the project come about? Where did the concept come from?
BB: The project originally came about whilst talking to a few other fellow actors about wanting to do something gritty, raw and action packed with weapons, stunts and crazy stuff. Then after the conversation ended, we all sat there and sighed, then one person piped up and said “Oh well, one day maybe when we’re all famous in Hollywood”. Everyone agreed and went back to what they were doing… I sat there and thought “Screw that, I’m not waiting… I’m doing it”. I am a huge believer that, if you want to get noticed you need product, and if you don’t have product, then you need to make your own… So I did…
I then spent the next few months looking into which genre I would pour my blood, sweat and tears (literally) into, and came up with horror, more specifically ‘Zombies’. So I began researching all zombie films, even the hilariously funny B-rate ones (which weren’t meant to be funny), and I started writing down, which ones I preferred over the others and why. What makes one film incredibly disturbing and the other corny or lame? I took budget out of the equation, for obvious reasons, and came up with a few concepts. The biggest thing I found that terrified me the most with certain films, was the reality that this could actually happen. Being infected with a deadly virus I mean, not re-animation (although that may be entirely possible also).
LC: People will argue that everything in the genre has been done before, what are you bringing to’ The Walkers’ that will make the film feel fresh and want people to get excited to seeing it?
BB: I completely agree… However if you look at it, most films in their genres have been done to death (no pun intended). Look at it from this perspective, ‘Zombie’ films have been around since 1932 with Victor Halperin’s ‘White Zombie’, which is believed to be the first ever zombie film made. Even further back in 1910 is believed to be the first re-animated corpse in the film ‘Frankenstein’… So for the past 104 odd years, we have been seeing the same thing in movies and T.V, but that doesn’t discredit the genre by any means…
I mean look at ‘The Walking Dead’ for example, it is one of the highest rated T.V Shows on air, and one of the opening scenes where Andrew Lincoln’s character ‘Rick Grimes’ wakes up in a hospital all alone, is VERY similar to the scene in ’28 Days Later’, where Cillian Murphy’s character ‘Jim’ wakes up in a hospital all alone. But even in knowing that, it doesn’t take anything away from either of them… The audience still watch them both differently, because it’s not about the scene, it’s about what is going on IN the scene. It isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey, the characters, our empathy and sympathy for them, who do we relate to the most, what would WE do if attacked by a zombie, do we agree with their tactics, BUT the unique thing that ‘The Walkers’ offers that most others don’t, is the style of ‘zombie’…
The audience need to understand, that we aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel with this film, we are simply giving the audience what they want to see more of and to be entertained. And in doing so, we have developed more than one style of ‘infected’ or ‘zombie’ if you will… We have it all, ‘The Runners’, (first infected), these guys are freakishly fast, rage fuelled with super human strength. These are the worst possible kind., and although many have tried, no-one can outrun, or over power them. Then you have ‘The Walkers’, (infected without feeding for a few weeks), these guys are a lot slower and more docile, with their flesh rotting to their bone. Due to their slow movements, these guys are hard to hear coming, but will still make a meal out of you if given the chance. And then there’s ‘The Crawlers’, (infected without feeding for a few months), However if a crawler does feed their cells will regenerate, but their legs will not, as this is due to bone density and muscle, NOT cell organisms. They are slow and quiet, and not in people’s line of site, they can fall from ceilings and have a tendency to get themselves into unusual spots where they would be least expected, which make these little deadites, ones to look out for.
LC: If everything goes as planned with financing, when do you expect the film to be ready for release?
BB: We are currently in Post-Production for our other film called ‘Blind Justice’ (www.facebook.com/BlindJusticeFilm) at the moment. So hopefully we will be squared off with that and can start principle photography on ‘The Walkers’ by mid next year, which would hopefully give it an early 2016 release. We have already started talking to certain people and companies about possible distribution deals etc., when it is finalised, which is really exciting. However the only speed bump we have is getting the funding.
LC: It looks like you have the majority of the cast locked in. Did you do a traditional casting call or are these actors people you have worked with before?
BB: Apart from a few, I had previously worked with most of the cast on past productions in some way. We all seemed to have clicked really well and we all have the same passion, commitment, drive and morals when it comes to making films. So I figured, if you are onto a good thing, why change it. I did put out a casting call, for a few of the roles, I held face to face, and also some online for those that were interstate, and actually found it really hard on deciding who to offer the roles to in the end. There is so much amazing talent in Australia, it’s like a gold mine.
In shooting the full feature film we are looking to shift the characters around a little bit, to give the film more depth and diversity, and are also looking to get at least one known credible Australian actor on board, once again if all goes well with funding. We won’t disclose who we have in mind just yet, but if secured, let’s just say… The audience will be more than pleased…
LC: As a filmmaker, what is the most exciting aspect for you in the production process and why?
BB: Well for ‘The Walkers’, I have worn a few different metaphorical hats. I am Writer, Director, Producer, Actor and Armourer. So I think I had a few exciting aspects in the productions process. But I think the whole planning stage is the most exciting part for me as a Writer, and Character Development as an Actor.
You think of an idea, then you write it down, you create a character based on that idea, you give them certain clothes, emotions, attitude, and a back story, you give them certain dialogue and make them speak in a certain way or accent, then you create that character and put them with other characters in a less than idealistic circumstance and hope for the best. Then you shoot the scene and… it is exactly how you imagined it when you first had an idea… That is the most exciting part for me, seeing your ideas become a reality. Its amazing how much actually goes into making a film. It blows people’s minds, when they hear about it.
LC: Tell us a little about your crowd funding campaign and what fans can expect as far as updates, perks, and feeling like being “apart” of the films process?
BB: We shot the Trailer for ‘The Walkers’ on location in Wallerawang (14km’s past Lithgow, N.S.W Australia) for around $4000 all up, and took us only four days. This trailer is to be used as a selling tool to show the world what we have accomplished in such a short time on little to no budget. I think it is fairly polished to be honest in most regards. However we need help in creating the full feature… Budget is tight, and we need to source more money to be able to produce the film that we know ‘The Walkers’ can be.
Our Crowd funding campaign is at www.igg.me/at/TheWalkers-Movie and our facebook page already has over 2500 ‘LIKES’, the fans are starting to appear and we need to keep them motivated. As far as Perks are concerned, it’s not money for nothing… We have signed copies of DVD’s producer credits, Signed posters, T-Shirts, props etc., so the fans get something in return for helping us out… Also if they ‘LIKE’ our facebook page (www.facebook.com/THEWALKERSMOVIE) then they can keep up to date with our competitions that we will be running from time to time, and also get to check out all our behind the scenes footage and documentary that will be taken to help promote the film when we shoot it. We are also offering a few lucky fans the chance to come on to set and check out how films are really made, and to get made up as an ‘Infected’ for a day and maybe get the gory head exploding kill scene, I know they have always wanted. When you become a fan of ‘The Walkers’ you are not just a fan, you are family. Just ask our other fans who we give shout out’s to, help cross promote, and even go out to social events with.
The Walkers will be shot entirely on location in Wallerawang (about 14 km’s past Lithgow) and in the Blue Mountains and surrounding areas. The pristine open plains embedded with the fascinating sandstone plateau and escarpments, is where we lay our scene.
The Australian Military partnered with the Australian Government to derive a drug only know as ‘C9’. It was designed to help soldiers in battle, they were promised that they would not fell fear, and would have no recollection of the unthinkable things that comes along with the ‘art of war’ therefore never suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ‘C9’ was supposed to reduce the brain’s ability to absorb the brain chemical called ’Serotonin’.
As fate would have it, something terrible went wrong whilst testing was being conducted on humans. Instead of reducing the absorption of serotonin, blocking receptors were forged that saw the brains absorption methods entirely cease…Once the human body and brain can no longer absorb serotonin, it takes away all rational thinking, turning them into a mindless killing machine.
Now the drug has been accidently released into mainstream society. Somehow it has managed to get it’s foothold in our meat market. Similar to the well known ‘Mad Cow Disease’ it is transported through the food supply and once the disease is in the blood stream, it only takes a single bite, or saliva on blood contact, to infect another host.
Find more information on this film by visiting the following links below:
Official Site: http://www.shadowwolvesproductions.com.au/
Interview With THE WALKERS director Brendan Byrne
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