Monday, October 15, 2012

Darkness Descends - Zombies versus Vampires!

Look Ma, they turned me into a zombie!
It’s become somewhat of a running gag with colleagues in the local film industry. Yes, my hatred of Zombies. Don’t understand ‘em, don’t like ‘em, don’t want to write ‘em.

My mistake was to boldly announce this at a short film screening some time back and then repeat this assertion on social media. Well, did that ever cause a backlash!

Here I was bemused by the seeming trend that every filmmaker under the age of 25 has some pathological need to make a film where the antagonists have a top speed approximating that of a stunned, three legged wombat on Valium. Little did I know it’s the ones over 25 you have to watch out for!

I’ve put up with my fair share of zombie related gags since that fateful evening including being turned into a zombie as the above picture attests. The joy of having talented colleagues in the film business (though, truth be told, it makes me laugh every single time).

For the record:


Nup, not even co-writing.

Seriously, I don’t care if you say they’re fast zombies, swimming zombies, extra-terrestrial zombies, romantic zombies, damn well singing and dancing zombies.

Not even a Dom-Rom-Zom-Com-Nom-Nom which would be a romantic BDSM zombie comedy set in a fancy restaurant.

It ain’t ever, ever going to happen.

*Unless you’re going to throw lots of money my way!

What I do love, however, is the Vampire myth…

… with one major qualification.

I’m talking the traditional representation of vampires NOT the current trend of having them as fashion accessories for dewy-eyed teenage girls.

The issue, of course, whether zombie or vampire is how do you tackle such well- trodden material from a fresh angle?

This brings us to Two Pages A Week where my scene Darkness Descends adorns this week’s Guest Writer Monday slot. In a move sure to drive my zombie loving colleagues crazy it is indeed a vampire themed script.

I recently pitched two ideas to an actress over east, one of which might become a web series of some description; the other more suited to a feature film. The latter is the inspiration for the short scene – what if the Vampire myth is exactly that and the true origin of the Undead is one born of dark magic during a time when witchcraft was persecuted throughout Europe (and beyond) during the Dark Ages? This allows me to keep the trappings of traditional representations of vampires while pivoting to a world of magic and dark arts. I have a vague idea what a feature treatment of this idea might be – think Warlock meets Bram Stoker’s Dracula – but that is all yet to be worked out.

Two pages is precious little time to do justice to such a notion but it’s the first scripted scene along these lines. I hope you enjoy it and I’ll keep you up to date on the zombies versus vampires war that wages unabated in the Perth film industry!

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