Wednesday, October 24, 2012

UZS-2017 (A Zombie Short Screenplay)

For someone with a self-professed "hatred" of zombies I seem to be talking about them a fair bit. A lot of this, of course, is free masterpiece theatre.

But after a comment on facebook re my two page vampire scene that went along the lines of "loved [it] though perhaps it needed a sprinkle of zombies" I decided to up the ante and write a zombie short. Yes, Tara, you are responsible!

That decision was impulsively made at 8.27pm on Monday. In a feeble attempt at due diligence I posted the following on my timeline:

Okay, you all win. After repeated and extreme aggravation I am going to write a zombie short tomorrow. Just to shut everybody the hell up.

Now, someone give me a quick brief of the top five things I need to bear in mind apart from sticking an ice pick in my brain before I start writing...

Zombies for Dummies... go!

The responses made for interesting and entertaining reading. Pretty much none of which I took on board (skydiving, zombie romance, something to do with priests I didn't quite understand etc) as I already had an inkling of what I was going to attempt. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to break any inviolate rules not being that familiar with the genre or zombie lore. 

The following Tuesday was thrown a little out of whack when my landlady rang to say they were coming down to fix my blocked bathroom sink. While that happened I pulled out the netbook and started to write. I already had what I thought would be the opening scene in my head but another series of images intruded which became the prologue of sorts. I was told it was important to explain the cause of the zombie "infection" or whatever the appropriate term might be. This seemed an elegant visual shorthand. 

Five solid pages were written on Tuesday as I followed my nose. Normally I would be far more organised and have planned out the whole story beforehand but I was enjoying the freedom of "writing on the fly". 

You know you're onto something when you have to get up in the wee hours of the morning to jot down notes for scenes and this was duly done early Wednesday morning. Then it was off to my favourite writing haunt to finish the script the link to which is ***no longer online***. [A director is now attached so I have taken the link down as we will be seeking funding in 2013 to make this short film - RWH 4/11/12)

The title is a placeholder only - Untitled Zombie Short (set in) 2017 - so any suggestions for a better title greatly accepted. Feedback, comments, derision, scorn, donations, academic thesis papers, reinterpretations, reimaginings, reboots, reflux and offers to direct also gladly accepted.

Some people may think I am being disrespectful in writing this script. Yes, my rhetoric has been colourful, my push back theatrical but I would say this in reply...

I am in the downtime period between drafts of a new feature project waiting for more detailed notes from my director and ScreenWest. So I have that most precious of screenwriting resources - time. With that time I have been doing small paid gigs such as scenes/monologues for actors and script notes for varying projects/teams. That money has been allowing me to scrape by as my financial situation is now parlous at best. Writing this short took my mind off other things, namely writing job applications and cover letters which I will have to return to as a matter of priority but simply didn't have the stomach for at this particular moment. 

Then there's this - it's actually quite refreshing to write something outside your normal Goldman-esque wheelhouse. You can decide whether I have pulled it off or not but I appreciated both the distraction and the challenge. 

So there you have it. A script about a zombie... from me of all people. Done in a little under two days. It is, of course, only a first draft but perhaps there is potential for something here. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you to everyone who has read the script. I have been buoyed by the positive feedback. Including a few nibbles of interest from directors. If you are interested, send me an email at to discuss.