One way or another, the filmmakers at LB Productions in Brownsville plan to show off the results of their newly completed zombie movie, “Sick-n-Contagious.”
But Scott A. Smith and Debbie Jensen say it would be easier if they had the distribution money up front.
So the two executive producers created an account at Kickstarter.com, the website that helps creative producers find financial backing for their projects. They’re trying to raise $25,000 by the end of April to copy, package and market the hour-long film.
“It’s important to us, because we want to build a market and distribute this film,” Jensen said.
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The company can and will copy and sell its own DVDs if necessary, she added. However, “It just wouldn’t be as professional-looking as if we had a DVD company do it.”
Nearly 200 mid-valley residents turned out for the company’s zombie casting call in spring 2012, many of them already sporting their own bloody makeup and practicing their lurches and growls.
That’s how Danny Abraham, one of the film’s stars, came to be involved. One of his son’s friends called that day, he remembered.
“He said, ‘You got to get down here, the park’s full of zombies!”’ Abraham said, laughing. So on a lark, he came down, too, shuffling through Pioneer Park and gurgling, “Braaains!”
It worked. One of the production crew members came up and asked the unemployed Abraham, a welder by trade, if he’d consider being one of the leads.
“Next thing I knew, I was at the head of the class,” Abraham said. “‘Come down and pick up your script!’ I didn’t know what to think. It was exciting.”
The filmmakers spent one long day filming in and around Brownsville, then had the principal characters report back over the next several months to touch up voice work and for closeups.
All the work involved was done by volunteers, with actors and extras also doubling as makeup artists, stagehands and prop suppliers.
Smith and Jensen had hoped to be finished with the film last summer, but personnel changes, script rewrites and over-commitments by key figures plagued postproduction.
While a few tweaks still need to be made, Smith said the production essentially is finished and ready to roll.
Jensen said a grand screening is still in the plan, but that, too, takes money. She said she’s waiting to see how the Kickstarter project comes out before lining up a show.
The two dubbed the movie a “comedy-horror” picture, with plenty of blood, gore and cannibalism. Sweet Home band Project X provides the death metal soundtrack.
Something in the water has turned the residents of a handful of small farm towns into hollow-eyed, sore-studded, shambling zombies. They have an insatiable hunger for human flesh, dead or undead, and they’re not about to let a band of eight survivors out of their clutches.
The movie ends without a full resolution of the storyline, which Jensen said was deliberate.
“If we can get the funding, we would love to do a sequel,” she said.