It’s Halloween, the perfect day for a special limited time streaming of a zombie horror short, so say four Nottingham film companies who will today make their collaborative project The End available to view online for five hours only.
Ahead of the release we spoke to the films directors Raj Pathak and Crash Taylor to find out more about the film and the special streaming.
Both Raj and Crash are Nottingham based film-makers but with experience working in both the UK and US. As Raj tells us “Crash loves cinema and is addicted to the image. Originally from LA, he is now rockin’ the visuals and light in everything cinematography”
“Raj originally from Nottingham is bringing his LA film experience back to his hometown. He is now looking to direct his first feature film” Crash replies in reference to his co-director on the project.
The End which the pair describe as a “zombie thriller killer” tells the story of a mother and daughter taking shelter in an abandoned farmhouse, hiding from the zombies chasing them. Once the daughter is asleep we learn the mother has been bitten and the other zombies are closing in.
So where did the initial idea for the story come from?
“I read the script by Pia Cooke but it needed something else” Crash tells us, “I gave it to Tina Smith with some ideas. I have been working with Tina for a few years now and boy is she a writer!”.
As the story is primarily the story of a mother and daughter and their fight for survival the casting of the lead actresses was always going to be a key point in producing a great movie. So how did they cast the roles.
“Shelley (Draper) and I actually studied Drama at college together years ago at Clarendon and she saw that we were casting and shot me a message.” Raj tells us.
Shelley, it seems, turned out to be perfect for the role totally understanding what the directors were looking for the role of the mother.
The role of the daughter was written with Ava Nicolson in mind, someone with whom Crash had worked with previously.
“I have been working with Ava for four years and is definitely a great talent and on her way up to the big leagues.”
Of course this being a zombie thriller killer you need zombies as well as your primary cast and so a number of extras were brought in to take on the role of the undead, including at least one that NottinghamLIVE readers may well be familiar with:
“I asked for a giant zombie and Raj said Patrick Cannon would be our man!” tells Crash, referring to I’m Not From London’s Pat Cannon who plays one of the bloodthirsty walking dead in the story.
At only eight minutes long the thriller has to fit a tight story into a short time frame something that, it seems, was more difficult to get to grips with for one director than the other.
“I personally find it quite hard to write for shorts as all of my intended shorts always pan out to being at least 15 – 20 pages, thats where the fun part comes in and you have to be creative and imalgemate some scenes to condense some part of the story and by the end of it, you hopefully come away with something you’re ready to develop further… or throw it away.” Raj tells us.
Crash on the other hand finds it less of a problem because as he puts it “shorts are my thing for the time being.”
While getting a tight story into the short running time is hugely important another key factor is the looks and one area that has to be bang on is the zombies, getting the look of the walking dead is hugely important, get it wrong and you could end up with your zombies look less like scary killers and more like cheap Halloween fancy dress. Luckily for Raj and Crash they were able to call up the talents of Nik Hull at N-FX.
“Nik is a genius, we gave him the script and enough said”
One thing that is noticeable from the movie shots, and the teasers the team having been putting online are the wonderful choices made for the location of the shooting.
“I saw this location while shooting a experimental film with Ava.” says Crash, “I was told it would be demolished in 2 weeks so I called Raj and said get your butt over to this awesome location.”
Today the film will be made available for streaming online, though only for five hours, something that, unsurprisingly, they’re doing due to the day.
“Halloween, zombies, the perfect day right?”
The film will be made available on an unlisted link – making it unsearchable – and after five hours will be taken down meaning if you want to check it out you’ll have to do so between 5pm and 10pm today – after which the guys will be taking the film out onto the festival circuit.
With such anticipation around the short movie it comes as something of a surprise to learn that it almost didn’t happen, at least not with the same team involved as Crash tells us:
“It was an idea that I thought would look great on film so I approached Raj with the script and he said no, I don’t have time.”
Thankfully a break away gave Raj chance to reconsider, “He took the script on holiday and within landing he said let’s do it, the ending is killer.”
Of course a project like this involves far more than just the directors.
“The cast and crew were awesome and super talented. We look forward to working with them again sometime soon.”
So the film streams today, any final words about it to the NottinghamLIVE readers?
“Turn the lights down, crank the speakers up and watch the movie. Let us know what you think.” says Raj.
Interview by Darren Patterson