Reel Zombies Press Kit
Bill "Red" Simmons acting as himself with a Zombie in Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
Clockwise from top left. Steve Papadimitriou as himself/ Producer , Michael Masters as himself/ Producer/ Co-Director/ Writer, Sam Hall as himself/ Line Producer and David J Francis as himself/ Producer/ Co-Director of Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
Stephannie Hawkins as Rebecca Hawkins/ Shelley, Steve Curtis as Keith and Dan Rooney as Basil in Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
David J Francis is the Co-Director/ Producer of Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
Stephannie Hawkins (behind) as Rebecca Hawkins/ Shelley and David J Francis as himself. David is the Co-Director/ Producer of Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
David J Francis acting as himself. is the Co-Director/ Producer of Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
Michael Masters acting as himself. is the Writer/ Co-Director/ Producer of Reel Zombies. A mockumentary set in the time of a real zombie apocalypse. Primal Films Inc. and Last Call Productions are independent Canadian film Production companies.
PRIMAL FILMS PRESENTS A LAST CALL PRODUCTIONS PRODUCTION
DAVID J FRANCIS
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS MATTHEWS AND CHRIS BELLIO
EDITED BY DAVID J. FRANCIS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS AMBER FRANCIS AND LEANNE ARMANO
PRODUCED BY MICHAEL MASTERS, STEPHEN PAPADIMITRIOU AND DAVID J FRANCIS
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL MASTERS
DIRECTED BY MICHAEL MASTERS AND DAVID J.FRANCIS
“This movie F-ing Rocks!!!” - Horrornews.net
“REEL ZOMBIES is a hilarious thrill ride and the most original zombie film of the decade.” - A Night of Horror
REEL ZOMBIES also finds time to celebrate the tenacity and dedication required to see a movie through to its completion—whether those involved are facing being eviscerated and devoured or not - Fangoria
“…one of the more original zombie stories out there” - Arrow in the Head News
“Reel Zombies…provides an explosive dose of hilarity to the zombie subgenre.” And “Reel Zombies is an incredibly funny film” - Revenant Magazine
"Reel Zombies is a film that is absolutely alive with energy” - Cranked on Cinema
The film is funny from start to finish, the humour reminds me of that great Canadian series Trailer Park Boys, and had me laughing from beginning to end – Stalk N Slash
“… the funniest feature film of the festival.“ - Nevermore Film Festival
“Best Use of a Zombie” - Renard.com
"Favourite Film of the year!” - Revenant Magazine
“fabulously entertaining and brilliantly funny zombie movie” – FAB Fest, Filmhouse
With a Spinal Tap vibe, Canadian sensibility and a great love for the zombie genre, Reel Zombies is one of the funniest and original movies I've seen in a long time. –Beaver Moose Dam
This sort of on the fly, comedic and gory independent movie is one of the reasons I love horror movies in the first place- DVD Pub
TITLE : REEL ZOMBIES
FEATURE, 2008, CANADA
DIRECTOR Mike Masters and David J. Francis
ORIGINATING FORMAT: HDV, Colour
DURATION: 89 minutes
EXHIBITION FORMAT: D-Beta, DVD, HD CAM
SCREEN RATIO: 16:9
SOUND FORMAT: Stereo (L,R)
Reel Zombies was shot in HDV on the Sony Z1-U.
Picture was converted into HD and was edited on Final Cut Pro
Reel Zombies was shot on location in Toronto, Port Hope, Desoronto, Courtice, Burlington, Plainfield and Claremont.
“When the Dead rise. The camera’s roll.”
Independent film makers set about making their latest horror film, “Zombie Night 3”, in a time of a real zombie apocalypse.
Independent Zombie Film makers, Producer Mike Masters and Director David J. Francis, the team behind the commercially unsuccessful Zombie Night 1 and 2, set about to complete their trilogy, only this time, using the real zombies that have taken over much of the world.
With a full crew and a documentarian following them all the way, Masters and Francis embark on the production of their masterpiece only to discover, shooting in a post-apocalyptic world offers many new challenges than they faced on the first two films.
Independent Zombie Filmmakers, Producer Mike Masters and Director David J. Francis, the team behind the commercially unsuccessful Zombie Night 1 and 2, have found the climate for Zombie movies has changed significantly after the “real” zombie invasion begins.
Hedging on the fact that the Zombie mayhem that has taken a grip on the nation is only a temporary problem, the film makers realize that once normalcy has returned, demand for Zombie product (now outlawed) will be at an all time high.
The filmmakers seize an opportunity to do something they were never able to before on their meagre budgets, make a memorable zombie film. This time, however, through using real zombies, the film will have an authenticity and production value previously unattainable.
They set about “bringing the gang back together” and assemble several key cast and crew members from their past productions (the ones that aren’t already dead).
With a full crew and a documentarian following them all the way, Masters and Francis embark on the production of their masterpiece. Film production at the best of time is wrought with peril, and for these intrepid film makers, it is no different this time around.
From the challenges of safely shooting with and wrangling the hoards of untrained zombies to creative differences over what the film is ultimately to be about – the filmmakers face new challenges and production gets more precarious at every step.
The entire process is documented, complete with interviews, behind the scenes footage of production meetings and shooting challenges, as the filmmakers struggle with cast and crew being eaten by their hungry zombie extras. A lack of resources to finish the film, and an increasingly high level of zombie activity cause them to reconsider their previous notion that “things will soon be back to normal.”
Despite it all, the filmmakers’ resolve to finish the film at all costs leads them down some dangerous paths, and forcing them to make some difficult creative choices to keep the cameras rolling at all times.
It’s all the challenges of shooting a low budget zombie film, mixed with the perils of surviving in a Zombie infested world. Will they finish the film and get their long deserved accolades as pioneers in the Zombie film industry, or will the making of documentary be all that’s left of their attempts to bring something innovative, fresh and devastatingly real to the screen?
Reel Zombies is a project that, unbeknownst at the time, began in 2001 when I first met Dave Francis and Steve Papadimitriou. The kernels of the idea were formed throughout the shooting of the no-budget film Zombie Night during which multiple stories and personalities began to develop behind the camera. In 2005, the team reassembled for Zombie Night 2, this time with a full-time EPK shooter following us the whole way.
It was only after watching the assembly cut of Andrew Fruman’s Doc “The Good, the Fast and the Cheap : The making of Zombie Night 2”, that I realized something – though the films themselves were not well directed, written or produced; the antics of us behind the scenes were infinitely more entertaining than the actual films. I took that footage and filed it away along with the film, pulling it out occasionally to sate that undeniable need we all have to see ourselves from the unbiased eye of a camera. It revealed all our veiled insecurities, mannerisms and ultimately, the truthful story of some incompetent film makers just trying their hardest to make a good zombie movie.
In February of 2007, David J Francis and I went to the EFM in Berlin to sell Zombie Night 2 amidst the clutter of other better made, more appealing and superiorly marketed films. Though not an overwhelming success or failure, the trip did give us the chance to spend a lot of time reminiscing about a lot of the stories from behind the scenes of what was becoming our Zombie Night franchise. What could we follow it up with?
I came up with the idea of Mock Doc of us making a zombie film, in a time of “real” Zombies. That singular thought was all I needed. Within an hour, the story and cast of characters had taken shape. I immediately made 5 phone calls: David Francis, Stephen Papadimitriou, Sam Hall, Paul Fler and Andrew Fruman. Each was hooked by both the concept and, I’m sure, the narcissistic desire we all had to play ourselves on camera.
Within one month, we had a script and a plan. Less than a year later we had a completed film that was, to the surprise of nobody, filled with the same level of insanity, madness and humour that had accompanied the shooting of our previous 2 films. The only difference this time, it was actually supposed to be funny.
I’m very glad we made this film. In retrospect, although I wouldn’t have said it a year ago, I’m glad we made the first two films. I’m glad I was a part of them all, and I’m even more proud that we’ve turned the absurdity that was the Zombie Night films into something that is original and entirely our own. The Zombie Night films will always be seen as examples of poor filmmaking, at least in Reel Zombies, we’ve been given a chance to laugh along and aloud with our own foibles, personalities and ultimately, ineptitudes. Not everyone can laugh at themselves, but if you can, you may as well film it with some of your best friends.
The story of Reel Zombies, is in essence, a simple one. It’s the struggle of a group of film makers battling all the elements that can and do go terribly wrong during the shooting of a feature film. In this case, the circumstances extend beyond this inept group’s usual struggles with actors, equipment and locations, and brings in the new element that they are attempting to make this film in an apocalyptic world overrun by the living dead.
Mike Masters penned the script in a process he describe as “Some of the easiest writing I’ve ever done. So many of the elements were already filled in just by the nature of what we were doing. I knew the circumstances, but most importantly I knew the characters. I was writing about myself and my friends. All of us were interesting people with varying personalities that I just had to find a way to capture on the page in a realistic funny way.”
David J Francis and Stephen Papadimitriou gave notes of the first few drafts of the scripts. Francis recalls, “The script was funny. Something Mike kept reiterating during the process when all of us would come up with ideas, proved to be an invaluable guideline – none of our characters should do things or act in a way that they would not in real life. It was important for us playing the characters, since none of use are professional actors, and also establishing the rules of the world we wanted to exist in.”
During script completion, the key question of funding the film came up. “We had a full investors package”, Masters says “and we actually had quite a few people interested in putting money into the film, but ultimately, you can make one of two decisions. You either spend what could have amounted to years fundraising, or you do it for what you can afford and get it done. In this case, desiring to shoot in the summer of 2007, we chose the latter and pretty much along with some help from family, and my partner LeAnne who invested in a camera, I funded the rest of it myself.”
With the script completed and the limited funds in place, the team turned their attention to crewing and cast.” Crewing up these features is always the hardest”, says Stephen Papadimitriou. “We are always working with limited resources, but you still want to get the best people on board. Since you’re shooting a Mock Doc, you can get away with certain production elements being sub-standard, but there are other things like makeup and camera operating that you need the best people for.”
The group turned to long time collaborator Chris Bellio (editor on the first 2 films) as one of two Directors of Photography. The other was Chris Matthews, who had worked as an electrician on Zombie Night 2. Says Dave Francis “In an ideal and perfect world you get one great shooter who has the gear, the ability and the time to make a project like this work. In this case, we had that, we just used two shooters to get it., Bellio with his sense of operating and camera knowledge, and Matthews with his ability to light everything in a naturalistic way that made the film look as good as it could for what it was.” Masters expands. ”Bellio, Matthews and I talked a lot about a shooting style for the film. One thing we really tried to go for is a realism and learning curve with Fruman operating the camera. In the early scenes of the film, he’s constantly missing his framing and adjusting light levels at the wrong time, by the end of the film, he’s much more proficient. It’s a subtle thing, but I think it adds a nice touch.”
“Casting for these films is always fun” Masters says “In this case, we already had the core in place. It amazed me how many people I’d written into the script that were thrilled to be back after they read it. Dan Rooney and Steve Curtis returned as surviving actors from previous films gave us a nice link to our past in the continuity of Zombie Night 3. My ex-girlfriend and one of my best friends, Katharine Reid, came on board as our script girl and my character’s ‘love interest’ The biggest challenge was finding our ‘Shelley/Rebecca” characters. It’s a bit if a C and C music factory thing, where the female lead changes in every film. In this case, we wound up with Stephannie Hawkins who beat out a lot of woman for the part, and did a great job with it”
Principle photography began in Nov/20007 and the crew shot for a total of 26 days, “It was a great shoot” says Francis “everything that went wrong, we turned into story elements. From rain on the last day, to not having certain actors on certain days, all the things that would have crippled us in the past, only made us stronger on this one.”
The original draft of the script was a lofty 136 pages and Masters recalls “I never thought we’d shoot it all. I wrote it fat, knowing we always fall behind and cut stuff. In this case, we not only finished it all, we added scenes as we went. Some natural stories and moments just developed and shooting in this style really gave us the chance to improve and roll with it. The results were great, the only problem being we had something like 75 hours of footage for a 105 minute film.”
The editing process was a long one for Masters and Francis with the initial assembly cut coming in at 7.5 hours. “We threw everything into a timeline” Francis says, “every single interview, some of them as long as 20 minutes in length. It was the way to do it. It gave us a chance to really craft the story and find the moments that were working.”
Through there efforts, they had a 2 hour cut of the film. “The initial target was a 90 minute running time, but we were a little flexible on that” says Masters “this genre and style has certain limitations and no matter how funny and interesting you think a scene may be, you’ve really got to keep it moving. One of the nice elements of the whole EPK angle, is that you can go in and out anywhere you want. We tried to craft the film, like Andrew, our EPK editor, would have crafted his footage. Keep only what’s either plot critical or funny, ideally both.”
MIKE MASTERS – CO-DIRECTOR – PRODUCER – WRITER
WHAT WAS IT LIKE CO-DIRECTING THE FILM WITH DAVE?
“It was good, it was better than I thought it could be. We both complemented each other’s strengths well. I concentrated on structure and keeping the characters performances consistent, whereas Dave was more about building the world and fleshing it out.”
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE IN THE FILM.
“I play myself, Mike Masters, the angry producer trying to make a movie during a zombie apocalypse. There is a lot of myself in the character, in fact, it pretty much is me. Maybe a little more extreme at times, but no different than anyone is when they know they have a camera on them.”
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE OUTSIDE OF THE FILM
“I produced, wrote and co-directed the film. As well I sat in on 95% of the editing for it.”
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO JUGGLE BOTH?
“Not as tough as I thought. You’re playing yourself and it’s easy to direct yourself at that point. Anytime I did/said something (since there was a ton of improv) that didn’t sound like something I’d actually say in a similar situation, I knew it wasn’t working. It made it a little tougher directing others in scenes I was in, but I think that was only early on. Eventually, we all figured out who we were and after getting what we “needed” from a scene, we’d riff and improve and that’s where some of the funniest and most genuine moments in the film come from.”
WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THE SCRIPT COME FROM?
The idea for the script came from the feature length behind the scenes documentary of Zombie Night 2, which Andrew Fruman shot. In editing together the footage and watching it, I realized it was not only a complete film, but a funny one with interesting characters. Sam, Dave, Steve, Fler, Dan, Red, myself, we were all fun to watch on screen. I thought it would be fun to try and keep those same characterizations and translate them to a more marketable concept. I love Mock Doc, I’m a big fan of Fubar and I wanted to do something simple, original and cheap to produce.
WHAT SURPRISES CAME OUT OF THE CASTING PROCESS?
“It’s funny. We didn’t really have much to cast for. Almost EVERY single person I wrote into the script as a pre-existing character came out for it. The two exceptions were Richard Collier who was busy with his own film. He was the stunt co-ordinator on the first two films and I had all these great scenes with him being that gruff, professional by the books sort. Instead, we wound up with Renson Decastro who took it in a completely different direction and actually added a lot of humour to it. The other was Supinder Kuhr as wardrobe. She was by far my favourite “new” person involved in the film. I loved acting with her. She just had this incredible fire. She was the one person in the film whose character was in no way intimidated by me and she would keep talking and talking. I’m not used to having someone be able to shut me up and it’s fun watching some of these scenes now and watching me try and get a word in, I’m actually getting frustrated by it!”
AND WHAT ABOUT THE RETURNING CHARACTERS?
“Dan Rooney was one of the stars, in my opinion. He brought some great moments to it. His role in the script was not nearly as significant as the one he wound up playing. He just brought all these great ideas and angles. Steve Curtis was, of course, also fun to have back. We finally got to kill him in this one and it’s actually one of the major plot points of the film. A good ending to his run in the Zombie Night franchise.”
SPEAKING OF FRANCHISE, YOU ARE VERY CRITICAL OF THE FIRST TWO FILMS, BOTH IN THIS MOVIE AND IN TALKING TO YOU.
“Hey, I don’t mind making an idiot of myself. I don’t mind calling the work we’ve done with the previous two films bad. It’s just brutal honesty. None of us are delusional. Well, other than Dave, who is maybe a tad delusional. The first film was bad. The second was a little better, but still very flawed. We bit off more than we could chew both times. This time, we stuck within our world and tried to come up with a project we could do justice to.”
DAVID J FRANCIS – CO-DIRECTOR – PRODUCER
THIS IS THE THIRD FEATURE FILM YOU HAVE DIRECTED, WHAT COMPELLED YOU TO CO-DIRECT WITH PARTNER MICHAEL MASTERS?
“Mike was my first Assistant Director and Production Manager on Zombie Night. We worked so well together, I was lost when he had to hire someone else to 1st AD for me on Zombie Night 2. Usually, having two directors is a recipe for disaster, but with Mike, it seems natural. Filmmaking has never been about building credits for me, simply to entertain. Mike shares that vision.”
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO EDIT REEL ZOMBIES?
“I started out in the business as a camera operator and editor so I have always been interested in the post process. When Zombie Night 2 was completed we were having trouble finding an editor to do the feature length documentary for us, so I told Mike I’d do it. After labouring for months, I handed it to Mike, “The Doc-tor”. This proved to be the inspiration for Reel Zombies. Fifteen hundred hours of editing and audio mixing later, we’ve produced one of the funniest and most honest movies I have ever been a part of.”
HOW DID EDITING THIS MOVIE COMPARE TO OTHERS?
"We normally shoot around 25 hours of footage to edit into a ninety minute feature and we still struggle to find enough film to fill the time. For Reel Zombies, we shot over 80 hours of footage. Trying to cut a picture down to two hours and keep it moving and funny was an arduous task, but we did it. I managed to edit this project from home. This meant I didn’t have to travel or witness my young daughter sleep by the editing suite while I worked. I love editing in the comfort of my home. I can create my own schedule, but when things inevitably go wrong with the system, not having an expert like Chris Bellio available can be a real pain.”
HOW DID YOU FIND DIRECTING YOURSELF AND MIKE? USUALLY YOU HAVE ACTORS THAT AREN’T NECCESARILY FRIENDS OR CO-WORKERS STARRING IN YOUR FILMS?
“This was certainly different. Mike, Steve, Sam, Fruman, Stevie J., Rooney and Curtis were all involved in the first and/or second Zombie Night movies. Mostly, they were crew, so it was interesting to work with them in this different capacity. Overall, everyone was professional. As far as directing myself, I’d rather Mike do that and in-turn, when he was in front of the camera, I offered my suggestions to him. It worked out.”
WHAT STARTED YOU OFF WITH THE IDEA TO MAKE A TRILOGY OF ZOMBIE FILMS?
“There was never any intent to make a trilogy. In fact, the first movie was supposed to be a horror/thriller very similar to 28 Days Later, but we couldn't get the budget needed. Instead, my wife and I decided to make a low budget horror called Zombie Night. When it came to making another picture, my banker told me about a $50K loan available for small businesses. I grabbed it, called Mike and told him we were making a sequel. As for the third movie, Reel Zombies, it is by far the most entertaining of the three, and hopefully the last zombie movie I produce for a few years. I need a break!”
WHAT’S THE GREATEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE FACED IN GETTING YOUR VISION OF THE ZOMBIE AFTERMATH TO THE SCREEN?
“Making it believable. When you have a limited budget, a small crew and no time, it's very difficult. With Reel Zombies, we had the time, the people -- just not much cash, but we made it work as usual. As far as I’m concerned, there are two main goals in filmmaking, one, entertain your audience, and succeed where you once failed.”
STEPHEN PAPADIMITRIOU – PRODUCER
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE ZOMBIE NIGHT FRANCHISE?
Well, the legend goes, I answered an ad I saw online and became the first crew member hired on to the picture.
THAT’S PRETTY UNORTHODOX, FOR THE KEY GRIP TO BE FIRST ON BOARD.
Well Dave and Zombie Night didn’t really follow any of the conventions of film making. I think that’s why people responded to the film, Dave really made the movie his way.
NOW YOU WERE THE PRODUCTION MANAGER ON ZOMBIE NIGHT 2 AND ARE NOW ONE OF THE PRODUCERS ON REEL ZOMBIES. HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO MAKE THE LEAP FOR THE FIRST FILM?
By the time Zombie Night 2 two came around I was losing interest in gripping; I had made some of my own films and really wanted to have more say in the film making process. I asked Mike if I could have the chance to PM ZN2 and he said yes. We’d worked on many projects since ZN and I guess he felt he could trust me not to screw it up, I didn’t (at least I think I didn’t) and that’s how I got Reel Zombies.
YOU ENDED UP BEING A CHARACTER IN REEL ZOMBIES. HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT MIKE WRITING ABOUT YOU?
I thought it was pretty funny. I like to think that we (Mike and the cast of RZ) have a good sense of humour about ourselves. I also can be vain, so it definitely stroked the ego even if it didn’t show me in the best light. I got to see myself on screen.
DOES THAT MEAN YOU WOULD ACT IN SOMETHING ELSE?
Only if I can play myself.
NOT BEING AN ACTOR, HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA?
Surprisingly fun and easy. Mike and Dave really made it easy to get comfortable and just let us be ourselves.
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF DURING THIS PROJECT?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I learned something about myself, but I did learn more about directing and how to work with actors.
CAST AND CREW BIO`S
MIKE MASTERS (Co-Director/Producer/Writer) – as Himself
Mike Masters is an award winning writer and producer of commercials, shorts and feature films. His work has screened at festivals all over including Sundance, Slamdance, TIFF, AIFF, AFF and VIFF.
A writer all his life, Mike has written six feature screenplays. He has sold options on two of them, placed as a Finalist in The Hollywood Next Success Screenwriting Contest, a semi finalist in the 2006 AAA Screenwriting Contest and in the summer of 2000 he had a short play produced off-Broadway at the Pulse Ensemble Theatre in New York. He was the recipient of the 2001 Edward R. Rollins' award for Outstanding Screenwriting. He has optioned 3 of his scripts to date, including his latest, “Sight Seeing” in 2010.
When not producing independent films, he works extensively in the commercial world. He has produced spots for Northern Reflections, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Cogeco, Logitech and KFC to name a few. His spots have won a myriad of Bessies, Ice Awards and Marketing awards.
Reel Zombies is Mike’s 8th produced feature including “Zombie Night”, “Zombie Night 2 : Awakening” and “Your Beautiful Cul de Sac Home”. He also Line Produced Jerry Cicoritti’s “Blood” starting Jacob Tierney and Emily Hampshire, as well as Robert Budreau’s “That Beautiful Somewhere” starting Roy Dupuis and Jane MacGregor and “2.22” in 2008, His latest “The Corridor” with equity financing from NSFDC and Telefilm.
Reel Zombies, marks Mike’s debut in feature film directing as he co-directs with long time partner, David J Francis in bringing closure to a saga of films they started in 2001.
DAVID J. FRANCIS (Co-Director/Producer/Editor) – as Himself
David has loved storytelling all his life. As a child, he would create and record comedies and horror stories on his cassette-player. Drawn to the stage, he was active in both high school and community theatre and even dabbled in stand-up comedy.
David continued his studies in the theatre arts program at Algonquin College in Ottawa and later at the University of Ottawa. It was at the latter that David became a volunteer at the university’s television show TV Zoom. There Dave met his future wife and producing partner Amber. David dedicated himself to the show, often working up to seventy hours a week in addition to a holding several jobs while maintaining his full-time university studies. Within two years David was at the helm, producing, hosting, writing, shooting and editing the highly-successful sketch comedy show.
After a move to Toronto, David began auditioning for roles in the film industry. Through his involvement, David met many individuals who shared his desire to produce features, including Michael Masters, who would become David’s partner in creating films that have been consistently engaging and engrossing. David has five other feature films written and one slated for production in 2009.
STEPHEN PAPADIMITRIOU (Producer) – as Himself
From a young age, Stephen knew that he wanted to work in the film business. Watching movies like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm street on his families tiny 14' combo TV/VCR, Stephen developed a love for the horror genre. Not understanding how films were made, thinking that the actors decided how things were done, he started to participate in theatre at school and going to acting camp in the summer. As he got older, he would direct friends in elaborate scenes after hours of watching movies.
Years later, answering an ad looking for crew for a zombie feature, Stephen meet Dave and Amber Francis, the director/producer team of Zombie Night. Putting convention aside Stephen was the first person hired onto the show, this was unusual because he was to be the Key Grip, a position usually filled much later in the film making process. Hitting it off with Dave and Mike, who came on as the PM/1st AD, the three began their lasting friendship.
Working as a grip, Stephen was able to be a part of many set and see how each was run. Realizing that gripping wasn't not longer satisfying, he made a shift to Production Managing. The Zombie Night franchise was there to make this transition possible with Zombie Night 2 – The Awakening. Teamed up with Dave, Mike, and Sam again they set out to out due themselves one last time with Reel Zombies.
In between zombie movies, Stephen has managed to write, produce, and direct four short films. Ranging from horror to satire to post apocalyptic destruction, Stephen has created his own style of film making.
SAM HALL (Line Producer) – as Himself
Sam Hall has been involved in the film industry since the late 90’s Having held many positions within the industry, he’s done it all: lighting, writing, editing and production co-ordinating, which he still insists spelling with a hyphen. Reel Zombies represents his first real acting role.
Sam is currently an editor for film and television, having worked on webisodic shows, short films and TV. He is one of the few crew members of Zombie Night, who came back for all subsequent films.
PAUL FLER (Production Manager) – as Himself
Paul Fler was born in Cambellford, Ontario - a small town comprised of farmers, ranch hands and former circus performers. It was there that he discovered his love for film. After trading his Radio Flyer single speed bicycle for an 8mm camera, six year old Paul made several movies (most of them involving GI Joe figurines and combat strategies). He spent most of his early twenties writing a novel that will never be published. After losing his job as a waiter, Paul Fler volunteered to work on ZN2. He has continued to rock the film world ever since.
ANDREW FRUMAN – as Himself
Andrew Fruman has been involved in various production roles over his 7+ years in film. In 2005, he shot the behind the scenes document for Zombie Night 2. It was called “The Good, the Fast and the Cheap” and the project proved to be the inspiration for the concept of Reel Zombies.
DAN ROONEY - as Himself/Basil
Dan began his acting career at the young age of 12 and received honours when he started acting classes at 14. Dan starred in "Unhealthy to be Unpleasant" at 17 then joined a traveling theatre group. In 2002 he took a starring role as Jesus before becoming Basil in "Awakening.
STEVE CURTS - as himself/Keith
Steve Curtis is the only cast member to have been in all 3 films. Zombie Night, Zombie Night 2: Awakening and Reel Zombies. Steve is originally from Manchester, England, but now lives in Toronto with his wide and 3 children.
STEPHANNIE HAWKINS – as Rebecca Hawkins/Shelley
Stephannie is a stunt performer/actress working in the Toronto Film and Television industry. Born and raised in Toronto, Reel Zombies is her first lead role in a feature film.
CHRIS MATTHEWS – Director of Photography
Chris Matthews has been working in film for the past four years. Although still fairly new to cinematography, Chris has had the pleasure of shooting many independent short and feature films with many young directors. Chris is looking forward to meeting new people with original ideas and blazing a new trail in cinema.
CHRIS BELLIO - Director of Photography
A former Ryerson Film Student Chris branched off and formed Timecode Production almost six years ago. Working on independent movies and shorts Chris found that he can get the same sort of thrill in the corporate market. To put the food on the table Chris creates ads and marketing tools for companies across Canada and has become widely touted in the marketing industry for being a company that can deliver impossible deadlines. Chris still manages the occasional feature or short but does it for the art... definitely not for the money.
Official Film Festival Selections
Fantaisa Film Festival in Montreal, Canada
MOTELx Lisbon International Horror Film Festival
Australia’s Melbourne Underground Film Festival
B-Movie Film Festival in Syracuse New York
Hells Half Mile Film Festival in Bay City, Michigan
New Beijing International Movie Week
Flint Film Festival in Flint, Michigan
Nevermore Film Festival, North Carolina
Another Hole in the Head international Film Festival, San Francisco
Mockfest International Films Festival Hollywood
International Film Festival Ireland
The Indie Fest in California
Revenant Film Festival in Seattle
A Night of Horror Film Festival in Sydney, Australia
Horrific Film Fest in San Antonio Texas
Bram Stoker Film Festival in Whitby, England
Cinefantasy International Film Festival, Brazil
Honolulu Film Festival, Hawaii
Macabro Film Festival, Mexico
Grimm Up North, Manchester UK
Best Feature Film – Revenant Film Fest
Best Foreign Feature – B-Movie Film Festival
Best Cinematography – B-Movie Film Festival
Award of Merit – The Indie Fest
Bronze Palm Award – Mexico International Film Festival
Director’s Choice – Best Feature Film - A Night of Horror, Sydney Australia
Best Cinematography – Mockfest
Aloha Accolade Laurel - Honolulu Film Festival
Best Picture – A Night of Horror, Sydney Australia
Best Director - A Night of Horror, Sydney Australia
Best Special Effects - A Night of Horror, Sydney Australia
Best Foreign Feature – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Best Director - – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Lead Actor – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Lead Actress – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Supporting Actor – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Supporting Actress – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Best Music B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Best Cinematography – B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Best Editing - B-Movie Film Festival, Syracuse, NY
Best Feature Film – Revenant Film Fest, Seattle
Award of Merit – The Indie Fest
Bronze Palm Award – Mexico International Film Festival, Mexico
Best Feature – Mockfest, Hollywood
Best Cinematography – Mockfest, Hollywood
Best Special Effects – Horrific Film Fest, San Antonio Texas