The Skeleton Crew's Michael J here. DEAD SEASON is not your typical zombie flick. This one has bite!
When a worldwide viral outbreak leads to a plague of zombies, two survivors flee the chaos of America to a remote island, hoping for a chance to start a new life. What they find is unrelenting horror. Beyond the hordes of the flesh-hungry undead, the other people already on the island force the pair into a fight-or-die battle amongst themselves. Armed only with crude weapons, they must descend into savagery and cutthroat tactics just to make it through each day. Packed with cutting-edge action and insane gore, Dead Season is a riveting new spin on the zombie genre!
Recently I had the opportunity to have an interview via email with Producer, Writer, & Editor Loren Semmens to discuss how the movie came to be, getting into film, and more! Read on for the interview....
MJ: How did you become interested in film?
LS: My mother went into labor while watching Last Tango In Paris. Upon
hearing Marlon Brando's voice, I needed to get out into the world. I
grew up in Rochester New York which is the home of Kodak, and my
father was a documentary filmmaker. Film has always been a part of my
life, so I'm a direct result of my environment.
MJ: What are some of your favorite movies? Did they influence DEAD SEASON
in any way?
LS: Blue Velvet, 8 1/2, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Three Amigos. I like
fish out of water movies, which is a theme in Dead Season. When Elvis
and Tweeter are forced to integrate into a new community, it touches
on that classic story.
MJ: You played the role of writer/producer/editor for DEAD SEASON. Which
was the most challenging and why?
LS: On this particular project, producing was the most difficult. We had
a very limited budget when making Dead Season. As a result, producing
called for a lot more creative decisions than normal. We couldn't
just throw money at problems to fix them. Instead, we needed to
really work with our resources and what was available. For example,
the entire first 10 minutes of the film were completely redone. This
took many meetings on how to best utilize the footage we already shot
to save money, but at the same time do a solid job of introducing our
MJ: Did you run into problems during production?
LS: Shooting on Vieques, the remote military island off the coast of
Puerto Rico was a blessing and a curse. The locations were stunning,
but it was an extremely hostile shooting environment; heat, humidity,
sand, water, insects, wild horses, rain... We were separated from any
type of camera and equipment support so whenever something broke, we
would have to send a crew member on a ferry ride to the main island
and wait for their return the next morning. Additionally, we shot
during hurricane season, which led to many a torrential downpour. We
had entire shooting days cancelled due to weather.
MJ: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into the industry?
LS: Start shooting now. So many people wait until they have their opus
project, or simply write scripts that sit on their shelf. Just go
shoot. This day and age, it's practically free with all the
advancements in technology. Additionally, utilize and build a fan
base now. There's no need to be located in Los Angeles anymore
considering so much entertainment is independently produced and winds
MJ: What's next for you?
LS: We have a handful of projects for different venues. Some are larger
that we are pitching to networks and studios. Others are features
that we plan on producing on our own through independent financing.
MJ: Would you like to expand to other genres aside from horror?
LS: Absolutely. The horror genre is a fantastic stepping stone into the
feature world, as it's possible to complete a film with a reasonably
unknown cast and low budget, yet still gain exposure.
I want to thank Loren for taking the time to answer these questions. He's very insightful and I wish him luck on all of his future endeavors. DEAD SEASON is available on DVD now!