So it’s been a little bit since I had a real post. And it will be even longer than that.
Just to recap: the movie, “As Good as Dead or: I Was a Teenage Prom Queen!” has gotten into Dragon*Con’s 2010 film festival. This is exciting news for several reasons, the chief of which is that this has been my goal from the film’s inception.
Shortly before Katrina, I came up with the germ of the idea for this movie before a Brown show, back when it was still at True Brew Downtown. It was a simple idea: there are never pretty zombies. Not necessarily unscathed, just attractive. From there, a title and a quote immediately popped into my head: “Attack of the Killer Prom Queens” and “Is it still necrophilia if they can move?” Of that idea, two things survived into the final product, that of the latter bit of dialogue and the idea that geeks would be the only ones left to stop the zombies.
Ironically, I had not seen Shaun of the Dead yet, though I had seen Spaced–Pegg, Frost, and Wright’s BBC series that led to Shaun and Hot Fuzz–Clerks, Pulp Fiction, and a shitton of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, all of which informed the writing of the movie. After Katrina, recently dumped and finding myself living with a much earlier ex-girlfriend in Denver, with no job and nothing to do all day, I wrote until it was done.
The next year, I went to Dragon*Con for the first time. For those not in the know, Dragon*Con (which btw is a bitch to write with that asterisk every time, but I’m obviously OCD about words) is the largest mixed science fiction and fantasy convention in the country. San Diego ComicCon is the largest convention of any type, but technically is supposed to be about comic books (although it is now more a Hollywood event and a bit of a catch-all itself). Dragon*Con is intentionally a mix of comics, anime/manga, science fiction and fantasy television, movies, etc., and it has yet to be invaded by Hollywood producers. Most of the TV and movies promoted there are not popular or already cancelled/bombs in the eyes of the public. But for the attendees, these are fandoms that are very close to their hearts — little clubs that are usually just them and a few friends, and combined with the little clubs of others, a sort of cross-country family occurs. You know you’ll probably like somebody if they love the same stuff as you. You know you probably don’t want to talk to someone who doesn’t like Firefly. I knew at once that with a script like mine, if I ever made it, I wanted it played there, and played there specifically. A Manga/Anime con would get the anime joke and the video game jokes, but get most of the others through periphery. A comic book con would get most of the tone but miss a lot of references. A mixed con on this scale would have someone laughing at every point. And geeks get so little respect and attention, we love things that pander to us in the slightest way. My script went out of its way to not just bring up the things we love, but respect my characters. Just because they’re weird does not mean they’re inhuman. Just because they’re caricatures does not mean they’re stereotypes.
I ran into the right people, made the right friends, and with their help, we started making a movie I had never intended to make myself. I thought, “Maybe I could sell it. I’d still like it to go to Dragon*Con.” Since I was 8 or 9, I had wanted to be a film director/writer, but I had let the director part lapse over the years, and had to find my eyes again over the course of the year or so we filmed it. We had no money and at times I went to sleep and dreamed about the film. It consumed my life. I’ve held very little real jobs during the process, and was a bit of a burden on my friends. But I always was that. Now I was doing something they believed in, something we all believed may be our ticket to the lives we want, or at least slightly cooler ones.
Now we’re in the festival, and I couldn’t be more excited. I sent off the DVD today, and I’m working on making the one that will be for sale, as well as a Blu-ray edition. Life is getting stranger and cooler by the second. I’m trying not to wait for the other shoe to drop and just enjoy the ride.