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Best-selling horror author John Skipp (pictured) is taking a grassroots approach to funding his planned 3-D zombie puppet musical ROSE. The splatterpunk veteran spoke to Fango and gave us the scoop about the project.
“Big-buck investors come and go, but the audience for cool zombie entertainment is incredibly loyal, and staggeringly huge,” says Skipp, whose movie—think PEE-WEE’s PLAYHOUSE meets NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD—is the story of Rose (Chase McKenna), a hot machete-juggling ex-mental patient with a cable-access puppet show who becomes an unlikely hero of the undead apocalypse. “Mixing hardcore horror and wacky bizarro is what makes it fun,” Skipp adds. “Its abnormality is its strength.”
On Monday, Skipp launched a 45-day campaign on Kickstarter—a website devoted to audience-funded creative projects of all shapes and sizes—with the goal of raising $250,000 for the live-action feature. He is appealing, in particular, to the thousands of Zombie Walk groups around the world, offering incentives that include using actual Zombie Walk footage in the film. A $1 pledge gets your name listed (“Visibly listed,” Skipp stresses) in the “Special Thanks” portion of ROSE’s credit roll. $1,000 gets you an associate-producer credit. Other incentives range from books, personal thank-you calls or Skype conversations to signed copies of the screenplay, set visits, active zombie participation and Skipp actually flying to your town to do live commentary during a screening in your own home.
“I got invited to a Facebook group called The Zombie Apocalypse,” Skipp says, “in which over 400,000 people signed up to say, ‘Yes, if the zombie apocalypse happens, I will definitely be attending.’ Several hundred thousand more remain unsure as to whether they’ll show up. I don’t know if that means they think they’ll be already dead, or what.
“But it made me think, ‘Man, one skinny dollar from each of those folks, and we could make this movie twice!’ Kickstarter’s an amazing model for funding wildly original projects that mainstream Hollywood wouldn’t touch. And those, of course, are the films we need most.”
The campaign ends on February 24, while the team—including PARASOMNIA producer Jane Hamilton and Almost Human FX—gets prepped for production. For more information and interviews, go to the Kickstarter ROSE page.
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