Friday, December 14, 2012

Interview: Joe Zerull (dir. A CADAVER CHRISTMAS) - Part Two

Interview with Joe Zerull
(director A Cadaver Christmas)- 
Part 2


We're only a few days away from our Fright Night Theatre screening of the zombie horror/comedy A Cadaver Christmas on December 16, so it's time to get into the zombie-killing holiday spirit.

To further jingle your bells and frost your snow man, we bring you part two of our interview with A Cadaver Christmas director Joe Zerull that we started over on The Zed Word - Zombie Blog. In Part One, Zerull describes the origins of A Cadaver Christmas. Now, in Part Two, learn about some of the setbacks that threatened to derail the project.

HORROR IN THE HAMMER: The music in A Cadaver Christmas has an amazing grindhouse / spaghetti Western feel. Who was involved in shaping the sound-scape of the film and how did you all work together to get the right sound you wanted for the movie?

JOE ZERULL: The music was a tricky thing for us because our first guy we hired decided to retire before we were even finished filming the movie.  His influences and style fit exactly what I was looking for…you can hear his music in our first teaser trailer we did while we were still shooting the film…it is pretty awesome.

We scrambled to find someone else to fit the bill, which delayed the completion of the film for about a year…but the music was such an important element for us that we knew we couldn't rush it.  We didn't want to just slap in pre-produced music…and we wanted a reoccurring theme in the music throughout the movie as well, and William Campbell provided that for us.

But since we were a smaller budget film, Cadaver was on the back burner for him so we hired another composer, Josh Weitzel, to add in elements and fill in the professor's flashback scenes as well as other pieces including the end credit music. Both William and Josh did incredible jobs on the film, and I think/hope their two different styles blend together seamlessly.

HITH: Hanlon Smith-Dorsey is exceptionally funny and endearing in A Cadaver Christmas. How did he get involved in the short and the feature? In what ways did he put his stamp on the character of Tom?

JZ: Dan [Rairdin-Hale, the star of A Cadaver Christmas] and Hanlon became good friends in graduate school…and I knew Dan from college before that, so when it came time to do another short film for the 48 Hour Film Project, Dan brought Hanlon along. He did an awesome job in the short, and he was very fun to work with.

Hanlon has a very lovable quality about him that just makes you laugh out loud, and Dan did a great job of writing to Hanlon's strengths during that janitor's closet scene.

Hanlon also added a lot of extra depth to his character for the film that better explains the way he is, which we ultimately decided to cutout because it didn't fit very well into the movie…but his performance was great in those cut scenes. Hanlon's stamp is all over this movie, and it goes beyond the character of Tom. 

It was very hard to get this film made with the lack of money we had, and if it wasn't for people on set like Hanlon motivating us through the days, helping move equipment, etc. - we wouldn't have ever finished it. 

He really needs to be in more films.  The drunk has definitely been the fan favorite in most festival screenings I've attended

HITH: If you got caught in the zombie apocalypse this holiday season, what holiday decoration would you use to defend yourself?

JZ: Probably a stocking full of coal


Don't forget to come see A Cadaver Christmas for yourself at the last Fright Night Theatre of 2012! Tickets are still available at Crash Landing and Bayshore Hobbies, or available at the door at The Staircase Cafe Theatre (27 Dundurn St. North) on December 16th. We have so many prizes to give out and raffle that you'd think they fell off the back of Santa's sleigh.

Don't be a Grinch! See you there.

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