. This fantastic project has artists and animators from all over the world submitting sequences to "reanimate" the classic George A. Romero horror film.
The rules are simple, any style of animation you wish, just keep it black and white and sync it with the soundtrack. In the end the goal will be to have the entire film done with many different styles pieced together. A showcase of talent and styles!
I contacted Mike Schneider. He is the "curator" of this project.
- First off, what may be the obvious question, What made you think of this approach?Mike Schneider
- I was reading through an old film text when I came across the process of 'reanimation'. Reanimation is the process of re-shooting a segment of video without altering the time line or audio [music score in silent films, sound/dialog/music in films with an audio track]. This was done to explore other ways to illustrate a scene, to repair a mistake in the original shooting, or to add or remove something into / from the original screen composition. This technique has only been used on short sequences in the past... but I was drawn to the idea of using the process on an entire film. Because the term 'reanimation' holds a special place with any horror fan as a keyword for the undead, it was decided that a horror film would be the first approached completely through the process of reanimation. J.n.
- Did you already have an idea that there would be an interest by animators to do something like this?M.S.
- If you build it, they will come. Honestly, the more interesting the proposal and more proof you can offer that the resulting project will be successful, the more artists you will find who are willing to be part of the project. More artists means more work. More work means more interest. More interest means more coverage. More coverage means more viewers. More viewers means more artists. If you can maintain the interest and have some passionate artists involved, it's not a matter of if the project will be completed; just how long it will take.J.n.
- How did you first get the word out?M.S.
- I used an array of approaches including, scouting through web gallery/video catalogs, mass mailing artists I've worked with who might be interested, posts on craigslist, posts on forums, contacting sites which catalog art call to entries, quick commercial spots, contacting a few point of press... I even created a profile for the project on dating sites saying it was interested in both males and female as activity partners!
long walks on the beach
high quality animated sequence."J.n.
- Why NOTLD? Being that there are already countless remakes and "homages" to the film, why this particular film?M.S.
- NOTLD was selected because it was public domain (free use), had a dual reference to the term reanimation, and is iconic enough for the viewers to be able to follow the film through a wide range of styles and approaches.
Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated is not a remake... because the audio and structure if remained completely untouched. Unlike other projects which attempt to redesign the wheel, this one simply retreads the tires in hopes of granting it the traction to drive it into an unexplored areas... a fusion of the art house and the grind house.J.n.
- Are you, yourself an animator and did you put your own spin on a segment of the project?M.S.
- Yes, I work in traditional, experimental, and digital animation processes.
I currently have a few short clips submitted towards the project, with my favorite so far being the 'Barbara Freak out' sequence which is done freehand frame by frame in conte crayons. I also am doing the camera movement over still works, timing and assembly for the entire film.J.n.
- "Experimental" animation? What is considered experimental?M.S.
- Traditional and digital animations are defined by their process and stock media. Traditional you do by hand and digital you do by machine. Simple... Cut... Dry.
Experimental animation is when you take knowledge of both and then toy with it. I've made lenses out of everything from slide dishes of live insects to jello. I've drawn on people, trees, rocks, streets, wall... basically any surface. I've worked in alternative media like glue, tattoos, chemical/allergic reactions, eggs frying on a griddle, footprints.. I've done processes which are live and without any shooting stock. (Ex:Organizing all of the cereal boxes in the super market so if you run past them at the right speed focused on a particular point in your vision, they appear to be animated.) Sometimes I work with uncontrollable natural forces and then organize the results into animation (Ex. Shooting hundreds of hours of clouds then scanning through to find the still frames in which have the cloud in the right shapes for the animated sequence.) Even the process of establishing guidelines and collecting works from a large group of relative strangers is an experimental approach to animation. Once you know the basics of animation you begin to realize that you can work with anyone and anything anywhere. As soon as that happens, it's only a matter of time before your studio/computer can no longer contain you.J.n.
- I'm sure there are segments that you get more than a few submissions for, how do you make the choice of which one makes the cut?M.S.
- In the event, that there are multiple versions of a scene submitted, all versions will be set to the audio, uploaded and presented on zombie fan forums, All Things Zombie (American Based) and Zombie Nation (European Based), for the fans to vote on their favorites. If there is a clear winner, that version goes into the film, and other versions will go to the Bonus Features as Alternative Footage. (If the vote is split, the clips get spliced.) All artists will be accredited for their work, and all works will appear somewhere on the DVD.J.n.
- Flip side of that, what do you plan to do if there are segments that no one submits animation for?M.S.
- The film is being approached in rounds of submissions. This allows the artists involved to see what works have been submitted and what has not. Many of the artists involved have expressed interest in working specifically on working on 'filler scenes' (the little gaps which appear in between other submissions.) Between these artists and myself, there won't be any sequences which go unsubmitted.J.n.
- Some of the segments that can be seen so far in the preview and trailers appear to be completely redrawn or re-enacted, while others seem to be more of a "filter" on the original film. Is there any level of "redraw" that is not allowed? Where do you draw the line at artistic animation versus computer programmed filters, or do you draw a line?M.S.
- I don't draw any lines as to what is an acceptable and unacceptable process apart from the basic guidelines of the work being (original, black + white, and able to be set to the original audio). However, artists are encouraged to challenge (offer an alternative to send the scene to a vote) any scenes which they feel are the weak links in the film. In fact, there will be an entire round of submissions focused completely on the process of challenging/ revision before the film goes to DVD. This is a very organic system however all of the artists involved want the film to be as high quality as their work so it best represents them. After putting in all the effort to animate scenes, nobody wants the film to suffer because of potentially weaker work. When you start to draw a hard line you preclude yourself from someone to wowing you with their use of a process... but there is a check and balance system in place to keep the overall film quality higher (without those value judgments being biased by coming from any one voice).J.n.
- In the end, when the project is finished, what then? Will the complete film be available online or do you have DVD plans?M.S.
- · Wild Eye Releasing
will be giving the film an in-store/ online DVD release. CreateSpace
will be releasing an On-Demand DVD (so the film is never out of stock). There are also international releases in progress (since the film's audio and time line is unaffected, foreign language dubs and subtitles tracks can be plugged in for releases in different regions of the world.) Demonoid.com
will be officially distributing the film in digital copy (This it the first film which they are officially involved in.)
The prospectus for a gallery show featuring the film and the artworks which went into creating it are being shopped around by curators on staff in various areas of the globe.
Numerous galleries, museums, grind house/art house theaters, film festivals and events have offered the film real world screening venues. (In fact, the first round of in-progress draft screenings will be running through Agni Gallery in Manhattan, Tampa Museum of Art in Florida, and numerous smaller venues peppered around the globe.)
All releases are non-profit yielding to make the film available to the fans as cheaply as possible.
As far as shirts and other official merchandise, they are created by, and all proceeds go to, the artists whose work is featured on the specific items.J.n.
- Think you may try to do another project like this one in the future?M.S.
- The organizers of the 3 community driven zombie films (Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated [neoflux-animator.com], Lost Zombies [lostzombies.com], and Nation Undead [nationundead.com]) have formed a fellowship of cross promotion and cross facilitation. Since NOTLD:R will likely be the first of the films to be completed, after it is done I will be assisting on these other projects.
The next project I will be heading is through a similar process of mass involvement animation with the goal to create a video track for old time horror radio shows. These stories are classics which are well written and preformed but without a visuals. The audio will remain unaltered, so the project will again be true to the original media only amended with artistic works to extend the media to a new audience.
Unlike the barrage of Hollywood remakes, I don’t want to corrupt or even challenge the original media because it has earned its respect. My goal is simply to use the processes available to extend that media to new audiences. Anyone who would be interested in working with me in this process is encouraged to.J.n.
- Animating radio plays is a brilliant idea! This process has actually been done on a small scale by a group to fill in gaps of the old BBC program Doctor Who
. Much of the older episodes film has been lost but the audio survives.http://www.psfk.com/2006/08/lost_doctor_who.htmlhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jun/26/bbc.doctorwhoM.S.
- First, I must say that I love the fact that the first article refers to the process as 'reanimating'.
The process isn't even in most current film texts. I hope to see more work of this nature. Unlike remakes which attempt to improve on the story (and in the process, do nothing but alienate the fan of the original) this process embraces the fan (both the artists and viewers) while still offering up something new.J.n.
- I Really love what I have seen of NOTLD:R. The re-enactment with the Barbie dolls is frighteningly funny! (If that makes sense.)M.S.
- You should wait till you see the zombie muppet munching down on poly-fill... it's absolutely hysterical how amusing it is while still remaining true to the original scene of the feast sequence.
A big Thank You to Mike Schneider for all this information.
. Mike says a little over 30% of the film is complete.
If there are any animators, or anyone who wants to take a crack at a scene, you have till December 15th. You can contact Mike at