'ZOMBIE BIRDS!!!' - Short Film (2010)
When all the birds in the world disappear, a lonely woman takes her aviary obsessed boyfriend on a picnic only to find that the birds are back from the dead and hungry for flesh. Will true love prevail over the undead? Find out in this non-stop action grindhouse film! Will you survive the ZOMBIE BIRDS???
Awarded BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS for MEG (Jesseca Power) at Scream Screen (2011).
Screened at Melbourne Fringe Festival (2010).
Awarded BEST FILM at Shaved Gorilla USU Short Film Competition (2010).
Awarded THIRD PLACE at BooHoo Short Film Competition (2010).
Directed, Written, Produced and Edited // Vonne Patiag
Starring // James Tucun as Mev // Jesseca Power as Meg
Camera Assistants // Dimitri Zaunders, Chris Podger & Joe Caronna
Green Screen Assistant // Glenn Erskine
Sound Designer // Dilan Patradoon
Composer // Richard Savery
Production Assistants // Andrew Lin & Tarik Houchar
Costume // Land of Oz Costume Hire
Props // Ace Props
Production Facilities // University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Cutting Edge, Deluxe Film
Special Thanks // David Haines, Sharon Etter, Catherine Baird, Hills Shire Council & Nikita Smith for the 'zombie' idea
Filmed on location at Wiseman's Ferry, NSW, Australia
Check out the remix trailer at vimeo.com/88060546
'Zombie Birds!!!' first began as a drama script about a man who laments the disappearance of all the birds in the world (I think I had just seen The Happening by M. Night Shymalayan and thought I could do a lot better), and was going to concentrate on the relationship between a man and woman facing the onset of an ecological disaster. I pitched it to my friend Nikita and her reply was, "cool, and the birds come back as zombies right?" and ZOMBIE BIRDS!!! was born.
The idea was developed in conjunction with a University short film class, where they gave us the option of using a 16mm wind-up Bolex camera with 300ft (3 mins) worth of film. When pitching my idea around I found that a lot my classmates were opting for digital cameras and so I was able to con them into lending me their film allocations ending up with almost 1200ft at my disposal and all for free! The film was filmed on a 16mm windup Bolex camera, with all effects done in camera including exposing the film canisters and scratching the initial prints.
The idea also initially formed around a celebration of (physical) film where the film is divided by a duality between the two characters, a 1920s silent film meets 1970s schlock horror grindhouse film as well the the Japanese/Hollywood Kaiju (monster) films of the 1960s. Mev, who begins in a state of lament represents the black and white silent era of film and Meg, who turns the film into color when she begins dominating the drama, is the visceral grindhouse era of film. It was this clashing of aesthetics that foretold the production process of how we made the film, with the actors calling upon Tim Burton's ED WOOD as their main source of inspiration for the acting style. It's crass and lo-fi but I really wanted to harken back to a golden age of film where props and staging were all simplified, and where the audience had to trust the filmmakers in suspending their disbelief. I think this is achieved a lot easier when shooting on physical film, where everything just looks magical and fable-like (shoot on film!) The film remained a silent film with diegetic bird sounds for almost two years, but I finally made the decision to source a score, which my trusted pal Richard Savery stepped in for and delivered. Definitely adds another dynamic to the power struggle between the two aesthetics.
Enjoy ZOMBIE BIRDS!!! We had a lot of fun making it and I'm happy to finally share it with the world! Bloopers in the credit reel too!
PS. Yes, that is me in the bird costume.