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Creator's Corner » Universal Dead - Kelly Parks
Tell us about your show.
Universal Dead is old school zombie horror. The setting is five years after a zombie apocalypse has all but destroyed civilization -- a setting I wanted to explore because most zombie moves are set during the zombie outbreak itself. I wanted to see what the world would be like long after and how the survivors would get by. One way we show that is with the bite check scene in episode 1. These are survivors and they don't fall for the cliche situations so often shown in typical zombie movies.
Our plan for the web series was to follow the typical business model by putting out episodes for free, hopefully building a fan base, then selling a DVD. The first season would have had 10 episodes.
I say would have because things have gone a different, unexpected, awesome way for us! Universal Dead is going to be a feature film! We're working out the final details but it will be released through Paramount sometime next year. I'm pretty sure that will make us the first web series ever to make the jump to the Big Screen.
Unfortunately this means we can't release anymore episodes but I promise it will be worth the wait when you see the movie.
Where did the idea/concept for your series come from?
My business partners and I are life long zombie geeks. We had to make a zombie movie.
We'd talked about it for a long time and originally thought about a story that takes place 50 years after the zombie apocalypse rather than just five. (We will re-visit that idea eventually). But then I came up with a new theory as to exactly how zombies work. The idea that it's all caused by a virus never made sense to me so I wrote a short script called The Presentation, about a scientist who presents the new theory as part of a demonstration that goes terribly, terribly wrong.
The Presentation became Universal Dead and served as the basis for our first three episodes. While we were working on that I wrote Universal Dead as a feature film script, which came in handy soon after.
Name some of your sci-fi influences. Any favorite movies, TV shows, novels?
My favorite horror movie is Day of the Dead (the 1985 original version, not the truly awful 2008 remake), the third in Romero's original Dead movies. I was a fan of Battlestar Galactica but I haven't been able to forgive them for that lame series finale. My current favorite TV show is Stargate: Universe.
I love the hard science sci-fi so I prefer Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, etc. I'm also a fan of S.M. Stirling and John Scalzi.
Tell us about the technical production of your show. What camera & equipment did you use? Editing software & hardware? For visual effects, etc?
We used a Panasonic HVX200 camera. That's what our brave DP was holding when he was hanging out of a helicopter to get the opening shot for Episode 1.
Can you tell us any interesting facts or trivia about your show? Any funny stories?
My ex-wife played one of our zombies in the field being shot by soldiers. I was offered the role of soldier so I could... but I declined. Too tempting. ;)
Universal Dead can be found online here.
Universal Dead - SciFinal Page
Cast & Crew of Universal Dead on set.