This week I was contacted via the 5D website asking whether I'd be interested in covering a new post-apocalyptic short film, FLESH AND BLOOD. In fact, the message went on say that the film is so new that the version I was sent as a super-secret-cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die-if-I-divulge-the-source-death-scenario wasn't quite the finished product. The the edit is fully done and mixed, the only thing that isn't yet completed is the final colour. Now as I'm just a simple blogger and oblivious to the mechanics of filming (as also to most other things in life) and didn't understand a word of what that means, I nevertheless decided to read on.
It seems that the team are currently working around the clock (minus sleep and coffee breaks I assume) in which they're going to finish the whole process before their first festival. As a consequence, they are currently in the last throes of a Kickstarter campaign which is designed to help with the final post-production elements - but more of the crowdfunding campaign in a moment or two.
For those of you out there reading this blog (haven't you anything better to do?......... No, neither do I) you may be feeling a little jaded with the seemingly never-ending production line of post-apocalyptic variations that proliferate movies, TV and magazines. If truth be told, though I personally am not bored as yet with this contemporary obsession for the genre, I do foresee a time in the near future when there will be a feeling of enough is enough and another genre will become the latest flavour of the month. As long as it's not a return to sparkly vampires......
However, when it comes to this film, well my friends there's no need to worry because the genre with FLESH AND BLOOD is in safe hands, adding it's own distinctive layer to the classic zombie apocalypse 'we're all going to go stark raving crazy before we die' scenario.
When an apocalyptic virus threatens to turn her father into a violent monster, 18 year-old Max must lead him and her younger sister, Ellen, through a perilous mountain range in hope of finding a cure on the other side.
With Max willing to risk it all to save her father, and Ellen willing to do anything to protect herself and Max, the small family finds itself not only struggling for survival against incredible odds, but also being torn apart from within.
I really don't want to anything overly detailed about the plot of a film that runs just short of 18 minutes for the fear of giving to much away. For a start, it simply looks wonderful. There are those who may argue that with a backdrop of the stunning Californian High Sierra and the alta plana and burned forests of the Tehachapi Mountains, it would be difficult to go wrong. However all too often the incredible imagery used in small budget filming can at best simply paper over the cracks of the narrative, or at worst can detract from it completely. It has been the filmmaker's clear ambition to use the backdrop as a way towards setting the film apart from other projects of this scale, here under the directorship of Merlin Camozzi (what a bloody brilliant name), that intention is achieved.
FLESH AND BLOOD is quite simply not your run-of-the-mill zombie film. The intention of the filmmakers has been to try and make a more 'realistic' virus outbreak, in other words, a longer lasting slow building infection rather than the almost instantaneeous explosion of zombie fever that proliferates other films and TV. In essence, reflecting the true horror of a major infection or disease, the knowledge of the horrific consequences and symptoms that are to come, is often the most frightening aspect of the whole experience of any illness.
This philosophy of a Zombie virus taking it's time to fully transform a living being is what helps the film explore a number of emotional issues that such an experience would have on any group of people. The performances of the three main characters are excellent, with Hannah Telle being particularly good as she plays the young woman carrying the emotional burden of her family on her young shoulders.
I have to say that I enjoyed FLESH AND BLOOD immensely. The story of how this small insular family struggle with the knowledge that one of their number is slowly becoming transformed into something sub-human is extremely satisfying - as is the climax that it slowly builds up to. The atmosphere throughout is suitably ominous and foreboding, which successfully adds to the overall experience. All in all, this production from a young experienced team is well worth looking out for when it hits the festival circuits and beyond in the next few months.
If you don't trust what I say (and who would blame you?!) you can see the trailer right here at https://vimeo.com/166458577.
The film is about to have its world premiere in the competition section of the 19th annual Dances With Films Festival on June 5 and then they will be at the Comic-con international Film Fest in San Diego in July.
I mentioned earlier that the Kickstarter campaign cover the final costs of the post production process is now in its final stages. If you have the time and inclination the team would love you to check out the kickstarter link, read some of the extra nuggets of information behind the concept of the film and then if you're feeling inspired to maybe contribute to the campaign. You'll find a whole range of goodies and rewards for parting with your well-earned cash. This is a low risk project as the film has already been shot. At this stage all that remains is finishing post and getting the film out to festivals and beyond.
The link for for the kickstarter is here at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1854322141/flesh-and-blood-0 .
The Facebook page for FLESH AND BLOOD is available here: https://www.facebook.com/FleshAndBloodShortFilm .
This article can also be found via the 5D website www.5d-blog.com. There you can find a veritable feast of blog articles, news items, pictures and other mouth-watering salutations to the gods of the geeks and the nerds. We have now inherited the earth, you know.