As a kid, director Katie Carman's storytelling and "wild imagination" used to get her into trouble. Through her love of filmmaking, however, she's harnessed those proclivities into a creative machine, with "Eat Me" being the most recent result. Inspired by the innovative zombie flicks of George Romero, "Eat Me!" intends to serve as another fresh take on the zombie-horror genre. The film is available now on the SnagFilms site (and below).
Twitter pitch: A group of friends survive the zombie apocalypse, meeting hilarious complications as they embark on a half-baked scheme to escape to safety.
So what's it really about? "Eat Me!" is an independent punk rock zombie film that's mostly a comedy but with moments of serious gore, set to a kick-ass original soundtrack. Jon, Sam, Kara and Miko are practicing together (their band name, "General Malacarne"), when their power goes out, leaving them locked in their basement practice space to get blissfully stoned while they wait for help, completely unaware of what's happened above ground. Of course the moment they break out they realize something's wrong and make a plan to get out of Brooklyn as soon as possible. Of course, nothing goes as planned and there are many false starts and zombies along the way to battle. Hilarity ensues.
The story itself though is really about friendship and what we're willing to sacrifice for those we love. It's also a road movie in a way, following the band as they escape their practice space in Brooklyn through the backstreets of Queens in an old Volkswagen, and then out to what they imagine is the safe haven of Long Island.
Director Katie Carman says: "I make movies because I want to tell stories and share ideas, and also because I want to show my own perspective. There's no other medium that can transport you to another world, put you in someone else's shoes or let you get inside their brain like film can. For those 90 minutes you're sitting in the audience, you're escaping. My goal is to fill those 90 minutes with something interesting that you've never seen before, and to make you feel that it matters."
The biggest challenge: "The single biggest challenge was shooting the film only on weekends, which seems so impossible! All of the cast & crew involved had day jobs during the week so we arranged to shoot during weekends only. We joked that it felt like planning a small wedding every weekend for 3 months, and it really did! In hindsight though, it was really useful to have a break between each shoot to reassess where we were and make sure the footage we got was useful. It also helped re-energize us so that we could attack the next weekend's jammed packed schedule with renewed vigor. Oh, and also that one of our lead actors broke his foot the first day of shooting. That was a bit of a challenge!"
What do you think Snagfilms audiences will respond to most in your movie? "I think the audience will respond most to the relationships between the characters. Sam & Jon are hilarious together as two 'brothers from another mother', and Miko & Kara have a sweet sisterly relationship, but one that is fraught with a lot of dirty words and joking around. There are other stand-out performances (Adam Morris as "Metal Dave") that should be unexpected and hopefully very funny to the audience, along with our 'true to life' cast of zombie characters."
What's next? "I just wrapped production on my second feature film, "Off Season", which is a noir-thriller about a Ruth Madoff-esque character (script by Elizabeth Lee): Sylvie Stone takes refuge in an isolated beach hideaway after her husband is convicted of a sweeping act of financial fraud. A series of frightening occurrences lead her to discover she's being stalked by a mysterious presence."
[Full Disclosure: SnagFilms is the parent company of Indiewire.]