Saturday, February 17, 2007

stories of love and loss?

I'd like to do something with zombies, because I've always wanted to do something like that, and I've both read about them in philosophy courses and seen them in movies. They are a pretty hyper modern concept in lots of ways. I'm not sure exactly what to do with the idea, because it's been explored pretty well, but I think it could in some form try to be from the perspective of a zombie. This would make our protagonist either a regular human trapped in a zombie body who cannot control what he does (like a man in the depths of an ether binge, but with an overwhelming urge to dine on brains), or a somewhat child like, hyper violent monster who's morality is over run by a need to feed his addiction (like Ronald Reagan's conception of a crack addict). I prefer the first because it allows more freedom.

thoughts on how to do it:

1. Sonic mash-up: This would fit better with the latter idea. It would in theory try to mirror the perceptions of the zombie as he wanders around looking for chains to snatch and brains to eat. It would also probably be a lot of work and so is a secondary option at the moment.

2. Graphic Novel: Would need help, although I think it would probably still have to be cobbled together from photographs or pre existing pictures. this could also manifest itself as a collage comic, with little bits cut from other stuff. I think this would lead the tale to take a more comic turn, and who doesn't love zombie jokes?

3. Video Mash-up: This would also be neat to do with someone else as it is so time intensive, but since there is so much zombie material out there on video, it makes natural sense to use that source material. There is unfortunately not much non-fiction material out there, so the oral history is out. This is the next best thing. Again I think this would lead to many more comic moments.


Tom Kealey said...

I agree. This sort of lends itself to a graphic novel. I wonder if the main zombie might actually have some control over what he does, but he has trouble controlling the other zombies. In other words, he's not into eating brains, and he tries to influence other zombies not to eat brains. Which is hard to do, b/c they're zombies after all.

In any case, the zombies are almost always "The other" in stories and films. The main characters (POV) are the non-zombies. Making the POV (perspective, actually) the zombie or zombies would be an interesting move. Unlike other monsters, zombies are usually looked on as stupid and simple, whereas that doesn't necessarily need to be the case.

Rock on, John.

Tessa Banks said...

I think that the first zombie view is my favorite. I don't think I've seen that p.o.v. done before and it would be pretty cool. And I agree with tom and you about the graphic nove. I feel that we could really get a sense of how much the man inside the zombie is still present. The fact that photos are used will allow for easy transitions between the man inside the zombie and what the zombie is actually doing.

On a side note, this is a fabulous idea because zombies are awesome. And this idea goes along with the land of the dead that suggests that zombies can learn and deveop, but yours has the twist that there is still something human left. I love it!

Sam Tanzer said...

First, the definitive word on zombies:

Interesting how quickly the zombies turn comic. On that note, what about using a video game to generate your footage? Instead of sifting through hours of video, renting and ripping and editing, why not record a resident evil scene from pov? Or doom, or something along those lines. You could mix in oral history with a voiceover that runs contrary to the actions of the first person. More literary voiceovers might work really well over the resident evil video.

Chadé said...

Oooo, Zombies. What about a considerate zombie? Like a zombie in a video game who's part of a hoard of zombies but he doesn't want to eat brains and he even tries to give the humans little tips about how to escape or what zombie weaknesses are (like the sound of clapping or something), but he doesn't want to get caught and killed by the other zombies so he has to be all "arrrgggggg, zombieeeee, grrrrrr". There are a lot of conflicts that could happen here.

Going off of what Tom said, most zombies are usually portrayed as stupid or simplistic; maybe this zombie is college-educated. PhD in comparative literature. Time in the Peace Corps. Unfortunately bit by a zombie on his way home from work. Didn't even see him coming. This could be a story about dashed dreams, and making the best of what the world gives you. Woooo

Chadé said...

and i am also leaning towards the graphic novel.

Adam Johnson said...


You can’t go wrong with zombies, and you’ve got a new angle in doing it from the zombie’s perspective. Most people don’t take the zombie’s perspective because they have rotten, worm-filled brains. All the more reason to try, in my book. And it’s true, nobody ever thinks about what the zombie’s going through. Like they want to be undead and eat flesh.

What if you did an oral history of a zombie, which would basically a tape recording of a bunch of moans, like this:

Then you could have a team of scientists or journalists attempt to interpret what the zombie is saying, and lay out the zombie’s whole sad life. That might work good in a simple video: zombie moaning in folding chair in white room. Two people interpreting moan according to the script you write. Could do it all in one take, perhaps. Then post it on youtube. Only need a chair, a guy with bad hair, two labcoats, two clipboards.