What’s the state of the film as far as financing? ^ We’ve just made a deal with Ridley and Tony Scott’s company Scott Free. It’s not been easy. This film is so out there that a lot people got interested and then got scared. I’m hoping that with Ridley and I producing that will add a great deal of weight or validity to it. I think it should be easier. We’re all very confident that it will work out.
What’s the total budget? ^ It’s going to be in the vicinity of about $11 million. Financing is so complicated. At one point we had up to 75% of the budget and things got a bit sticky. We’ll probably see if we can get some interest from one of the studios for North American distribution. I’ll know more about it in a week or two. One way is going in with a studio either fully or partially, half of the money from the studio, half from independent financiers. It’s extremely hard.
Is foreign financing a possibility? ^ Yes, I got a phone call yesterday and again today from people in England. We always seem to be able to get 50 to 75%. I just don’t know which way we’re going to go. It would be lovely if one of the studios would just write us a check!
Will heavy foreign financing necessitate shooting outside of the US? ^ If you take serious money from England, you would have to qualify as a British film. So we would have to shoot there. But the story being what it is, it mostly takes place in and around a rock ‘n’ roll venue. . . it really doesn’t matter where we shoot it. Location is just a place to do the work. George would love to shoot it in Pittsburgh and we all like that idea. Again, depending on the financing, if a studio comes in, then we would probably want to shoot it in Pittsburgh. That would make me happy. It would make George happy.
Is there a target date to begin shooting? ^ Not really . . . except that we would like to start in the summer. That’s Scott Free’s plan and my plan and that’s what we’d like to see happen and hopefully we’ll get there.
Considering the talent involved in the project, are you surprised that financing has been as difficult as it has been? ^ Actually, I really am. It seems that people are scared of doing something that hasn’t been done, which I always thought was our advantage. A lot of money people want to bet on a race when it’s over. We’re really surprised. We really thought it would be much easier.
Does having a name as big as Ridley Scott attached as producer take the movie out of the realm of “independent film” as probably most Romero and indie horror fans define it? ^ No, the lovely thing is that both Ridley and his brother Tony are big fans of George’s. They want to make exactly the film that we want to make. I like them a lot. We get along very well with them. Essentially, they’re there because they like it as much as I do, if that’s possible. The last thing we want to do is make a glossy Hollywood movie. We want to do it the way we want to do it and Ridley and Tony are very supportive of that. In fact, the whole company is very supportive of that. The film will be the same and it will be a much easier passage to get it made, but it will not affect the film.
Will the attachment of big names like Scott Free alter the level of access and input that the fans have? ^ No. One of the things we’ve been very steadfast about is that this is the movie we want to make and we’ll do anything within reason to get it made but not give up our vision. And that’s the basis of their involvement. The only difference will be a couple of extra credits. It’s not going to change anything. In fact, when we talked about casting, they were the ones who said, “we’ve gotta stay true to the vision, no fancy names, we’ve gotta cast who’s right for the film.” It’s a very nice relationship. It gives us a stamp of validity. Half of the time in this town it’s not necessarily what you’ve got but who you are. So their involvement is going to be very helpful. That’s what we’re counting on.
Any definite word on casting? ^ No. The intent is that we don’t want to have big names in the two leading roles. We want to create an original Diamond Dead band. In some of the other roles we would like to do some fun casting. We’re talking about having Ozzy Osbourne play Jesus Christ . . . sort of fun stuff. There’s been an awful lot of talk about David Bowie playing the character of Death. So there will be names — hopefully appropriate names in other roles. It’s going to be just a fun movie. We’re not going to be pandering to the masses. We think that with this kind of movie, there has to be an audience first and if someone doesn’t like it, that’s their problem!
Get the rest of the interview in part four of ANDREW GATY: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL ZOMBIES FOR THE FUTURE>>>

Posted on April 15, 2004 in Interviews by

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