There is a scene in 28 Days Later where Selena hacks her partner Mark to death with a machete moments after he's infected. The complete lack of hesitation or remorse afterward is so powerful that it's haunted me for nearly ten years now. Sure it was the rational move, but if you were in that situation, could you do it? A lot of zombie movies have similar moments, but a moment isn't enough time to struggle with a decision like that. I always thought that if I were writing a zombie horror, I could spend nearly the whole freaking movie on it... so I did, and I call it Hunger.
Hunger follows Carl and Rina, two twenty-somethings on the verge of marriage, as they struggle to survive a global pandemic that turns people into crazed eating machines. Rina is quickly infected, and as she succumbs to the sickness, Carl is pushed to examine the limits of his love. Their relationship forms the movie's beating heart, giving us a human drama to ground the inhuman horrors of the surrounding world gone mad.
We spy on these characters' lives as Carl plays with a camcorder he bought for work. We get to watch as a typical, lazy weekend crumbles into chaos. The found footage aspect (think Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project) gives us a visceral connection to these characters during their ordeal, making us part voyeur, part confidant, and, finally, part accomplice. Also, don't worry about getting sick from shaky cam, I took great pains in the script to set the camera down as often as possible even if that means incredibly long and difficult shots. The team I've assembled can handle it.
MIKE SOUDER - Writer/Director/Producer
Aerospace engineer by day, writer/director/producer by night. I've been writing short stories since grade school, but have focused on screenplays for the past five years. After several near misses (or near hits) at selling my work to other producers, I've decided to take charge and make it happen with your help and the incredible team you see below.
PATRICK KAUFMANN - Carl
KATHERINE CELIO - Rina
VALENTINA LUGO - Gloria
GABRIEL GELY - Director of Photography
Gabriel and his crew knocked the trailer shoot out of the park.
MARGARET CARAGAN - Makeup Artist
Margaret Caragan is the founder and owner of Pandora FX. She has worked in the Bay Area as a Special Makeup Effects Artist for 10 years. She really brought my zombie vision to life for the trailer. Her partner, Tony Aldrich, was the official blood wrangler for the shoot.
In order to see how Carl and Rina's lives unfold, I'll need your help. By making a pledge of any amount, you are joining me on this journey to get the movie made. You'll be first to receive updates from on the set, read my exclusive director's blog, and see all the bloopers and behind the scenes footage.
If you can't spare any money but still want to help, the best thing you can do is spread the word. Share the link to this page with all your friends, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. Anything you do in this regard will help us tremendously.
But if you can donate, what will your money be spent on? Turns out, making a quality movie is expensive. I need to pay all those people above (except me). The film expenses add up roughly like this:
$9,000 - Actors
$50,000 - Videography, sound, and post production (Gabriel and his crew are a one stop shop)
$6,000 - Makeup, props, wardrobe, and art
$4,000 - Food (have to keep everyone well fed)
$6,000 - Boring stuff (like location fees and insurance)
All told, I need about $75,000 to make Hunger. I already have $25,000 invested privately, so I just need $50,000 to close the gap. The extra $7,000 are for fees and gift distribution. Speaking of which...
In addition to supporting the movie, we also have a lot of wonderful gifts to give you with your pledge. You have great choices like a download of the movie, a signed script, a super cool T-shirt, being a zombie, or even just hanging out on set.
Even with these wonderful gifts, $57,000 is a huge amount of money to raise. But if we get the word out, I know we can do it! I'm so confident, here's what happens if we exceed our goal.
Every dollar donated over our goal goes directly to making Hunger the best it can be.
From $57,000 to $75,000, we get more zombies, more effects, extra days to shoot to perfect those difficult shots, potentially a music budget to license some songs. Somewhere in this range enables us to film a difficult stunt sequence with someone swinging from a balcony over a horde of undead!
$75,000 to $100,000 will let us film on a sound stage while adding all the great things from above. This might not sound like a lot, but full control of our set will enable some great content. Instead of being worried about accidentally damaging the place, we'll be worried about not damaging it enough.
The real stretch goal for us is $100,000 or more. At this level, we can change the ending of the movie! We can add a car scene followed by a second location where Carl might be able to find a cure for Rina. If we make it to this point, you can help save her from becoming one of these:
As I mentioned in the trailer, some of my zombies aren't necessarily dead... yet. They just have an insatiable hunger which forces them to eat anything that isn't infected. Any time one of them eats human flesh, they remember a little of who they were, but they're still consumed by this unstoppable hunger. These freshly fed zombies are the most dangerous because they regain some of their intellect.
The zombies in Hunger don't look like walking corpses. There is still blood flowing through their veins. It's thick and dark enough to see through their skin. The more successful zombies get smarter and more dangerous with each meal, eventually sporting big, pregnant bellies as they stuff themselves with more and more flesh.
The script for Hunger has fared well on the contest circuit, landing in the top 15 of its genre in the 2012 Creative World Awards international competition where it was also a top contender for the annual Creative Concept Award. “A well-written, fun, contemporary piece that is sure to engage its audience and find its place on the silver screen,” says Heather Waters, Co-owner of CWA.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk is that costs turn out to be more than we estimated. This would add delays as we find more money or find a way to get the shot cheaper.
Another big risk is missing a crucial shot. While filming the trailer, our blood wasn't behaving and it very nearly cost us another day. Cast and crew are typically paid by the day, so any extras really drive up the cost.
We are also vulnerable to the general problems of a movie shoot, weather might not cooperate, actors could get sick, equipment could malfunction. We'll work hard to overcome these obstacles if they arise, but it could mean increased costs or delays (which means increased costs).
Another risk is becoming a victim of our own success. If we generate a lot of buzz for the movie, there is the slight possibility of someone buying in with the desire to make the movie for a much higher budget. If this happens, I'll insist that all kickstarter rewards are honored before signing away control of the project.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US - With this (or any) pledge, you are officially joining us on this crazy journey of getting a feature film made. You'll be part of the process, for all the ups and downs, and you'll be first in line to hear any news. Plus you'll get a thanks on our website.
SPECIAL EDITION DVD - Special edition DVD loaded with behind the scenes extras, concept art, music, copy of the script, etc. mailed to you, plus a high definition download, your name in the credits and on our website.
BE A ZOMBIE - You will be invited to be a zombie "extra" in the movie. Your pledge does not include travel or lodging, but you do get a signed script, the t-shirt, special edition DVD, a high definition download, plus your name in the credits as a zombie, plus your name on our website.
PRIVATE SCREENING - You will receive an exclusive invite to attend a private screening of the movie with the filmmakers at a location in the Bay Area. Your pledge does not include travel or lodging, but you do get a signed script, the t-shirt, special edition DVD, a high definition download, plus your name in the credits and on our website.
PRIVATE SCREENING PLUS DINNER - You will receive an exclusive invite to attend a private dinner with the filmmakers after the private screening of the movie at a location in the Bay Area. Your pledge does not include travel or lodging, but you do get a signed script, the t-shirt, special edition DVD, a high definition download, plus your name in the credits and on our website.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER AND PRODUCTION ASSISTANT - You will be credited as an associate producer in the movie and on IMDB, plus you will be invited to help out on set as a PA for at least one day. Your pledge does not include travel or lodging, but you do get a signed script, the t-shirt, special edition DVD, a high definition download, plus your name on our website.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Open invitation to the set during filming plus credit in the movie and on IMDB as an executive producer. Your pledge does not include travel or lodging, but you do get a signed script, the t-shirt, special edition DVD, a high definition download, plus your name on our website.
DINNER AND MOVIES AT MIKE'S HOUSE - Everything above, plus Mike will host you and a guest for dinner and a private movie marathon at his house. We could watch Hunger, talk other movies, or chat about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Whatever you want. At this level, you've earned it.