A covert Special Forces unit discovers the existence of the undead in the jungles of Vietnam during the cold war era.
A covert Special Forces unit discovers the existence of the undead in the jungles of Vietnam during the cold war era. Read more
James C Burns, the guy who plays Sgt. Frank Woods From CALL OF DUTY:Black Ops 1 & 2, is making a ZOMBIE movie.
Click below to get to know me.
Set during the Vietnam War, NAM ZOMBIES It’s the story of BRAVO-ZEBRA, a Special Forces unit on a “Covert Op” when they encounter a shit load of “un-dead” deep in the jungle mountains. Without giving to much away I can tell you that the are massive fire fights and thousands of zombies. There are ingenious weapons and deep dark political intrigue. You will meet the team, suffer their losses, question orders and root for the good guys. Other than that...we can not say. BUT IT IS AWESOME!!!!
The Obligatory Question...WHY KICKSTARTER?
I really hate to use the same worn answer which is to complain about the "studio system". Or gripe about how my "precious vision" as an artist should not be compromised by lack of insight by greedy "bankers". Why? Because thats' a lot of horse crap. Ok... Well...not entirely. Whats' true is this...If I use normal fund raising channels, making NAM ZOMBIESs could take years. AND if a STUDIO did get involved it would want to make lame ass changes. I’d have to justify the nuances and expectations of the gaming community, I’d have to strip out the very things that made me want to make the movie in the first place...in short...they'd kill it.
If I get to do this my way? YOU get a movie you will LOVE. Badass weapons work, awesome ZOMBIE battles, great inside jokes and buddy banter. It will be the movie YOU want.....AND what excites me the most...is that I can make this film for you!!! For the FANS...The only opinion I have to care about is yours!!
Also...whats really great about this method of fund raising is that it allows me to fully integrate you guys into the filmaking process. If WE fund this movie I can cast the right people. I can even cast backers and supporters! I can use the right music and art work AND...maybe that music art work comes from one of you guys!!!
I want the community to have the opportunity to be involved in a huge way. The backers can be part of the production process, they can be in the movie or spend time on set, or have a private screening. I want this movie to empower people to become part of something massive and exciting. I want you to look up at the screen and feel like you had something to do with this movie being made...Maybe even see yourself on screen?
OK...So Who's In It?
Due to legal and professional responsibilities I cannot announce the names of the main characters OR the names of who will be cast in these roles. It’s lawyer and agent crap but it has to be dealt with.
But what I can say is this:
The lead character is played by me, he is a Marine Master Sergeant and the leader of a covert special forces unit called BRAVO-ZEBRA.
MY second in command is young Navy Lieutenant. He is the next generation of special forces, he is stronger, faster, better trained...but in the field, experience dictates leadership. He gladly takes the number two spot..for now.
My characters best friend is a Marine Staff Sergeant. Quiet, smart and lethal, he is a scout sniper with a VC bounty on his head. He is Puerto Rican and is deeply emotional about the politics of his native island.
Our Explosives specialist is wiry irish kid from South Boston, he is nuts. He is funny. He is tough as nails. He’s a Corporal. He is genius at creating ways to make things go boom.
I have actually written these roles with specific guys in mind. These are actors I have worked with recently, men who are talented actors and great guys. I just can’t say there names out loud right now. Do your homework you’ll figure it out.
Cool...but why are you doing this?
One of my motivations to make NAM ZOMBIES is that I’ve always wanted to see a ZOMBIE flick where the people fighting the zombies are badass. I want to see what happens when a group of highly trained, highly motivated Special Forces operators go up against the undead.
NAM ZOMBIES gives us that. It is the guys who INVENTED SPECIAL FORCES going up against a constantly evolving horde of “ZOMBIES”. Want to see what happens when they face off against slow and fast twitch zombies? Want to see BRAVO-ZEBRA open the can of Whoop-ass?. Don't you then want see what happens when they run out of ammo?. Want to be part of the fun? Well, guess what...with push of a button you can.
A big part of what I want to do with Nam Zombies is to open up opportunity for unknown and the not so well known artist. It's nearly impossible for young artists to get access to projects of this magnitude and submit their work to be considered for the soundtrack. I want to change that. Wouldn't it be great if some uber-talented kid got launched by this movie? Let's make dreams to come true...you can do this man!
That being said, I hear the sound track in my head as a mix of 60's rock and contemporary. I've spoken with hip-hop artist as well southern rockers, I am wide open to hearing what's out there.
We will shoot NZ on digital, no doubt. As much as I love film, we'd need 10 or 12 million bucks to do this old school. There are so many great HD Digital cameras and I have Producers who can get sweet deals on gear so that's the way we are going. As for the Director of Photography my guy for this is EDD LUKAS. We worked on several films together and he is awesome. I hope we can raise enough dough to afford this guy. He is what this shoot will need when we hit the jungles. He is mega talented and tough. I actually shot him in the hand during a take on a film called BLACKJACKS...he just kept rolling until the take was done, got a toothbrush and scrubbed the metal fragments out of his knuckles. Special guy, let's hire him!!
The other guy on-board is Rick Derby, as a producer, editor and most likely as the AD. He is a monster, a "solutionist"...his nick name is the "Fire Martial" for his ability to solve problems on set (we call this putting out fires). As an editor his ability to find the spine of a story is nothing short of genius. He is also a life long friend and hockey buddy, another guy we really need on set...let's hire him too.
I am totally stoked, I want in!
Look I'm a working guy, I know that money is not easy to come by. I am sincere when I say I want EVERYONE to have a chance to be involved...EVERYONE!! AND Here is the coolest part of this whole thing...it's SOOOO easy to get involved.
I set up the pledges to make it is easy to come on board...Pledge rewards start at the one dollar level.
YEP. Our basic pledge is one dollar. One Buck. 4 Quarters, 10 dimes. Change you leave on the floor, or under seat cushions...If you and everyone one you know pledges a buck, if every fan in the world pledges a buck...we can do this thing. THINK about it... A buck!!!!!! You can't buy a soda for buck!!! But for One Dollar US, and you are part of film making history!!... AND...you get a ringtone made specifically for the backers of NAM ZOMBIES!!!
My wish is that we can fund this puppy entirely on one buck pledges. But I am also realistic, so we have other options.
If you want to get more involved....you can do that too. There are over 40 different pledge levels, all offer great rewards but some are just ridiculus.
If you have really deep pockets you can go to the NUCLEAR OPTION...first off, this is only for those with WICKED deep pockets....no joke.
But there is pledge level for everyone, and remember, this is a fund raising campaign. We are not selling t-shirts or whatever, these are rewards! A thank you for stepping up and pitching in!
OK...OK, I GET IT ALREADY...
WHAT DO I DO NEXT.
Simple man, just go to the Pledge List on the right, find the pledge level thats right for you, click on the button and follow the instructions. We will handle then rest.
Thanks for reading & listening.
Risks and challenges
The rule of thumb is that the better the prep, the easier the shoot will go. That is true, but there are so many things that can not be controlled. Like weather, and illness, and equipment failure to just name a few. Now we plan, and make contingency but I have no illusions that we will face obstacles. I plan on being surrounded by experts and specialist in the craft of making movies. I choose my team according to their character. People I have worked with and know well, people I have seen do their job under the harshest of circumstances and prevail with excellence. My camera guy, EDD LUKAS....I actually shot him in the hand while we were filming an action sequence....he didn't even flinch. Talk about bad ass?
What about Distribution?
The luxury of financing the film with Kickstarter is that we have flexibility in how we get the film to the public...to you, the fans. There is already a buzz on this project and I only expect it to grow as we move forward, that is a good omen for a Distribution Company to come on board and give this baby a wide release.
IS THAT ENOUGH MONEY TO MAKE AN ZOMBIE-ACTION FILM?
The answer is yes. I have several versions of the script. One is for a huge budget, one for a medium budget and one for the 1,250,000 were trying yo raise here. This is the minimum amount I need to make this thing the right way...so let's get it done!
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
ASIDE from fees for Kickstarter and Amazon, and the cost of pledge Reward fulfillment, all the funds collected will be put into a production account spent on the movie.
Movies are made in three steps:
It is the preparation stage where we organize, cast, lock-down locations and equipment and crew.
The actual shooting of the movie.
This is were we edit, score, apply effects and basically build the film from the film shoot. This is also where we do marketing and press to promote the movie.
For NAM ZOMBIES the biggest expense is also the most important...Bullets and special effects. We have a lot of combat scenes, guys on full auto going through dozens of magazines. The cool dummy rounds, the ones that have great muzzle flash are expensive. We will go through thousands of those, and also pyro and flash and smoke...it takes a lot to make it right. The same goes for special effects. We want great looking zombies, and there are A LOT of zombies in this movie. Another major expense is of course post special effects, CGI and such that will be used to enhance what we can't capture live ( Like decapitations).
And we have a cast and crew of professionals with families, rent and car payments. None of us are rich, we all have to work for a living. If I want them to be able to focus and commit to NAM ZOMBIES they need to be paid a living wage.
The money goes fast, and we will be very responsible with it.
What Makes YOU think you can do this?
I've been acting in and making movies for along time. Most of them low budget. I know what I can save on and what I need to spend on. I have a great support team and an awful lot of help. Many people are excited about NAM ZOMBIES, and everyone wants it to happen. GOOD WILL is a form of capital, if we get a real budget to go with the good will..we will be in great shape.
What about the REWARDS?
Your goodies, like the t-shirts and posters for helping us make this possible will be sent out by a professional fulfillment company. Many elements of the rewards will be fulfilled well before the Spring of 2015, which is when we hope to release the film and have all of our premieres and screenings. For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will do our best to keep you in the loop on our schedule.
HOW DO WE SUBMIT MUSIC AND ART WORK?
Once we reach our goal we will set up a website where we will post information on what we are looking for. We will provide scene descriptions, length and purpose, along with a due date. This is gonna be awesome.
THE FINE PRINT (stuff my lawyer wants me to say)
• For those of you visiting our set, we anticipate shooting many of the scenes in Los Angeles. Since our schedule is dependent on cast and other availabilities, this has the potential to change. We will keep you updated so you can plan ahead to visit us.
• If you become an extra or receive a cast credit, you must be a US citizen or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA. I the case of any inappropriate behavior we reserve to right to revoke on set access to anyone.
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set. Extras must also be over 18.
• The content of the voice and video messages are at your direction, but at my discretion. I reserve the right to refuse to say or do what you request if I find it inappropriate.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork. If you are appearing in the film, you will have to sign a release or sign a safety agreement.
• My final cut of the film may have to be further edited in certain cases to adhere to the laws in the country which it is being viewed, or for different types of media.
• All shooting locations are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money we are able to raise and the particular locations giving us the right to shoot.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, movie guild rules and applicable law. if any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
To sum it up, movie making is a crazy business, with a lot of unknown factors. We start with a great idea, write a script I'm really proud of. Then, we assemble the best team possible, get insurance, and make contingency plans. It's impossible to guarantee everything will come together exactly as planned, but in the end, we will have created a movie that hopefully all of us can be proud of. It's a great journey, and I thank you in advance if you can help make this ride possible.
- (33 days)