Czech Zombie is a sci-fi/horror film written and directed by Ignat Kinol. The film was entirely shot with flying drones. Czech Zombie has a 90's vibe and electronica and lo-fi music which make the entire journey more dramatic and let the audience go deeper into the Czech Zombie universe.
Drone pilot Rod comes to a small European town Velké Přílepy (we hear a dirty synthesizer chord) to secretly make a film about zombies. But after a series of events Rod (arpegiator playing) is forced to join a community of keepers who daily save the world from zombies (tremolo sound).
Rod falls in love with Karla, an amazon girl. He now has to decide either stay or leave.
Czech Zombie is a bundle of: zombies, love, lo-fi music, drones and 90's horror atmosphere.
I'm Ignat Kinol, director and writer of Czech Zombie. I will guide you through this ambitious project and try to explain why this film is unique and why it needs your support.
I was always inspired by 80s and 90s music and movies. And when I got my first drone in January 2018 I noticed that the footage looks cinematic even without any special equipment. I realised that the time to create super epic film has come. I wrote the script, found all team members online, took my $4.000 and started shooting.
We've shot enough footage for a 30 minute long film. And that's why we were able to make a trailer.
I met KINØL, a Norwegian electronica producer and singer about 3 years ago. I was exited to direct music videos for him. When I was writing the script for Czech Zombie, I already knew that KINØL's lo-fi music with a lot of synthesizers and 90's feel would be perfect for my film.
Right now we have 3 tracks mastered and released, 5 more are currently being mixed and 15 more coming for the Czech Zombie Album (23 tracks total). This whole album of songs and music will be one of our perks for our donators. Available as a CD or Vinyl.
KINØL was so exited that he even made his own version of a trailer as a music video. Watch "Give us your money" by KINØL.
Zombies on set
I was happy when Jakub Gründler, one of the top SFX artists in Europe joined us. He sometimes had to create up to 6 zombies a day. The easiest zombie required 1 hour and the "close-up zombie" up to 4-5 hours. He used silicon and magic.
Jakub also taught our zombies to walk "properly" (I still don't get it, how could he know how zombies walk?).
Production with flying drones
If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't think that the whole film was shot with flying drones only.
I was exited when Bruno Pimentel, a film maker and a drone pilot, entered the project as our DOP or Camera Pilot even after listening to all my crazy ideas (something like: you start here with a pan shot then go 5 meters up and follow the car from above, ok?). We were practicing for 3 days (with cars and on foot), before I understood that we can start adding actors and crew members on set. We've even shot a super cheesy cliché step out of the car scene.
I was the first actor who Bruno was flying close to. It was a strange feeling (more like a fear) to have a flying drone (only Mavic Pro) close to your face, so I had to customize standard prop guards to fit our safety requirements and protect our actors. Also there was always someone with thick gloves for super protection. No one was injured during Czech Zombie production.
Our FPV drone pilot Vojtech Pollak aka VOPO was flying with his small Rotorama drone very close to our zombies creating a unique interaction with actors.
Advantages and limitations
1. Flying dolly: we didn't need a dolly or a crane which helped us keep the costs down;
2. Mobile: we were very mobile and could change the camera position in seconds;
3. Follow me: no car needed;
4. Impro: we could improvise (you can always fly somewhere and end the shot differently)
1. Batteries. We had 6 batteries for Mavic Pro and 5 for Inpire 1. We could shoot only for 15-25 minutes per one charge. And shooting in field without a charger (or with a car charger) was always a story.
2. Wind. It was harder to shoot in wind and we didn't shoot in rain;
3. Close ups. We had no option to change the lens, so the only way to have a close-up was to fly closer to an actor. We had to use prop guards and gloves to keep the actors safe.
4. No sound. Yes, there is no sound. Just silence. All dialogues and sounds in post-production.
5. Fixed Focal Length. Because of fixed focal length in our consumer drones (Mavic Pro had a little option to focus), we now have to separate the character from the background. It means masking and blurring in almost each scene to make actors/objects stand out and add cinematic look which we all love. This requires time and skills of VFX artists.
I was able to put together a small team of post-production artists to make a trailer. Now I need man power to finish the whole 30 minute long film.
Almost every scene requires visual post-production. I will hire more VFX Artists to work for longer period of time, than the trailer took. Some scenes require CGI objects (i.e. zombie head explosion or shooting and explosions) or CGI characters (i.e. zombies) to be created from scratch. We have a lot of masking and color correction to do.
I will hire Sound Designers to record and mix all the dialogues and sounds.
I will also print blue-rays, dvds, t-shirts, posters and stickers, make private screenings and performances in Europe and US.
Super VFX Scenes only possible with your support
"Rod is attached with a rope to a giant drone. He flies towards a group of zombies in a field. As he gets closer he starts shooting zombies with his laser gun."
There are some scenes in the script which require some cool props and massive post production. There is a special VFX GOD Perk for those who want to help me make this and some other kick-ass scenes possible.
We are currently searching for talents: if you are a VFX artist or a colorist or an animator, let us know on email@example.com.
I know it sounds crazy but: I want to make a super mega cool 90's vibe movie with zombies and electronica music shot with flying drones. And if you liked the idea and trailer so far, you will love the movie too. And this movie can only be made with your support.
I want to reward each baker with great perks: blue-rays with a 4k film, Lithography posters, The hard-cover Czech Zombie Music Album by KINØL on a cd or vinyl, 100% cotton t-shirts with artwork or becoming our actor & private screenings with parties in Europe and US. Choose your perk on the right side ->
Cast & Crew
From the very beginning I was working with talented artists and actors.
Jakub Gründler created zombie masks and applied them on set.
Cinematographers: Bruno Pimentel as DOP and main drone pilot, Francesco Bertin, Ajay Kulkarni and Meera Sankar. Our action drone pilot Vojtech Pollak made FPV shots.
Actors: Ignat Kinol as Rod, Nana Reyter as Karla, Vojtech Babista as Hector, Alessio Medas as Priest Mike, Barbora Březinová as Linda and Karel Seidl as Billionaire Reddson.
Zombies: Monika Smiešková, Tomáš Choura, Krzysztof Piotr Zakrzewicz, Tomáš "Havran" Tita, Karel Seidl, Otto Huřťák, Zuzana Šindelářová, Kateřina Pešánová, Renata Čížková, Mimi Kavec, Michael Tuček, Wenca Katič.
Photographer Filip Prochazka took photos for the Poster and Backstage. Michal Kůrka also made backstage photos and videos.
Special thanks to: Brittany Rae Barber as Karla's Voice; Anna Hüblová for catering; Sagar Padwal – gaffer; Marek Lefner – Hummer driver and Hummer Centrum Prague; Re-dron rentals and Alena Kolesnikova for assistance on set.
Czech Zombie website:
Risks and challenges
Shooting an entire film with only flying drones was a real challenge. We were able to shoot enough footage for a 30 minute long film and create a trailer. I spent many hours myself doing color correction and editing and I am not giving up. Czech Zombie needs your support to hire artists and finish the production of the 90s vibe horror film with electronica and lo-fi music shot on flying drones. Together we can make this ambitious project come true!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter