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“Night of the Living Deb”, A Zombie Rom-Com, Needs Your Support!

“Night of the Living Deb”, A Zombie Rom-Com, Needs Your Support!

UPDATE: Only 7 days left in the campaign, with $43,764 left to go! Be sure to show your support on their Kickstarter page:

Just last week we were able to attend the “Night of the Living Deb” Zombie Party, a meet and greet for the director, writer, and stars of the film at Brick+Mortar to talk to their current Kickstarter backers, and hopefully pick up a bunch of new ones. With only 14 days to go, they $38,000 of their $99,000 goal. And, with Kickstarter’s all or nothing approach, it’s imperative that they get all the support we can offer.

Night Of The Living Deb Kickstarter Video, Shot On Canon 7D

We were able to get a quick word with director Kyle Rankin and male lead Michael Cassidy to find out what it’s like crowdfunding their film, the production so far, and just what “Night of the Living Deb” is all about.

HDSLR SHOOTER: So, tell us about your film, and why everyone’s here tonight.

KYLE RANKIN: Well, my name is Kyle Rankin and I’m the director. This is Michael Cassidy, our leading man. We’re making (well, hopefully making) a movie called Night of the Living Deb. It’s on Kickstarter right now. It’s a zombie movie, a zom-rom-com, a romantic comedy with a zombie backdrop. It’s kind of a female answer to Shaun of the Dead basically, with a woman in the lead. If we could come anywhere near how awesome that movie is that’d be a blessing. Right now we’re at a party, a sort of meet and greet we set up to thank all the backers so far and generate more interest. But we’re trying to raise about $99,000, we have about $38,000 right now.

HS: Where’d the idea for this film come from and how long have you been working on it?

KR: I guess I’ve been working on it about 6 months. It started as just a germ of an idea, and I talked to a friend of mine, a very funny guy by the name of Andy Selsor. He’s a very talented screenwriter, and I’ve been wanting to work with him for a while, and it was the first idea of mine where he was like “I wanna do that!”. So he went away and wrote an amazing script. At the same time, kind of knowing the premise, I started trying to find my leading man, which Michael is going to be. Through a mutual director friend Michael and I met, and decided then and there, lets do this, this is going to be funny.

HS: Is this the first crowd funding project you’ve done?

KR: Yea, this is the first Kickstarter I’ve done. It’s a nail biting experience so far. It’s also a great way to sort of publicly fail if it doesn’t work.

MICHAEL CASSIDY: (Laughs) Yea, you live and die by the mouse clicks. I check it about 15 times a day, and I’m like “Ooh, it went up” or “Ooh, why didn’t it go up?? It must be me”.

KR: Exactly! There’s some days where it’s just tumble weeds, and others where it just pops with people buying some of the higher premiums and rewards. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it. I’ve just been annoying friends, family and people I’ve met only once to check this out. I at least think that we made an entertaining pitch video. Ray Wise was just fantastic in it, and all the people that came together to shoot it…it’s a lot of fun. It’s a team effort and I just hope we make it. I think in exchange for some of the donations we’re giving away some cool rewards. So I think it’s a good deal.

HS: Talk about your location a bit. Why shoot in Maine?

KR: I’m from Maine, I’ve been out here [LA] for about ten years. I know if we go to Maine we can get a lot of un-jaded people, get locations inexpensively. In LA, if you want to shoot in a restaurant, it could cost you around $5000. Whereas, back in Maine, you have people saying “Can you please shoot in my restaurant??”. So we’d like to tap into some of that excitement and, combined such a low budget, we think we can deliver a higher product.

HS: Michael, in regards being an actor and being this involved in pre-production and the funding of it, is this the first time you’ve done something like this?

MC: I work where I trust the people involved, and I trusted Kyle from the beginning, and we got along really well. Kyle lets me talk as much as I need to talk. Very few people treat me with the patience with which Kyle treats me. As for my involvement, that’s just how I am. I like to have ownership of what I’m doing, and he’s very open to collaborating. The role I’m playing is a huge part of the film, and he’s been open to my ideas about the script and stuff like that. I like the idea that, from the beginning, before the script was even finished, it was Kyle and I forging a relationship between one of the main leads and the director. That kind of connection generates a quality that you can’t fake, and the film will be all the better for it I think.


KR: It’s pretty rare too. I’ve known a lot of actors who are lovely, but they say “Yeah, get the money together and call me”. Michael’s been much more proactive,  tweeting about it, having his friends, family, agents, and managers get involved, and it’s been lovely to have that help. One thing I’ve learned about the whole Kickstarter thing is that you need a support system.

HS: Your video was amazing, probably the best kickstarted video I’ve ever seen. Did you do that yourself, production wise, or did you have a dp? If so is he going to be on the film?

KR: Yea, I’ve got to hand a huge thanks to Tony. I approached Tony Copolillo and just said “Hey, can you do one visual effect for me?” and that became “I want to do the entire thing! I wanna shoot it, I wanna edit it, I wanna color it, and I want to do all the effects”. It was just wonderful having Tony behind the lens. But he doesn’t feel confident enough to shoot the feature, but I’d love to have him with us, helping with some of the visuals. We have a few digital effects, and I want to make sure we have the visual elements to really make them sing. Tony was great.

As I mentioned, they only have 2 weeks left to pull in funds. So be sure to visit their Kickstarter to check out what they’re offering: