The Bonus Features Episode 6

Being a writer on a long running project is a lot of responsibility. Not only do you have to keep the story and characters consistent and interesting, you have to try to maintain you current audience and find ways to reach out to new people. On top of that, you’ve got to deal with insane demands from directors, producers, show runners, executives, and others. It’s a wonder anyone wants to do it.

About this Episode:
Lots of interesting stuff happened in South Dakota.

77 Comments

BrickVoid

I look forward to seeing how ancient the zombies in Dave’s webcomic really are! 😀

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Dave

The measuring tool looks kind of interesting. I’ve got three brick separators and use them constantly. You really need two to be effective.

Word is LEGO is coming out with a new one that’s supposed to work better for tiles, which would be pretty nice (I usually use a pocket knife on tiles).

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Silver Fox

The newer “swiss army” separator looks interesting. Especially the part for pushing out technic pieces from each other.

I’ve not had that -much- of a problem with my tiles, but it sure is nice to know my newer pieces aren’t going to have teeth marks on them from trying to pull pieces apart since I’ve gotten my separators.

zombiemutts

Aight…

I coudl tie it into a behind the scenes on that XXL MOC I am doing and how it was helpful or I could whip one up for next week if you want it sooner than later? I am cool either way. It really is an awesome little tool.

zombiemutts

I’ll start logging pics of the measuring tool and seperator. Both items are a miracle for mocs. Especially for large ones.

Hawkclaw

Wow! You successfully chose my home state! Sadly, much of the U.S. doesn’t know about its existence…

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Dave

Hah. I’m a big Deadwood fan.

I also visited your state on a family vacation as a child (on the way to Yellowstone). The Badlands was the highlight of the whole trip for me. It was just incredible.

I’m hoping to visit again in the next few years.

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Dave

Yeah, driving through the eastern half of the state to get to the good stuff was less than exciting.

Nikolai

1870’s zombies? As I recall, Max Brooks had a story that in the Civil War, a anonymous soldier came into a town completely overrun with the living dead, vanquished them all, then left without a scratch. Still, I very excited for episode 200!

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zombiemutts

Hmmm…I assume the ads at the bottom of the page are based on google analytics right? wow…..thats a bit shocking and not sure how that “LGBT history month: October is so Gay” applies to me but whatever….

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zombiemutts

I would also like to point out that botd.com welcomes all people and especially our gay overlords for the month of October.

Dave

No, these ads are different. It’s basically the highest bidder wins. So the LGBT folk are the current winners, and good on them for that!

Dave

And Re: a LGBT History Month. I don’t think that’s anything wrong with that. the LGBT community is still a ways away from general acceptance, so if things things like a history month help, then let’s have a history month.

zombiemutts

Oh believe me…I am perfectly fine with it and have zero issues.

I was just really thrown off wondering how it got pulled from my brower history. I didn’t know it was the bid type.

Dave

Oh, yeah, we all see it. At least those of us now running ad blocker. And for those that are, you should turn that off on BotD because I don’t do popups or any of that other BS.

the dude person

According to Max Brooks, there have been outbreaks all throughout history.

Although he seems to treat Solanum as both a substance and a virus, and says it’s never been observed “in nature,” which really makes no sense when you think about it. (If it’s never been observed in nature, and people didn’t create it hundreds of years ago, how have there been so many isolated outbreaks throughout history?)

Who knows. It’s Dave’s story after all, so he can do whatever he wants with it! 😉 (Although I would like to see zombies in 1876… sounds like a cool idea, to me.)

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Dave

I really like the idea of doing historical zombie fiction. I wrote a short story set in World War One a few years ago that I’m tweaking right now. Fun stuff.

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Nikolai

I’ve been dying to make a zombie film, but I don’t really know what to do. I had the idea of not having main characters, or storyline, just scenes of zombies (and mostly likely fighting) with some music (you have no idea how well “Golden Slumbers” goes with zombies!). Any help?

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the dude person

Here’s what I think you should do: not that.

If you make a movie just about zombies, it will be incredibly flat, unless you use the zombies for some sort of poignant social commentary. (Even if you do, if it’s too transparent or irrelevant, than it still wouldn’t make for a good movie.)

In the best movies, zombies, vampires, robots, etc. are used as a creative medium through which to comment on society, or humanity, or generally have some sort of deeper meaning. I’ve seen a lot of zombie movies where zombies seemed to be focused on, with a plot, backstory, and characters seeming to have been added as an afterthought (almost as a hollow excuse for the zombies to show up.) You end up not caring when Joe Bob the innocent idiot or Mary Sue the brainless cheerleader get ripped to shreds, and covered with low-budget fake blood. Then all the movie has that could appeal to audiences is quality carnage. When the carnage isn’t even satisfying, then the movie is barely enjoyable at all, in my opinion.

It just sounds like a bad idea to me. If you want to do it, then go ahead! But unless your zombie scenes are really interesting, I’m afraid there’ll be nothing going for it, and you will have spent your time on something that isn’t terribly well-appreciated.

Sorry to be discouraging, I just happen to be terribly passionate about films having a meaning or purpose, and not being a series of meaningless, gratuitous action scenes, if you will. (I was barely able to enjoy “The Expendables”, if you couldn’t tell. 😉 )

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Dave

Very well said, TheDudePerson, I agree 100%.

I would add, as a cavaet, a short film following, maybe, one zombie infecting people and building a small horde might be interesting. Almost like a nature documentary with zombies instead of elephants. I can only see if working as a short though.

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Nikolai

Well, I had the idea of making it a Lego Stop-Motion, to tell you the truth. No storyline, just a couple songs and some slow-mo would be about it. I agree, just fighting is kinda boring. I always like to have the zombies winning, some boring moments of running, watching, falling, and ( Winning!) some other stuff. I’ll make up what each scene would be, pick out some music, then give it a go.

the dude person

Slow motion? In stop-motion? Have you ever done stop-motion animation before?

It takes hours to complete even choppy, normal-speed sequences. Slow motion just means you’ll have to take at least 2 or 3 times as many pictures, and make changes to your figures and scene that are 2 or 3 times more minute and precise.

Unless you use a high-end program to morph between frames, that’s going to be incredibly difficult. (Even I don’t have a program that can do that, nor can I find one that works sufficiently.)

It sounds like it might make for an interesting video, but not necessarily a serious short film. Good luck with it though, I know you’ll need it.

Nikolai

Yeah, slow-motion stop-motion is extremely difficult. I have tried stop-motion before, but I’ll practice a little bit by making a OMAM short.

guy

Get some friends,airsoft guns, a good place to shoot (a run down building or a rundown apartment, and a good camera and you are set.

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Dave

There’s a bit more to it than that. I’ve tried making a zombie short twice now. The first time was right after high school, and pretty much like you described. No plan, just some fake guns, corn syrup, and food coloring. The result was garbage.

The second time was years later. I wrote a script and had a very small budget. Everything was good to go, except we ran into two problems: the first was the wind messed up the sound really bad. Like it was almost impossible to make anything out. The second was that the actors were really not dependable; so they’d show up whenever and leave whenever. We only had three days to shoot. It was a mess. We got it done, but were never able to edit into anything usable because the sound sucked and we didn’t have enough footage to have good takes on everything due to lack of actors.

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the dude person

I’ve been itching to make a zombie movie for a while now, and have been experimenting with applying (and even creating) latex prosthetics… but I don’t have a solid story in mind that wouldn’t be a basic re-telling of every crappy zombie movie ever made.

And wind is always a big issue, usually filmmakers either use a windjammer (or “dead cat”) on the end of their microphones (sometimes on booms,) or they simply record an ambience track, then combine it with dubbed-in dialogue. Of course, that takes a lot of effort, but it works fairly well if done right.

I’m actually going to be trying to purchase a shotgun mike soon (which has nothing to do with actual shotguns) and it should have some wind-cancelling capabilities. (It doesn’t record everything around it, mostly only what you’re pointing it at.) I’m sure it’s better than my built-in camcorder mike, at any rate.

Sometimes it seems people get a budget for their short film, and barely even think about basic equipment like cameras, mikes, lights, etc. and just go right for the special effects or props. Sometimes they blow their budgets getting a “good” camera, but then they wind up with terrible sound when they don’t get any good mikes.

Filmmaking is definitely an art, and all art requires certain tools. Making a sound-movie with no microphones other than what’s on the camera itself is like trying to paint a picture of the sky without any blue. (It can be done, but doesn’t come out as nicely.)

Directing is also extremely important. A lot of people think of a director as the guy who tells the camera where to go, and tells the actors when to start acting, but of course it’s a lot more complex than that. Directors have to work with the actors (and the entire rest of the crew, if present) in front of and behind the cameras. That requires a lot of coordinating, planning, and leadership and people skills.

Of course, casting is important, too. It’s not always the best idea to cast your cocky, irresponsible best friend as the lead roll…

Maybe someday, once I’ve got the appropriate equipment and some more experience, I’ll make a zombie film of my own. We’ll have to see.

I am curious to see your zombie films, no matter how “bad” they are, if either have survived or exist in some sort of electronic media.

zombiemutts

Before everything gets taken down

http://toysnbricks.com/lego-series-7-minifigures-2012-pictures/

Series 6 minifigures include (left to right):
Female Skateboarder
Leprechaun
Pajama Guy
Flamenco Dancer
Female Space Warrior
Cowboy Bandit
Roman Legionnaire
Statue of Liberty Suit (like those guys in 6th Ave)
Mechanic
Intergalactic Robot (looks like the robot from “Intergalactic” by the Beastie
Boys)
Minotaur
Highlander Warrior
Surgeon
Butcher
Grey Alien
Genie

Series 7 minifigures include (left to right):
Nerd
Female Punk Rocker
Bride
Mayan/Aztec Eagle Warrior
Rodeo Guy

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