Zombie Cliche Lookout: Small Beginnings
The thing about apocalypses is that they rarely happen all at once. Sure, there’s often some giant turning-point moment, after which nothing will ever be the same. But before that? Before that there are a lot of little things that start building up. A mysterious illness. Weird stories on the news. Increases in government and police presence. People disappearing. There are plenty of warning signs out there if you’re paying attention and know what to look for.
A lot of zombie stories like to play this up, and none does a finer job than Shaun of the Dead. The film’s first act is just chock full of weird behavior in the background tipping genre-savvy viewers off to what was waiting in the wings.
About this Episode:
So with this flashback scene I wanted to play around a bit with color. When we first flash back to the relative safety of Sam’s office, we get a lot of nice, warm colors. He’s comfortable there, things are more or less normal, and his lovely wife just dropped by to give him some wonderful news. As he goes on, things get darker and colder, and now we find ourselves in this modern looking, grey on grey office (with some splashes of color, because otherwise it’s a little too drab), and things are worse than ever.
Discussion Question: Early Warning Signs
The zombie apocalypse is coming, and I know we’re all prepared with our machetes and stockpiles of toilet paper. But how are you going to get ahead of the pack and spot trouble before everyone else does? What sort of early warning signs are you on the lookout for? What sort of news is going to have you running for your panic room with your shotgun in hand?
I work at a Detroit news station so I’ll notice when things get weird. I get to monitor satellite and several different video feeds from CNN and ABC national news. If it looks like its spreading I’ll be going home sick, right quick.
What would you do if you noticed some critical information about the means of the infection? Would you attempt to get the word out through your station or save yourself and family/friends? Going home sick due to a zombie plague is one thing but if you could save even a few people by letting the word spread while it still can, would you try? 😀
Which station do you work at? Do you know Charlie LeDuff?
Since moving to Lansing, I really, really miss the local Detroit news.
ABC channel 7. I’m a Microwave operator / Content coordinator.
Yes, If I had a chance to help others I would. I’ve spent a big part of my life watching the news and for the last 6 years got to work at a station I grew up watching. The most enjoyable part of my job is watching things before anyone else even knows whats happening. You see some sad stuff come in as well that we “Filter”. (Disney filter if you will) No blood, no bodies and no needles going into skin. Those rules don’t always apply though but I have a feeling the masses would actually find out 24 hours afterward. That’s media, I don’t like thats the way things go but you can’t report rumors or false accusations either.
That’s cool. We primarily watched two, but we’d flick to four and seven quite a bit as well.
Thats all right I won’t hold it against you. I’m BBC & AP kind of guy.
Two typo alerts for Dave: Zombie Cliche Lookout, first paragraph: “that that” should be “that they”. 😉
Same section, second paragraph first sentence, after the comma should read: “and none does a finer job than“. 😀
NO! Shelly has died! The humanity!! :'(
It’s a tragedy.
“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
I listen to a lot of local radio. The talk hosts are pretty wired into the situation. I expect listeners to call in when things start to get hinky. I would do the same.
I don’t expect the country to react quickly to a zombie outbreak, at least not without some prompting by the government. I mean, if we didn’t react to that bath salts thing (which looked and felt like zombies to me), how will we recognize a real zombie epidemic?
When the freshly dead start crawling their way from the grave, in true Romero fashion, I am hoping the folks paying attention will notice.
Local radio is a great idea, Bo. Perfect for passive listening, and you can do it in a power outage from the car, with a battery powered radio, or with a crank radio.
Ham radio is another good option. A tech license is a weekend of studying and a fourteen dollar licensing fee. A mobile car setup is about $250 or so; and you’ve got fifty watts of power to keep up with what the locals are seeing and doing. If you have the time and money for HF, you can keep up with what folks are doing in Europe and Asia, without the filtering of governments and media outlets. .
I need to learn more about ham radio. I just keep picturing giant, wood-paneled radios. I’m hopelessly behind the times.
My mobile rig is a bit smaller than a car stereo. It’s not in my car, though. I have it loose in a box of radio stuff. I was going to put another one in my car; but it decided it would rather blow the alternator this week; so the money went there instead.
Blowing out the alternator sure does seem like a fun project for you.
Every time I get an extra $500 or so, a car decides to break down. It’s like they know or something…
Oh yeah, those damn budget zombies like to rear their ugly heads whenever they get an opportunity.
I look for things like that story last year about the guy down in Florida who ate the other guy’s face.
Two references to bath salts zombies in under ten minute!
Because that was the closest we’ve had to a true zombie outbreak, and most folks slept through it.
It was a pretty crazy story. I was following the hell out of it (but not doing anything to get prepared for the worst, of course).
I will admit that I took some extra precautions for several days following that incident. I wasn’t thinking that it was anything like the ZA but I was worried about some kind of crazy virus or maybe some contaminated street drugs causing violent behavior.
So I take it none of you heard about the Fake zombie Emergency Alert System? An Emergency service warning for Upper Michigan and Montana was broadcast midday advising of a Zombie attack. Of course it was fake but how quick do you think the government would want us to panic? Not in the first few hours, at least not until it went viral.
Hey guys I just made a Flickr account!