It’s not every day that you get to take your macabre and funny dream around the world to sell-out crowds.
But that’s exactly what Thunder Bay producer/director Casey Walker has been doing since his film A Little Bit Zombie launched at the Victoria Film Festival in February. The feature length zombie comedy has taken home five awards so far, most recently the audience award for best feature film at Brazil’s Fantaspoa Film Festival, and hit 14 festivals with more on the way.
It will screen Saturday at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium as part of a 20-theatre cross country launch, the largest screening for an independent film in Canadian history.
Most Canadian indie films are lucky to have five.
Despite all of his success, and the fact that the film has sold out everywhere it’s played, Walker said he’s still nervous about his hometown crowd.
“I’m probably more nervous about this screening than any other I’ve had before because I’ve got a lot of history in this town, a lot of friends a lot of family,” Walker said Friday afternoon.
It all started back in 2006 when Walker launched a website called My Million Dollar Movie.
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... Go here to see the full trailer, which may not be appropriate for all ages.
While crowd-funded projects are now starting to creep into the mainstream, at the time social media wasn’t even relevant. The site had more than 200,000 hits the first day and raised $20,000.
“I had a need. I needed to make a film and no one was going to give me money. The crazy thing in Canada, actually everywhere, is no one is going to let you make a film unless you make a film,” Walker said.
“It was that last kick at the can, either go all in for broke or give up… you have to bleed for the things you love.”
Momentum stalled when the federal government thought Walker was violating securities laws. But after a legal battle and a compromise, the site lived on.
“I was even willing to go to jail before taking it down because so many people were willing to support me and we weren’t going to back down because of a legal interpretation that the government was in the wrong for,” he said.
The site had originally been used to raise funds for another script Walker had been working on. But in 2008, he met Christopher Bond of Evil Dead The Musical fame. He pitched A Little Bit Zombie to Walker and three years to the day later they were on set.
They spent 35 days living in a fishing lodge northeast of Sudbury in what Walker calls the middle of nowhere shooting it. Since then, the film has ended up in the middle of everywhere. Walker said he can’t believe the support he’s seen. Although it’s nice to get awards, he said the best part is getting to see a room full of people laughing at the film.
“I’m more shocked than surprised. I mean we made this movie for the audience and certainly not for any type of accolades and being recognized for what we did it’s pretty cool,” he said.
The film is about a mild-mannered HR manager who is bitten by a zombie mosquito a week before his wedding. He has to avoid a zombie hunter and his bridezilla-to-be all while trying not to give in to his desire to eat brains.
“He’s not quite a zombie he’s just a little bit zombie,” Walker said.
The show starts Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.
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