Inspirations for His Films
the last two movies Zombies made, the ideas came to him while he was on tour and traveling through the Midwest. Wed be
driving through these really desolate-looking areas, with like old farm houses
crumbling on the edges of rivers and, my god, those settings were so...
inspiring... so wild... like theyre badlands or something, he says.
But its such a long journey from the start to the ending of a film
that, by the time you finish, sometimes you cant even remember what
Inspiration is one thing. Making a fucking amazing film is
another. And for Zombie its no easy task nor is it one unbeaten by
the fiercely and ever-vying currents of confusion and obsession. Creatively
in general, you sort of just have these ideas and theyre not fully
realized, he says. And youre not sure where theyre going,
and youre always thinking about it constantly.
doesnt end quickly and quite often its entwined with moments of
elation, tempered by the ever-present fear that all that mental obsession, sweat
and toil will end up being... for nothing. But little by little, it comes
together and youll be like, Oh! I just thought of maybe the ending...
I just thought of this scene... I just thought of this other scene... And
youre always making notes and writing things down, says Zombie.
But theres always a point you get to on any project where you feel
like youre not going to figure it out.
But he usually does.
Making Films is Like Making Records
Making a film is kind of like starting a record, he says. You
need a full, finished album, but youve got one idea for one song
maybe. And youre like, How are we going to get from here to
there? Its the same process with film. Its a long slow process
and little by little you build upon things. And at the end of the day, somehow
you get a finished script and a movie, or a record.
And with his new record
just finished, Zombie acknowledges how important the producer-artist relationship
is to him. Finding somebody that you can write with and work with is
virtually impossible, says Zombie. Scott and I are similar in a lot
of ways, but were completely different people in a lot of ways. Somehow it
just comes together and it works well.
What Really Matters for Filmmaking
Although hes charged fearlessly forward with every
entrepreneurial entertainment enterprise hes conceptualized, built and
deployed, Zombie attests that the key to success is more about business sense
than his affiliated creative experience. The jobs of director, songwriter,
performer, etc. are all so different that one doesnt really help you with
the other, he says. I directed a lot of music videos and that was
very helpful. But the most helpful thing for me at all times has been knowing how
to deliver a product on budget and on time because that always remains
And Zombie bestows no pity upon slacker artiste fools.
Thats a fear that a lot of people may have, he admits.
But if you take on the project, no excuse in the world matters. If
someones going to give you 10 million dollars, they want a fucking movie at
the end of the day and they want it on time. Not roughly on time
exactly on time and exactly on budget and they want it to be fucking good.
Directing music videos sort of prepared him for that. I think thats
the best thing I took away from making music videos, says Zombie.
Youve got this much money and this much time and it must be done.
Its not like a student film where youre going to obsess over it for
three years if you want to, or forever. It must be done.
Where many people
aspire to make records, many of them just sit around in their basements writing
great songs, but never actually get around to making and releasing a record. And
thats what Zombie feels is the difference. I think some people have a
fear of that, he says. But there is that moment where, once you
decide to throw your hat in the ring, you go, Okay, Im doing this for
real. Its that bizarre side of it that people dont like. But
unfortunately its just the reality and that becomes the business of making
it happen. And it has become like this psychotic pressure for me.
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On Music In Film
When it comes to the music for his films, Zombie is an
absolute control freak. I cant speak for everybody, but with my
films, Im all over everything constantly, he says.
plays 100% in a film, says Zombie. It is so important in a film. It cant make a bad film
great, but it can make a bad film work. It can make a great film terrible.
is everything and I think its getting lost a little bit, he says. But great music
can make films so much larger than life and bad music can just make you go,
Ugh... I dont want to keep watching.