Sep 22, 2018
Visit our sister site:

Front Page, Industry News

An interview with Brett Pierce Co-Director of Toronto After Dark Festival’s Best Comedy, Deadheads

By TO411 Daily staff writer Daisy Maclean

One of the best movies screened at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival this year was Deadheads. The film is a dark comedy about a guy, his pal and their faithful mutt on a road trip to win back the girl of his dreams, the only catch is he’s been dead for three years and is now a new breed of conscious zombies. And his pal is a conscious zombie. And their faithful mutt is a not-really-conscious-zombie. It was a truly fresh take on the genre, with a well written script peppered with enough pop culture references to make Joss Whedon proud. With a bit of sleuthing, I managed to track down Brett Pierce (co-writer and co-director) to chat about the film.

You recently won Best Comedy at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, how does that feel?

Surreal. We’ve been working on the film for over 5 years and to finally be able to show the film to an audience, and on top of that, have them embrace it is the best feeling in the world. My brother Drew and I made this movie because we dreamed of going to the theater, dimming the lights, and sharing our movie with an audience. We’re addicted to it. 

What kind of challenges did you face making the film?

Every type of challenge possible. The shoot was the most fun we’ve ever had but also the most stressful time of our lives. We we’re shooting 15 to 20 hour days, 6 days a week for 9 weeks. By week 5 we looked like refugees. We ran out of money multiple times, we were kicked out of locations, and we all lost our financial stability and in some cases a place to live. The film was pure passion for all of us and we took that beyond reason. When we reached the end of the 9 week shoot we didn’t know how we were going to pay for rent or food to survive. We we’re flat broke with a movie in the can, but with no money to move forward and complete the film. We were terrified.

What surprised you about being brothers and working together?

How much we never argued or disagreed about what we we’re shooting on a day to day basis. It was a joke on set with the cast and crew that you could speak with either of us and get the same answer. We have this weird creepy shared brain where we finish each others sentences. If we weren’t filmmakers we’d probably join the X-Men. We love working together and can’t imagine not working together. It really works for us. 

What kind of crazy hi-jinx did you get up to because of budget restraints?

There’s too many to talk about! I can’t wait till some people get to hear the director’s commentary we recorded for the DVD/Blu-Ray. It’ll make you never want to make a movie. 

Well, one of the craziest things we did was we wanted to do an homage to the Raiders of the Lost Ark drag stunt but with zombie intestines instead. It was a big stunt for us so we hired a stunt man and we’re prepped to do it. On the day of the stunt he called and couldn’t make it which pretty much meant the whole thing was dead in the water. Drew and I wanted it in the flick so bad and the crew did too so we fashioned a makeshift “Iron Man” like suit of industrial cardboard to do the stunt. We still didn’t have a stuntman but our production designer volunteered to risk his life so we put the “Iron Man” suit on him, slapped on wardrobe and makeup, and dragged him behind a truck at 40 miles an hour. It was insane and our production designer Steve is now a legend among our crew.

What makes Deadheads such a repeat hit at festivals, and such a different zombie flick?

Drew and I wanted to have characters that the audience identifies and cares about and I think that’s what is surprising people at festivals and why they’re really loving the film. We made a crazy meshed genre zombie flick with zombies you would want to hang out with. Mike McKiddy and Ross Kidder, who play our two lead zombies, just kill it on screen as a buddy duo and it’s because they’re fantastic performers, as well as good friends in real life. It’s buddy zombies on a road trip to find a girl and I think that sets it apart from other zombie films. We’re sympathizing and off on a Stand By Me type road trip with the undead.


Who is your favorite character and why?

Oh man. That’s tough. I have to go with Cheese. He’s a big lumbering Frankenstein zombie with a big heart. He wasn’t in earlier drafts of the script and we can’t imagine the film without him now. We had written him into one scene during a rewrite with the intention of it just being that, one scene. We just fell in love and instantly realized this needed to be a zombie trio on a road trip. Drew and I always refer to him as the puppy and who doesn’t love a puppy! 

***

Deadheads is a must-see film this year. Keep an eye out for it in the US as distributed by Freestyle Digital Media, and in the UK as distributed by G2 Pictures. So far the film has not yet been snapped up by a Canadian distributor, however I don’t see it sitting on the shelf for long!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

An interview with Brett Pierce Co-Director of Toronto After Dark Festival’s Best Comedy, Deadheads

By TO411 Daily staff writer Daisy Maclean

One of the best movies screened at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival this year was Deadheads. The film is a dark comedy about a guy, his pal and their faithful mutt on a road trip to win back the girl of his dreams, the only catch is he’s been dead for three years and is now a new breed of conscious zombies. And his pal is a conscious zombie. And their faithful mutt is a not-really-conscious-zombie. It was a truly fresh take on the genre, with a well written script peppered with enough pop culture references to make Joss Whedon proud. With a bit of sleuthing, I managed to track down Brett Pierce (co-writer and co-director) to chat about the film.

You recently won Best Comedy at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, how does that feel?

Surreal. We’ve been working on the film for over 5 years and to finally be able to show the film to an audience, and on top of that, have them embrace it is the best feeling in the world. My brother Drew and I made this movie because we dreamed of going to the theater, dimming the lights, and sharing our movie with an audience. We’re addicted to it. 

What kind of challenges did you face making the film?

Every type of challenge possible. The shoot was the most fun we’ve ever had but also the most stressful time of our lives. We we’re shooting 15 to 20 hour days, 6 days a week for 9 weeks. By week 5 we looked like refugees. We ran out of money multiple times, we were kicked out of locations, and we all lost our financial stability and in some cases a place to live. The film was pure passion for all of us and we took that beyond reason. When we reached the end of the 9 week shoot we didn’t know how we were going to pay for rent or food to survive. We we’re flat broke with a movie in the can, but with no money to move forward and complete the film. We were terrified.

What surprised you about being brothers and working together?

How much we never argued or disagreed about what we we’re shooting on a day to day basis. It was a joke on set with the cast and crew that you could speak with either of us and get the same answer. We have this weird creepy shared brain where we finish each others sentences. If we weren’t filmmakers we’d probably join the X-Men. We love working together and can’t imagine not working together. It really works for us. 

What kind of crazy hi-jinx did you get up to because of budget restraints?

There’s too many to talk about! I can’t wait till some people get to hear the director’s commentary we recorded for the DVD/Blu-Ray. It’ll make you never want to make a movie. 

Well, one of the craziest things we did was we wanted to do an homage to the Raiders of the Lost Ark drag stunt but with zombie intestines instead. It was a big stunt for us so we hired a stunt man and we’re prepped to do it. On the day of the stunt he called and couldn’t make it which pretty much meant the whole thing was dead in the water. Drew and I wanted it in the flick so bad and the crew did too so we fashioned a makeshift “Iron Man” like suit of industrial cardboard to do the stunt. We still didn’t have a stuntman but our production designer volunteered to risk his life so we put the “Iron Man” suit on him, slapped on wardrobe and makeup, and dragged him behind a truck at 40 miles an hour. It was insane and our production designer Steve is now a legend among our crew.

What makes Deadheads such a repeat hit at festivals, and such a different zombie flick?

Drew and I wanted to have characters that the audience identifies and cares about and I think that’s what is surprising people at festivals and why they’re really loving the film. We made a crazy meshed genre zombie flick with zombies you would want to hang out with. Mike McKiddy and Ross Kidder, who play our two lead zombies, just kill it on screen as a buddy duo and it’s because they’re fantastic performers, as well as good friends in real life. It’s buddy zombies on a road trip to find a girl and I think that sets it apart from other zombie films. We’re sympathizing and off on a Stand By Me type road trip with the undead.


Who is your favorite character and why?

Oh man. That’s tough. I have to go with Cheese. He’s a big lumbering Frankenstein zombie with a big heart. He wasn’t in earlier drafts of the script and we can’t imagine the film without him now. We had written him into one scene during a rewrite with the intention of it just being that, one scene. We just fell in love and instantly realized this needed to be a zombie trio on a road trip. Drew and I always refer to him as the puppy and who doesn’t love a puppy! 

***

Deadheads is a must-see film this year. Keep an eye out for it in the US as distributed by Freestyle Digital Media, and in the UK as distributed by G2 Pictures. So far the film has not yet been snapped up by a Canadian distributor, however I don’t see it sitting on the shelf for long!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

An interview with Brett Pierce Co-Director of Toronto After Dark Festival’s Best Comedy, Deadheads

By TO411 Daily staff writer Daisy Maclean

One of the best movies screened at The Toronto After Dark Film Festival this year was Deadheads. The film is a dark comedy about a guy, his pal and their faithful mutt on a road trip to win back the girl of his dreams, the only catch is he’s been dead for three years and is now a new breed of conscious zombies. And his pal is a conscious zombie. And their faithful mutt is a not-really-conscious-zombie. It was a truly fresh take on the genre, with a well written script peppered with enough pop culture references to make Joss Whedon proud. With a bit of sleuthing, I managed to track down Brett Pierce (co-writer and co-director) to chat about the film.

You recently won Best Comedy at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, how does that feel?

Surreal. We’ve been working on the film for over 5 years and to finally be able to show the film to an audience, and on top of that, have them embrace it is the best feeling in the world. My brother Drew and I made this movie because we dreamed of going to the theater, dimming the lights, and sharing our movie with an audience. We’re addicted to it. 

What kind of challenges did you face making the film?

Every type of challenge possible. The shoot was the most fun we’ve ever had but also the most stressful time of our lives. We we’re shooting 15 to 20 hour days, 6 days a week for 9 weeks. By week 5 we looked like refugees. We ran out of money multiple times, we were kicked out of locations, and we all lost our financial stability and in some cases a place to live. The film was pure passion for all of us and we took that beyond reason. When we reached the end of the 9 week shoot we didn’t know how we were going to pay for rent or food to survive. We we’re flat broke with a movie in the can, but with no money to move forward and complete the film. We were terrified.

What surprised you about being brothers and working together?

How much we never argued or disagreed about what we we’re shooting on a day to day basis. It was a joke on set with the cast and crew that you could speak with either of us and get the same answer. We have this weird creepy shared brain where we finish each others sentences. If we weren’t filmmakers we’d probably join the X-Men. We love working together and can’t imagine not working together. It really works for us. 

What kind of crazy hi-jinx did you get up to because of budget restraints?

There’s too many to talk about! I can’t wait till some people get to hear the director’s commentary we recorded for the DVD/Blu-Ray. It’ll make you never want to make a movie. 

Well, one of the craziest things we did was we wanted to do an homage to the Raiders of the Lost Ark drag stunt but with zombie intestines instead. It was a big stunt for us so we hired a stunt man and we’re prepped to do it. On the day of the stunt he called and couldn’t make it which pretty much meant the whole thing was dead in the water. Drew and I wanted it in the flick so bad and the crew did too so we fashioned a makeshift “Iron Man” like suit of industrial cardboard to do the stunt. We still didn’t have a stuntman but our production designer volunteered to risk his life so we put the “Iron Man” suit on him, slapped on wardrobe and makeup, and dragged him behind a truck at 40 miles an hour. It was insane and our production designer Steve is now a legend among our crew.

What makes Deadheads such a repeat hit at festivals, and such a different zombie flick?

Drew and I wanted to have characters that the audience identifies and cares about and I think that’s what is surprising people at festivals and why they’re really loving the film. We made a crazy meshed genre zombie flick with zombies you would want to hang out with. Mike McKiddy and Ross Kidder, who play our two lead zombies, just kill it on screen as a buddy duo and it’s because they’re fantastic performers, as well as good friends in real life. It’s buddy zombies on a road trip to find a girl and I think that sets it apart from other zombie films. We’re sympathizing and off on a Stand By Me type road trip with the undead.


Who is your favorite character and why?

Oh man. That’s tough. I have to go with Cheese. He’s a big lumbering Frankenstein zombie with a big heart. He wasn’t in earlier drafts of the script and we can’t imagine the film without him now. We had written him into one scene during a rewrite with the intention of it just being that, one scene. We just fell in love and instantly realized this needed to be a zombie trio on a road trip. Drew and I always refer to him as the puppy and who doesn’t love a puppy! 

***

Deadheads is a must-see film this year. Keep an eye out for it in the US as distributed by Freestyle Digital Media, and in the UK as distributed by G2 Pictures. So far the film has not yet been snapped up by a Canadian distributor, however I don’t see it sitting on the shelf for long!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Advertisements