Congratulations Alexander Peterson!
All photos taken by: Alexander Petersen
When I first developed the idea for The Damned and the Dead, I was listening to a song, Pride, by the band Manchester Orchestra. I was daydreaming and imagined the dramatic scenario in the short film playing through my mind. I thought to myself, “that would make a great music video!” Originally, I wanted the film to be a silent, but when I began the process of casting, I thought it would be smart to give my potential actors a script to read. After reviewing my finished screenplay and auditions of multiple actors, I decided it would be better with dialogue, no longer a music video.
I wanted to capture the free will of the zombie character, Timid, and portray this living dead being as more of a real character, with drive and desire, rather than a mindless, brain eating monster; adding dialogue, or the lack there of for the Timid character (until the end, when he’s zombified), helped make this daring task more possible.
I hired my friend and roommate, Oscar Salvador, to play the Timid/Zombie character, he also did a wonderful job at doing his own zombie make up, which turned out very well. Aaron Sulkin played the hateful Brute, and Jessica Silver played the loving Damsel caught in the middle of the violent love triangle.
There was not much set design involved, but finding locations to film a western in northern Virginia was quite difficult. Eventually, I found a small barn on Ox Road that was willing to give us their location. For the second act of the short film, we filmed in a vacant area in Loudoun County, VA.
In exploring the topic of free will, I wanted to express that no matter who you are, human, animal, or even a monster, you still are entitled to your own free will, to seek out passionate desires of love.
Click here for the link to his script