Tuesday, June 23, 2009

National Publicity

We have made it: A successful red carpet premiere (pictures posted below) and now a feature article about "School of the Dead" in Revenant Magazine, Moviemaker Magazine and, last but not least, the NY Post! You can read these wonderful write ups at:

They Write of the Living Dead
-UFT New York Teacher

Ghouls Out For Summer
- NY Post

-Moviemaker Magazine

-Revenant Magazine 6/25/09 Posting

What a wonderful end to the year. I'll keep you posted (no pun intended) on the production and screening of our "final cut" of the film this fall.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Previews and Premieres

This Friday, June 19th, we will be holding our red carpet premiere of School of the Dead. All students who were involved in the creation of the film are invited to attend with their parents. The carpet will be open with sparkling cider and small snacks at 5:15 until 5:45. Our screening of the film will begin at 6 sharp. Please wear formal attire to the event.

Along with the rough cut, we will be screening two short previews. One of the School of the Dead and one of "Addiction", which may or may not be created next year. For those of you who are addicted to preview watching, here is a small taste of what's to come:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Movie Maker Magazine and School of the Dead

We have received our first attentions from the press this week with the publication of "Queens Students Transform into School of the Dead" on Moviemaker Magazine's website! The article includes a wonderful write up on the appeal of the film process for 8th graders as well as a lengthy Question and Answer Section with Mr. D., Mr. McLaughlin and myself. Click on the link below and enjoy:

School of the Dead

Friday, May 22, 2009


I would like to congratulate Justine M., Jennifer C., Oscar H., Sonia A., Cynthia M., and Eliseo R for their acceptance into the NY Middle School Film Festival program this summer!!! This is an extraordinary opportunity, which will allow all six of you to connect further with the film experience. Mr. D and I are both so proud of and excited for all of you. And, of course, we can't wait to see the films you produce for next Fall!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Weekend of Filming!!!

Over the weekend, I had the chance to come to school and apply zombie makeup on my fellow students. At first, I wasn't sure what to do because I had only done zombie makeup a couple of times before. I was afraid that I would mess up the ac
tors' faces and make the movie look bad. After doing zombie makeup on a couple of students, I gained confidence. I began to develop a vision for what look I wanted. I wanted to create a look that looked clammy with a lot of greenish yellow hues. With the help of others, I was able to accomplish my goal. The directions that professional makeup artist Mykel Renner left were extremely helpful.
Before I began applying makeup, I applied moisturize
r to my victim's face. (Sometimes I couldn't do this because there wasn't enough time.) Then I applied a foundation all over their faces giving them a paler face. I highlighted their cheekbones with colors from the death wheel like green, yellow and blue. For the eyes, I applied red eyeliner and smudged and used purple on their eye sockets. I also used some of the red eyeliner on the person's inner lips. I added the finishing touch by putting fake scabs and scratch marks on people.
At the end of the day, I learned that a
pplying makeup gets easier with practice. I thought it was fun applying zombie makeup on people. My favorite part of the day was when I applied zombie makeup on Mr.Beloff because how often do you get a chance to make a teacher ugly?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our First Weekend of Filming: Some Student Perspectives

So this weekend we started filming "School of the Dead." I was nervous like crazy, but those feelings soon died (no pun intended) the second I walked into the TV studio in my school. People were already laughing and people were putting on zombie make-up. I was welcome with all smiles and people were so excited to get started. As I waited for a scene I'm in to come up, I watched as my very own classmates became gruesome dead zombies before my very eyes.
When my first scene came up (a scene in which I have a confrontation with my co-star Haider), I had some butterflies, but the directors (who were also my teachers) comforted me and showed me step by step what I had to do. Once we got started everything felt so natural with few mistakes.
Throughout the whole day, everyone worked hard and we had some good pizza. The day went smoothly and so did the very next day. It was a great experience and I can't wait till next weekend to continue. - Selena P.

On Saturday I came to the filming and it was really interesting. My classmate Stephanie M. was doing the make-up for the zombies and it came out really well. I participated in one of the scenes where the teacher was eaten by four different zombies (Tiffany, Sherab, Brittany, and Melissa). I had a lot of fun shooting the scenes. Mr. McLaughlin did a really good job and so did all the teachers and students who participated. I can't wait until next week to be able to come to the next filming. - Karina M.

Working on the movie is an eye-opening experience for me. I found out about skills I had in me that I didn't even know about. In the movie, I did a scene where I get grabbed by a zombie and I didn't even know how to act, I just looked natural.
Doing the make-up was fun as well because I got to experiment with different looks. Even doing costume design was fun because all you have to do is splat blood on a white t-shirt. The movie changed my mind on what I can actually do on the set. -Cynthia M.

I really enjoyed helping with the make-up because it was a new experience to me. I did a lot of people's makeup. Also I was a zombie in one of the scenes! It was fun but also frustrating because you have to do a part a lot of times. But overall it was exciting! I can't wait to see the movie now! -Sherab T.

In the movie "School of the Dead" I was playing a zombie. It was very fun. The makeup was awesome but the blood was sticky. I didn't know how to act like a zombie so I decided to just drag my legs around. -Jessica P.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Production Stills

No previews or clips yet, but here are some production stills taken from the last few days to keep your appetite for blood satiated!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Storyboarder's Vision of a Film by Damaris O.

A story board shows an example of what the camera's point of view should be: what angles to see and which will look good. When I storyboard, I imagine myself in the position of the actor and where he or she has to be and what the best way to see it is. Then I draw them down.

For example in Clip 4.9 of our script, you can see the way the picture is taken and how it focuses on their faces. And you pay attention to the arrow which shows that the camera has to go forward or to keep going in a direction. The fun part is how the actors will act--laughing. Storyboarding can be fun. Just let your mind flow and think how television cartoon artists do when they have to make an episode.

So Storyboarding helps us show which direction, view, and lighting should be there and how it will form. I can't wait for the zombie movie! Groan!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"My Vision on Costuming" by Cynthia M.

In the movie, "School of the Dead," I am the head costume designer. I'm also going to the High School of Fashion Industries, so this is a good headstart for me to practice what I'll be doing in high school.
Since "School of the Dead" is a zombie movie, my vision on the movie is basically a gruesome look, but not bloodthirsty. There will be white shirts, so basically there will be a few paint splats (blood) and lots of rips here and there. The characters will look like they've grown out of their clothes (although they haven't) because it shows they are not the same person anymore.
In the movie, zombies get pushed, pulled, or whatever kind of action that is used against them by the characters in their attempt to avoid getting bitten. The costumes for the zombies will have to look like they've been tugged at. On the other hand, the characters and their costumes will be normal clothes (our uniform), but if any of them turn into a zombie they will have a zombie costume on. As for zombie pants there will be slight rips, making it look torn and it will have to look dirty to highlight the idea that the zombies have been hiding or they're on the look-out.
The whole idea of a zombie movie is to use props, costumes, and make-up to enhance the storyline, in order to show the audience how realistic it could be. The point of a zombie film is to make sure that the costumes look messy not neat to show how much zombies don't care about how they look. There are things that must be realistic too, and my vision is of zombies around the whole school engulfing it with it's sickness.

Before They Were Stars...

Listen to Haider and Sebastian discuss their fear of zombies among other things with Mr. Dictenberg before they knew they had landed the two male roles of the film.