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Between Batman, Spiderman and the “Twilight” craze, ghouls and iconic heroes are everywhere, but what Sacramento Bee reporter Ed Fletcher, 37, really wanted to see was zombies – dancing. He got what he wished for, and Sacramento is about to see the results.
The action comedy is set in Sacramento and tells the tale of three renegade superheroes, the “Adventure Patrol,” and their fight against killer zombies. After a series of reported dog maulings, the superheroes decide to investigate, and in the process they learn that killer zombies like to dance to a beat.
Mystery Zone Productions owner Aaron Keith Long, 22, will direct the movie.
Long said he is most excited about directing the dance scene.
“We are going to have a 20-person crew out there with probably about three or four cameras, and it’s going to be a lot of organization and fun,” Long said. “This is only a 10-minute movie, but we’re doing it at a pretty good production scale.”
Fletcher said that Sacramento Film and Music Festival organizers liked the script and added the movie to the short film lineup despite the abnormally short production schedule.
Keith and Fletcher worked on pre-production in April and May, casted actors in mid-June and will shoot for four days in July. Set locations include the Old Sugar Mill and the Pre-Flite Lounge. Final edits will take place in early August.
Nathan Schemel, executive director of the Sacramento Film and Music Festival, said that in addition to providing a variety of films for the festival, the committee wanted to provide Sacramentans an opportunity to shine.
“We try to be more Sacramento-centered this year,” Schemel said. “Our goal is to focus more and be more supportive of our artists, and I guess Fletcher is a part of that.”
To make the movie possible, Fletcher and Long invited the Sacramento community to attend a costume party and contribute to their online campaign on Indiegogo, a fundraising website that allows people to contribute to a cause online. You can see their campaign video here:
Fletcher said Indiegogo possessed a key feature that met their constrained budget and timeline needs.
“We were going to go forward regardless, and we were going to adjust what we do to the budget we have,” Fletcher said. “Indiegogo allows you to keep whatever amount that you reached, so it’s more flexible to your campaign that way.”
They have raised $1,285 of their $2,151 goal; the deadline to contribute online is July 3.
For $30, contributors receive a “Dance Steps of Death” T-shirt, $100 contributors are recognized in thank-you credits and $500 sponsors become associate producers.
Twenty-seven people funded their campaign thus far.
Despite the movie’s emphasis on crime fighters and zombies, Fletcher does not have an obsession with the undead.
“I’m really not a huge zombie person, but they’re everywhere, and I just really like the way they moved,” Fletcher said. “I sort of tried to bring all these pop culture elements together in a story that worked, and was fun and energetic.”
Long said that he likes that the movie project ties people in the community together.
“What’s most rewarding for me is going to be leading a team of people that live right here in Sacramento,” Long said. “It’s really going to be great just to take this one to the next level.”