Posts Tagged ‘the walking dead’

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The Postmodern Dead

January 3, 2014
copyright Sellergren Design 2014!

copyright Sellergren Design 2014!

Hey! It’s the first Friday of the new year and time to present the next batch of art prints: The Postmodern Dead! Meet Larry, Lana and Lloyd. Sort of The Walking Dead meets Roy Lichtenstein, these puppies are available as art prints and stretched canvases. Sizes vary between 8″ x 10″ up to 28″ x 38″. Check ‘em out here.

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Optic Candy

October 22, 2013

Well, this is pretty damn cool: Just got hepped to the works of Peter Ahern and Amy Pisco (aka Optic Candy) and you gotta check this out. A perfect juxtaposition of cute and disturbing (kinda like my dates, ha ha ha), the couple (?) focus on mainly animation with some cool artwork thrown in for good measure.

Their portfolio is pretty impressive with works done for Nickelodeon, The Walking Dead and a French yoghurt manufacturer I’m not too sure people in the States have heard of. Check out their blog at http://opticcandy.wordpress.com and their official YouTube channel here. How about a show reel?

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An interview with Tal Zimerman

October 19, 2013

(NOTE: this originally appears on the Swedish Gore Film Society website)

Tal Zimerman at Home

The world is full of creativity. That is certainly nothing new, but thanks to the digital age the odds for someone having their dream project realized has become much, much better. Thanks to Kickstarter and Indiegogo (easily some of my fave websites) anyone can pitch their idea to the world and with a bit of luck get it financed. Being a believer in all things D.I.Y. I consider this a healthy and promising phenomenon and try to support interesting projects as much as my wallet allows me.

Tal Zimerman‘s pretty known among horror fans as he’s not only a writer for both Rue Morgue Magazine and Fangoria, but also an authority when it comes to genre movie posters. I recently found out about his upcoming crowdsourced documentary Why Horror?, a look at the psychology behind this phenomenon, and immediately decided to jump on board.  Ambitiously aiming to produce the most comprehensive documentary on the topic, Tal and Co. already amassed an impressive list of interviewees (George Romero, John Carpenter and Eli Roth just to mention a few), and plan to travel around the world in order to cover every aspect of this old phenomenon. Wanting to find out more, as well as help spread the word, I sat down and sent off a couple of questions his way, which he graciously answered.

So tell me a bit of the origins of the documentary. From my understanding it actually mutated from a different sort of concept.
Yes, that’s true.  I wanted to shoot an hour for TV that focussed on Toronto, where I live.  We would see how very horror-centric this city is, from festivals to famous shooting locations, to social activities and everything in between. There’s a pretty big horror community here and we all agree that we are spoiled rotten with things to do.  The production company I approached, with whom I had worked on a comedy project, was kind of baffled by my outward horror fan persona.  We got to talking about why I like horror, and why people in general, everywhere like horror.  So we decided to abandon the local focus and go global and that a feature film exploring all these things was best for the scope of the idea.

John CarpenterYou chose to have this crowdfunded. Considering the popularity of horror these days, did you consider having it produced by a studio? Was there any pitching for producers involved or did you immediately decide to go with Kickstarter?
I’m actually working with a great production company who specializes in TV comedy here in Canada. The feature length documentary format is new for all of us. There are producers on the project and they pitched it at a local documentary conference. We secured a broadcaster and managed to acquire a bit of funding for development.  The Kickstarter idea came when we realized that the costs of travel and film clip licensing were going to require a lot of money.  Almost everything that you saw in the demo was shot here in Toronto.  To tell the story we really want to tell, we need to travel and we need to show movie clips.

You managed to amass a quite impressive list of people for this! Tell me a bit of that process.
Again that comes back to where the production is located.  We have the Toronto International Film Festival and the Fan Expo, two enormous festivals that bring in top talent.  Having attended both shows for over 10 years, you meet people who know people who can introduce you to people.  Nothing is ever that easy, though.  You still have to hustle and nag and beg.  TIFF is especially tough because distribution companies fly in these directors to talk about the movie they are promoting and we’re talking about horror in general.  It helps to have people on the inside to get those kinds of interviews.  Having an interesting subject matter helps, too.  In reading the description of our movie, a lot of people want to express their ideas on the subject, so it’s just a matter of getting our material into the right hands.

George RomeroCROPPEDAs far as I know, this is the first attempt at covering the psychology behind the horror phenomena. Has there been any real revealing surprises while conducting those interviews?
Lots.  Without spoiling anything, I will say that spooking each other out is a very old custom.  Reminding the people around us of our mortality goes back to pre-language civilization.  Wanting to explain what’s on the other side is a natural, human desire.  Not all of us are content with what religion, or even science has to say about death.  And the more you attempt to cover it up, or try to escape,  the more abstract and creative the ways it bubbles to the surface are.  That, and also the fact that John Carpenter is a huge video gamer.  That blew my mind.

Considering some of the past high-brow snubbing of the genre, did you notice a change of attitude among the academics, or has there been some typical “this is garbage and it turns children into serial killers” sentiments vented like back in the hysterical 80s?
Its funny, we have tried to find people who are vehemently opposed to horror, like a larger anti-horror sentiment, it’s not there like it was in the 80s.  We are getting individuals telling us that their parents or co-workers have voiced concerns about their mental health because of horror, and that they can’t wait for our movie to help them explain their passion, but no big anti-horror movement to speak of.  There was some interesting stuff happening when movies like Saw and Hostel came out, and the idiotic label “torture porn” reared its head, but that goes back ten years.  In the time since, TV shows like Dexter, True Blood, and The Walking Dead have brought horror to the mainstream and into people’s houses – and they LOVE it.  So the genre is really at its peak of popularity and that’s another reason why now was the right time to do this film.

Eli RothCROPPEDI agree. The timing’s perfect. Personally I’d like to know why this genre is so polarizing. (The only other form of cinema doing that being porn.) Do you have anything to share regarding that? Why do people either love it or hate it but rarely anything in between?
It’s sort of designed to do that.  It’s safe to say that there are reactions to horror, both physical and mental, in everyone who sees it, but not everyone is going to enjoy that reaction.  But anything that pushes boundaries, which is one of horror’s main functions, is going to upset some people and delight others.  Some people are naturally curious and adventurous.  Others are content in the safety of their shells.  It comes down to personality.

Also, covering the various aspects of horror all over the world. Have you noticed any big differences? With the exception of noticing Euro horror being a bit more “arty” than the pragmatic U.S. films I really can’t say I’ve studied it at any length, but are we afraid of different things?
We are most certainly afraid of different things, or at least, have very different ways of approaching our anxieties.  In Japan, for example, there are several examples of folklore with haunted spaces and spirits trying to manipulate the living.  These tie in to that society’s family-related anxieties.  In Australia, the vast emptiness of the deserts have created a fear of isolation, which has been the theme of many great Oz-horror films.  In the end, though, it all comes back to the fear of death.  How that fear is represented is very driven by local attitudes.

How much of the documentary is already finished? How are you looking to expand it with the crowdsourced budget?
It’s hard to say, quantitatively, how much is finished.  We have roughly 40 interviews, mostly with film-centric individuals.  We still need to talk to art and literature historians, psychologists, and video game developers.  We definitely know what we want to talk about, and a budget from crowdsourcing will, for example, allow us to show works of art in museums and galleries, as opposed to jpegs.  It will give us the ability to talk to video game developers in Japan directly instead of just showing their works.  The movie is definitely happening, but a little extra push can take us a long way.

As it is feature length: Will we see this having a theatrical release?
I hope so.  It will appear on TV here in Canada next year, and we’re hoping to show it at some festivals before that.  We’re shooting with the theatre experience in mind, so we’re all hoping for a theatrical release.

So am I! Best of luck with the project, Tal.

Interview by Magnus Sellergren.
Photos courtesy Tal Zimerman.

Make sure to check out the project on Kickstarter and join them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WhyHorror. Again, the pitch video:

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Friday the 13th: The Link Roundup

September 13, 2013

Hey! It’s Friday the 13th! You know what that means. Yeah, a lot of us horror nerds will be plopping down on the couch with a choice installment of the classic slasher series. My personal fave is Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (aka “Part 4″ I guess) where the characters are at their most cardboard-y and Tom Savini ups the ante when it comes to gory FX.

Speaking of which: Tom is crowdsourcing his coming zombie epic Death Island! Sounding like a throwback to the classic Haitian zombie theme (think White Zombie, Zombi 2 or even The Serpent and the Rainbow) he’s got a nice cast including Tony Todd (that appeared in his remake of Night of the Living Dead) and is looking for one million dollars to get this made. I found an article about it here, check out the campaign on Indiegogo here (I’m totally contemplating chipping in some $$$!) and join him on Facebook here.

While on that subject I gotta admit it is the weirdest damn coincidence that he’s launching said movie project when I recently finished a similar soundtrack project. How’s that for timing? I already sent a head’s up to my license agency. The stars are aligning…

More horrors can be found as they have been posted on my Society 6! Got four new art prints this week: Demons 1 and Demons 2 (a sort of visceral update of Lamberto Bava‘s 80s gore fest of the same name) and two abstract/psychedelic pieces called Stardust and Fire and Ice. I’m mildly irked by the latter two as I was forced to censor them in order to post the pictures on Facebook as there were some boobage to be seen. Something that apparently “some” people (who are they any way?) have a problem with. Sounds like “some” people got Mommy issues.

Got a batch of more cool S6 discoveries to share with you guys: Jon MacNair (who’s b&w art reminds me of Charles Burns), Brett 66, Silver Larrosa, David Luscombe, you gotta check out Grant Hunter who’s style is sort of a nightmarish Ralph Steadman, and finally Luke Ramsey. Check them all out and invest in some stylish art for your home!

Some real horrors comes via Design You Trust that tells all you need to know about The Uniface Mask. It’s sort of an anime type face that you glue onto your real face. Only $399. Wow.

Double that amount of money and you might snatch up the original test pressing of Minor Threat‘s debut EP that’s up for auction on eBay right now. But FYI, these things have a tendency to go for a lot more than that.

US-based blog Trust Me, I’m a Scientist is easily one of my personal faves, always delivering thought-provoking articles covering all things creative, with a focus on music. Their recent post How to Become the Best at What You Do should be of interest for anyone who wants to perfect a skill, and I highly recommend it. Among other things it proves that talent is a very abstract concept – if it even exists – and is secondary to basic hard work. The article The Quirky Habits of Great Mixers (via Sonic Scoop) is also of interest for the fellow audiophile, so check ‘em both out.

One of the funnier videos I’ve seen this past week was the faked Monty Python and the Holy Grail modern trailer. Funny as hell but I sure hope this doesn’t give Hollywood producers any ideas.

News wise one of the funnier stories from this past week came courtesy UK’s The Guardian about the feral pig in Western Australia that went on a bender, drank 18 beers and ended up in an altercation with a cow. You can’t make that stuff up, man.

More nerdgasms came (hyuck!) when AMC premiered a short teaser from the coming fourth season of The Walking Dead. Typically they’ve blocked it for us non-US citizens, so go here to watch it on YouTube.

Remember that weird story about restaurant owners in Oklahoma finding a huge 300-lb. monument on their lawn that claimed ownership of the land in the name of (H.P. Lovecraft‘s) Azathoth? Well, mystery solved. It was a student prank. And here I was awaiting The Arrival.

Music-wise I’ve recently finished Call Me Greenhorn‘s oddly-titled Pink Hulk that really sees me, uh,  getting down playing with my organ (ahem). Soon to be remixed in a couple of dub variations (I was thinking at least two) and released as yet another dubmusic.com exclusive, I posted the track on my SoundCloud, but you can give it a spin below. Have a nice weekend!

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Call Me Greenhorn – Armageddon Dub (video)

May 7, 2013

I looked and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him…

Yes, here we go: Proudly announcing that the video for Call Me Greenhorn‘s Armageddon Dub is now up and running! Directed by Robert Boud it’s based on his great photo project Aftermath Apocalypse and fits the bleak industrial sounds of the song just perfectly. I already written about how the song was conceived, but my stats show you guys sure don’t like to click stuff, so it all began with me trying out both some new parallel processing techniques as well as getting to know the utterly insane Russian VST Molot one weekend, getting an initial basic track finished late on Friday evening and going to bed ending up having the worst nightmare in years.

With a heavy Walking Dead feel, the nightmare kinda freaked me out and I spent that Saturday trying to re-create the desolate feel of it and ended up with a weird, industrial soundtrack to go with the pretty standard meat-and-potatoes Dub rhythm track. Totally satisfied with the results I was kinda taken aback by the sheer darkness of the damn thing and am still scratching my head how it just kinda jumped out of me. Where the hell did that come from? Anyway, as much as I like the song I’m not adding it to the coming full length as its feel just differs from the rest of the material too damn much.

Now, if you wanna talk synchronicity let’s rewind roughly two weeks where I’m a bit bummed out about not having the equipment to edit new Greenhorn videos (I switched computers early 2013) and am trying to figure out just when and how to get something rolling when I jot down my little post about the Necronomicon Ex Mortis iPhone Case and wouldn’t you know somewhere in the UK was Robert reading it, clicking “like” and the next thing I’m checking out his portfolio and being blown away by his work – with the rest being history. Like I already stated he was perfect for the job as his imagery fits the feel of the song so good it’s eerie.

So make sure you check out the video on YouTube, it has been added as a download bonus goodie on Bandcamp so check that one out here, and please pay Robert a visit on his official site to check out his portfolio ’cause it’s damn good work. And if you wanna try out the insane Molot VST you can do so here.

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Armageddon Dub: Update #2

March 28, 2013
copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Yeah, things are moving along somewhat satisfactory at Camp Sellergren (more info about that when it’s been solved), and in the mean time I actually managed to put out a bonus release: Call Me Greenhorn‘s Armageddon Dub! Yup, the track was initially posted in it’s raw form on my SoundCloud some time ago, and even though my sentiments about it hasn’t changed a bit – it’s just too damn dark! – I gave it a spin and decided it worthy of release, albeit on it’s own and those who feel they can take it can feel free to do so. I still love what I achieved with it and the extra beef in its production is a result of getting heavy with that crazy Russian VST Molot.

Now, I already written about how this song came about – read it again here – so I’ll focus on the second track Trinity (Once Upon a Dub) that spent a good time just collecting dust on my computer. Starting out with some great drum fills The Jimmy C sent me, I set out to do a mix of heavy 70’s Jamaican dub and a sort of tribute to 1960’s Italian spaghetti westerns. (Yeah, I thought it sounded insane too, ha ha ha!) Anyway, add some great Lee Perry-esque horns courtesy The New York Brass – I just had to phase them! – and there ya go! The intro is pretty cool and really throws you off as it progresses into something completely different than what you’d initially expect.

The sleeve was actually quite simple to create. Immediately wanting to do something along the lines of the iconic graphics used by The Clash for their great batch of 7″ singles released between their first and second album (FYI: Complete Control, (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais, Clash City Rockers + the 1979 The Cost of Living EP), I googled ‘ruins’, ‘Armageddon’ (boy, is that movie popular!) and finally found some WWII photos on Wikipedia that looked fitting. Considered to be in the public domain, I made a collage out of various bombed out buildings etc., and wrapped it all up by adding the similar sort of crazy color schemes and fonts used by the band.

Now, I am aware that Dub is an assorted taste, but personally I love it and think it’s a damn unique art form or musical genre as it is the only one to my knowledge where the mixing console itself becomes the main instrument. The concept spans the world these days, but remixing actually has its roots in what geniuses like King Tubby and The Scientist were creating in make shift Jamaican studios throughout the 1970’s – in Tubby’s case using equipment he built himself! – so if you’re the slightest curious about this phenomena please do check them out!

Anyway, available via my Bandcamp so check it out here, and I uploaded a taste on my SoundCloud here, so spread the word and share if you like it. The single:

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Head Cheese

March 5, 2013
Grin and bear it.

Grin and bear it.

Well, as Mme Halloween – that’s miss Hallows to you – complimented me by mentioning me in her previous post about the nearly complete H.P. Lovecraft audio book collection on Archive.org (and referring me as ‘dashing’ without adding ‘outta here’ to said sentence) I thought I’d share this great post from her blog The Year of Halloween: Zombie Head Hors d’Oeuvres! These look pretty easy to do and still really kick-ass, so why don’t ya head over there and get the recipe? There’s still some time left before the season finale of The Walking Dead so you still got time to finish it. Check it out here.

Speaking of Head Cheese I immediately thought of Canadian punk rockers The Hanson Brothers (yes, they got the name from the 1977 hockey cult classic Slap Shot starring Paul Newman), and since I always have a tendency to go on and on about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre I’d better just post the song instead of mentioning how it actually was the original title of the movie. Off their first album Gross Misconduct that kinda sounds like a lost Ramones album about hockey. Check it out:

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The Montana Dead

February 12, 2013

This just in:

Programmers at a Montana television are retracting their report that zombies are victimizing local residents, blaming the news bulletin on computer hackers.

The website for KRTV in Great Falls, which broadcasts to the north central region of Montana, admitted that they warned the audience that “dead bodies are rising from their graves” in different counties across the state. It also claimed the living dead were “attacking the living” and counseled viewers not to “approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous.”

The network said the message was “bogus” and engineers were investigating how hackers penetrated the news station’s computers. At least four people took the joke (if that’s what it was) seriously and called police, urging them to investigate, according to the Associated Press.

I thought I was a huge fan of the series, but I guess somebody really likes The Walking Dead.

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Armageddon Dub (updated)

November 24, 2012

So, yeah, this is gonna be yet another one of those posts aimed towards the fellow audiophile, so all you normal people can move along while us nerds drool and whatnot.

Recently I find myself getting almost a Hunter S. Thompson-esque air when it comes to the Molot tube compressor I wrote about earlier. Using this insane piece of technology on everything from drums to the final stages of mastering I’ve kinda adopted his body language and spout off “oh you magnificent beast!” in the same way good ol’ Doc used to talk about Cadillacs and .357 Magnums. I love this gadget. For all its unruliness and unmatched depth of ugly this takes whatever comes through it and sends it straight off to that “whoa! territory” I’ve mentioned in an earlier post. This is a wild buck impossible to tame. Pure masculinity. No holds barred. You just gotta buckle up, buy the ticket, and take the ride with a big grin on your face, ha ha ha.

So with that hunk of Russian primeval just ready to pretty much hurt anything I might point my finger at, plus me reading the great interview Sound on Sound did with French madman Phillippe Zdar about mixing The Beastie Boys‘ great (and final?) album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, I was curious to try out his mixing technique – especially submixing sounds by splitting an audio source into threes (lows, mids and highs) and treat them with a different chain of EQs and compressors. Even though I’ve never been much of a rap/hiphop fan, the Beasties are totally different because they (1) have a unique approach to the form that keeps it interesting and (2) have a genuine punk/hardcore background giving them a street cred that no PR staff in the world can fake, resulting in a musical style that’s energetic and raw. Listening to that album I was blown away by its creativity, the variety of the material and just how dense the damn thing sounded. So of course I had to look it up, read up on the techniques used achieving it and then find an excuse to take what I’ve learned and just try it out.

As soon as I came home Friday afternoon I started working on a dub song using a classic drum loop and pretty much spent all evening working on it. The initial try had me ripping off my earphones again of course ’cause that damn Molot is kinda like dealing with a 900 lb gorilla trying to quit smoking, but once I had the levels right and started getting into it – using mainly tube compressors, expanders, a classic spring reverb and the occasional dub delay – I knew I was onto something. Cranking up the volume the track sounded hot, dense and just jumped at you. I went to bed around 1:00 am and oddly enough had my first nightmare in years. I summed it up earlier Saturday morning on Facebook, so ‘scuse me while I cut and paste:

Wow. I woke up way too early today on account of having my first nightmare in years. Ironically (’cause I don’t believe in the Mayan ‘The World ends in December 2012!’) I found myself in a quiet post-apocalyptic world, sneaking through the streets (’cause if you start hollering out who you are and where you are before you’ve gotten your bearings or a firm grasp of the situation you’re a damn idiot) trying to figure out what the hell had happened.

After breaking into a TV-station I saw videos of chaos, politicians desperately trying to maintain the illusion they were in control (while their bodyguards/police/military were being torn apart by brainless maniacs in the background), tv-presenters crying as they reported the latest updates and then just silence. No specifics mentioned but after all the initial chaos it all just went out like a lightbulb.

And I am aware that it’s anticlimactic but that was the horror of the dream. The silence. Cities completely devoid of life. The horror and unbearable sadness of waking up one day with everything just gone and no one to explain how or why.

Yeah, I agree. I definitely gotta cut back on the weekly amount of The Walking Dead episodes. Anyway, drawing inspiration from that I dug through my old industrial samples and worked out something that would’ve fit the horrific scenario. The title Armageddon Dub was pretty much a given. It turned out fine but way too dark and industrial-sounding for what I had in mind for the Call Me Greenhorn full length. I’m on the fence about it right now, but I’ll make up my mind about including it or not some time soon. It’s available via SoundCloud, so check it out and please share!

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Audio! Video! Out Now!

November 2, 2012

Man, this week has been utterly insane. I thought I’d been intense before when it comes to output, but this has definitely been something else. And I’ve got the bloodshot, baggy eyes to prove it! But I am done. Finished. Allowed to just sit on my behind and spend the rest of the weekend getting into the second season of The Walking Dead. It’s a bit slower-paced than the first, and they sure do get a lil’ bit preachy in this one but it’s still – easily – one of the best tv-series I’ve seen in years.

Anyway, finishing up the final details for The Norliss Tapes It’s Halloween EP yesterday I decided to make a video for it on the spot. The song was great (Staffan had the verse finished, I wrote lyrics to the melody and he finished up with the chorus) and hearing the finished audio track I knew I just had to get going. And I totally lucked out choosing Herk Harvey‘s 1962 chiller classic Carnival of Souls as it has great tone, some beautiful photography and a truly great performance by lead-actress Candace Hilligoss. And lots of the edits in the video just came together so beautifully I can assure you it was such a fluid process it really didn’t feel like “work” at all. Easily one of my all-time favorite horror movies it was made for a ridiculously low amount of money and is considered by some to be an independent cinematic masterpiece. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it! Considered to be in the public domain you can find it online at Archive.org.

I gotta say that with this EP the whole project sure took some strides forward. Me and Staffan were truly riffing off of each other and like I already stated what began as an idea of doing one seasonal song and give away for free we ended up with a five-track mammoth offering tons of variety. We’ve got some Carpenter, some Kraftwerk, some Beastie Boys influenced weirdness and cool samples from horror classics like Dracula starring Bela Lugosi and George Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead. Check it out on Bandcamp here and how about a tiny taste? Maybe you wanna sing along?

Bonfires light up the night, offering protection
As we slowly retreat to the warmth inside
Under the full moon’s light, somewhere in the cold
There’s a sudden howl, come closer child
It’s Halloween
It’s Halloween

Soon skeletons walk, they’re the dancing dead
Demons gather in shadows, they’re allowed to feed
And as lovers caress, clutch themselves for safety
They pass through the trees, shrieking with delight
It’s Halloween
It’s Halloween…

 
 
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