Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What I Learned From Zombies

Last week there were Zombies in my yard and in my house. Worse. They’d taken over my office! Screenwriter guy wrote a zombie screenplay, Screamwriter. It’s a comedy, a fifteen minute short where a screenwriter’s characters come to life, or in this case, become a little less undead. And of course Screenwriter recruited friends as actors. I did not end up getting to be a zombie. I play the screenwriter’s wife. And the good part is I miss the three hours of make-up  it takes to transform into one of the undead.

But I do get to watch the process. And I have to say it reminds me of writing. You could say everything reminds me of writing, and you’d be close. But when I watch the make-up artist lay on layer after layer of paint, latex, coffee grounds (who knew!) , and some strange red substance I can't identify, I thought about me creating a character. The more layers of complexity I add, the more real my protagonist becomes. The big revelation for me was that sometimes you have to scrap and peel away layers. Yes, it's true! The make-up artist must peel away a little of her work to create the effect she wants. I realize that there are times when less is more. I have to peel away layers of description, to reveal more, asimple gesture, a fragment of dialogue may be all it takes.

But that's where I'll stop the analogy and tell you the funny bits  like finding a random arm in shrubbery or Zombie Zach using the restroom in the park near our house. He definitely heard someone come in behind him. We all heard the shout as a man came shooting out the restroom door. There's nothing like a little fantasy to get you through the furnace of summer. And every now and then, I need a big distraction from waiting for publishing news. My cover for Beyond the Door should be coming out in the next few weeks. I have a new manuscript on an editor's desk and I'm trying not to check my email every half hour. Brains anyone?


Jordan Dane said...

Ha! That's hilarious. Porta-can nightmares. That would be so much fun to be in a short like that. The TV show, THE WALKING DEAD, has a link where you can Zombie yourself. I've been DYING to do it.

The best way to beat the jitters of waiting is to start a new project and get sucked into it, but zombie movies come a very close second. Bwah Ha Haaaaah!

Maureen McQuerry said...

Yes, a new project is the best medicine, but I'm still checking that email. sigh.

Sechin Tower said...

This is hilarious! I can't wait to see the result. Where/when will the film be available?

I never would have guessed that there would be parallels between makeup and writing. That is a real insight.

Maureen McQuerry said...

I'll post a link when the movies is ready. Should be by the end of July.