So this week we had the special Halloween CageMatch video that I had been working on all month. Some of you may know the background behind this, but for those of you in the dark (heh)...
A little over a month ago, PT Scarborough told me he wanted to form a CageMatch team...a zombie CageMatch team. I said "great." This is exactly the kind of stuff I want in CageMatch; teams with a theme are so much fun to design videos and plotlines for. Witness the videos for such teams as SUMO, CCCP, and The Children of the Atom. A team of zombies? I'm all for it. I went ahead and scheduled PT for October 28th, figuring it would make a good Halloween show. As it turns out, the champions coming into the 28th were The Darkness, who do their show in masks and with the lights turned off, so I couldn't have asked for a better scenario.
I started preparing for the Night Of The Living Improv video a month ago. Jackson Hall introduced me to linocutting, and I thought it would be perfect for a zombie video. I got a linoleum block that was about 6" x 9" and carved the background image of the hill, moon, tree, and text over the course of three hours. (One funny note: after 2 1/2 hours of carving, on the first test print, I noticed I had misspelled a word--oops!) I loved the unevenness of the print; it had the perfect spooky look. I then worked off a Jacksonian sketch of a zombie and carved individual body parts: head, torso, arm, straight leg, and bent leg. All of this was block-printed on Bristol paper with black ink and then scanned into the computer. The background was placed over some spooky clouds made in Photoshop, and the moon was layered with an inverted copy of itself to get a...well, "moon look". Then came the hard part. The individual zombie parts were pulled into Flash and puppet-animated to make them walk. This was the first time I had ever tried my hand at character animation, and I was pretty amazed it turned out decently. (It helps that I was animating zombies, who walk jerkily anyway.)
I used some great Nigel Simmons music from the "Calling All Fiends" online Halloween album, as well as a techno cover of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night" done by Tiga Zyntherius, which worked perfectly for the end.
The video can be viewed here.
Stills from the video can be viewed here.
Photos from the show itself can be viewed here.
I may do a "how this was made" tutorial-type thing on this video, if there's any interest.
Many thanks to Jackson, for helping me with the linocutting, and to PT for putting on the funniest show of the year. PT did an amazing job of directing and inspiring his troupe of zombies and zombie-handlers.