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A Conversation with Director Mike Fitzer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lori Bowland   
Saturday, 10 September 2011 14:33



A Conversation with Director Mike Fitzer

of Dead Inside




LivingDeadMedia has a conversation with Mike Fitzer the writer and director of "Dead Inside".






What is "Dead Inside" going to be about?

Mike Fitzer:

“Dead Inside” follows a small band of survivors eight months after the “outbreak”. Surviving on meager rations and desperate for news,their fragile sanctuary is destroyed in a matter of moments by the influx of a straggling party of survivorsand the hungry undead that quickly follow. Those that survive the attack make their way to what they think is an abandoned maximum security prison.
Once inside they must decide if they are safer on the outside with the flesh-eating hoards or on the inside where the hunters are far more maniacal.

Check out
to get a better feel for what we plan to offer. And, check out the trailer.  I was interested to see how some of the action translated from script to screen so I gathered some willing volunteers together on a cold January morning for about five hours to roll around in the mud.  About six hours in post and we had a spec trailer. This little exercise gave me valuable insight on how I want to cinematically approach the actual production.



I understand that it will be set in a prison and it’s not always permitted to film there;
how did you find a location to serve as that setting?

Mike Fitzer:
There are a couple of abandoned state facilities that are open to us.
We’re still considering our options.  Both locations will take some work to get them up to snuff.
It just depends on the availability of the locations and what our set design budget will allow.


What are the other locations that you'll be using for the film?

Mike Fitzer:

We will spend 1-to-2 days on a farm and may utilize some city locations for flashback sequences. However, the flashbacks may not find their way into the final shooting script.

Will this be your first foray in to zombie or horror films?

Mike Fitzer:

I’ve been a horror/zombie fan my entire life but most of my experience is in directing and photographing documentary and commercial work. While I have worked on features in various capacities, this is my first feature in the director’s chair. I’m very excited by the prospect.

What was the most enjoyable part of getting this movie made?

Mike Fitzer:

We haven’t begun principal photography so I would have to say my favorite part is seeing how people from all over the country are coming together based on the strength of the script..
It has been a real confidence builder.  Strong talent like Grace Johnston, Rick Ravanello, and Brian Krause have come on board without a single dollar in the bank simply because they saw this project as one they really wanted to be part of.  That means a lot.  Recently, we received a verbal confirmation from a big name that will bring a lot of attention to the finished film.  We have some real momentum here.

What was the most difficult part?

Mike Fitzer:

Fundraising… Always the fundraising.

What actors have been confirmed to be in the film?

Mike Fitzer:

Grace Johnston, Rick Ravanello, Brian Krause, Andrew Rothenberg, Jeremy London, Ryan Merriman and as just mentioned, we recently we got a verbal confirmation from a well-known star.

We will officially release that information once the paperwork is signed and in place.

How far are you to completing "Dead Inside"?

Mike Fitzer:

We’re 60% cast, 80% crewed and have a number of potential investors throughout the country now combing through the paperwork, including a venture cap firm well-versed in film investment.

Zombie films are very popular now; how will your film be different from the others?

Mike Fitzer:

That’s my secret but trust me… We’re incorporating some things that have never been tried in this genre.

This will be a very creepy film with just a few moments of levity.

Would you comment on the zombie effects in the film, make-up for example?

Mike Fitzer:

Our make-up artist is an LA native with years of feature and combat recreation experience under her belt. I can’t wait to put her to work.  We talk weekly and she has some great things in store. 
We also have an amazing digital effects artist signed on who has an international catalogue of  well-known work on his resume.  As for our organic effects, I have enlisted the help of an old friend and seasoned effects artist and just recently tapped into an up-and-coming stunt coordinator who is excited to bringing his skills to the fore.

Do you have a release date in mind?

Mike Fitzer:

Based on our anticipated success with fundraising we would like to begin production in December of 2011.  This is typically a slow time of the year for film production and it still gives investors time to take advantage of the Section 181 federal tax incentive.   We hope to release at the end of March or early April, 2012 and of course make a big splash at all the upcoming horror fests.

After "Dead Inside" is completed will you be making more horror films?

Mike Fitzer:

I believe it’s important to diversify creatively so I currently have two wildly different projects on slate. One is a partially funded screen adaptation of a nationally syndicated radio program that my partner and I are close to realizing and the other is a feature documentary still in the development and grant-writing stage.  Once those are complete I fully intend to hop back on the horror train.  However, you never know how things will pan out.  I have outlines for two more zombie films sitting in my file cabinet just chomping at my heels to be made.  As we all know… it’s the genre that never dies!

LivingDeadMedia would like to thank Mr. Mike Fitzer for the opportunity to talk about "Dead Inside"

and for taking time to interview with us.

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 September 2011 15:57

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