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Chatting with Director Gary Ugarek PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lori Bowland   
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 14:25

Chatting with Director Gary Ugarek About Deadlands 3

 

 

 

Gary Ugarek, director of Deadlands: The Rising, Deadlands:Trapped and All in the Game tells us about Deadlands : The New World.

 

LDM:

Would you tell us a little about  Deadlands 3?


Gary:
Sure… Deadlands 3 is the final entry in my zombie film series I started back in 2005 with Deadlands: The Rising. Originally it was conceived to be a direct sequel to Deadlands 1, set in the zombie ruled world, and pitted survivors against the lawless. The surviving characters of Deadlands 1 would have had to deal with a multitude of different folks who wanted to shape the world into their own kind of Stalin-esque kingdom.
The script of course morphed, when Deadlands 2 took on a new set of characters and new story, so myself and screenwriter Lonnie Martin (Women’s Studies) sat down and discussed how to change the film, but kept the general premise the same. Lonnie brought a lot of new items to the table, introducing another set of survivors and a bartering system between the groups who try to manage to co-exist in this New World, but having all of them deal with one rogue element. A special Forces team that was originally assigned to bringing back VIP’s and dignitaries to undisclosed locations for safety, but after completing their job were tossed aside and forgotten, so they began taking matters into their own hands and using their military status to make unsuspecting survivors feel comfortable while pilfering everything they have, and/or killing the ones who do not want to co-operate.
Lonnie really took the Morganelli character, who is the leader of this unit, and gave him a human side throughout all the evil he has committed. I brought in new characters such as Carrie and her brother Jason, the sole survivors of a zombie attack on a secluded house they were hold up in along with their mother and father. This was something we did back in 2007 with the script and between Lonnie and I we really made their last stand something to kick off the movie in the right direction. For a visual, think of the siege on Herschel’s farm in The Walking Dead (TV Version).

Once Carrie and Jason made it out, they got their first real taste of how bad things really had become, not with just the zombies, but those who could do whatever they want without worrying about being brought to justice. It is a great dark opening, but budget limitations have caused it to be cut back, and while not all of it will be there in script form, Carrie will get to tell the story of what her and her brother have went through, and with Lonnie’s great character development and dialog I am eager to unleash this onto audiences.

Lonnie and I together really brought some great action set pieces together, such as the search for a missing survivor group, as well as a scavenger raid on a local grocery store for supplies. Not only do the audiences get to sit on their edge of their seat watching our characters dealing with zombies and trying to get essentials to survive, but also having to deal with this military unit who has found them and now wants what they have and at any cost.
If done based on the original budget projections it would probably be the largest scope indie zombie flick. I just hope we can get it done. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

LDM:
At one point, you suspended production on Deadlands 3; what was the incentive to give it another try?


Gary:
I have a lot of followers on FB and people who shoot me emails because I like to hear feedback, and many of these folks liked the simplistic nature of the 2 Deadlands flicks made on such low funds, and plus I have always made the script available for Download, so people keep asking when are you doing it, when are you doing? To that I answer… when someone showers us with at least $50,000.

I suspended it previously because we were in talks with one of the majors to make the film a few years ago, and they wanted us to use the story as a total reboot, but as usual with these things talks felll through and I just said maybe now is not the time, so I shut it all down and shelved the script.
But to be simplistic about why… the fans, people who enjoy my films and my work.

LDM:
How can people help with financing the film?


Gary:
We are currently doing an Indie Go Go campaign. We’re trying to raise $50,000 by July 3rd, but even if we don’t make our goal we will begin shooting something even if it is a promo trailer to help get more money, but we have found even this to be hard, but I am not giving up hope.

LDM:
Would you tell us about the characters in this movie?


Gary:
In one word… Awesome. My favorite character is Carrie, she is a tough as nails balls to the wall chick who has a very strong will to survive. Though some might think it is a bit cheesy we gave her that 80’s action movie vibe but without going to over the top about it, but more or less she is someone who takes a lot of chances, when she shouldn’t but those chances she takes has always worked out for the best for her and everyone around her.
Dave – Originally written for someone who played a similar character in the 1st movie, but changed to be given to Micaiah Jones, who plays Lucky in my gangster film All in the Game. Dave is a local neighborhood Baltimore guy who has to use his brains and brawn to stay alive. He is now introduced much earlier in the film and is kind of the father figure or big brother of the group. Dave can stand his ground too, plus it allows me to put another baseball bat in the hands of someone who used it very well in AITG.
Morganelli, he is Afghan Iraq special teams Veteran who is great at extraction in turbulent situations, but feels hurt and used when his own country turns their back on him when all he ever did was his job, and now with the man-power (his team) and the access to a plethora of devastating weaponry he has used it to give birth to his new world.
Jason, Carries younger brother. Kind of the younger brother you love to hate but hate to love. Jason is good with Mechanical things so his skills are used fixing up equipment for the survivors and keeping their own safe house in tip top shape, but Jason even though in his mid 20’s has that mid teen mindset.

Emma Jane – An elderly woman who has gathered up many survivors and have pulled them together to make a safe haven out of some farmland where the grow food and grains to help sustain survivors n the property but also to trade with for their safety and well being. She is a smart and wise lady, a character you feel could be your grand mother or an older relative you have great amounts of respect for… kind of like Aunt Meg from Twister.

LDM:
Have you casted those roles?


Gary:
Only Dave, and one of the Military guys who works for Morganelli. Micaiah Jones from HBO’s The Wire, and the man who played Lucky in All in the Game will play Dave. I am hoping we can raise the funds toget Tiffany Shepis for Carrie, and if he is willing to do it, I would like to have Joe Durbin from Deadlands 2 come back and play Jason.

Chris Clanton, who plays Vince in AitG and played Savino Bratton on the Wire, will play Corporal Hanson, a man with the same taste for viciousness and blood as Morganelli, and has patience for fools.

LDM:
How many zombies do you, ideally,  want for Deadlands 3?


Gary:
1,000,000 – All kidding aside between 500-1000. The films grand finale sequence requires a great amount of extras playing the undead, and many of these zombie extras will end up being featured in the kills. I just want to make it look like the world is a dead place, and you can’t really do that without at least 500 extras chasing people around trying to eat them alive.


LDM:
How can fans volunteer to be extras or zombies?


Gary:
They can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/DEADLANDS-III-The-New-World/115375855139649

When the time comes I will make announcements for Zombies. I will also post the notification on the homepage at www.playingwithdeadthings.com. I would also suggest watching Craigslist and Twitter, and of course the IMDB page for Deadlands 3: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1440740/

LDM:
Where will you shoot Deadlands 3?


Gary:
A majority of it will be in Maryland as usual, I am trying to do most of the shooting in Baltimore City on the East Side using the old Street Light Warehouse which is city owned property but would make for a grand finale in the movie because of how it is set up.


LDM:
What will be the biggest differences between this film and the earlier Deadlands films?


Gary:
Scope, and characters. I have always tried to do a Deadlands film in the largest scope possible based on our budget (Large set pieces, cool locations etc) but I think the simple fact is it will finally be set a year plus into the outbreak, and that is something I have yet to do. As you know from reviewing my films they have all had outbreak elements and story lines, this takes it many steps forward.


LDM:
Who is lending a hand to get this film made?


Gary:
Folks willing to donate to the project to get it made, and a majority of the behind the camera talent from All In The Game. I am bringing back Seann Ikon and Habib Awan for the Camera Department, and hopefully a few other talented technical folks from around the area will join in on the Zombie Mayhem. As I noted above Lonnie Martin and Jim Heffernan have lent their talents to the screenplay, and the rest we will play by ear.


LDM:
Once the film is completed; where will the film premiere?


Gary:
I will probably do a screening in Baltimore at the Landmark, but I made a promise to the folks at the Fright Night Film Fest they would have the 1st Film Festival Premiere once the film is done.


LDM:
Do you feel that this film will be your finest work to date?

Gary:
Yes, without a doubt. While I can’t say time and money won’t be an issue, I am not going to allow it to be the primary issue regarding the film. I think between the multiple drafts in screenplay and the cast I have pulled together so far, I think this will be one of the indie zombie films that MD/DC/VA filmmakers and actors can be proud of and I hope Zombie fans will embrace.

 

 

 

To help out and contribute to this film:

http://www.indiegogo.com/DEADLANDS-The-New-World

 

LivingDeadMedia would like to thank Gary Ugarek for taking time to talk with us.

 

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