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Manuel de Layet [Film Festival 12.12.11] interview

There are times when you can’t help but like something for the sheer achievement it was to make, regardless of anything. The Dead is one of them. Read on for more and watch our video interview!

Don’t get me wrong, the movie’s brilliant and breathtaking but the human adventure behind it is even more.

The first association we make with The Dead is often with Resident Evil 5. We shouldn’t for two reasons, the first as stated by the directors is that it was shot before they even heard of the game being in production. The second is that, all in all, it’s more like “Bear Grylls vs Zombie : Ultimate Survivor Edition”.

I don’t know if you are aware of the concept of Fantastic Realism, but we are completely in it. The only thing that’s not real is the zombies. Landscapes are real, Weapons are real, Military forces are real. Yes, to quote the directors “we paid them more than what they usually get so…”. People starving to death are real, most of them are dead by now. Some of the corpses are real. Even the flesheaters are real.

Yes, they shot with real cannibals, which led to some awkward times. Let your mind eye encompass the scene, you’re with your crew shooting people eating people, dusk is coming, one of the extra says something and the whole crowd start laughing. You ask the translator what it was, reassuring answer comes. You ask more firmly, “He just said that they never had white meat”. You pack. And leave. Quickly.

Basically the shooting was hell, they wanted to go where no one ever goes. Then they realised why no one ever goes there : “no one is stupid enough”. Each and every member of the crew was sick or half dead at one point, they ran out of food and water while in the desert, and funnily were robed at knife point the first day on arrival at Ouagadougou … by the police.

I can’t urge you enough to see the movie for all it is.

For the future there are, obviously, talks about “The Dead 2”, they also signed for a supernatural thriller and might squeeze an other indie production in between.

Oh, if The Dead 2 goes into production, sign me in. I’ll film the making of.

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