You may have seen or even backed Kickstarter campaign, “Sam and Mattie’s Teen Zombie Movie”, which surpassed its goal of $50,000 on November 19, 2014. The pair have attracted the attention of BuzzFeed, PBS, and horror fans with their mission to bring to life a vision they’ve been building for three years. A vision that includes blood, jet packs, explosions, and zombies. Needless to say, everyone should be fucking stoked that this movie has finally begun shooting!
Sam and Matthew, as they introduce themselves in the video brainstorm of backer perks, met at a Special Olympics event. In Sam’s words: “We skipped ‘friends’ and went straight to ‘bros.'” I had the opportunity to chat with the pair of self described skater punk filmmakers the weekend they began shooting, and I am now staunchly of the opinion that this movie may be one of the most amazing films crowdfunding has ever created.
Crowdfunding has become a popular way for independent filmmakers to raise the necessary funds for their debut projects, or even for seasoned and celebrated directors to allow themselves to create a film true to their vision, without restrictions from executives and studios that hold the purse strings. For Sam and Mattie, both groups apply, as the Kickstarter page warns that there are no guarantees on how raunchy, violent, or disturbing the end result may be. Whereas most Kickstarter backed films are selling their product to the point of pandering to backers, Sam and Mattie make no such promises. Their vision is their top priority, and backers can either get on board or get out of the way.
After seeing the Kickstarter video and scrolling through the hilariously worded backer perks, I was incredibly psyched to talk to Sam and Mattie. They were joined by Jesse, Sam’s brother (who put together the Kickstarter campaign) and the documentary crew following their undertaking. Watching them joke around with each other and their crew, hearing their choices for the women to fill the “hot girlfriend” roles (Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez), and listening to them casually describe how they’re recognized and stopped at stores in Rhode Island had me cracking up, and now I’m even more excited to see the finished product.
The enormity of their longtime dream coming to fruition is not lost on them. The excitement emanating from both is nearly palpable, and their posts to social media are filled with smiles. The pair also stated that while they’re very excited to make a movie, they aren’t entirely ready to make filmmaking a career, as they’ve got other dreams to tackle, and they aren’t in a rush to make any decisions yet. The doc crew described the duo as being very easy to work with, and naturals in front of the camera. That’s good news, as they’re going to be the stars of their zombie epic. This is most definitely a project that every horror fan should keep an eye on. Join me in showing some love to a pair of aspiring masters of horror, and wishing them lots of guts and gore in the coming months!