It’s no secret that films are increasingly becoming big-budget affairs, with photorealistic computer-aided motion-captured antagonists accompanied by teams of professionals to ensure a big return for the dollars spent. But for those without these resources, it’s not impossible to make a film. In fact, sometimes the increasing challenges can make the end product sweeter. In 2008, When the world was facing a finical crash, a small assortment of British filmmakers managed to make a compelling zombie feature and compete with the best of them, in the tale of Colin.
We follow Colin through the eyes of a zombie, the titular zombie, trying to make sense of a world gone to chaos. Glimpses of Colin’s life pre-apocalypse serve to guide him as he interacts with people from his past, the previous places he haunted before this entire crisis, trying to adjust to life after death. We even get some insight into how Colin got into this predicament and if there is any hope for the people in his life that he cares about.
The second person framing offers undoubtedly a unique perspective, and we rarely get the undead’s point of view. Watching the zombie deal with C.D. players or even the simple pleasures of the full moon is a novel experience, to say the least. The budding social media networks of Facebook and Myspace were used to cast extras, and a majority of the film’s crew worked for free. Making Colin’s inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival is a doubly honourable achievement considering its competition and the comparative abundance of resources that they have available.
Thought the film takes many of the creative decisions it does due to its low budget, with only £45, they couldn’t afford expensive cameras and the editing software and hardware of 2008 wasn’t as up to par as the equipment of today. The results do have a certain cheaper charm as a result of these sacrifices and aren’t as distracting to the final product as they may sound. People homes are used as sets, as proper sets would likely be unavailable helping add a slight feeling of realism to the proceedings, combined with the handheld camera helps give a rawer feel to the action (no pun indented.) The kind that the rise of YouTube has helped find an audience, but Colin managed to do all this without the mature collaboration and sharing tools that can be found today.
Collin’s frugal nature has brought an intriguing and innovative tale of a brain-eating monstrosity back in a time when brain-eating monstrosities were the height of fashion. The D.I.Y. nature of creating this zombie tale helps it stand out among a sea of compelling competition. Though inspiring other filmmakers to make bolder moves to get their stories out there, it was Colin that highlighted that you don’t need to have all the resources to take a bite of the film industry.
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