What do you do when you have an EP you’re releasing shortly and you need a music video to help promote the new single? Chickenhawk decided to throw some zombies into the mix.
Shot in four days over a three week period, the Chickenhawk Zombie Epic pulled together hundreds of people and created a community based blood fest that Leeds had never seen before. Completed with a meager budget of £1000, the project was designed to not only be a vast scale, but living(dead) proof that a high level of film production can be achieved with a small budget, as long as you keep your hanging eyeballs on the cash and the ambition.
Written by NME Photographer Danny North and developed by Roach Productions, the video spent three months in pre-production creating a story that could be loyal to influences such as Day Of The Dead (2002), 30 Days of Night and 28 Days Later, but still be maintained in the confines of a music video. Modern zombie horror cinema saw a change in the pace or horror and this had a massive influence on the styling’s of the film.
“I always wanted to make a zombie video,” says Director Danny North.
The origins of the final piece came from an idea writer Danny North had. Band Chickenhawk contacted photographer Danny to photograph them and for Roach Productions to video the shoot. Bright Spark North then put the idea forward of combining both mediums to create a feature length music video to accompany Chickenhawk new single “I Hate This, Do You” from EP A. Or Not. The vision of a horror themed video came from previous experience both parties had in the past and the idea of fast paced horror was widely felt very suited to the fast paced tempo of Chickenhawk music. North and low-fi Leeds based production and creative team Roach worked together to make this small idea into a workable narrative.
The lead special effects make-up was created by Samantha Myers who was in development from the beginning of the production; bringing with her years of industry experience. Myers had previously worked on short horror Cadaver with Danny North so he was aware of her abilities in gore horror makeup. She turned out to be the perfect candidate for the project.
“She sculpted the look we were trying to achieve perfectly,” said North.
The whole film was shot in Leeds, West Yorkshire with local locations including the huge open space in Hyde Park and the Brundnell Social Club. The locations that were selected all suited the grittiness and bleak apocalypse of the lo-fi style whilst maintaining the accessibility needed between sets. Though no actual sets were built, the idea behind the use of the open sets was to add to the increasing fear element of it being just like everyday life.
It has a flash of fairly gruesome, so be forewarned, but here’s a short peek:
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