With Marc Spess, creator of
Interview by: Lavalle Lee
1.) What is Zombie Pirates??
Zombie Pirates is a stop motion animated
film idea about life on the sea. And of course Zombie Pirates
and what kind of trouble they get into. The story idea is
basic. Captain Quill is in charge of stealing the loot back
from the Zombie Pirates by order of the king. The captains
crew is made up of people who have no knowledge of the sea,
or that their enemy can't be stopped by traditional guns
and swords. The ones that do have this understanding are
generally not too smart, which leads to a lot of crazy situations.
I'm making the film through donations
currently, and the only other person involved at the moment
is David Bennett - who is doing the voices for the characters.
I plan to have some nice orchestral music when the film
is completed, which will either be from CD libraries or
a real orchestra.
Once the first film is done I should
have enough molds and set work done to make the next group
of cartoons much faster then things are going now. The original
plan was to make one cartoon every 2 months or so, which
might be possible after I get more characters made. For
now I'm only making a few puppets for the first cartoon.
2.) Who are the creators?
Staff on this project??
Just my determined self and David Bennett
who recorded the voices for the first cartoon.
3.) Why claymation/stop motion?
Stop motion is a really magical thing
to watch, and it's something I strive to get good at. In
a way the first Zombie Pirates cartoon is a real test for
me, to see how well I can make a film this large "several
minutes" by myself. Plus I'd like to use this film
as a stepping stone to bigger things. I always wanted to
work in a studio doing what I am doing now. Since I have
a fairly large garage to make the films in I'm making the
best of it.
4.) Will it be just one movie?
or a Series of movies?
Right now it's just one cartoon, but I
already have several small stories laid out for the next
episodes of Zombie Pirates.
5.) Main cast of characters??
The two main captains are Captain Quill
"the good guy" who is trying to outsmart Captain
Lock Jaw "half shark half zombie". And each of
them has a crew. After each film I will introduce more crew
members to tell the stories. But for now Ruble the Russian
will be the star of the first cartoon. You will see a monk
with no role in the first cartoon, and a special character
that I can't give away just yet.
6.) Some advice/tips for people
who want to get into making movies like yours?
To do stop motion well you have to almost
devote all your time to sculpting, working with wood and
metal, and learning from others. The best way to do that
is to get good at one skill "model making/sculpting"
and make a portfolio. Then go around to the studios and
show them your work. If your lucky and get a job, you can
learn more then you would anywhere else. Even in a college.
I have a page on one of my sites just for studios to contact:
7.) When will the movie(s)
I don't have a date that I'm shooting
for right now, but I hope to have this first one done in
a few more months. It depends on how much time I have to
work on it.
8.) How can your fans help?
Thanks for asking, really just showing
your support and encouragement in the message board area
is helpful. Of course when a need arises such as making
a puppet from foam latex - I occasionally need donations
to pay for the materials. So money is what is most needed
to get the materials to make the puppets and sets. All donators
get their name in the credits as a way to thank them for
9.) Where did you learn how
to make such detailed characters?
I'm partly self taught, and I also have
studied on the web - and through work experience ways to
make puppets. Webster Colcord "a fellow Zombie fan"
also helped me learn a lot over the years. You can see some
of his really cool work at www.webstercolcord.com.
10.) Anything else you'd
like to add?
Just that your site looks great, I'll
be adding a link to your site from mine soon.
(My response was thanks for the affiliation!!)
For anyone who is a Claymation fan,
and loves zombies, keep checking back to zombie pirates
to see when the movie(s) are finished! I'm looking forward