I pulled out all the zombie films I had enjoyed including Return of the Living Dead, Braindead, as well as really enjoying the zombie fun of Dead Snow 2 & yes, Deathgasm.
Music and zombies worked well together in that.
What if, I thought, those that were on the plane weren’t random people that just happened to be on a flight together, but were a band?
In my head, that sounded cool, a band expecting to get a private jet to a gig turn up to an airfield, only to realise they are at the wrong airfield. The only thing at the airfield is an AN2, so they commandeer it.
But then, I thought, how do I incorporate zombies? I didn’t want it to be a virus, cos that sounded dull and done to death. I didn’t want it to be records played backwards. How could I do it?
Turns out, that was the week I was rewatching Critters.
What if we had creatures that somehow turned people into zombies, with a scratch or a bite?
That sounded like fun.
Only because this was essentially a ‘no budget, we’ve got a free plane to shoot on’ affair, as I started to write, all I wrote of the creatures were glowing eyes in a box. I wrote it with Scrawl actors in mind, so a lot of the characters were a lot younger, and I also wrote the band, who at that point had no band name, as a mix of male and female characters. They also didn’t have names, so they were the Drummer, the Singer, the Guitarist etc, they were punk kids. It just felt…right.
The first draft, my typical vomit draft took a little over 2 days to write, and that was not 48 hrs but probably around 8? It flowed really well, I knew instinctively how I wanted it to start, what I wanted to happen in the middle, and how I wanted it to end. That never ever happens, but it did for this.
I was so excited I sent that vomit draft to Geoff.
I then panicked. I had sent a vomit draft to a director who had never actually seen my writing before, I had never worked with him before, I felt sick to my stomach. My arrogance at thinking this peas and carrots vomit draft was good was about to get undone by a director who was about to tell me it’s shit.
‘I really really like it’ said Geoff. ‘Lets meet up and go through it, this could work!’
‘Oh, and I love the title, Dead Air’
My smile was wider than a Cheshire Cat. But this was still only the beginning…
To be continued…