Exclusive Interview with the Director of Automaton Transfusiondeadmanwalkin
Run Zombie Run! Steven Miller's AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION is a upcoming independent zombie film which looks to devor it's way into the zombie genre - and from the looks of the teaser/full trailer - we might have something special here and Horror-Movies.ca was lucky enough and honored to be able to sit down and talk with "the man" himself - Steven Miller (director of Automaton Transfusion).
Welcome to Horror-Movies.ca, we appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. The film we are here to discuss is AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION (AT), a new zombie film that you have written as well as directed. We are excited to know more about it. Please indulge us with a taste of the story.
The idea behind AT is that the US military, in the 1970s, was secretly developing a way to reanimate the dead. The intent was to have these "zombies" fight the wars instead of humans. The experiments were shut down due to the lack of being able to control the zombie hunger.
Our story actually begins 30 years later in a remote town of DOWNEY, which is a suburb of GROVER CITY and concentrates on 4 senior friends in high school. These 4 find themselves in a town overtaken by the dead and decide to fight back!
I am a huge zombie fan but the genre has been saturated as of late. What do you feel you are bringing that our readers should be looking forward to?
I also am a HUGE zombie lover and horror film fan. I completely agree that Bad zombie films seem to be plaguing the market. AT definitely brings something new and exciting to the genre. Its more action packed and has some of the sickest scenes I’ve ever seen on film. AT explains the reason these Zombies run and I think zombie fans will enjoy the new spin!
Does the tagline "Blood...will...run" give us a hint as to the amount of gore we can expect?
YES! GORE! My favorite thing in any horror film. Which obviously has been lacking in today’s "suspense/thriller" world of horror. AT is a TRUE HORROR film and there is ONE scene that I feel pushes the limits. Lots of blood and some pretty intense scenes. The tag line defines the film perfectly. So you can expect a flesh eating good time!
What was your inspiration for this film?
I grew up on late 70s & early 80s horror/slasher films. I loved the amount of heart that was put into those films. I wanted to create something with that same feel - that feel of young filmmakers trying to make a mark on society and change the way an audience views horror films. Zack Snyder, director of the "Dawn" remake, was a huge inspiration to me as well. The way he made that film feel and look was something I respected.
I also just had become so disgusted with horror or zombie films made recently. Nothing tries to do push the envelope and that is something I focused on when writing this film. AT was designed to give all the fans of those classic horror films something they would find kick ass, and give all the new generation of horror film fans something to look forward to from me as a director.
Why do you think that zombie films have such a fan following?
Granted the eating, the blood, and the mayhem are all strong points for this genre to be as popular as it is. BUT I think the GOOD zombie films have great social commentary to them and I think the true zombie film fans are very intelligent. The genre is always about fighting the system, which greatly appeals to the zombie film audience. AND there is nothing better than getting drunk with your friends and watching some good old fashioned killing.
Do you feel that Automaton Transfusion came out the way you planned?
Yes and No.
I felt the film easily could have been even more intense if we had more time and more money of course. But this is an indie flick with tremendous amounts of sweat and heart put into it. So on that level, the film is WAY more than I thought it ever could be. AT is my feature film directorial debut and I feel it sets the tone for what I plan to accomplish as a filmmaker.
What are some hardships that independent filmmakers should know about before they begin the process?
Pre-Production is so CRUCIAL as well as production audio. I think the reasons many films fail is because they didn’t take time in pre production to work out the details and the idea that production audio isn’t that important. Audio is very important and can save you tons of head-ache later.
The biggest for me was TIME. I doubt anyone realizes how much time you put into a film from start to finish. It will consume your life and break your wallet. But that’s what makes it all worth it.
What sort of feedback have you received regarding this film?
Im extremely excited about the feedback we’ve had on the film! It seems that everyone who has seen the rough cut has been blown away by the quality of AT. The film has been compared to this generations answer to "The Evil Dead", which in my mind is ridiculous considering that movie is in my top 5 of horror films.
Are there any anecdotes that you would like to share from filming?
The most interesting and fun was the FIRST day of filming and we had to shut down a whole block of Downtown Orlando, Florida. We had 500 extras running through the streets and lots of scared unsuspecting bystanders. It was a great site to see and definitely one of my fondest memories of the AT shoot.
Do you think it is easier to direct a film that you have written yourself?
It helps greatly to direct something you’ve written simply because its completely your brain from start to finish. But at the same time I’ve directed a few shorts written by other people and found myself even more involved with those simply because you have the writer giving some great ideas as well. So either way it’s a plus.
You not only write and direct, but you act as well. You were in The Beast of Bray Road. I have always been fascinated with that story. Why don't you break it down a bit for our readers who may not be familiar with it.
I do dabble in the acting world, but im not good I swear!
The Beast of Bray Road is based on a legend in Wisconsin. The idea that a werewolf terrorizes this small town is really what the story boils down to. A local police officer, a werewolf expert, and a few of the townspeople go on a hunt for the beast.
It’s a pretty cool story.
I see that you are from Decatur, Ga. (my neck of the woods incidentally), how and when did you know that you would be taking off to California to dig your heels into the film business?
Yes the east coast. Haha.
Well I always knew that I wanted to be in California, it just took a friend of mine calling me on the phone one day and asking me to come try it out. At the time I was doing lots of music videos and editing things for record labels, stuff I could do anywhere, so I figured what the hell. I packed up my car and took the cross-country drive.
Are you happy with your experiences so far?
I couldn’t be more thrilled about my experiences. I’ve had some incredibly rough spots but never anything that could damage my outlook on how blessed I am to be in the position I’m in at such a young age.
What are some of your favorite films?
Amelie, Fight Club, Requiem for a Dream, Snatch, All KUBRICK Films, True Romance, Back to the Future Trilogy, Goonies, John Hughes films, 80s comedy in general is amazing, and recently I thought Walk The Line was great.
Fright night, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on elm st., All the Romero Dead Films, Texas chainsaw massacre (original), Evil Dead Trilogy, Dead Alive, The Omen, Sleep Away Camp, Last House on the Left, Zombie, The Shinning, Carrie, Children of the Corn, silver bullet, and I could keep going for days. So I will stop there.
Who inspired you to be a director?
My parents inspired me more than anyone. By the time my parents were 27 they had 5 kids, me being the oldest. We traveled around lots and even amongst massive amounts of turmoil and struggling they somehow seemed to make sure we all had everything we could ever want. That was all the inspiration I needed to dream big.
What else do you have going on that fans can be on the lookout for?
AT 2 and 3 is my main focus. I wrote AT as a trilogy and plan to start on those as soon as possible!
What is one thing that you would like everyone to know about Steven Miller?
That I genuinely love HORROR movies and making films in general! I never made this film with the intent on selling it BIG. I made the film so you could have a good time in the theater, your couch, or wherever you decide to see it.
Are you a reader of Horror-Movies.ca?
Oh yes, religiously!
What are your feelings concerning websites like ours? Do you think they help or hinder filmmakers?
I think they are AMAZING for filmmakers! If it wasn’t for site like this one AT would never have seen the light of day. Its because of sites like this that indie filmmakers can be heard and get there material out to the masses. For this I thank you.
You have accomplished quite a bit in a very short time. What is the one thing that will make you feel like you have made it?
When my Family and Friends can buy a ticket to see my film in Florida.
Thanks again for your time. I'm certain you will make it. We here at HM wish you tons and tons of good luck and success.
Thanks to you as well!!
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