My Encounter With Horror Icon George A. Romero
On May 17, 2010, I produced and shot an interview between MTV Tr3s Associate Producer Sandra RoldÃ¡n and director George A. Romero. “Survival of the Dead” hits theaters today (May 28), but I already saw it on May 2nd, so HA HA! *Nelson laugh*
Did I mention I am an insane zombie fan?
We’ve been rolling out clips and related blog posts from the interview on Blogamole.
Here is one of my favorites:
This shoot was a labor of love. As many folks already know, MTV Tr3s is in the middle of a huge reboot. In addition to changing the brand to Tr3s: MTV, Musica y Mas, the channel and all online & mobile properties have a bunch of surprises for July 12.
Suffice it so say, my team and I have been incredibly busy and don’t have time for many shoots between now and July. When I found out that there wasn’t anyone available from production, I had to make a quick decision. Romero or no Romero? Did I even have to ask myself that? HELLO.
It was an easy decision to collaborate with Sandra on this shoot. She is a fan as well, and despite our insane workload, we knew we couldn’t pass this up. We slammed through other assignments, prepped a list of questions, coordinated with Romero’s team and made it happen, DIY style.
I shot the interview on a Panasonic DVX100B, the only camera that was readily available. We had wireless lav issues so luckily we can prepared with a stick mic. Romero felt comfortable sitting in front of a sun-filled window, so we did the best that we could with the set up.
After the shoot, I kept a laptop near my desk and edited our clips on Final Cut (while simultaneously working on my PC). During some parts of the day, I would be editing with my right hand while typing with my left.
Right now, we have a standing marquee promo on MTVTr3s.com that links to our ongoing coverage. We’ll be rolling out content until mid June.
And those, my friends, are the crazy lengths that fans go to.
It was refreshing to be around a director who was very down-to-earth, friendly and open. I am sure it didn’t hurt that Sandra is easy on the eyes; at one point I needed Romero to look in her direction and asked him if he would. He responded playfully by saying “No, I definitely don’t mind looking at her!” His energy was like a rough around the edges, mischievous uncle.
At the end of the interview, I told Romero what I thought about “Tomboy,” one of the characters in “Survival of the Dead.” I shared that I was glad he made the most intelligent and longest-surviving star of the film an (openly) queer Latina soldier.
His eyes literally twinkled when he replied, smiling:
“Yes, when you’re not jailed by the system you can show characters that normally don’t get represented, it’s nice.”
That statement and his cheerful response totally made up for the fact that “Tomboy” is masturbating wildly for no apparent reason in her opening scene.
My interpretation for that scene is that initially we don’t know “Tomboy” is a lesbian and sexualizing her made it easier for the audience to see her as feminine/attractive/acceptable after her identity is revealed. She has a very confident personality and the other characters respect and care for her.
I suspect that the gratuitous wacking off was just a spoonful of perverted sugar to make her reality go down for the boys in the audience.