Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rasta Zombie: Director Mitch Williamsmith on Legalization and the Undead -Disinformation

 Originally published December 12, 2013 via disinfo.com

Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of zombies.  My favorite zombie film is still Night of the Living Dead and I only made it through about twenty minutes of the first episode of The Walking Dead before getting bored and switching to some cartoons.

I really didn’t think there was too much ground left to cover for stories about the undead.  We’ve seen proverbs of survival, criticism of consumer culture, and allegorical tales of human beings facing the personification of the primal lizard brain.

But zombies versus pot?  Scary.

Writer and director Mitch Williamsmith, along with producer Shaun Kennedy and cinematographer Brian Kennedy, are working on their new film, Rasta Zombie, which will combine marijuana activism, zombie apocalypse, and every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard.

But how can a zombie film successfully tackle a theme like marijuana legalization?  I cornered Williamsmith and demanded answers.

ISLA: Tell me about your plans for the film.
Williamsmith: This is our first attempt to make a new film industry completely independent of Hollywood.  The miracle that is crowd-sourced fund-raising makes this a real possibility, with special FX that rival Hollywood standards.  And if we put the film out for free, we can still have a way of expanding our operations through the sale of merchandise related to the film.  Crowd-sourced fund-raising could take Hollywood’s business model and turn it on its head.  If the fans are the ones who fund the films, it eliminates the need for big business to get involved.  I feel this is the future of film entertainment.  A direct relationship between fans and the filmmakers.  For the most part, alternative media has become the way people receive real news.  We feel that in order to save our country, there must be a cultural Renaissance: a grass roots movement of independent media, industry, art, music and film.  If these new industries work together in new and innovative ways to challenge big business, we might have a shot at real change.  It may be a drop in the bucket, but we’re just doing our part.

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