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Andy Koontz
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: Tell us about yourself…

ANDY: I was Born in Portland, Oregon in 1975, my family moved to Colton Oregon USA shortly after. Colton was a tiny town, very very small, less than 500 people; a perfect setting for a horror flick, don't ya think?

Fast-forward to 1992... Portland, Oregon.

July 1992, I'm 17 years old...

I had always been a huge horror fan, unfortunately, coming from a very "religious" family back ground, that wasn't really very "ok".

I attempted to making my first series of shorts on my mothers Super VHS camcorder. Completely raw and totally a "Shoot to Edit" program. They actually were fairly gory, incredibly cheesy and stupid, but gory.

I couldn't see it at the time, but I had started the ball rolling on the whole film thing. It was just a matter of time before it caught up with me.

Q: What are your influences/Aspirations. What got you into making movies?

ANDY: I have always loved film, especially horror film. I grew up on Friday the 13th (One of the coolest horror films ever made in the USA), Nightmare On Elm Street, Roger Corman flicks, you know, the typical stuff. It was just fun and I'm the kind of person who seems something and says, "I wanna do that!" and then actually goes and makes it happen.

Two years ago I found Dario Argento's, "Suspiria" and Romero's, "Dawn Of the Dead" and that was it for me... I was hooked.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for THEM DAMN ZOMBIES!. Why zombies?

ANDY: Zombies are so incredibly scary, yet there is something that seems ridiculous about them as well. They're dead, they don't run, and they want to eat the living!

The thing that I thought was the funniest was that the other charters aren't much smarter than the zombies...

Q: How did you cast your actors? Did you have specific actors in mind when you were writing the script. How important was your script?

ANDY: Everyone who knows me understands one thing very well--I am all about detail...

The cast was friends and people that I knew were excited about being in a "B-movie". So once I had them confirmed, I tailored a lot of the script to their personalities. Or at least a tried... it didn't all go completely smooth, but for my first script it seemed like I paired them up well with their characters.

As to the script... VERY important, but more for continuity than actual dialog.

Q: What equipment/format did you use and why?

ANDY: It was recorded on a Panasonic DVPRO camera (similar to a NEWS CAMERA). Why? It was available and cheap, and we only had $3000, and most of that was spent on the costumes and makeup...

We recorded all the audio at my 24 track recording studio I own here in Portland, Oregon. Oh, did I mention I've been in a rock band for nine years as well... (see: www.valhere.com)

We have a Mackie D8B mixing console and a bunch of weird ourboard gear for audio... my engineer knows that better than me...

For "THEM DAMN ZOMBIES" the entire audio track was overdubbed, all the audio even the nature sounds... it was hard but fun, and I think it made the film much more funny.

For Zombie Dawn we actually recorded real sounds, voices etc. Then overdubbed all of our effects.

Q: How did you do the film's music?

ANDY: Scott's (our photographer) dad is a composer. We sent him a version of the movie without sound and he just came up with it! We told him to make it fun, classic, cheesy and to throw in a cheap porn quality from time to time... I think he nailed it!

Q: There's a lot of gut munching going on in the movie-who was responsible for the meat and the blood?

ANDY: Me! I had to put all of those scenes together... stand off camera with a bucket of blood... yell "ACTION!"... then pour a healthy blob of blood and guts on my pour helpless friends... and get out of frame as quick as I possibly could... dear lord the smell was awful!

Q: I loved ZOMBIE DAWN, a very intense short. Do you want to expand that into a feature?

ANDY: I would love to see both of these films become features. "Zombie Dawn" would make a terrific full-length feature. I think it would need a very healthy budget to pull it off, but I think that the underlying story is quite compelling, and I really think "ZOMBIE FILM" fans would get their money's worth!

Q: What's in store for the future?

ANDY: Right now I am casting my first full-length feature film, loosely titled, "THE BOOK".

We have plans to re-make "THEM DAMN ZOMBIES" but I want the right budget and crew for, I am currently re-writing the script, minor changes will included... MORE ACTION, MORE GORE, MORE CHICKS, MORE HICKS and EVEN FUNNIER and BIZARRE HUMOR!

Q: Anything you want to add?

ANDY: "THEM DAMN ZOMBIES" was our first film. It was shot over three days on a mountain, in the woods, in the dark with bears and coyotes howling in the wind. It was a fun experience and I am really glad to see that people are enjoying it so much.

We hope to deliver more fun, action oriented horror flicks to all of you in the upcoming years... THANKS AGAIN!!!

find information about Andy Koontz at imdb.com find horror stuff by Andy Koontz

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