What inspired you to experiment with DV cameras and digital media this time?
I'd been watching Iraq on the 24/7 news and seen this incredible growth of alternate media. YouTube and so on. Suddenly we're all somehow electronically connected to one another. I saw that as the spin to put on Diary of the Dead.
Are you technologically savvy yourself?
I'm not a technology junkie. I don't have a Blackberry. I'm NOT plugged in! I only use the internet for email, research. I don't surf. I burn incense to my computer, I just want it to work.
So you've googled 'how to sever a head'?
Right, yeah! Medical research. If I need technical information, whether it's about electronics or medicine or anatomy...
Is it true you were thinking of doing Diary as a TV special?
Initially, I was. I wanted to shoot it actually at a film school - Full Sail in Orlando, Florida - for 500 gees, really go back to guerrilla stuff. But we started looking at it as a theatrical release, with alternate media and ancillaries. It’s still lean and mean, and that's the way I like it.
Wasn’t it a challenge, though, using just one camera?
Yeah! I'm still learning to use the pencil. John Ford made - how many films - 200 and some? I've made 15. Diary has been such a departure. I really had to choreograph everything. I'm also trying to do it without music — see if I can score it with sound effects. It's a stylistic experiment.
Is it true you lost the copyright to Night of the Living Dead?
Yeah, because of a stupid error. We were a bunch of young guys who made a film and put the copyright button on our title, which was originally Night Of The Flesh-Eater. And when the distributor changed the title to Night Of The Living Dead, which was their title, not ours, our little copyright logo fell off, and no one noticed. So the film is basically in the public domain. So a little piece of what we're doing here is trying to re-establish a franchise so that we can own some of the action.
What kind of blood and gore content can we expect in Diary?
Again, because of the subjective camera, there aren't any product shots, if you know what I mean. So it will be a bit more off-hand, in the corner of the frame somewhere. I'm hoping that in fact it'll feel even more grisly. We're trying to happen upon the violence rather than focus on it.
Do you enjoy other zombie films? Or ever consider remaking your movies?
They're my own things. People say to me, “Oh, somebody made 28 Days Later - they remade Dawn!” Or “They did Shaun Of The Dead” But I love Shaun Of The Dead! I certainly don't get phone calls asking me to do musicals.