"It's so fucked up I just have to see it made"
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Check out DEAD ZOO in Filmmaker Magazine
DEAD ZOO is a cinematic love story about putting bits back together even when they don’t always fit. Charity, our heroine, is a prosthetic-lifestyle model having lost one of her arms in the San Francisco earthquake of 1989. She is a survivor struggling to come to terms with her “extraordinary-ness” when she finds herself the victim of another tragedy, a hit & run accident. Left on the side of the road, with her prosthetic arm shattered, and no insurance she must rely on her taxidermy obsessed landlord and quiet pizza boy house-mate to collaborate on a do-it yourself home treatment. However, things get more complicated when she realizes that she’s dying for one man to love her…while the other wants her dead.
Do you see Diane Keaton? We merged Diane Keaton, Christopher Walken, Peter O’Toole, Tom Waits and John Hurt to make Dr. Peter’s character concept art.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT: DEAD ZOO
When a young woman is the victim of a hit and run which breaks her prosthetic arm, her landlord and fellow tenant collaborate on her DIY home-treatment. One man wants her dying, the other wants her dead.
DEAD ZOO is a twisted love story following a young Native American woman named CHARITY. She is a fascinating survivor of multiple coincidental tragedies. This story is about how against all odds, she comes to terms with her “extraordinary‐ness”. Having lost one of her arms in the San Francisco earthquake of 1989, Charity makes her living as a prosthetic-lifestyle webcam model.
Charity lives in the crumbling home of the gothic taxidermist, DR. PETER Khanlian. His house is filled with an obsessive collection of taxidermy animals native to the region. ANTHONY, Dr. Peter’s other tenant, is a weak-willed, would-be cowboy, who works as a pizza delivery boy. Charity wants Anthony and he wants to avoid her. He is repulsed by her prosthetic arm.
After Charity is the victim of a hit‐and‐run, breaking her prosthetic arm, Anthony finds her on the side of the road. She implores him not to take her to the hospital; reasoning her lack of Medicare to him, but personally abiding in her special metaphysical self‐healing power. She employs a supernatural pain‐stopping technique that entails moving her brain around the inside of her body. A scenario painted with “Charlie Kaufman‐like” effect.
Soon, the feverish, bleeding and otherwise dying Charity finds her unrequited love for Anthony requited. Dr. Peter, meanwhile, has developed an interest in making Charity part of his collection. Anthony wants her dying, Dr. Peter wants her dead. Dr. Peter reveals his vision for his small empire. He sees his young tenants as the flourish to crown his collection of wildlife native to the frontier: the Indian Woman and the White Man. Charity’s vivid injuries and the declining transformation of her body, spurs Dr. Peter on. He makes preparations for the preservation of Charity’s body, the missing piece to his collection.
With your support, the world of DEAD ZOO can exist. We need your help to make this story come ALIVE! Take a look at the strange and marvelous perks to your right and please consider making a contribution to support DEAD ZOO.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT:
We need your help to make the short film vignette of DEAD ZOO. The short film will bring us one huge step closer to realizing the feature version of DEAD ZOO. The short and feature films are a combination of CGI (3D animation), hand drawn (2D cell animation) and live action footage.
The funds from this campaign will go directly to the crucial development and production of DEAD ZOO’s 2D/3D Visual Effects world. The collaborators on this project (listed below) have already contributed countless hours of their time, for free, in order to begin the difficult process of the visual effects creation. We hope this campaign will help us bring Charity’s story to life.
Concept and Theme:
Dead Zoo is inspired by recent conversations revolving around the merging of the body with machine. The 2007 MIT symposium titled ‘h2.0: a symposium focused in ushering a new era of human adaptability’ looks to “an era where technology will merge with our bodies and our minds to forever change our concept of human capability."
In DEAD ZOO, lies an inherent juxtaposition of taxidermy and mechanized prosthetics. The intent of which is to stimulate the discussion about what it means to be human, and what it means to be alive.
Stylistically, DEAD ZOO is packed with visual effects sequences, dreams, and hallucinations. Dr. Peter’s crumbling old house is filled with 40 years of taxidermy --- the American empire in decay – corrupt, ancient and dead. Charity’s room is the opposite of Dr. Peter’s organic world, it is digital and futuristic---there are monitors and surveillance cameras everywhere to record her live webcam series. Her room is an atmosphere of melancholy and darkness, lit only with beams of aqua metallic blue light glowing from the monitor screens. Charity’s broken prosthetic is both organic and technological, as though her arm was cut off, and an alien appendage sprouted from her stump. Electronic music functions perfectly for this story because DEAD ZOO is a world where the past meets the future. The organic world of Dr. Peter (analogue) mixes with the fabricated digital world of Charity (electronic).
About the Director, Eileen Yaghoobian
Canadian filmmaker, Eileen Yaghoobian, has worked with visual art her entire career – first as a photographer, then as a video & performances artist, and more recently, as an independent producer and director of theater and film. She is a member of the prestigious Lincoln Center Director’s Lab (2008). Yaghoobian produced, directed and edited her first full-length documentary film, Died Young Stayed Pretty, a candid look at the underground, indie-rock poster subculture in North America. The film went onto become an Official Selection of the 2009 SXSW Film Festival, 2008 Montreal World Film Festival and the 2009 Comic-Con International Film Festival. The film opened its theatrical run at the IFC Center in New York City, ICA in London and received distribution in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. 3DD Entertainment acquired the international television rights. In 2012, Died Young Stayed Pretty will become a part of the permanent collection at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Yaghoobian is in the midst of developing two feature narrative films for her next feature films.
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / CINEMATOGRAPHER / EDITOR
Died Young Stayed Pretty Feature Film TRAILER
2009 South By Southwest Film Festival
2009 Comic-Con International Film Festival
2008 Montreal World Film Festival
“Died Young, Stayed Pretty is...a captivating artifact of an era." Ward Sutton, Village Voice 12 Panel Poster Comic Review!
“Yaghoobian’s nonlinear editing is as offbeat as the posters…She lets scenes run a few seconds longer than most directors would—to good effect” V.A. Musetto, New York Post (3 out of 4 stars)
“The next time Eileen Yaghoobian makes a movie, I’ll be first in line. The director has a remarkable visual flair, turning this otherwise routine documentary about the underground, indie rock poster subculture into a surprising visual feast. Todd Hill, Staten Island Advance (3 out of 4 stars)
"the Citizen Kane of underground rock poster art documentaries" LA Weekly
"Raw -- an outlaw movie about outlaw artists" Peter Rainer, NPR
“Impressive documentary, very creatively shot…most fascinating”
Jian Ghomeshi CBC National Radio "Q" Interview starts at 33:03
"The film is a work of art similar to the posters it features...the poster art, and stories told by its makers ...render this a strange but strangely compelling viewing experience." Nick Dawson, Filmmaker Magazine
"Yaghoobian proves she has a flair for telling detail every bit as keen as her subjects.” Rick Groen, Globe and Mail (3 out of 4 stars)
"Packed with stunning art and full of sharp insights into the artistic process" Eye for Film
"A visually stunning film...Director Yaghoobian assembles the movie with wit and invention, capturing the scruffy texture of screen-print art with lurid colours and clever sound mixing. " Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
“The miracle, as captured by Yaghoobian’s film, is that their work-the work they live and die by-stays honest and brutal and true.” Nashville Scene, Critic’s Pick – Best in Nashville
"The film reminds us of a tactile, cut-and-paste subculture that’s still alive and well in the internet age." Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph (3 out of 4 stars)
"Delivers the goods in a non-linear, slam-bang fashion that's stimulating and refreshingly raw" Bizarre Magazine (3 out of 4 stars)
"One of the most fascinating documentaries of the year" Adam Woodward, Little White Lies Magazine
"Well worth renting, downloading or stealing." Paul Dale, The List
“…the designers are an idiosyncratic bunch, but Yaghoobian skillfully weaves together their varied subjects, pointing towards common obsessions…and slipping in and out of unintentional but still fascinating debates." David Berry, Vue Weekly
"Died Young, Stayed Pretty made me want to seek out the art on display. Strictly as a documentary, it made me want to watch it again, just to soak it all in." Peter Martin, Twitch Film
"Eileen Yaghoobian's fabulous debut doc is an inclusive look at the renaissance of poster art." John Griffin, Gazette
"Unexpectedly excellent...A Blast of a Movie" Vadim Rizov, Spout.com
CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION:
Persital Singum Exit to the Labyrinth Feature Film TEASER
Enter Peristal Singum, a bewildering labyrinth hidden in the bowels of East Berlin’s Salon Zur Wilden Renate, and challenge yourself to find the exit.
DEAD ZOO COLLABORATORS! CREW
DIRECTOR & PRODUCER Eileen Yaghoobian
3D CHARACTER CONCEPT ARTIST Julianna Kolakis, Award-winning Oscar-Nominated digital artist, part of the Visual Effects team for the film, DISTRICT 9
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Mahlon Todd Williams, Award-winning Cinematographer WINNER 2012 Muchmusic Award Cinematography Video of the Year
SCREENPLAY by Eileen Yaghoobian
STORY by Peter J. Field & Eileen Yaghoobian,
2D ANIMATOR Philip Piaget , COMPOSITER Lizzy Chen , SOUND DESIGN Owen Meyers , 3D CHARACTER / CREATURE MODELER Ben Erdt, 3D ANIMATOR Amir Ronen, MAKE-UP ARTIST April Beer, VISUAL EFFECTS ADVISER Natalia Diaz & Ori Ben-Shabat , SOUND MIXER / BOOM Cory Sewell, SOUND MIXER / BOOM Owain Hoefle, CONCEPT ART (WOLVES) Raul Gonzalez, SCRIPT REVISIONS Charles Evered and Tanya O'Debra, INTERN Bernie Yao / STUDIO LOCATION Emily Carr,COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT Niki Blumberg
REHEARSAL CAST FOR DEAD ZOO CONCEPT VIDEO
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