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Trailer Watch: Eileen Yaghoobian’s Skater Zombies

Director and producer Eileen Yaghoobian followed the release of her 2008 documentary about underground poster design, Died Young, Stayed Pretty, with a number of surprising projects, including Exit the Labyrinth, a short film produced with the Guardian about Berlin’s Labyrinth, and Send Me Your Sexts, an online service that creates short films out of user-submitted erotic chats. She’s now made a short — “a sports action horror film” — that is as well a pitch for a feature. Check out the teaser above, and look for the short on the Skater Zombies YouTube channel on Halloween.

Yaghoobian sent the following director’s statement about the project:

I like the cinematic look of the skatepark at night, empty. I would go there just to watch the empty skatepark. On one of the nights, I ran into a fan of my first film, Died Young, Stayed Pretty. He said I should make a film on skateboarder zombies. So, I did! 

It’s taken almost a year of research and prep to get here!  I was pitching my lookbook and 10-page treatment for the Skater Zombies feature to a few producers and one of them suggested I make a teaser. I made this short to get to the feature. But it’s so AWESOME and COOL as is that I’m now drooling for the feature. It’s going to be epic! 

We tested the slow shutter effects and makeup for months. I wanted a different kind of skate, fight, zombie look for the film. The zombies in my film are female skateboarders only.  The bad batch of the drug only effects the XX chromosome. They are faster and better than ever. I didn’t want to shoot the skate tricks like we see them usually. I wanted the camera still. I think the slow shutter effects in the fight scene turned out awesome! Even if it took me literally a week to cut 10 seconds! 

The hard part was finding the pro skaters! It is important for this story that skaters are pro and they did a great job! 

On my first cut I got this awesome feedback from a producer friend “I can now see how a sparse landscape populated only by young people on skateboards works on its own terms, and shouldn’t require any other background information to explain it.” I think if you combine the things you love in film, that combo works if you pay attention to what makes them great on their own.

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