one of our lead zombies prepares for a close up shot

Behind The Scenes of Art Brings You To Life Ep.2

Wed, Oct 16, 2019

Written by: Seth Culp-Ressler | Photos by: Seth Culp-Ressler and Grace Wong

It the most spook-filled time of the year… which means that the second installment of our two-part Art Brings You To Life film series can hit your screen! If you haven’t already seen Ep. 1, which premiered last October, you should watch the film and learn a bit about its inspiration before you continue reading.

What are our zombie friends up to this time? Just as with Ep. 1, plenty of timely Night Of The Living Dead-inspired shenanigans. For the full story, you’ll just have to see Ep. 2 for yourself:

 

 

Those sure are some cultured sounding undead.

Ep. 2 of Art Brings You To Life follows closely in line with Ep. 1 — a cheeky nod to George Romero’s iconic horror flick Night Of The Living Dead through the lens of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. In fact, our protagonists start Ep. 2 walking out of a screening at Harris Theater of that very 1968 movie.

Those characters are, naturally, modeled in name and appearance after NOTLD’s own Barbara and Johnny. Happily, our versions of the characters meet a slightly different fate than they do in Romero’s telling of the story.

 

our versions of Johnny and Barbara stand outside the Harris Theater

 

Of course, we had to include the most memorable line from Night Of The Living Dead at some point in the Art Brings You To Life saga. Indeed, as the horde approaches from Strawberry Way, we get to see Johnny’s jeering, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara…” just as he does in NOTLD’s opening cemetery scene.

We also made sure to have our Barbara and Johnny react in a similarly confounding way as they do in that famous intro. Despite the impending danger, neither have the common sense to escape in any way. Instead, they cower in fear, accepting their easily-avoided fate.

 

barbara and johnny huddle in fear for a shot

 

While all of that is inspired by Night Of The Living Dead, there’s also one instance in the film where we’ve cherry-picked an element directly from the movie — the radio announcement. That audio clip is taken straight out of a TV broadcast from the 1968 film and dropped into Art Brings You To Life.

How are we allowed to do that? Well, it boils down to a small mistake made in the original printing of the movie. Because of some miscommunication, the first prints of Night Of The Living Dead were released without any copyright notice. Because of that omission, the entire film immediately entered the public domain, making it open to use and reinterpretation by any party. In other words, we’re free to snag a short clip for our own little film.

 

the crew sets up a shot inside space gallery

 

Those familiar with the downtown visual arts world will be able to quickly identify our Zombies’ final destination — SPACE Gallery. We were especially fortunate that, at the time of this shoot, SPACE was exhibiting Machine Culture, a motion-filled show that provided the perfect opportunity for zombie/art interactions.

Just as with Art Brings You To Life Ep. 1, this second installment took a huge collection of cast and crew to produce. Fifteen people total appeared on-screen, with 12 of those being our groaning and staggering zombies. The behind-the-camera crew numbered 17 strong. A special shoutout to our three stellar makeup artists for the amazing transformation of living to undead.

Additionally, a heartfelt thanks to every other person who helped these two films come to life (ha!), from the staff at the Byham Theater and SPACE Gallery to our caterers keeping us fed through the night. We couldn’t have made these without you.

 

our makeup crew gets our zombies ready

 

And at long last, thanks to you, dear viewer. We keep getting the chance to make these playful holiday films because you keep watching them. We truly appreciate the support. Happy Halloween, Pittsburgh!

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Tags:
  • art brings you to life
  • holiday
  • film
  • night of the living dead
  • behind the scenes
  • halloween