Zombie Mockumentary ‘The Life Of A Dead Man’

So we now know what idea were going with and have researched the genre so can now start putting ideas down. We have decided to try and imitate the styles of channel 4 or 5 documentaries that try and evoke as much emotion in there subject so as to make the show as entertaining for the viewer as possible. A lot of these shows are known for showing someone in a fragile emotional state and subtly trying to squeeze as many tears and tantrums out of them as possible. We will be playing on this idea by putting our zombie character ‘Steve’ in situations where he would feel socially awkward and evoke emotion. There will be a producer character that will act as an interviewer to ask Steve questions such as ‘how does that make you feel?’ after he has, for example, been thrown out of the pub.

Here’s an example of Mitchell and Webb taking the mick out of such programmes.

The Documentary will be in the form of an interview in a dark room and shots out on location in various places around Coventry. This will include a pub, shops, offices hopefully with the participation of some members of the public. We want some actual genuine public reactions to our zombie being out in the streets to make it seem as realistic as possible. This will be done by having him ask members of the public for directions and then going up to them afterwards and seeing what they thought of him.

  This is the reaction we are hoping for

We are trying to create a type of black comedy by showing the plight of Steve’s position but for the entertainment of the viewer, which might seem a little sadistic but it is true that people find entertainment in the misery of others. This is shown in various films and TV shows which are essentially centred around the failure of its main characters, for example the show ‘Extras’ starring Ricky Gervais is based his consistent failure to make it as a real actor.

At the moment it is still a collection of ideas but it is making good progress and should be really fun to produce! Next to do is to sort out make-up, script and sound.


Pitches Feedback/Genre Research

After hearing the feedback from our pitches we now have a solid idea to move forward with. We realised that organising the brightest star idea may take more organisation than we have time for in the limited time scale. There were many problems with the childrens interview ideas such as the need for individual parents permission and the obvious problems with filming children and posting it online. There is also the problem of the unpredictability of children and that we may not get any usable footage making the whole project a complete waste of time, therefore that only leaves the zombie mockumentary.

The genre of the ‘Mockumentary’ is a mixture of comedy (mock) and documentary. The genre started in the 60’s with films such as the Beatles film ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and the original radio show ‘War Of The Worlds’, which took the form of a real news broadcast with no introduction giving the illusion of an actual alien invasion. Since then many mainstream films have incorporated the mockumentary such as Sasha Baron Cohen’s film ‘Borat’ and the animated comedy ‘Surfs Up’. It Became popular in prime time television due to the success of Ricky Gervis’ comedy ‘The Office’ which even included a US version, and ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ which starred Steve Coogan as a failing radio presenter. A lot of these films rely on the main character thinking they are more interesting or funnier than they actually are to create the funny, and often awkward, situations. The films are often depict the main characters as secretly depressed e.g. David Brent or Alan Partridge to create humour for the audience.


4 Week Project

Its the beginning of my second year in media production and straight away we have to have a project done in only 4 weeks! The brief for the project was very general allowing us to create pretty much anything we wanted to, this gave us an opportunity to pitch an idea we may have always wanted to make but never had the chance. Almost as soon as we started we had 3 solid ideas to work with and pitches for them.

Pitch 1

Disabled People – The Brightest Star

Alice is 15 and lives a normal happy life. She goes to school and takes part in clubs like swimming and basketball. She loves talking bout clothes boys and her favourite tv shows with her friends. the only difference is Alice has Cerebral, this mean she has limited use of her limbs and is wheelchair bound. We want to show the positive sides of her life to show why we should be grateful for what we have.

Pitch 2

Zombie Mockumentary – The Life Of  A Dead Man

Tom is a 20 year old typical male: good at sport, likes video games, going out and spending time with friends. However, he has difficulties doing all this as Tom finds it hard socialising, which isn’t his entire fault: people are just too judgemental. Our documentary follows Tom in his day to day life to see what it’s like and how he copes with every day tasks. Oh, and we forgot to mention… he’s a zombie.

Pitch 3

Kids interview

Never work with children. Or so the saying goes. But this time we’ve thrown the rule book out and so this short documentary looks at life through a childs point of view. Asking lifes most important questions, a group of children show us the answers through their eyes. With hilarious results.

We will be pitching these ideas to the rest of the group and seeing what feedback they give us and what project they recommend that we go forward with.