Filmmaker Paul Winters talks to us about his latest directorial effort called, “Cowboy Zombies.” The movie premiere rolled out in Arizona last month. Paul also directed & starred in, “Nate and the Colonel” (2003) & “Red Blood: The homecoming of Jimmy Whitecloud” (2001).
How does it feel watching the premiere of “Cowboys Zombies” in a movie theater? - “It felt wonderful watching the premiere with a full theater. There's nothing like the giant screen and the huge sound in a building made just for seeing movies. For me, though, there is always some trepidation before a film is seen by anyone other than the editor (which is usually me), sound mixing team, and composer. I just hope people like my films.”
Should there be more Zombie movies? - “I love zombie movies. I am a fan of the genre. The original 'Night of the Living Dead' by George Romero made an indelible mark on me. It really scared me. Should there be more zombie films? Sure, if they are good movies. 'Cowboy Zombies' is unique from the current pack of zombie flicks because we made it a zombie film for the whole family. Not too scary (but still scary), with some humor (but not a comedy). What we found in the first week of theatrical screening is that families would also show up and everyone enjoyed the film. The little ones weren't terrified and the adults were able to enjoy it also. The film has a wide audience base. I like to call 'Cowboy Zombies' a zombie movie that everyone can enjoy.”
How did audience members react to the Apache dubbed language? - “In the end, we didn't use the Apache language in 'Cowboy Zombies.' Mostly it was a time issue. We didn't have time to do it properly and I didn't want to be the producer/director who butchered the Apache language on film. I spent a great deal of time learning my lines in Apache and I can tell you, it is a very difficult language to speak. At least it was for me. It's not a language where you can make a phonetic chart and parrot the words. I'm a little upset that we weren't able to do it because I like to put the Native languages in my films because they are authentic and real and I am aware that some of the Native languages are not being used as much anymore, which is sad.”
“As you know, Lee Whitestar spoke Quechan in 'Red Blood' and a big portion of 'Nate and the Colonel' was in Ojibwe with English sub-titles. The late, great Billy Day Dodge, who spoke Ojibwe, was our language coach on 'Nate and the Colonel' and he did a marvelous job with it.”
Will there be a sequel to “Cowboy Zombies? - “There will be a 'Cowboy Zombies II.' It was always planned as a franchise. We used 'Cowboy Zombies' to introduce the situation. In 'Cowboy Zombies II' we will expand on everything and build on the character development we began in the first film. The way I am approaching it is that it is ongoing. We left some questions unanswered on purpose. 'Cowboy Zombies' would make a wonderful television series. A classic western with zombies. So, the whole process on this project has been fun for me because I also love westerns and I got to blend the two genres.”
Where will your next screening of “Cowboy Zombies” take place? - “We are currently planning the rest of the theatrical release schedule for 'Cowboy Zombies.' Four walling a film is quite a time consuming endeavor. We have to find the right theater in numerous markets and then negotiate a price for the rental and a show date. After we book the date and time, we then have to address advertising for the event. I never wanted to become a distributor, but our company, 'Winters Film Group' is a full fledged distribution company. We are handling all aspects and sales in all markets for our films now. We had to become a distributor because our experience was that we were never paid properly or fairly by our distributors in the past. It doesn't happen.”
“The advent of new technology has made it viable to be a distributor now. Along with theaters, we will also be offering the film on Video On Demand (VOD). That should be up this week at: 'www.cowboyzombiesfilm.com.' VOD allows anyone in the world to view the film on their computer, phone, or television. That way, 'Cowboy Zombies' will be available to anyone, anywhere because we won't be able to reach everyone with our theatrical release.”