After wrapping their award-winning short film, “Underground Sonata,” director Noah Cooper and producer Mike Castro tried to decide on their next project. Noah had been developing an idea for a martial arts fantasy involving a young man haunted by dreams of a former life in which he was a samurai on the run with a mystical sword. Mike had always dreamed of creating a Zombie film in the same vein as Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. They realized they could combine their ideas if that mystical sword had the power to raise the dead, giving birth to the concept of “Ninja Zombies.”
They brought the idea to director of photography Michal Trzaska as well as Arun Storrs, an actress that has starred in Noah’s films since college. They were equally as excited and together, they began to flesh out the plot of the story. They also enlisted the help of artists Eli Barrett and Meredith Bankston, who set out to learn the secrets of low-budget zombie makeup and costume design.
Armed with very modest budget raised on kickstarter.com, they rallied other talented individuals to the cause. They hailed from all around the country, including Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, DC, and California. They were from all walks of life: Filmmakers, graphic designers, lawyers, doctors, consultants, mechanics, students, engineers, architects… People who were willing to dedicate their time and talent for free because they believed in our God-given right to see ferocious ninjas feast on the flesh of their freshly assassinated foes.
Though it was originally intended as a 30-45 minute film, the decision was made to expand it to feature length. Despite the great amount of work it would require and the limited time they had to do it in, they were encouraged by the support of legendary b-movie icon Lloyd Kaufman, who agreed to make a cameo appearance.
They are proud to have a very diverse cast and crew – actors of Vietnamese, Chinese American, Korean American, Nepali American, Italian American, as well as a native of Poland and a native of Kuwait in our crew. Hopefully such diversity among the cast will become more of a trend, and one day race will not be a limiting factor for potential for success in the American entertainment industry.