Fango has learned that UK director Chris Bouchard will commence principal photography this July on HUMAN RESIDUE, an ambitious low-budget feature film he plans to release free to the Internet. Working with a cast and crew comprised entirely of volunteers, Bouchard, who will also executive-produce, provides Fango with the lowdown on his project.
“I’ve been making short films for more than five years now, but this is actually the first feature I’ve directed,” Bouchard says. Joined by fellow members of UK’s York University Filmmaking Society, the director and his growing production team recruited, “several local filmmakers as well as international artists and writers. We used Internet film communities to find writers, actors, concept artists and effects people. Most of the team are not working film industry professionals, but enthusiasts and volunteers who want to prove they can do it just as good!”
The director plans to make HUMAN RESIDUE a different kind of genre experience. “I’m sick of slasher films, so I really want to make a serious and atmospheric horror movie,” he says. “Something I can make on a really low budget, yet truly immersive and scary!” With this in mind, Bouchard latched onto a supernatural script penned by Matthew L. Tuck and Fango scribe M.J. Simpson. It’s a hybrid of Bouchard’s favorite subgenres (“disaster movies and zombie flicks like 28 DAYS LATER”), and the director says, “We really want to focus on that moment of coming to terms with a monumental disaster. Imagine if one day, suddenly everyone was gone. All human life has vanished overnight and now horrific creatures are hunting down those who remain. What would really happen? What would your instincts be?"
Having found his thematic direction, Bouchard and co. were faced with the daunting task of finding a deserted urban location which would not only communicate the devastation of a mass population die-off, but also be affordable. As it turned out, the director had to look no further than York University. "We’re really lucky with having such great locations on our doorstep,” Bouchard says. “The film is to be shot on campus, which is conveniently empty during the summer break!”
HUMAN RESIDUE will star local stage actors Rachael Blyth and Ben Anderson and co-produced by Bernadette Martínez-Hernández and Mike Ritchie, with makeup, creature and visual FX by Adam Dymond, Anna Drake and Lionel Heath. Bouchard says of the time and energy donated by his cast and crew, “It’s great, because it means our budget is so low that we can release the film on-line for free! I don’t know if that’s been done before with a feature, but it’s a great way to reach a new audience. We’re not trying to make any money here. We just want to make a movie that we would want to watch ourselves, and then make it available to everyone. Who knows? Maybe someone will notice us and give us the chance to make the next film!"
Having already shot and cut a promotional trailer (which can be seen at the film’s official website here, along with stills, video production diaries and more), and aiming for a summer 2007 release, Bouchard is now seeking additional “budding filmmakers/crew members” as he preps for HUMAN RESIDUE’s summer shoot, as well as sponsors. “Our budget is ultra-low, practically non-existent. Our costs are covered entirely by sponsorships, grants, awards and donations, but at the moment we’re in need of some additional funds to complete the film, and are welcoming donations through our website. Fans can now sponsor HUMAN RESIDUE and be the first to see it on disc.” Sponsors will receive a limited-edition DVD of the movie upon its eventual completion, as well as receiving a film credit in the closing titles. If you’re interested in sponsoring the movie or lending a hand to the production, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.