The director of Fugue State, Tim McClelland, was kind enough to answer some questions for us via email.
F&F: First, I have some specific questions about Fugue State.
In that fab scene where Luis moves one zombie’s arm and finds that another
nearby moves her arm as well, does this mean that the zombies have a sort
of hive mind? And later, when “Daddy” mentally calls to the zombie horde,
how is he able to control them? Is this something that is inconsequential,
simply a mystery and part of that “fugue state” you wanted to develop in
the viewer or perhaps there wasn’t enough time to visit this idea further?
I enjoy reading zombie books and have encountered the idea of a zombie
collective mind. I find it very interesting and so this part of Fugue
State had me intrigued.
Tim McC: Yes, it certainly seems that the “zombies” are connected by some sort of mental link, but I can only guess what the mechanism for such would be. It’s as if by removing the conscious mind/memories, other forms of thought/communication are able to fill in the void. The first example you see is the “wolf pack” of aggressive males that attack the woman and children in the alley. Later, the amnesiacs form into larger, more complex organizations. And then they are finally united by Daddy, who appears to have been granted special abilities by the “Shiner.”
In earlier (longer) cuts of Fugue State, there is more speculation among the characters as to possible explanations for the causes of the Amnesia Plague, but I find that the movie flows better without these conversations.
F&F: I think it is amazing what you were able to do with such a low budget.
I’ve heard the saying, “the film itself is the most expensive” part of
making movies. Was this true for Fugue State?
Tim McC: Since Fugue State was shot on video, the production costs were very low. The majority of the budget was spent on food for the cast, costumes and props, and gas for going to and from location. The downside to this method is that everything takes a lot longer, scheduling actors and crew with regular jobs is difficult, and the director ends up doing a lot of producer’s jobs, as well as editing, sound design, music, color correction, etc.
F&F: What drew you to making your own film? Is there another in the making?
What advice would you give to someone getting into the indie film
industry? How are you handling the press for your film other than film
Tim McC: Like many people, I’ve always wanted to make a movie, so it was something I had to do sooner or later. I’m a fan of many genres of movie, but making a zombie movie actually seemed doable given the resources I had available.
I’m looking forward to starting another project soon, most likely in the horror
genre, but I don’t want to go into detail quite yet.
My advice is to get a camera and start making movies. Start with short ones and move up to longer ones. Do what you can with what you have available. The more skillful you become at this very difficult art form, the more resources will become available to you.
F&F: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Looking forward to your next project.