Now many years ago (before HD) I was at Modern Age Comics in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I had just shot a short film called “Why Can’t it be Tuesday.” The comic shop owner allowed me to film some scenes of the short in his comic book shop. Ralph, the shop owner and some customers were talking about making a short Zombie film. I somehow got into the conversation and next thing you know, I offered to write the thing.
Ninety five pages later the short zombie film was now a feature film. I spoke to the guys at the comic shop and no one had money to make this movie. Dark New World was dead in the desert, literally. After some time and some freelance graphic design work I had raised about $3,000 and rewrote the script to fit the budget. So I formed Sleeping Awake Productions and contacted some people.
The local newspapers ran a call for auditions and we had about 150 people show up to devour the living or to kill zombies. The best part; almost everyone was willing to work for free. So, I had found my heroes and villains and we scheduled to shoot the film on weekends. I was working about fifty hours a week and most of the actors were college students, so weekends were the best time for everyone.
I bought a used Canon GL1 and DLP lights from ebay ($2,000). My wife and I would plan the weekend shoots, contact everyone and make sure everything was loaded in the 4Runner. Some local businesses (Durango Bagel & Great American Pizza) served the crew three meals a day and sometimes my in-laws would feed them burritos. So I pimped myself out — there is a restaurant plug in the movie. We worked 15 hour days Saturdays and Sundays for two months (16 days).
One broken generator, one broken GL1 and a long time editing (I have a family, mortgage and day job) and Dark New World is Done and filmed on a $1,000!