We are often trying to find things to peak our curiosity. When we saw a web series titled Zombie with a Shotgun, we knew we needed to find out more. Thankfully Hilton Ariel Ruiz was gracious enough to talk to us about the series creation and what we should be expecting soon!
You’ve got a lot going on right now with the Zombie with a Shotgun story line. Web series episodes are available now and a comic and feature film are in the works. Was this the original goal, providing story across multiple mediums?
From the start I only wanted to work on the web series. I didn’t know it would take off from the very first episode. As time kept on going, I was getting a lot of feedback and emails from people wanting to know more about Zombie with a Shotgun. Everything just seemed to fall in place as I kept on giving what the fans wanted.
Generally, zombies are seen in popular culture as an antagonist. Most zombie stories are told from the point of view of humans faced with either saving the world or themselves. You seem to have taken the opposite approach, instead telling the story from a character faced with the progression of some type of zombie virus. How did the idea for this come about?
The idea was inspired when the whole HIV/AIDS epidemic came into place during the 80’s. No one knew what the hell was going on. We just knew there was this deadly sickness that was going around that was infecting loved ones. It sucks when people get sick with some sort of illness. People in the real world have this way of putting those people aside almost as in a zombie film. No one ever sees the stories of people who have the urgency to live and try to fit in to survive a world that doesn’t accept them.
You said the story was inspired by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Did your inspiration turn into an objective to make a social commentary out of the story, like George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead or Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later?
It would be great to have some elements of social commentary on Zombie with a Shotgun; the rest just pure kick ass.
The story thus far has been a very slow burn. Would it be wrong to interpret this as a way to put the audience in the shoes of a human being under the realization he is devolving into a zombie?
Yes and no.
Not to give the story all away but ultimately our main charter Aaron is a Zombie already. He just doesn’t know that he also carries human characteristics with him and that’s why everyone is interested in him. We all will find out quicker by the comic.
Judging from what you have released, would it be right to assume we will see the comic before a feature film? What can you tell us about these upcoming releases?
Yes that is correct.
The game plan is to have the comic out where there will be more traction with Zombie with a Shotgun, therefore the feature can get a higher budget. We feel that the comic will hit another audience to bring into the series and to have interest for the feature.
You have been releasing a lot of Simone Guglielmini’s sketches through social media. How did this relationship form and should we expect to see these, “sneak peeks” as you call them, in some form as actual panels in the comic?
Simone and I amazingly hit it off from the start when we discussed the concept of getting it on comic book form. The story for the comic was right up Simone’s alley as we can see it in his amazing artwork.
Simone and I agreed to show sneak peeks as the progress of the comic goes. We have released some panels but again all sketches as the real deal will be coming soon.
With the comic and feature film in the works, will production cease on the web series or should we still expect new content there as well?
We are now discussing a new episode to come out with the comic book. As of now the web series will continue.
Across the multiple mediums your working in, does the story all work in unison or will they each tell their own stories?
That’s an idea that we’re talking about now. I would say the series will be its own story with the comic and feature would be alike.
You have a pretty massive following, especially on social media. What do you feel has drawn people to your project?
I’m still trying to figure that one out myself. Something with the feel with the project attracts people. I think everything fell in place very well with the team I worked with cast and crew. When you have everyone believe in the work everything falls in place.
Lastly, what can you tell us about when we should be expecting more Zombie with a Shotgun content?
I’m aiming to have something around September with the release of the comic and with the possibilities of a new episode.