A missing wife, as “Gone Girl” taught us, is never a good thing. But a missing wife during a zombie apocalypse is especially problematic and, filmmaker Chris Niespodzianski hopes, cinematic.
It’s how his movie, “The Other Side,” starts. Shot largely at the former Overbrook Elementary School and a farmhouse in Claysville, Washington County, it had close to 30 speaking roles, 100-plus extras and 25 to 30 crew members.
After a private premiere Saturday, “The Other Side” will screen at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday where patrons can meet key cast members including Chad Conley, Robert Liscio and Christine Starkey and ask questions of the moviemakers. Tickets are $10 at the door (or teamorchard.com where you can find trailers and other information) and moviegoers also can buy DVDs, soundtracks and posters at the Dormont venue.
In “The Other Side,” a man searches for his wife during the beginning of the zombie apocalypse in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Elkwood. It’s a “drama-horror” that drops moviegoers into the middle of a dysfunctional family as the cataclysm begins, Mr. Niespodzianski of Brentwood says.
“There is a twist at the end of the film that I won’t reveal, but it’s been very well received so far,” he said.
Orchard Place Productions is releasing the movie locally and handling the first wave of DVDs but hopes wider audiences will have access to it by the spring along with Blu-rays.
Mr. Niespodzianski wrote the screenplay and directed it with Raymond Mongelli. Chris’ brother, John Niespodzianski of Pleasant Hills, produced “Other Side,” and Christopher Murphy was an investor turned executive producer who also plays a mayor on screen.
“The Other Side” started life as a short film of the same name, and after it won the Pittsburgh Zombie Shorts Film Festival in 2012, the producers decided to expand it into a full feature. It was shot in 19 days and made on a micro-budget of roughly $50,000, possible because some people volunteered their time and others worked for a fraction of their normal pay.
The movie features original music by Fist Fight in the Parking Lot, Venus In Furs, Homicide Black, Supervoid, Order of Nine, Dirty Charms, Florals, Brittany Bordella, Insult to Injury and has an acoustic performance by Jason Sichi and Chris Booth.
Asked how, in this crowded zombie universe you try to distinguish yourself, the writer and co-director said, “To me, it’s all about asking the question, ‘Where will you be when it happens?’ and that’s why, all of a sudden, we’re thrust right into these people’s lives right at the very beginning of it.”
The movie is 102 minutes long and R in nature for violence, language and a sexual scene.