Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alumnus to begin work on new western zombie film ‘Rex’

Life after college can be daunting for most people, and radio-television-film majors are no exception.
However, Cal State Fullerton Alumnus Carlos Cortes isn’t wasting any time trying to break into the industry that he loves.
“I’ve been working on several productions doing freelance productions, assistance work and also worked as a videographer for a small production company here in Orange County,” Cortes said.
Even more exciting, Cortes is also working on a project of his own. He and his crew are beginning to work on an original short film titled Rex.
“It’s way bigger than anything I’ve done, so it takes a lot of preparation,” Cortes said.
Cortes wrote the script and collaborated with other CSUF screenwriters for the film.
Cortes describes the film as a zombie western that follows a zombie named Rex.
Rex is not your typical flesh eating, brainless zombie that most people are used to in films.
Instead, he is a harmless zombie who—along with his companion a vigilante named The Shadow—is on the hunt for whiskey in a post-apocalyptic world.
While on their whiskey-hunt, they become the prey of a ruthless group of savage, human zombie hunters.
Cortes wanted the film to humanize zombies as some recent films, like Warm Bodies, have tried to do.
“It’s a very human story about a zombie trying to find his place in this world,” Cortes said. “The zombies are the most human element of the whole story while the humans are more of the savages. We switched those roles to make it a more enticing story.”
This is not Cortes’ first original project. Last year his original short film, disconnected., won the Cal State Fullerton Associated Students, Inc. Productions Student Film Festival.
“(Winning the film festival) felt great,” Cortes said. “When we made the film, we knew we had something special as soon as we stopped filming.”
Since the film’s win, it has received huge recognition online and is now available for viewing on Direct-TV.
Those who have watched disconnected. will recognize a few actors in Rex once it is released.
Most of the crew that worked on disconnected. are now working with Cortes to produce Rex.
This time, the crew will also include members from Chapman University.
The crew plans on going into production in June. Until then, Cortes will be focusing on getting funding for the project.
Originally, he had hoped to raise all of the funds through IndieGoGo, a site that allows people to donate money to a start-up. However, the deadline to donate was Feb. 19 and only $1,441 of the estimated $5,500 goal was raised.
The next step for funding the project is to apply for grants.
Cortes doesn’t want to take any shortcuts in the production process, meaning he wants to have access to the best make-up, props and crew.
“It’s very exciting, it’s new territory for all of us,” Cortes said.
Once production wraps, Cortes plans on submitting Rex to a few film festivals in Southern California. He originally planned to submit it to the Sundance Film Festival, but decided it would be best to hold off.
Cortes hopes his zombie western flick will surpass the success that disconnected. had.
This time, his dream to break into the industry begins and ends with determination with the help of a zombie named Rex.

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