August 23, 2012 in Washington Voices

The Verve: Movie tells a ‘nonzombie’ tale

Filmmaking trio seeking funding on the Internet
Jennifer Larue
Jesse Tinsley photoBuy this photo

Derek Landers, Trevor Sullivan and Matt Vielle are aspiring filmmakers who are raising money to make a short feature film – a love story that also includes zombies. They are using Kickstarter to try to raise $2,500 for the project.
(Full-size photo)

Art quote of the week

“Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.”

– Banksy, pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director and painter

On the Web “Love is Dead” is linked on Facebook.

He walks down the middle of a quiet street. The camera follows him from behind. His gait is sluggish, and his clothes haven’t been changed for what looks like weeks.

He grunts and makes strange noises. Someone screams in the distance. He turns slightly, and it becomes obvious that he has been in some kind of an altercation and he apparently lost. He’s dead and sipping a “brain freeze” through a straw. He drops the cup and continues on in search of some kind of sustenance – brains or love.

It’s all relevant.

It’s called “Love is Dead,” and it’s introduced with a teaser on, a funding platform for creative projects. It’s described as a “nonzombie movie with zombies” that “follows a lovelorn young man’s search for that special girl and a little respect.”

Trevor Sullivan, 39, wrote the script, and he will direct it. Derek Landers, 40, is producing the film, and Matt Vielle, 38, is the cinematographer.

The trio set up their Kickstarter page in an attempt to raise at least some funds for expenses. They have until the end of the month to raise $2,500, an amount they decided on only because they didn’t want to be greedy. If they don’t raise $2,500, they’ll get nothing because those are the Kickstarter rules.

Regardless, they’ll soldier on.

The film will be about 20 minutes long, and they hope to begin shooting in the fall. Their central location will be a convenience store where the main character, Scott, works – where he lays eyes on the girl of his dreams and grapples with an atomic jawbreaker that eventually gets the better of him as, just outside, the human race faces extinction.

Sullivan has been making movies since he was 14 and has boxes of tapes to prove it. In 1990, he won a Washington state journalism award as the cartoonist for Shadle Park High School’s newspaper. Recently, he wrote and printed a children’s book called “The Pirate Chicken” for his niece.

Landers has always been interested in creating things; art, music and writing were all constants when he was growing up. After graduating from Mead High School, he tried different professions and then decided to start making T-shirts. He enrolled in the graphic design program at Spokane Falls Community College, where he met Sullivan. Their creative aspirations meshed, and they started a business called Dumbgun, producing T-shirts and gig posters.

Vielle, a mountain biker and snowboarder, also attended SFCC to study art. He was offered a summer job at Hamilton Studios and has been there for the past 17 years doing commercial photography and videos, including a short documentary that took him to Korea. All three have long, creative résumés.

Summed up on their Kickstarter page, they are three close friends “wanting to do something special with the skills that they’ve been honing for years.” When people ask why, they ask, “Why not?”

The Verve is a weekly feature celebrating the arts. If you know an artist, dancer, actor, musician, photographer, band or singer, email Jennifer LaRue at

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