Return Of The Living Dead Book Interview With Co-Author Gary Smart
As most of you are aware, Christian Sellers and Gary Smart have a real treat in store for 'Return Of The Living Dead' fans. A book, titled "The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead," is currently slated for an October 1st 2010 release, by Amazon.Com. I was privileged enough to get to interview Co-Author Gary Smart about the book.
How did the idea for the book come about?
Me and Christian Sellers became friends when he was working as Deputy Editor for Gorezone Horror Magazine in 2007. I was working on getting Don Calfa and Beverly Randolph to the UK for a Movie Convention called Memorabilia at the NEC in Birmingham UK. Anyhow after a lot of work and negotiations we could only get Don over. I spent a week with Don and we instantly became friends. He is a legend and a sweet caring man full of Hollywood stories and of course stories about the making of the ROTLD. I went over the states the following summer and spent time with Don and Beverly in LA. When I got back me and Christian started talking about ROTLD. At the time I was looking at developing Don’s sequel to ROTLD ‘Revenge of the Living Dead’ into a graphic novel. Christian would proof read sections for me. It was at this time when we started talking about a book on ROTLD. We then decided it should be about ALL the movies, the good and the bad. We spent the next year throwing ideas about then finally decided to create a press-kit for publishers. We contacted lots of the cast and crew and they all agreed to take part.
When did work on the book first begin?
Work commenced in October 2009. We created a very flashy 15 page press-kit and sent it to 5 publishers. The funny thing is, is that ALL 5 got back in touch wanting more information on the project. In the end 4 of them thought that the project was risky because they didn’t know much about ROTLD and the cult following and were worried that the book would not sell that well as many genre fans love the Romero Dead films instead. Then Plexus Books contacted us and they were on the same wave length as us and thought there was enough interest in the movies to justify a book. So the rest is history, we went to work on researching, interviews and collecting images.
How difficult was the overall process of creating the book?
The most difficult process was tracking people down for the book. Many of the cast and crew have had careers in low budget films, many don’t have agents. So we looked at Facebook and Myspace to ask the fans if they knew who was out there. You have to also remember we are based in the UK so it was even more difficult. Recently we have been told that some people thought we were wrong to ask for help on social networking sites. I couldn’t disagree more.... the fans are the most important people out there and anyone who has helped has been credited in the book. Another worry was the images. We wanted images that had never been seen before and thankfully we had the help of three really amazing people who provided us with some great unique images. These people were ROTLD stills photographer Rory Flynn, ROTLD producers assistant Victoria Slaymaker and ROTLD I and ROTLD II International Marketing Executive Paul. M. Sammon.
What overall content can fans expect from the book?
288 pages packed with photos, interviews and great stories from producers, executives, make-up artists, sound engineers, writers, actors including Don Calfa, Beverly Randolph, Diane O’Bannon, William Stout, Linnea Quigley, Thor van Lingen, Bill Munns, Brian Peck, Brian Yuzna, J. Trevor Edmond, David Trippett, James Karen, Jewel Shepard, John Terry and many more. This books main purpose is to promote and celebrate the ROTLD and all those who helped create it. This is not a money-making project for us, it’s something that we love and are proud to be involved in.
Plus we have an Introduction by Brian Yuzna, Foreword by Brian Peck and Closing Chapters by William Stout and Dan O’Bannon’s widow Diane O’Bannon.
Photo wise, will photos in the book be black & white, colour, or both?
There are roughly 500 photos in the book. With about 400 in colour and 100 in black and white. This book is a real treat and it looks amazing with strong powerful images complimenting a great narrative by Christian Sellers.
Will the book be released in softcover, hardcover, or both?
The book is released in soft cover at the moment and the reason being is that the book is full of colour images so it’s an expensive book to produce. The cost is $24.99 and this is because of the 400 colour images, if we had a hardback it would have been even more expensive for fans. However you never know if the book is a success it may one day be rereleased in hardback.
When can fans expect the release of this book?
Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Play, Tower and many more have a release date of October 31st. I hope this is the case. We are a little behind schedule so who knows... pre-orders have been really good. A bonus for all ROTLD fans in LA, is that the cast and crew are having a BIG signing of the book at Dark Delocalises in Burbank when the book is released.
I have been supportive of this project since I first learned of its existence, and cannot wait for its release. A big "Thankyou" goes out to Christian Sellers and Gary Smart for creating this book, I'm sure it will be a big hit among ROTLD fans, and to Gary Smart for the interview. We, the fans, cannot wait for its release.
"The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead" is currently slated for an October 2010 release. Fans can purchase the book at the following Amazon.Com LINK.