Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Undead to Walk the Region Again

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Undead to Walk the Region Again

Article excerpt

In the early '80s, as Chris Niespodzianski and Ray Mongelli walked up and down the halls of Overbrook Elementary School, they had no idea that zombies would follow in their footsteps.

"It was very nostalgic and a little strange," said Mr. Niespodzianski about filming in his old elementary school more than 30 years later.

In full zombie makeup, pale, bloody extras roamed the halls of the old school in search of a scene they could be a part of. The empty school building, soon to be converted into an assisted living facility, is just one of the shooting locations for Orchard Place Productions' first feature film, "The Other Side." The producers began shooting July 1, expect to complete filming in early August and hope to have a final product before the end of the year.

The production company made up of Mr. Niespodzianski, his brother John Niespodzianski, Mr. Mongelli and Chris Murphy, decided to make the feature film after producing a short film by the same name. After it won the Pittsburgh Zombie Shorts Film Festival in 2012, the producers decided to expand their original concept into a 90-minute movie.

In "The Other Side," as the main character, Chris, begins searching for his missing wife in the fictional town of Elkwood, Pa., he begins to notice a series of strange happenings that signify the beginning of a zombie apocalypse.

Influenced by "28 Days Later" and "The Walking Dead," the producers attempted to create a zombie film that was more than just a zombie film.

"It's not just a bunch of stumbling, bleeding people," said Mr. Mongelli.

After being struck by inspiration one day, Chris Niespodzianski stayed up all night and wrote a rough draft of the screenplay. Four months and 30 rewrites later, the screenplay was complete.

The producers raised nearly $30,000 for the film by asking friends and family for donations, receiving a contribution from an international business, TRI Federation, in exchange for publicity for its product, and creating a campaign on Indiegogo, a crowd funding website. …

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