Let me tell you a little story.
I have always loved Zombie movies. From a young age, I watched every zombie movie I could get my hands on. But of them all, my all time favourites were the movies of George A. Romero. This man made the modern zombie film and influenced generations of film makers. He was the man that made me want to make films.
“There are so many factors when you think of your own films. You think of the people you worked on it with, and somehow forget the movie. You can't forgive the movie for a long time. It takes a few years to look at it with any objectivity and forgive its flaws.”
Of all the films he made, Dawn of the Dead was my all time favourite. Anything with his name attached, I would watch and I didn't care if it was good, bad or different. If it was a Romero film, I'd watch it. He never felt comfortable in the traditional Hollywood system and proved that you could make an independent film outside of Hollywood and it would be a hit. Until the Blair Witch Project, Dawn of the Dead was the highest grossing independent film ever made.
“If I fail, the film industry writes me off as another statistic. If I succeed, they pay me a million bucks to fly out to Hollywood and fart.”
It was never about the zombies, it was about the people who were doing anything to survive the end of the world and he wrote characters that you genuinely cared for and cared about.
“My zombies will never take over the world because I need the humans. The humans are the ones I dislike the most, and they're where the trouble really lies. My stories are about humans and how they react, or fail to react, or react stupidly. I'm pointing the finger at us, not at the zombies. I try to respect and sympathise with the zombies as much as possible.”
I found out that George had died on Sunday night and when I read the info, It felt like a member of my family had passed away. It genuinely hit me so so hard. As I've said, I've grown up with this guy's work. Without him, there would be no Walking Dead, no horror as we know it, no independent film making as we know it. He was the pioneer for so many actors and directors and writers.
George... You were my hero. For most, it would have been Spielberg or Scorsese or Hitchcock... I chose George Romero.
****, this hit hard....