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CERN physicists’ zombie film premieres in Manchester, online release announced
Thursday 29th of November will see the premiere of “Decay”, a feature-length zombie film made by physicists, and Saturday 8th of December will see the free online release. Set at the Large Hadron Collider, the film centres around zombies created from exposure to the newly-discovered Higgs boson. Writer and director Luke Thompson, a Manchester University Ph.D. student, originally conceived the idea in February 2010, after joking that the tunnels under CERN would be ideal for a zombie film. With a budget of approximately £2000 and a regular cast and crew of only 20, the team built a camera shoulder-mount from copper pipes, made fake blood from golden syrup, and scavenged props from dumpsters. It was shot on borrowed digital SLRs including the Canon 5D Mark 2: consumer cameras which have recently been used to shoot parts of movies such as Iron Man 2, Black Swan and the season 6 finale of TV series House. Editing and digital effects were done on a home computer with Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
The film follows a small group of students (played by physicists) after a disastrous malfunction in the world’s biggest particle accelerator. As they try desperately to escape from the underground maintenance tunnels, they are hunted by the remains of a maintenance team, who have become less than human. With the recent coverage of the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC at CERN, the film is likely to appeal to a wide-ranging, science-savvy audience, as well as to zombie enthusiasts as a new approach to the genre. Following the premiere, the film will be available to stream or download free online, under a Creative Commons Licence (CC-BY-NC) that allows free distribution, remixing and use in other projects in a non-commercial capacity. Creative Commons is a growing and innovative culture, and this will add to the film’s appeal. CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, employing around 4000 international scientists and hosting many more visiting lecturers and guests. The Higgs boson is a sub-atomic particle thought to be responsible for giving other particles mass. There is absolutely no evidence that it is harmful in any way. CERN and the LHC have been enjoying much media attention in the last few years, and physics has found itself very much in vogue thanks to popular figures such as Brian Cox.
There has been a publicity campaign via Twitter, Facebook and the film’s website, and there have been mentions on various online science and news sites such as wired.com. There has been cross-promotion with the Antarctic horror film South of Sanity, featured in BBC news broadcasts, and the trailer has received over 84K views on Youtube to date. With a running time of 80 minutes the film will premiere at 6.30pm on the 29/11/12 at University of Manchester’s University Place building on Oxford Road (M13 9PL), in the 600-seat Theatre B. The event is free, but places must be reserved via decay.eventbrite.co.uk.
The film will be released online free on Saturday 8th of December on the website.
Any queries should go to Luke Thompson, as per the details above.
This film has not been authorized or endorsed by CERN