If there’s one thing that zombies do with startling regularity, it’s ARISE. And ARISE again. And again. The modern zombie apocalypse phenomena, part of a 21st Century obsession with apocalypse as a whole but huge in its own right, has seen the flesh-eating once-were-human monsters maintain their indie credibility while infiltrating mainstream media (for example, in TV shows like the UK Big Brother take, Dead Set, and the new series based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel The Walking Dead — not to mention successful box-office hits such as Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland). Novels and anthologies have proliferated (such as the newly released novel/antho Zombie Apocalypse! — created by UK anthologist Stephen Jones and including writers like Michael Marshall Smith, Paul Finch, Pat Cadigan, Kim Newman and even myself). Graphic novels/comics, short films (as always), novelty publications (for example, the NY Times bestseller, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), video games, toy ranges and mass social events like the now ubiquitous “zombie walks”, crop up continually. Even the iconic Marvel Universe has been plagued by the hungry dead, with Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk and the rest of the superhero clan not so much defeating the zombie hordes as becoming them. The zombie apocalypse sub-genre continually mutates and rises from the grave, just like the ambulant corpses themselves.
Jay Reiter: First of all, Arise started off as a small four-page mini-comic. This was a school project that I just kept developing and picking away at. It was a LOT of fun and quite a few people seemed rather interested in Arise, so I stuck with it.
But it then became a film? How?
JR: Well, I needed a short film to direct as my senior project, so I just used the four-page Arise mini-comic as a template for the short film. I was originally going to film the Arise short film in 3D, as I have been quite fascinated by the prospects of 3D film making. Unfortunately, SCAD [Savannah College of Art and Design] was not equipped to film in 3D. Very frustrating. After several long talks with both the Chair of film and the Dean of film, as well as the Chair of the SCAD visual fx department, I realised that there was just no way that I would be able to shoot the Arise short in 3D. Regardless of this setback, I was able to broker a deal between myself and Fuddruckers of Savannah to provide almost all of the meals for the Arise short as well as gaining the limited rights to use music by Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth (international death-metal bands).
Teaser Trailer for Arise:
And now you have plans for it to become a franchise, right?
JR: Once the Arise short was completed, I immediately focused my attention on turning Arise into a franchise with a full-length comic, feature length film, action figures, video games and more. So far there has been much success with these prospects. A six-issue comic is on the horizon with art done by Cannibal Corpse artist Vince Locke and I’m in negotiations to turn Arise into the film it was meant to be: a full-length feature film in 3D.
I have just opened up the official Arise Store, where fans can purchase T-shirts, hats, Christmas ornaments, posters, and more. Every purchase of $20 or more will get a free download link for the Arise short film.
What about you? Where did you come from and where are you going?
JR: As far as myself and my background, I’m 31 years old, a recent graduate (Cum Laude) of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia (majored in film, minored in sequential art), and a HUGE fan of zombie films and horror as a whole. Since graduating I’ve founded my own art studio, Satyrn Studios, as well as co-founding a movie production and visual fx company called Multiverse Multimedia. I fancy myself a writer/director and once Arise is finished, I plan to move forward with an epic fantasy/sci-fi franchise called Skull Hunters.
Looks like Arise is a franchise it will be worth keeping an eye on.
The Original Comic (click to enlarge):
Comic Concept Art:
Images from the Film:
More in the Gallery below.
Music and More Sequences from the film can be seen on YouTube.
Writer – Jay Reiter
Pencils/Inks – Tradd Moore
Colors – Lauren Affe
Arise Short Film:
Writer/Director/Executive Producer – Jay Reiter
Producer – Allison Caroll
Editor – Zach Cost
Director of Photography – David Davis
Thanatos – James Daniel Curran
Dinah – Isabella Selin
Janet – Julie Collins
The Foreman – Andrew McClelland
Hector – Elmer Ramos
Special FX Makeup – Christopher Jean Soucy and Misha Buczek
Photos – Michael Kyriakides
- Source: Jay Reiter; Arise website; Satyrn Studios website
- Arise Store
- Written by Robert Hood | Research/Interview by Avery Guerra