Three Characters; One State of Mind
Our team is always hesitant to call Dead Winter a zombie film. It’s not. I typically tell anyone who asks, “It’s a quiet, post-apocalyptic drama that happens to have a zombie in it.” Jason, our director, refers to her as a “monster.” Whatever you call her or however you talk about it, she’s representative of something much more real. For Jason and I, she’s divorce. For others, she’s addiction. For someone else, she might be a toxic family member or friend.
I originally came up with the concept of Dead Winter many years ago, and back then it was just a vague idea: generations of women deal with a difficult decision during an apocalypse. That apocalypse started as a zombie one, then went to nuclear winter, and eventually (through years of trying to brainstorm other options) wound back again to a zombie apocalypse. After my divorce, the story developed its heart — and this was the only setting and situation that really fit.
If you’ve ever had a difficult decision to make, you’ve experienced inner turmoil. For me, it was the back and forth silent dialogue in my head: “I’m not happy, but I don’t want to disappoint our families. Maybe it will get better…but I’m so miserable. Surely this can’t be what every marriage is like. Maybe it is. Maybe it’s my fault that I’m miserable. If I work hard enough, we’ll be fine. Won’t we?” Round, and round, and round again…every single day. It’s an unbearable rollercoaster. The ups and downs of that rollercoaster are represented through our characters:
- Audrey: the one who doesn’t want to give up and thinks that with enough perseverance, she’ll make it to the brighter, other side.
- Sophia: the one who thinks there’s a better life to be had, and that some things are — as unfortunate as it is — past saving.
- Leah: the one who can’t even recognize herself or what life used to be.
We can’t wait to share this story with you all. However, we ask that you look at it as more than just another zombie film, because it is. It’s way more than that. And chances are, you might just find yourself in one of these characters, too.
Allison Hogue, Writer & Producer