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Based on the story by 2010 Hugo-winning writer Will McIntosh, Followed is a socially conscious monster movie in which zombies symbolize society’s disadvantaged and oppressed. Features the American debut of actor Erryn Arkin (“Home and Away,” “CIA: Crime Investigation Australia”), Edith Ivey (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Sylvia Boykin (The Tenant), introducing San Francisco’s Abigail de los Reyes.
JamesWorks Entertainment presents, in association with Bright Blue Sky Productions, a Park Bench Pictures/Fat Man production, Followed, directed by James Kicklighter. Based on the short story by Will McIntosh, the screenplay is by Maureen Cooke & Mark Ezra Stokes. The producers are James Kicklighter, Kasey Ray-Stokes, Mark Ezra Stokes, and Elliot Dunwody. The executive producers are Mark Johnson, Alex Johnson, John C. Arnold, R. Lee Arnold, Ylian Alfaro Snyder, A.B. Lancaster, and Jerry Gilliam. The cinematographer is Jason Winn, edited by Greta Sullivan, with sound design from Kurt Pierce. The original score is by composer Bruce Kiesling.
Camera with a Conscience
Kicklighter, a 22-year-old from Bellville, is inevitably tagged as a prodigy, wunderkind and lovable ‘old soul,’ with eight movies to his credit, more in the works and a shelf of awards from indie festivals and arts organizations around the world.
Zeek of the Week: Followed (2011)
Directed with a delicate and gentle hand, FOLLOWED is probably the most unexpected horror surprise I’ve seen in quite a while. The final moments, set to a song called ‘Glory’ by Essie Jain, will warm even the coldest and deadest of hearts. I don’t know if FOLLOWED is ever going to be a feature film, but it certainly has enough going for it to warrant one.
James Kicklighter Offers a Twist on Zombie Films
At about 20 minutes long, James Kicklighter has woven together a delectable short film with a stellar cast that ignites the story with a human touch. The principal actors Arkin and newcomer Abigail de los Reyes heavily rely on body language to help narrate their dialogue. Reyes is captivating as the zombie girl lost in the throes of the oppressed. With a blank stare and long, sad impression of failure, her presence truly strikes a chord. And a chord is struck with Arkin’s character, Peter. Arkin perfectly personified the individual we all feel like at times, when pushed in the corner with an issue of such worrying magnitude, constantly denying any wrong doing in the past.
Review: Followed (2011)
Kicklighter fashions a complex narrative using McIntosh’s fine writing as its foundation. ‘Followed’ looks great, is well-acted, and should provide Kicklighter with an excellent calling card.
Might of the Living Dead
Sure, most zombie films are pure entertainment, filled with action, blood, guts and gore. Providing an audience with a great experience has to be the core of anything on film or television.
Interview with the director of ‘Followed’
I admit, when I first read the script, I had to read it a few times. Then, I went to the source material and read and re-read the short story. I did all of this for a good six hours, taking notes while attempting to wrap my head around the concept. It was simply different from any Zombie story that I was familiar with.
Socially Conscious Zombie Flick?
Zombies are the cinema trend that just won’t die! They have been lumbering, moaning and even occasionally running for some time now. Despite their refusal to let the public’s attention out of their clammy grip, zombie films are noted more for their gruesome scenes of violence than social commentary. US director James Kicklighter’s Followed, however, offers something different.
Through a Broader Lens
He also counts Paul Feig, creator of ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ a short-lived television series, among his influences. ‘[Feig] created this entire universe that was so honest about growing up. He’s also written some autobiographies. So many times you see things are sugarcoated, but he’s direct and honest.’
Zombies take over as movie begins filming in Macon
‘The state of Georgia is fast growing into a very influential film location,’ said Kicklighter, a Georgia native, who graduated from Georgia Southern in May. ‘I want to showcase the state that I live in and that I’m from.’