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Media Design School Students Put Love into Rotting Hill Short

It’s not easy to find love, especially if you’re falling apart, stinky and a little bloody around the edges. Welcome to Rotting Hill, where the extinction of humanity has led to the rise of a new species – zombies.

Press Release from Media Design School

It’s not easy to find love, especially if you’re falling apart, stinky and a little bloody around the edges. Welcome to Rotting Hill, where the extinction of humanity has led to the rise of a new species – zombies.

Dubbed a “zombie romcom” by director and Media Design School 3D course leader James Cunningham, Rotting Hill stars NZ actress Anna Hutchison (Go Girls, Shortland Street, Underbelly) and Australian actor Jason Smith (Home & Away, Legend of the Seeker).

Made by Advanced 3D students from Media Design School, the short film took 12 weeks to produce, complete with 22 high-end CGI graphics and visual effects shots. The splatter film is a nod towards the zombie apocalypse genre popularised by Hollywood success stories such as Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later.

“Rotting Hill is the collision of two film genres. The zombie film and romance film.  It's a love story, with a bit of a twist,” says Cunningham. “I think deep down, we all want to love and be loved. Zombies used to be humans too, so I guess the idea behind the film is why would these emotions go away just because you’re a reanimated corpse?  What would you do if you met your true love when you're a zombie? Would you let death get in the way?"

The idea for the script came from Advanced 3D graduate Philip Magnussen. Students and industry collaborated to complete the film, with students handling all the special effects and pre-production as well as helping out with the actual filming on the day.

Cunningham says it’s important for the students to get a real feel of what it is like to work in the industry, and to get them away from their computer screens and into the fierce pace of working for a live production.

“I’m very proud of what the students, cast and crew have achieved in 12 weeks. I’d really like to thank Anna and Jason, who went out of their way to help and support our students with their acting talents. This is one of our best student films yet. The class really showed that they could take an idea, turn it on its head, conceptualise it and really run away with it,” he says.

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Rick DeMott
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