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Film Treatment

White Zombie
Table of Contents

Author Bio ………………………………………………… 1

Cast of Characters ……………………………………… 2 - 3

Locations ………………………………………………….. 4

Film Treatment ………………………………………… 5 – 7

Manifesto ………………………………………………….. 8
Author Bio

Vincent Banzaca is an undergraduate film/video student at Hampshire College in


Amherst, Massachusetts part of the Five College Consortium. His academic career consisting of
studying every aspect of film/video production began officially his sophomore year of high
school enrolling himself in the Film Studies class at Northern Valley Demarest Regional High
School after many years of self guided learning. That same year, he then went on to be accepted
in the first ever summer screenwriting program at Drexel University where he wrote his first
screenplay: Unrequited.
During his high school career, Vincent sought out jobs within the industry that proved
financially and educationally viable for him. He took a job with an up and coming company Dale
and Thomas Popcorn where he expanded and implemented his knowledge of graphic and web
design while heading one of the first commercial blogs. Vincent also was a production assistant
at The ACORD Organization’s ACORDtv, an internet based news and television channel with
content for ACORD and their affiliated companies. Vincent took his learning experience with
ACORDtv and brought it to Dale and Thomas, where he and Paul Goodman launched the first
ever internet based entertainment commercial video shorts featuring Dale and Thomas Popcorn’s
various products giving a new dimension to internet shopping. Vincent single handedly wrote,
produced, directed, shot, and edited 50+ webisodes all the while creating 10 shorts as a
successful viral marketing campaign through free outlets.
After applying and being accepted to many northeastern film schools, Vincent chose
Hampshire College due to its growing reputation and innovated educational structure. He since
has been a teachers assistant for a 300 level class, unheard of for a second year student, and has
been accept into highly in demand classes such as upper level screenwriting classes and various
production classes based on his academic and creative resume. While at Hampshire College,
Vincent has produced 3 feature length screenplays and handfuls of short films outside of his
required class projects. Vincent Banzaca also took the opportunity to study for a semester at
London University prestigious creative college Goldsmiths College where he took part in their
BA Art Practice and Critical Studies courses.
As of the fall 2007, Vincent is founder and CEO of Big Penguin Productions, an
independent film and video production company that produces high quality shorts with minimal
budgets in all genres and formats: fiction, nonfiction, art house, commercial, corporate,
animation, scripted, and unscripted. Some of Big Penguin Productions’ properties include two
franchises (The horror genre masterpiece Black Bettie and the action genre series The Job), soon
to be produced screenplays are Teacher’s Pet, Widowed, and Mad House, as well as computer
animated shorts including the in-production piece by William Colón titled Shoes.
Vincent Banzaca is beginning his final year at Hampshire College in the fall where he
will write, produce, and direct White Zombie as his thesis film and then submit it to various film
festivals in hopes of it becoming artistically and financially successful.
Cast of Characters

Jordan Reilly is a young woman entering emotional and sexual maturity as she runs from the life
she’s know after an altercation with her abusive father. Hoping to get far enough away to start
anew, her single plan is to elope with the love of her life Kyle Matheson. She is out going and
knows what she wants even if that scares her sometimes, but always remains strong. As
experiences way on her, her innocence is her greatest gift and flaw, making her easy fodder for
wolves in sheep’s skin.
She is a beautiful young lady at age 18 with strong eyes and a strong soul that shows its face in
the way she carries herself with innocent confidence.

Kyle Matheson is a young man in love and ready to make the leap from fun and games to the
married and working life. Not coming from money and knowing that where he is now won’t lead
to any successful future, he whisks Jordan away to be wed under the guise of saving her when
really he is saving himself. As damaged as she is, he is her equal only without the confidence.
Kyle is 18 years old, but extremely boyish looking. He is thin and lanky, having yet to grow into
his body.

Robert Beaumont is an independently wealthy businessman choosing to run his steel factories
out in America’s less populated area seeking privacy and seclusion from the world and life. He’s
a serious man who was left heartbroken and alone after the death of his wife. But he believes that
destiny is smiling upon him when he runs into Jordan who bares a striking resemblance to his
past wife. He sets himself on a mission to make her his beloved whatever the cost.
Robert is a middle aged man with youthful good looks. Impeccably groomed, he has dark hair
and sad eyes, but holds himself with a power posture.

Mr. Thanos is a manipulative entrepreneur who uses illegal working staff to run his mills. This
working staff that he doesn’t hide from the few members of society that inhabit this isolated
village somewhere in America’s underbelly are made up of the undead. Fearing no one, he takes
care of business in unethical and immoral manners. A sinister man who believes you can always
trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. He feels nothing when implementing his black magic for
monetary gain or entertainment purposes, so when Robert Beaumont seeks his help, Mr. Thanos
more than obliges.
Mr. Thanos is middle aged with the devil’s good looks. With eyes as black as his top hat, he
moves like a snake.

Father Henry is a priest in the village of the damned. To keep his faith in a world as dark as this
he turns no longer to The Bible for answers, instead a scotch bottle. But when two innocents,
Jordan and Kyle, enter his church he is reinvigorated with the need to do God’s work on earth.
Father Henry is 30 years old, but moves and looks like a much old man already beginning to
grey due to the stressful life he’s lived.

Franklin is an ethical accountant whose been forced by the hand of Mr. Thanos to carry out
questionable business practices. Fearing the end is near, he puts a stop to the fudging of numbers,
and Mr. Thanos puts a stop to the end of his life.
Franklin is in his late 50’s and pudgy with a big bushy beard.
Jordan’s Father is your classic abusive father, white, stained t-shirt straining to contain the beer
gut of this alcoholic who, after losing his wife due to his bouts of rage, fears losing his daughter
which all the more rages him further to the point of no return where their final altercation leads
to his accidental death.

Jimmy is the obedient man servant to Robert Beaumont. He, like the zombies to Mr. Thanos, is
just a loyal tool implemented in the time of Robert’s needs. However, when Robert needs him
most, Jimmy’s loyalties waver.

Zombies are the undead, not quite living and not quite dead. Their decaying cadavers stumble
about doing manual labor for Mr. Thanos who controls them by means of his walking staff.
LOCATIONS / SETS

Office Settings: Franklin’s office has a large desk, leather seats, and filing cabinets. Similar to
Franklin’s office is Mr. Thanos’ office but with more shelving containing tribal trinkets.

Bedroom Settings: Jordan’s bedroom has a small bed and vanity with shelves containing items
that remind us of her youth. Mr. Beaumont’s guest bedroom is more plush and decorated with
class.

Hallway Settings: Jordan’s hallway outside her door is long with a window and side table at the
far end.

Funeral Parlor: A sterile white room with metal furnishings, mainly a large table and stool.

Gas Station: Gas station is empty with the company name not in site. Gas station bathroom
should be a single stall and sink unkempt.

Street: The streets should be low traffic and reminiscent of an old English street with cobble
stones. It should have a narrow alleyway.

Roads: The roads should move from urban development to rural plains of grass and corn. One of
the roads to should have a dead field below it.

Hillside: It should be textured terrain with many ups and downs, land that needs to be worked.

House Settings: Jordan’s house is two stories tall, but small with windows looking out to the
driveway. Mr. Beaumont’s house is a modern wooden house on the edge of a lake.

Restaurant: Upper-class Italian place with a table for two.

Factory: The factory has driving space for a car to stroll through.

Church: Church is a small, white rundown place with a bench outside. Inside stain glass
windows give the wooden pews and alter light.

Graveyard: A large sprawling field with tombstones in rows.

Tavern: Darkly lit with a hardwood bar.


Treatment

The night is cold and dark on this empty cobble stone street lined with storefronts. Their
signs sway and squeak in the chilling breeze. All the lights are off and no one is home save for an
accounts office at the end of the block. Through the large front window two silhouettes flare
about as muffled yelling resonates throw the walls. One man leaves, dressed as dark as a
moonless night sky, soon followed by another man, pudgy and grey, who locks up shop. Before
taking off down the street he feels unnerved and suspicious. As he walks down the sidewalk
alone, he keeps looking over his shoulder feeling not alone. He quickly darts down an alley way
and waits, armed with only his briefcase, he makes sure he’s not being followed. Time passes
and no one comes. He is safe as a wave of relief rushes over him and out with sigh. He turns to
continue down the alley when BAM! out of the shadows comes a hand grabbing him by the
neck, lifting him off his feet. The white eyes of the attacker glow out from the darkness, and then
SNAP! His body goes limp.

* ** *** **** *** ** *

Kyle sits at a table set for two in an empty restaurant that feels even emptier as he waits
for Jordan. He digs into his pocket to pull out his honorable intentions: a wedding ring.
Something is wrong. He knows it. More importantly he feels it. He asks for a check.
But Jordan is just in her room sitting at her vanity. Running late? Getting ready? No. She
is crying. Something is wrong. BANG! BANG! Her door rattles. It’s her father. Drunk again. She
can’t open the door no matter how much he insists. He would hurt her. She’s sick of being hurt.
She is running away with Kyle tonight. Away from this. Through the banging and yelling, she
hears a tap-tap at her window. She opens it and looks down to her drive way to see Kyle standing
there, her boyish knight in dull amour. “Run away with me!” he pleads as CRASH her father
knocks threw her bed room door. A tussle. A gun. A bang. A flash. Blood. Kyle, helpless, knows
not what to do beside get his car as a shocked and horrified Jordan runs out of the house and into
her car and asks him to drive.
They drive and they drive. To where, they don’t know. Anywhere. Anywhere but where
they were. Away. Kyle doesn’t ask about the blood. He doesn’t want to know. He is in love with
Jordan but mostly Jordan’s innocence. So he ignores it. He pushes it in the back of his mind,
forcing himself to forget as she did. And with each passing mile, passing hour, passing day, they
both suppress the memory. And the only question on his mind is “Will you marry me?” And her
answer, “Yes.”

* ** *** **** *** ** *

The next church they see, they will be wed. Jordan wants to do this properly, as her
mother would have wanted her to do it. In memory of her, and in spite of her father. But they
haven’t seen civilization in hours, let alone a church and now a flat tire because Kyle fell asleep
at the wheel and drove into the gutter of this dirty road to nowhere. ZOOM! A flashy red car
passes. The first sign of life. It backs up, curiously. The driver, Mr. Robert Beaumont whom
Jordan befriends immediately, but Mr. Beaumont falls in love with her at first sight. She bares a
striking resemblance to his wife who has since past and the flood of emotions makes his dead
heart flutter like it did when he was young. Kyle is weary of Mr. Beaumont’s generosity: giving
them a place to stay, setting up their marriage with the local church, and even fixing up their car
all of free of charge. Jordan ignores his worries thinking that Kyle just once again feels insecure
around other men, and with good reason. He could not give her all that Mr. Beaumont could. He
spent his last twenty dollars on gas and they are almost on empty again.

* ** *** **** *** ** *

And that very night, he drives them to his house on the lake, gets Jimmy, his servant, to
set up the guest room for them, and he arranges tomorrow’s ceremony. But while they sleep in
the comfort of his hospitality, he organizes alternative plans. He seeks out Mr. Thanos’ mills at
the edge of town, at the edge of society, at the edge of sanity. His mills, as Mr. Beaumont
witnesses first hand for the first time, are run by zombies. The undead complete mindless labor
intensive tasks for the benefit of a cold hearted business man. Mr. Beaumont judges Mr. Thanos’
humanity, but he is no better since he’s come to the man, the only man that has the power of
persuasion by means of potions. He seeks the means (“Whatever the cost,” he says.) to keep
Jordan for his own. “But the cost is grave,” warns Mr. Thanos with a grin.

* ** *** **** *** ** *

The night before Kyle and Jordan are to lock hands in holy matrimony, Mr. Beaumont
tried to persuade her with his words of admiration of love to no avail. So he, left with no other
alternative the hour before their vows would be spoken, slips a pin point drop of the potion Mr.
Thanos had given him into her wine before she joined Kyle at the alter to be wed under the
drunken Father Henry. Finally the two are made one under the eyes of God.
Passionate and in love, Kyle and Jordan return in the guest room so that they can make
love for the first time, having both of them saved themselves for each other, for this special
moment. Meanwhile, Mr. Thanos at his office carves a female wax figures and lights a lantern.
He begins to melt his sculpture in the flame; wax dripping, threatening to distinguish the flame.
Kyle, ready to give himself to Jordan, and she, ready to do the same, begins to bewail in agony.
Her skin flushes red. Sweaty and screaming, Jordan spasms on the bed as if possessed. Kyle
stands back watching helpless at the sight. She goes aflame. Fire on her, but not burning her.
With one last cry for help and one last burst of fire from her mouth, she falls silent on the bed,
eyes glossed over, white.

* ** *** **** *** ** *

As Kyle buries himself in bottles of whisky, Jordan is buried in a local cemetery only to
be dug up at night by Mr. Beaumont with the help of Mr. Thanos’ zombies. And there she is,
dead but undead, as she rises from the grave with lifeless eyes. Mr. Beaumont brings her home,
hoping to live happily ever after with the soulless being, but cannot. “I thought body would
suffice,” he confesses to Jordan’s passionless piano playing, “but know there is no soul, no life. I
must bring you back.” “BACK TO THE GRAVE?” threateningly asks Mr. Thanos who intrudes
into the room.
Kyle, as drunk as Father Henry, goes to him for advice since his the love of his life is
gone, feeling as if part of him has died. “I’ve seen some unholy things in my life,” confesses
Father Henry as he continues to reveal the secrets of the land, of Mr. Thanos, of the zombies.
* ** *** **** *** ** *

Mr. Beaumont and Mr. Thanos argue about what to do with Jordan with conflicting
motives. Mr. Beaumont, realizing his wrong doing, insists that they return life to her body. Mr.
Thanos relents and wishes to share wine to honor the end of their affair. Mr. Beaumont agrees
and drinks up to relieve his stress, but then two long gulps in, he realizes, due to the growing evil
grin on Mr. Thanos’ face, that the potion he used on Jordan is sliding down his throat right now.
He SMASHES the glass and calls for Jimmy. Jimmy is too scared and intimidated by Mr. Thanos
to do anything. Jimmy slowly backs up, away from Thanos’ glare, and BAM a decaying arm rips
though his abdomen from behind holding out his innards.
Jimmy is dead and Mr. Beaumont is incapacitated, slowly turning into the undead, as
Kyle and Father Henry row across the lake and besiege the house in order to rescue Jordan. Mr.
Thanos, enjoying his puppetry, turns Jordan against Kyle. Mr. Beaumont, in an attempt to right
his wrong knocks Mr. Thanos’ cane, the source of his power, to the ground making Jordan lose
sight of her target and run out to the lake. Kyle follows after her fast. Mr. Thanos gains control
again and send his other zombies out after them as he follows.
At the dock sticking out to the lake, Kyle tries to shake the life back into Jordan to no
avail. The other zombies flaring their arms and flashing their bloodied teeth slowly approach the
two of them. Kyle takes out a gun, fumbling with it at first, and then fires. BANG! BANG! The
bullets rip through the zombies but don’t slow them down. Mr. Thanos watches from above as a
hand from behind reaches out and THCK! hits him on the head; it’s Father Henry! The cane
crashes to the ground shattering into pieces. The zombies scrabble and trip and stagger straight
past the helpless Kyle and into the lake. Their final resting place.
Father Henry joins Kyle on the dock trying to help the convulsing Jordan. Mr. Thanos
gets up and threatens them with a gun of his own. He simply wants to get away, unscathed by the
whole incident. He backs up, but behind him creeps a shadow staggering closer and closer. A
shadow of a knife raised high in the air. THRASH! It’s pulled down and into the back of Mr.
Thanos. He turns to see his assassin, the redemptive Mr. Beaumont. Mr. Thanos shoots him in the
head. BANG! And they both fall to the earth, lifeless with no sign of being risen. However, at the
dock, Jordan’s white eyes return their beautifully colored irises. Kyle and Jordan kiss as lovers
reunited.
THE END
Manifesto

The goal of this project is not to make a student film, but to create a well made,
artistically and technically, independent short film that doubles as an undergraduate thesis film.
The reason why the story of White Zombie was picked is because it is ripe for the
remaking. It has recently entered public domain after legal battles over the copyright between the
original creators ended due to their demise. The original film, having starred Bela Lugosi, has a
stock audience due to cult followings and classic film lovers. The reason why White Zombie is
not such a well known and adored classic as Dracula and Frankenstein are because of legal
battles that kept it from big studios such as Universal which canonized such works. And frankly,
the film is not as good having been treated as a B-movie of its time being stuck with a low
budget and shot on vacant sets of the more prestigious horror films of the 1930s. But it suffered
mostly due to poor writers with a good idea.
White Zombie is a diamond in the rough. The characters in the original are one
dimensional and portrayed with theatrical performance that plagued some of the first talkies.
Here, we reworked the characters, giving them interesting back stories with multifaceted
personalities. The character of Jordan is no longer a weak, purely innocent female; she is now a
strong, confident young woman moving from one stage of her life to another with blood on her
hands. She’s in control of her sexuality and knows what she wants. Changes like these are made
to all the characters and introduced through dialog, character interactions, and plot points.
White Zombie’s themes are underdeveloped, but for a modern audience these themes can
be enhanced and reappropriated. It being the first zombie movie ever made, it used the characters
and its plot to tell different messages compared to that of modern zombie films that used the
genre as a soapbox for the sociopolitical agendas. White Zombie’s themes are about interpersonal
and gender relationships that are missing in current zombie films all the while still commenting
on our current political environment questioning ruthless capitalism and the illegal alien work
force in America.
The original White Zombie drags on at what feels like a lengthy 80 minutes, but with the
new script, even with so much more story added, cuts it down to a tight, well structured 30
minute film. It literally gives the feel and experience of a feature length film in the time, space,
and budget of a short film. And to be curtain that White Zombie is a visually impressive piece of
story telling, the budget is only being used where it will give 10x the effect for its cost while
finding other means to lower general cost while still being equally as remarkable. For example,
White Zombie will be shooting day for night; this means that night time scene will be filmed
during day time hours and then during post production will be digitally transformed into night.
This saves a lot of money or electricity, generators, and lighting as well as giving White Zombie a
stylistic night time aesthetic. Another budgetary saver is the use of a volunteer work force; actors
and crew drawn together make an amazing film for the experience.
Since the budget is not wasted on paying talent and staff or unnecessary expensive
techniques of filmmaking, the funds will go to what actually appears on the screen: character
apparel, props, camera work, and sets. Yes, sets. This is a rarity among low budget independent
films, and where White Zombie will rise above the rest. Sets give filmmakers an amazing amount
of control and flexibility. Sets can be dressed to better enhance the story, character, and themes.
Sets allow for uninhibited lighting and camera work since walls and ceilings are not in fixed
locations. All this is often loss during location shooting where the production is at mercy of its
surroundings. However, with sets, White Zombie, can better serve the story and the screen.

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