What goes better with cool, crisp air and falling leaves than a movie starring some local zombies?
Saegertown High School senior Jacob Perrett is providing a chance to attend a free sneak preview of his movie “Planet of the Dead” on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at The Movies at Meadville, 11185 Perry Highway.
“Planet of the Dead” is the story of four astronauts who leave Earth in search of a habitable planet when a disease spreads around the world. “The astronauts come back and have to deal with a planet full of sick people,” Perrett said. “There’s more to it, but I won’t give it all away.”
The concept of the movie came to Perrett over summer break from high school. “I got the idea and then I got started by posting a Facebook status asking for actors,” he said. It didn’t take long for him to scare up some volunteer zombie wannabes.
“Once I had my crew, we got together, read the script, bounced ideas off each other, the script developed and we started filming,” Perrett said. “We filmed from July to September.”
The filming took place on four occasions at different houses. “One of my friends had a vacant house we were able to film at,” Perrett said. “Vacant houses are great for adding to the mood.”
This wasn’t the first movie that Perrett made using make-up and costumes. “I always had to do the make-up myself, and it wasn’t
always very good,” he said. “This time I actually had make-up artists.”
Perrett’s interest in film started at age 10. “In my early films I used stop motion,” he said. “I would take a clay figure and film him, move him a little bit and film him again.” Perrett would then speed up the film to make it appear that the figure was moving quickly across the screen.
“My next films were live action films with friends and neighbors, but no written scripts,” he said. Perrett says that as he got older — remember, he’s a senior in high school — he got into writing screenplays.
His brush with fame came when he was in fourth grade. He made an anti-bullying video. “The video was posted on Facebook,” Perrett said. “It got shared, got posted on YouTube, a local television news channel showed it and then it was shown at schools in Maplewood and Saegertown.”
Many of Perrett’s films are posted on his YouTube channel, where “Planet of the Dead” will be posted soon. Perrett has 17,000 subscribers to his channel and he has had more than one million views of his films.
“Planet of the Dead” is scheduled for release on Perrett’s YouTube channel on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31. The film is approximately 40 minutes long. It can be viewed at youtube.com/user/JacobSpeaks. Perrett encourages those who can’t wait until Halloween to attend his free screening on Wednesday at 7 p.m. There is no need to call ahead or reserve a seat, but seating is limited so early arrival would be wise. There will be a donation bucket for those who would like to support the filmmaker.
Lorri Drumm can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.