Senior Jacob Perrett’s movie Planet of the Dead premiered at the Movies at Meadville on Oct. 21 to a standing-room-only house of over 300 people. Before the movie started, Panther Press broadcaster Ben Haylett interviewed actors, the director and others who were on hand for the show. Read the director’s cut below as well as a review of the film.
Director’s Cut: My first hand account of the POTD premiere
By Jacob Perrett, broadcast
There only a few things that terrify me. Spiders, heights, and when people watch my work in front of me. I am a filmmaker, and October 21, 2015 was arguably the biggest night of my life.
A couple months prior to the events held on October 21 were spent writing, filming, and putting together a 41-minute sci-fi project known as “Planet of the Dead.” I went into this project having the utmost faith that the crew and I would be capable of creating a sci fi film with a budget of under $40, and the final product not only pleased me but my actors as well.
The film can have a multiple number of meanings to many people, but as for me, among all the blood and guts, it tells a story about dealing with guilt and grief. Our four main characters are sent into space to search for a new habitable planet because Earth as we know it is being overtaken by a deadly disease. When they return unsuccessful, they find that the world they remember has since changed. You’ve got to remember that these astronauts have all lost something. They all had lives prior to this mission, friends and family counting on them to return. They all deal with these feelings in different ways throughout the film, and to me, this part makes the movie a whole lot more human rather than zombie.
Wednesday, October 21 is a night I will always remember. Three hundred people somehow managed to find seats in a theater that seats 130. During the viewing of the movie, I sat mid center, surrounded by the minds of hundreds of people who were busily captivated by my tale. With the thunderous applause at the end of the film and a short speech about it under my belt, I was sent off into the night content and happy with my experience with Planet of the Dead. As I rode home I realized, however, that this was just the first of many experiences.
POTD: Local senior shows killer skills
By Becca Siple, social media editor
“NASA was wrong,” said Meadville senior Caleb Bish as Captain Sterns in “Planet of the Dead,” Jacob Perrett’s movie which premiered at the Movies in Meadville on Oct. 21. The 41 minute zombie apocalypse movie is about a group of astronauts, including Sterns, who go into space, and when they return to Earth hoping that the zombies will be extinct, they find that the “sick” have taken over and no humans remain. Planet Earth as they know it is now the “Planet of the Dead.”
Perrett had approximately 26 cast and crew members. When asked what his inspiration was behind the film, Perrett said, “I’ve always been a big fan of horror movies, particularly ones with a sci fi element in them, and I guess I am a fan of the director George Romero who made zombies mainstream, and when it comes to sci fi movies, I am a big fan of John Carpenter.” Romero directed “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead” while Carpenter directed “The Thing” and “Halloween.”
Perrett’s parents Barry and Kelly, who were very supportive of their son’s accomplishments, also appeared in the film as zombies. “When I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of actors, and my mom was always the one who volunteered to play any part that I needed,” said Perrett. Both of them suffer violent zombie deaths in the film. “My dad was all for it. He wanted to go out with a bang.”
The premiere was a huge success as over 300 fans packed into a theater with 130 seats, and the crowd chanted “SPEECH!” at the end. Perrett summed up the experience: “It is very rewarding because a lot of people including myself put a lot of hard work into it, and I guess I tend to lean towards movies I like. I am glad other people liked it, so I am very grateful for that.”
Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School