by Lorie Lewis Ham
It’s a little early for Halloween articles, but it’s never too early for Zombies. Recently I learned about an animated feature called The Grid: Zombie Outlet Maul, and we took a moment to chat with Linda Andersson, its writer/director/producer/voice actor and more.
KRL: What is your involvement in this project?
Linda: I’m the writer/director/producer/voice of Mega Watts/chief cook and bottle washer.
KRL: Tell us about the story of this film.
Linda: The Grid: Zombie Outlet Maul is an animated feature about electrical devices that come to life after a nuclear power plant explosion.
KRL: How and when did you come up with this idea?
Linda: I came up with the idea after years of thinking that a wall outlet sorta has a face, and when I decided to sit down and write a concept, the ideas just flowed.
KRL: How long is it?
Linda: The film is right at 90 minutes long.
KRL: Why did you decide to go independent?
Linda: The trend in Hollywood is that most animations that are produced by the studios are written from within their system, and even if I had gotten in and waited, they may just now be getting the time to read the script. I felt like I needed to make this film right away.
KRL: What is your background related to film?
Linda: I’ve been writing screenplays for over ten years, and I also have a background in the electrical industry.
KRL: What is unique about this film?
Linda: The dialog is actually a transcription from the backmasking of an obscure Rolling Stones album. Just kidding. It is somewhat unique since there are approximately fifty or so electrical devices with personalities.
KRL: How fun! Who did the animation?
Linda: That would come under my chief cook and bottle washer job description.
KRL: How long did it take to put this together?
Linda: I wrote the screenplay 2½ years ago, and began the design of the characters around the same time.
KRL: What was the process from beginning to end?
Linda: After the script was written, I had to design the characters, find artwork for the backgrounds and scenes. I made a lot of it myself. We recorded the voiceovers, and from there I animated the characters. After I had all of the animated clips created, we went into a normal post-production workflow.
KRL: Please share about the actors involved.
Linda: There are 23 voice actors.
The film stars Thea Gill (Queer As Folk) as Hazel Switch; Leah Cevoli (Robot Chicken) as Sgt. Filament and Gennie; and Harry Ford, who stars in this Fall’s new CBS show, Code Black, as Remo, the nebbishy remote control. MJ Lallo, who co-directed the voice-over, also voiced Auto d’Fuse. Deborah Stewart (Rizzoli & Isles) voiced Creative Outlet; and Danny Pardo (Planes: Fire & Rescue) is the voice of Mane. Other main characters are voiced by Garet Carson (Jukebox Hero) and Teri Maher (Shamus Plug). I could go on and on, since it’s a huge ensemble cast.
KRL: Did you have auditions for the roles? If not, how did you end up with this cast?
KRL: What has been the hardest part of this whole project?
KRL: What has been the most rewarding and the most fun?
Linda: The best part was being in the studio with all of the talent, and hearing them bring life to the characters.
KRL: When will the film be released and how can people see it?
Linda: The film will be released on October 1, 2015 via www.TheGridZom.com. There will eventually be several options on where to see it: online and ultimately, we hope, through traditional distribution.
KRL: Why should people go see it?
Linda: People should see it because it’ll make their brains buzz. It’s campy at times. A cult classic in the making. And I have to say we have a phenomenal soundtrack:
Original music is provided by Leslie Shoshan (“Ravenz Gate”), who is the singing voice of Hazel Switch. Her CD, “Less Is More,” was produced by Brett Hestla (“Creed,” “Dark New Day”), and Justin Thomas (“Dark New Day”). The award-winning, dance/pop duo, Sugarbeach, whose music has hit the Outvoice Top 40 charts, also provides original music for Switch Hazel [Hazel Switch everywhere else] and the singing for Linda Andersson’s character, Mega Watts. Several instrumental music pieces are provided by MJ Lallo, L.A. music scene veteran Gina Acuña, and Arielle LaGuette, with a song co-written with Joe Rodriguez (guitarist for A Flock of Seagulls).
KRL: What age group is this aimed at?
Linda: We’re going for the Family Guy/South Park/Robot Chicken crowd, so it isn’t for young kids.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Linda: I hope that people enjoy the film and have some good laughs. Our ultimate goal is to have a half-hour spin-off TV show. Check out our trailer here: youtu.be/Vebsi1cMrdo.