Chickenhawk vs. The Undead


Chickenhawk was born in 2004. They recorded three songs in 2005 and released a demo before recording two more songs in 2006 for a split EP released on Millipede Records, alongside tracks from ‘I Breathe Spears’ and ‘With Scissors’. They then recorded 12 songs from April to December 2007 and released their album in 2008 on Sound Devastation Records. Their latest single; ’I Hate This, Do You Like It?’ is due for release next month courtesy of Brew Records and to accompany it, they decided to rope in over 200 zombie extras and create a gore-fueled promo which has been described as “Arguably the biggest zombie music video since ‘Thriller’”

chickenhawk zombie promo

Shot in four days over a three week period, the Chickenhawk zombie epic pulled together hundreds of people and created a community based blood-fest that Leeds had never seen the like of before. Completed with a meagre budget of just £1000, the project was intended to not only be produced on a vast scale, but living (dead) proof that a high level of film production could be attained with a small budget as long as you keep your hanging eyeballs on the cash and have plenty of ambition at the ready.

Written and directed by NME photographer Danny North and developed by Roach Productions, the video spent three months in pre-production. This involved creating a story that could be loyal to influences such as Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead, 30 Days of Night and 28 Days Later, but still remaining within the confines of a music video. Modern zombie horror cinema saw a change in pace and this had a massive influence on the styling of the film.

chickenhawk zombie promo

Danny North says; “I always wanted to make a zombie video”.

The origins of the final piece came from an idea that North had. Band, Chickenhawk contacted Danny to photograph them, and production grimesters Roach to film the shoot.

Bright spark North then put an idea forward whereby they could combine both mediums to create a feature length music video to accompany Chickenhawks new single ‘I Hate This, Do You Like It?’ from their EP ‘A. Or Not’. The conception of a horror themed video came from the previous experience both parties had had in that arena and the idea of fast-paced horror was widely felt to be very much suited to the equally fast-paced tempo of Chickenhawks music. North, and low-fi Leeds-based production and creative team Roach worked together to turn this small idea into a workable narrative.

chickenhawk zombie promo

The special effects make-up was realised by Samantha Myers who was involved in development from the beginning of the production; bringing with her years of industry experience. Having previously worked on short horror ‘Cadaver’ together, Danny North, was well aware of Myers abilities in gore and horror makeup. She turned out to be the perfect candidate for the project.

“She sculpted the look we were trying to achieve perfectly” said director, North.

The entire film was shot in Leeds, West Yorkshire, with locations including the huge open space in Hyde Park and the Brundnell Social Club. The places selected all suited the grittiness and bleakly apocalyptic feel of the lo-fi style, whilst maintaining the easy accessibility needed between sets. Forsaking the use of constructed sets, opting for natural locations instead, contributed to the feeling of threat and terror overlapping into the ordinary and everyday life.

Chickenhawk’s zombie music video masterpiece is released on 7/09/09 so be sure to check it out. In the meantime, here’s the trailer to satiate your bloodlust.

One Comment on “Chickenhawk vs. The Undead”

  1. Cal says:

    Get off our park!

    Looks ace,

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