One of the more difficult storytelling problems, in creating a zombie story, is addressing the word itself. “Zombie,” as we use it, is a relatively new word and it conjures up some highly specific images. But, since it refers to something of the modern world, but not actually in the modern world it can’t be simply taken for granted – at least not quite yet.
George Romero, the inventor of the modern zombie story, didn’t have this problem. He had his protagonists call their foes “the dead.” And the story was played straight. Now that this meme is free floating, fully realized and yet still insubstantial the writer of We’re Alive: A Story Of Survival, Kc Wayland, felt the need to address the problem. This is what he did:
Michael: They were like animals and they sure as hell weren’t like us anymore. Not with those eyes.
Angel: Then what were they?
Michael: Come on Saul, this isn’t the time.
Saul: No joke sarge! What if they are?
Michael: Think about it just for a second.
Exactly. This writerly technique is called “Lampshade Hanging.” It’s needed when some aspect of the story threatens the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief. The idea is simple: call attention to the problem and then having called that attention, move on. It sounds counterinutive, but it works. The audience is perversely mollified, satisfied that the writer knows what we know. Okay, enough of meta-zombies. Here’s this zombie show’s zombie premise:
A small riot in LA has spread past its containment. Three reserve soldiers are called to their deserted duty station. Believed to be the last remaining armed servicemen in the area, Michael, Angel, and Saul witness the true cause of the riot; people are starting to change and attack each other. Armed with only what they can carry, they set out to secure an apartment building and rescue survivors scattered amongst the shattered remains of civilization. In a world turned upside down, every day is a struggle, as those who have taken refuge in the tower find out that their safe haven is under constant threat. In this place, however, the strengths of those who stand together, might just be enough to live long enough to see things start to change.
There are 13 episodes out so far. It’s an interesting story, being a full blown zombie apocalypse set in Los Angeles.
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[via Radio Drama Revival]
Posted by Jesse Willis
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