Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead


Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead was my first feature as a script supervisor. It was a true trial by fire working on 35mm with almost entirely practical vfx in one of the hottest summers Buffalo, NY has ever had shooting 95% of the film in an abandoned McDonalds. The making of this film is so storied that I actually co-directed a feature-length documentary about it that would end up on the DVD & blu-ray releases entitled Poultry in Motion.

Measuring the distance between tombstones on Poultrygeist

Measuring the distance between tombstones on Poultrygeist

This was a tremendously crazy shoot and it cannot be re-iterated enough that this was a giant challenge. Continuity was often purposely thrown out the window, but I rolled with the punches and wound up making such an effect on the final film I ended up with a co-producer credit.

Shooting 35mm on 2 cameras and without a monitor or even audio monitoring was hard, usually I’d have to make sure anything that could ever possibly be on camera would be in proper continuity, whole rooms at a time. This taught me to be prepared for anything. The crew also comprised a few veterans with mostly volunteers drawn by Troma Studios fiercely independent style to the project. Besides being a learning experience for this crew who’d never worked on a feature of this magnitude before, it taught me invaluable lessons on working with every single department on every single scene and shot to make sure everything went off without a hitch. A lot of the practical fx experience I learned here later served me well on You’re Next years later.

One of the most interesting parts of the making of Poultrygeist was that years after I originally script supervised it and Troma was gearing up for the dvd release, I was brought in to look over my original script notes and from them pull the dailies to edit a few “deleted scenes” together as the original editor had left the company at that point. This had me editing from my own notes which gave me insight from both sides as to what I wrote and what someone in post would need. These deleted scenes appear on the dvd & blu-ray releases.