4 Oct 2009
(Please Tweet this if you get a chance) Last night I went to see the new hit comedy horror film “Zombieland” with a bunch of my friends who were on the crew and I must confess right up front that I’m extremely jealous that I didn’t work on this show; what it lacks in plot it makes up for with style, and it’s certainly going to look great on their resumes. I am, however, disappointed about one thing this film left out:
Katrina Rice didn’t get a screen credit.
Now, those of you outside the film industry need to realize that this is something that happens all the time. Those credits at the end of the movie that seem to go on for days and days? They could last even longer!! Quite often the carpenters and scenics who lovingly craft those ancient temples and gleaming space stations and barnacle-encrusted pirate ships are left entirely out of the credit roll at the end of a movie, which means that their names won’t live on into “eternity”… and despite the fact that many producers use the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as their guide to work experience, there’s no substitute to seeing your name crawl up the silver screen and knowing that thousands of people around the world will see it (trust me, this is a surprisingly emotional experience).
Yes, the carpenters and scenics think that it stinks that they get left out on a regular basis, but they’ve become accustomed to it and no one in Hollywood seems particularly interested in changing the practice.
Of course it isn’t fair, and yes, it does in fact represent a caste system that exists in Hollywood, but I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. I mean, you have seen Bowfinger haven’t you?
So when the credits rolled all the way through and the lights came up, we all started asking each other if anyone had seen Katrina’s credit. The answer was a unanimous “NO”.
Now it isn’t as if Katrina had been hammering together flats in a woodshop, far from the silent whir of Panavision cameras. In fact, Katrina was part of the shooting crew for the entire movie as Third Props and also worked as 2nd Unit Propmaster during certain sequences of the film.
From the Best Boy to Key Grip to Art Director, everyone on the crew knew Katrina Rice.
The film’s star, Woody Harrelson, knew Katrina Rice especially well because she’s the woman who perfected an entirely vegan replica of a Twinkie to suit his dietary requirements. I mean, the man talked to late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel about those very same faux Twinkies!!
In her spare time at home, not even on the clock, Katrina worked through batch after batch of animal-free, organic confectionery treats trying to find a recipe that would suit Woody and match the look of an actual Twinkie onscreen. On the day the actor finally had to bite into her handiwork on camera he congratulated her on her success.
Toward the end of the film Katrina approached me and asked me to help her design a shirt for the ladies on the crew so I adapted a diagrammatic zombie head from one of the Art Director’s zombie warning posters and made the artwork you see at the lead of this post: the Zombiegirl Power shirts – shirts which a lot of the women on the crew ordered (I’m wondering if the show’s Producer bought one for the ladies in his life).
And then, the weekend of the film’s release, Katrina organized a huge Zombie Princess Party and had a metric tonne of pretty girls get dolled up in princess gowns and zombie makeup just to go see the movie. It was a spectacle for everyone in the theater, an absolute hit.
So… like… what up guys? Seriously. Explain to me how you leave off somebody like that. I know that everything is more expensive these days, right down to the length of a credit roll…. but come on. A few extra names is terribly stingy.
So this is where I need some help from you internet goons and goonettes.
When compared against all the hurt and suffering in the world it’s absolutely silly and petulant to worry about getting screen credit on a film, but do me a favor:
When you go to see the movie Zombieland I want you to remember to shout out “Katrina Rice” whenever you see Twinkies. Don’t do it just for Katrina. Do it for all the people who work on movies and never get credit (including Katrina’s boyfriend, whose nickname is coincidentally “Woody”).
And tell your goony friends to spread the word…. What do I care? I’m not worried about getting hired by these maroons. The only way I’m going back into the film business is above the line – that way I can make sure that my screen credit rotates in 3D and has dancing skeletons on top.
It’s time to nut up, or shut up.