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An Interview with Tiffany McLean, Director of How To Kill a Zombie

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2015

Films directed by Tiffany McLean on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie How to Kill a Zombie - in a few words, what is it about?


Killing zombies :)


What prompted you to film a script by your own son Ben, and a zombie script at that?


Ben was talking to me about an idea he had for a book, and I said I thought it would make a great movie. I like to have a project to work on, and his idea seemed very do-able. Ben had lots of creative ideas, and it is just so much fun to work with someone with ideas. The zombie part of it was not what attracted me to the project, it was the creative process and the fact that it seemed like something that would be a good story.


Is the zombie genre something you're at all fond of, and some of your zombie favourites?


I really don't watch horror at all. I know that must seem odd, but my husband watches enough for both of us :) I did watch Evil Dead, and I did enjoy it. But I covered my eyes sometimes...


To what extent could you identify with your movie's brand of humour?


I recognize most of the humor from my son's younger years... I am not sure men ever lose that little boy sense of humor. As the director, I think I only laughed when my sound guy added the groan when Norm gets kicked. And when Ben reacts to getting hit with the shovel... that was really funny, his reaction was great.


How would you describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?


I think I am very practical in my approach. I break the script down into basic categories, come up with a shot list, make the schedule, find locations, come up with costumes and props. I just look at each scene and do what needs to be done.


What was it like to direct your own husband [Bill Steven McLean interview - click here] and son, what was the collaboration between the three of you on the project like?


Bill and Ben take direction well, and they are always very professional on set.  Ben did not think of me as his mom on set, and worked like any of the actors would. We all work well together, and so it was a great project from beginning to end.


Ben McLean, Bill Steven McLean

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?


The cast was chosen for the chemistry they brought to the roles. We really tried to bring the characters to life, and we did have some specific ideas about certain characters. We did have to make different choices for a couple of people who were not available to take the roles that they were given.


Do talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere?


Shooting was every weekend for ten weeks, so we were a pretty close group. The very first day of shooting was the campfire scene on a Saturday. The crew had been to a production meeting the night before, so the first day was a real pressure test.  We started first thing in the morning, around 7 am. We shot all day and into the night, ending at 1 am. But it was a success. After that first day, everyone involved knew that this was not just for fun, that we (Freight Train Films) were really committed to making a movie.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie so far?


Mostly it has been positive. The critics usually concede that it is fun, despite our obviously low budget. And since a fun zombie romp was the intention, I am happy with that.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I would love to start H2KZ... anybody want to help?


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?


My film career started when my husband rented a movie camera in Montana and we made a movie with some of his Air Force buddies. Later, I filmed and edited football highlights for my son's team. I worked on some other movie projects that my husband was involved in, and the creative process appealed to me. I have worked with people with formal education... and I always try to pay attention. You can really learn a lot from other people if you are willing to listen. 


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to How to Kill a Zombie?


Football games helped me learn to be very steady with the camera, and to follow the action. We also did a movie called Scooter McGruder, which taught me how much work it is to make a movie (look for it in 2016).


How would you describe yourself as a director?




Filmmakers who inspire you?


I have respect for anyone who makes a movie. It is a lot of work. I do love the movie The Next Three Days. Paul Haggis did an awesome job.


Your favourite movies?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Tiffany McLean
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Tiffany McLean here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Tiffany McLean at

The Next Three Days, Taken, The Transporter, The Lord of the Rings, True Lies, Liar Liar, My Cousin Vinny.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


None come to mind.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Nope. I think you did a great interview, thank you!

Tiff :)


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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