Welcome to Dead By Dawn the Evil Dead 2 podcast where we breakdown the classic 1986 film 2 Minutes at a time. On our first episode we include clips from our talks with the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis creator Tom Sullivan who crafted the spectacular opening, filmmaker Ryan Meade whose Invaluable documentary goes into the life of Tom Sullivan and Miniature VFX Artist Robert Dyke who created the bridge shot that ends the two minutes.
Tom Sullivan - I did that whole opening sequence. That was all me. With the book coming in, the swirling and we - the book opens up. And then we go into the vortex, and the ghosts fly past. Did all of those. And then you see the book being written. Just the book being written shot, that's 14 hours on my feet. (Sam) gave me a list of seconds. How many seconds on each page. And so the first pages were hand drawn, a frame at a time. And then the first like, 2 or 3 pages, you could see it being written. But then, I flipped it faster. He wanted them to speed up. And so then I had already colored and cut out little pieces of text and drawings that I could just glue on with contact cement and photograph a little at a time.
Robert Dyke: Well, I had a production company called Magic Lantern that specialized in, pretty much, commercial work that centered on animation and set construction. And I originally got involved with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert when they came to my office. They were in the very early pre-production stages of doing what became Evil Dead 1. They wanted advice as to how to create lightning effects in the sky, on film. So, that’s how I meant them and I liked all 3 of them. I thought they were very nice guys, a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
And so, I maintained contact with them through Evil Dead 1 and their second film, Crimewave. They actually talked about me getting involved in Crimewave special effects segment. Sam actually had some pretty cool ideas that they wanted to execute but for whatever reason they decided not to do that. So, like I said, I maintained contact with them and actually between Evil Dead 1 and 2, right after they’d finished #1,
I was looking for production assistants (PA’s) so I gave Bruce a call, not to be a PA. But I knew they’d just finished a feature and I asked him if he had any suggestions and he said, “Why not us?” meaning him, Sam or Rob. And I said “Really? You guys just did a film. You were the producer, star and director and now you guys wanna be PA’s?” They said “Sure. Why not?” So, they PA’ed for me on some commercials and they were great PA’s.
And then in time, I realized what talent they had and I actually hired Sam to direct some commercials for me and Bruce was actually the on-camera talent for a series of commercials I did. So, basically we just had kind of a working relationship and a fun relationship after Evil Dead and then they called me and said “Hey, we have a lot of miniature work to be done on Evil Dead 2, which [we] got financing for, and would you like to do it?” So, of course I said yes.
We'll be back in two weeks with new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting April 4th.
Be sure to check out the Invaluable documentary by filmmaker Ryan Meade that goes into the life of Tom Sullivan: http://ryanmeadesmovies.wix.com/invaluablemovie
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Thanks for listening!