We ComiConverse With Hilton Ariel Ruiz

William Owens William Owens
April 2nd, 2016

I love talking nerd! In fact, I`m pretty sure I am the go to guy for comic info due to extensive "useless" knowledge! Hit me up on Twitter @TheNerdstir with all your nerd needs!

Our William Owens sat down with Hilton Ariel Ruiz, Producer, Director and the driving force behind the web series Zombie With A Shotgun.

When I decided to become a writer, I started up a Twitter account with the hope of becoming an overnight sensation. Reality soon hit and I noticed that it's very time consuming and difficult to stay on top of things. Eventually, it became more of a fun pursuit. Along the way, I found amazing projects by creators like Hilton Ariel Ruiz.

With his Kickstarter Campaign being released, as of March 29, 2016, there was no better time to ask for an interview.

Zombie With A Shotgun

WO:  I really enjoyed watching the Zombie With A Shotgun Webisodes! In fact, it left me with questions and wanting more. Where did you get your initial inspiration for the series?

HAR:  I had been noticing that many filmmakers went on to do web-series where they were able to show a slice of their story without doing a feature. So that made me think of things that would be awesome for a web-series. I wanted to do horror and I have always wanted to do my own interpretation of a zombie flick, with the notion that I 'd like to change the whole zombie mythology.

Zombie With A Shotgun

Credit: Zombie With A Shotgun

WO:  There was a slight gap between episodes four and five. Were there difficulties during filming or did you take time to develop more ideas that you wanted to implement?

HAR:  The whole reason behind the gap was my main actor moved to Los Angeles and it was hard to get him over to NYC. Eventually he had a gig here in NYC that gave us the opportunity to film the fifth episode.

WO:  I definitely saw a HUGE change in Aaron by episode five!  Will we see a lot of flashbacks in future episodes explaining his change?

HAR:  Yes, we will be seeing flashbacks, not that many, but we'll use them where it's necessary to tell the story.

WO:  I'm excited to see that your Kickstarter campaign is now launched and I`m sure you are too! Are you planning on a big budget? How much do you hope to raise?

HAR:  We're planning to raise at least raise $50,000 through the KickStarter. We would like to surpass our goal, and get to a place where it will help us down the road.

WO:  Once the ball starts rolling, do you have an idea of when you'd like to start filming?

HAR:  We'd like to shoot in mid-summer and have it completed by the end of the year.

WO:  Do you plan on asking the same actors to return to their rolls or do you have your sights set on Hollywood's leading gents and ladies?

Who would you love to see in the roles?

HAR:  To be honest, I haven't really decided on specifics pertaining to bringing the actors back or casting. I really want to concentrate on raising the money and afterwards make that decision.

The decision is a hard one.

WO:  Braeden Baade has done pretty well for himself. Do you think that had anything to do with Zombie With A Shotgun?

HAR:  Yes. He really fit the role for Zombie With A Shotgun and it helped him land many other gigs.

WO:  Do you need any nerdy extras from Florida?

HAR:  Ha ha ha. Great question. I tell everybody that would be interested in being an extra to send in their info and I'll send it out to our casting director. So I welcome nerdy extras.

WO:  All kidding aside (unless you totally need me), do you think that movies like Hardcore Henry will change the way people look at how movies; that they can start from humble beginnings?

Do you think that it could help both you and other indie directors in bringing their creations to life?

HAR:  Yes I do. I think there are many ways to tell stories that appeal to fans and the audience. We just need to find other ways of story telling and let the critics know that there isn't only one way of making films.

WO:  Let's talk comics!

You are well on the way to crafting a graphic novel, illustrating the trials of Aaron and Rachel and you've tapped Simone Guglielminito do the inks.

How did all this come about?

Did you know Simone from any other projects, or was it just destiny?

HAR:  Simone and I connected through twitter, where we both loved each others work. We clicked right off the bat. It was definitely destiny. I later found out Simone is responsible for doing Near Death for Image Comics. He's incredible and this whole thing wouldn't have happened if he wasn't on board.

Zombie With A Shotgun

Credit: @SGuglie

WO:  Was a graphic novel the go to answer for paperbacks or did you originally consider doing a monthly run?

HAR:  We are still not sure, but as of now we think we're going forward with a monthly run. We are just waiting on the first issue to find a good home for the comic.

WO:  With webisodes and a future graphic novel under your belt and a feature film soon in the works, what other avenues would you like to take? Have you put thought into action figures or even video games?

HAR:  Yes. I have already been approached by companies that would like to do video games. I have to do my research to see what would be the best way of going about it. I feel once the film is done, we'll definitely see more opportunities for video games and action figures.

WO:  There's kind of an untapped value in zombie stories. I remember playing 'Stubbs the Zombie' way back when and thought that was funny, but I feel Zombie With A Shotgun takes a more serious route.

HAR: Absolutely. Aaron is going to be taking the serious route.  I like to change up the zombie mythology, that zombies are not allowed to think or be a hero.

WO:  Do you have any tips or advice to the readers when it comes to making their visions reality.

HAR: Yes. Believe in your work and everyone else around you will. Bring that belief out in your crew, cast and that will take your project far.

Those looking for more information on Zombie With A Shotgun can check out the following links:

Thanks to Hilton Ariel Ruiz for taking time to ComiConverse with us!

William Owens is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @TheNerdstir 

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