The Apocalypse will be Automated

AU$7650of AU$7000
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About Our Film

Our heroes attempt to escape a city full of infected creatures.

The video you've just seen is a news broadcast from the start of 2021's great outbreak. In our short film, you'll see what happens next, as three friends jump in their autonomous car to make a run for it.

When humans have programed machines to do no harm . . . can we ask them to kill?

Unlike the plethora of zombie stories, this is a world where humans have a resource besides general badassery: they have autonomous cars, smartphones, and robotic tools. Fighting the zombie apocalypse looks different in a future where machines have a mind of their own.

In the fight between humans and zombies . . . who will the machines side with?

The Apocalypse will be Automated is the bastard child of two of our great loves: classic horror and sci-fi.  Its influences include Isaac Asimov and The Walking Dead as much as 2001: A Space Odyssey and 28 Days Later.

Watch writer and director Melanie Killingsworth talks about two inspirations for the script. 

About Us

Melanie Killingsworth, Writer & Director

Melanie has worked on dozens of films and TV shows - including shows for Hulu, VH1, and FOX - in roles ranging from Story Producer to Head PA to Editor. She has produced and edited short films and feature documentaries as well as feature fiction. This will be Melanie’s third directing gig; her neo-noir The Lilith Necklace premiered at the 2015 Green Bay Film Festival. She recently relocated from the US to Melbourne, where she is working on films, web series, and a series of videos for BIGhART.  You can find more credits at StaffMeUp and IMDB

Rachel Baring, Co-ProducerRachel is a NIDA graduate who in recent years has worked predominantly in creating new theatre works as a director and dramaturge in Melbourne, London, and Berlin. She has a long list of theatre shows to her name including a national tour which performed 78 shows in 48 locations. In 2015 she was a member of the Women’s Director Program at the MTC. Her film experience includes Chameleon Casting and this adorable AFL ad, and directing the music video ‘Hot Trash’ for Tin Can Radio, which was selected by ABC as one of their Best Music Videos. 

Rachel is one of the Artistic Directors of Phrankly+Co.

Caitriona Fay, Executive Producer

Caitriona is social investment specialists with experience in philanthropy, fundraising, social financing, and crowdfunding. She has over 15 years of experience in working with funders and civil society organisations in Scotland, England and Australia. She is the current National Manager of Philanthropy and Non-Profit Services at Perpetual, and former Senior Program Manager with major philanthropic arts funder The Ian Potter Foundation.

Meghan Rose, Composer

Meghan is an award-winning songwriter and performer from Madison, WI now living in New York City. She has composed music for several musical theatre shows including Held: A Musical Fantasy which premiered at the 2016 NY Fringe Festival to glowing reviews. Her writing style is heavily influenced by her classical training in piano. She is self-taught in voice, guitar, bass, and audio production, all of which led to writing and producing her own work in her own voice. Meghan has composed music for both of Melanie’s other short films, as well as many other shows. Hear more of her work here.

Meet the Cast

You can see and read more about our cast here. 

How The Funds Will Be Used

What $7,000 Will Do

We’re going to work with a large cast and crew of amazing people. They’ll need to be fed and watered, and they'll need the right tools for the job. Seven thousand is the minimum we can make this film with. Those funds will be spent on:

  • Mixed amateur and professional cast and crew

  • Key wardrobe and prop items
  • High-Quality camera and lights

  • Locations 
  • Equipment rental
  • Shooting permits
  • Shoot insurance
  • Score

  • Food and beverage

  • Professionally mastered DVDs for festivals

What More Than $7,000 Will Do

While $7,000 is the base needed to make the film, we're shooting higher. If this campaign can raise $12,000, we will be able to create a film who can challenge any film on the festival circuit. We have the talent, the experience, and the ability to use these funds for a truly magnificent film. Our goal is to bring talented people together and value their skills while making a superior film. 

We also have a funder who will match every dollar above the $7,000 mark, up to $12,000. If we can surpass this mark, we can build even more on our strong foundation. 

  • Addition of professional cast

  • Extra lens rentals for certain shots

  • Second unit for extra coverage, behind-the-scenes featurette

  • An extra hour of drone work for a key sequence

  • Upgrade key wardrobe and prop items

  • Extended score

  • Pay for professionally designed opening and closing credit sequence

  • Additional poster and artwork (which backers will receive a copy of)

  • Pay additional key crew members (second unit, editor)

Our philosophy:

We believe in paying artists, both in front of and behind the camera. 

We believe in producing a professional product. 

We believe in making a film which will lead to bigger things for all involved. 

Thank you for embracing these goals with us. We can't wait to deliver this film to you.

The Challenges

Film is pain, highness. Anyone who says different is selling something. 

We have a lot of experiences with productions which have had setbacks, postponements, and challenges. It's impossible to name everything which could go wrong, but inevitably something will. Having experience with creative problem solving will allow us to take each challenge as it comes. 

Here's one example from our experience:

The day was supposed to begin a wide shot of this actress walking down a staircase. In heels, of course. After that, the day continued with setups moving from wide, to medium, to medium closeup, to closeup. We had already set many of the lights for the opening wide shot.

Well, the actress hurt her foot quite painfully while exiting her car.  We got a medical professional to check her foot and make sure it wasn't broken, only bruised. While that happened, we immediately began reversing the entire shotlist. By the time the actress was given the all-clear from medical, and done with hair and makeup, we were ready for her closeup! When you watch the film now, you'd never know that while she is drinking and talking, her foot is out of frame, propped up on a chair with an icepack. 

Four hours later the swelling was down and the foot much better, so we set up for the wide shot and she walked majestically down the stairs. 

on 21st Nov 2016 at 12:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
AU$5 +One of the Countless UndeadThank you for joining us in our insatiable thirst for flesh . . . er, film. You’ll get our campaign updates.
2 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is September 2016
AU$20 +The ReanimatedYou’ve regained consciousness after your (hopefully not too gruesome) death! You get: - Digital Download of movie poster - Digital Download of script
7 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is March 2017
AU$40 +The Crawling DeadYou fabulous Undead being, you! Everything above PLUS - Access to private Facebook group Exclusive updates including posts about our influences, video posts about our progress, rough sketches & storyboards, links, and more. It will run before, during, and after production.
12 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is October 2016
AU$60 +The Walking DeadYou've not just awakened, you're fully ambulant! Everything above PLUS - Online Screening of the fine cut - Online Director's Q&A [time TBD]
9 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is January 2017
AU$75 +Fresh MeatEverything above PLUS - Melbourne Screening. Free entry to cast & crew screening at local venue. Drinks including specialty Zombie cocktail available. - Q&A with director, producers, and cast.
4 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is March 2017
AU$100 +Gnawer ExtraordinaireEverything above PLUS - Limited edition, numbered Behind The Scenes postcard sent to you during production. - Digital download of the movie’s score. - Individual social media shoutout. - Thanks in the Credits.
15 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is March 2017
AU$150 +Sporadic Cellular NecrosisYou're making more Undead left and right! Everything above PLUS - Copy of the script signed by cast and crew. - Limited edition 8x11 poster (not the one released to festivals).
4 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is February 2017
AU$200 +PATIENT ZEROYou’re a game changer. Everything above PLUS - DVD of the finished film, including exclusive SPECIAL FEATURES: blooper reel, trailers, Behind The Scenes featurette, and more.
5 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is April 2017
AU$250 +Zombie SlayerYou’ve made it further than half the world’s population, and have yet to be spotted by the zombie hoardes! Everything above PLUS - Name a faceless zombie after yourself or someone you love (or loathe!) Name will appear in social media and film credits. - Two specially designed stickers
3 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is April 2017
AU$300 +All GoneInhabit the DeadEverything above PLUS - BE one of three featured zombies, the first infected who strike terror into the heart of our heroes. (Must provide own transportation to set and sign all relevant releases.)
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2016
AU$300 +All GoneArtful DodgerYou’ve survived! So far. Everything above PLUS - ZombAvatar! Choose the name and look of a featured zombie. Think zombies are a metaphor for corporate employees? Your zombie is in a suit, tie, and CHAD nametag. Are you a bike mechanic? Your zombie is in a grease monkey jumpsuit, carrying a wrench. We'll work with you to bring your imagination to life. Or death, as it were.
1 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is April 2017
AU$350 +The TechieYou have the radio, the SmartCar, the walkie talkies. You’re geared up and ready to survive. Everything above [except Limited] PLUS - The Apocalypse will be Automated mug - Prop from the film. Spoiler: it won't be the SmartCar.
1 Chosen | 4 AvailableEst. delivery is April 2017
AU$500 +Survival SpecialistYour jumpbag is in the closet, your machete is by the door, you are preparation personified. Everything above [except Limited], PLUS: - Set Visit. - Lunch with the director and producers in Melbourne. We're buying. Must provide own transportation and sign all relevant releases.
1 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2016
AU$1000 +SpacepersonYou know how to escape the zombie outbreak: by going to space and coming back when it’s all over. Maybe colonising Mars while you're at it. Everything above [except Limited], PLUS: - Bug Out Bag. Be prepared for the zombie influx with your own emergency kit, featuring TAWBA travel mug, zombie-fighting items, How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse poster, custom socks, and TAWBA t-shirt.
0 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is April 2017
AU$5000 +Unmoored Future ConsciousnessYou know the Beings at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey who are so important, thousands of film students have written theses about their meaning and origin? You’re one of those. Everything above [pick one Limited Reward] PLUS: - Executive Producer credit. - Special Edition. An alternate, Director's Cut version of the film created just for your DVD.
0 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is April 2017