Jovanka Vuckovic: directorial debut THE CAPTURED BIRD is in pre-production, new zombie book available in February

Jovanka Vuckovic: directorial debut THE CAPTURED BIRD is in pre-production, new zombie book available in February

Jovanka Vuckovic, best known to most of us as the former Editor-In-Chief of Rue Morgue magazine and all-around horror expert, is certainly a very busy and multi-talented woman. In addition to having recently given birth, she has managed to complete a coffee table book about zombies and is working on her first short film, THE CAPTURED BIRD, which is currently in pre-production.

Here is a synopsis of the film, which comes directly from THE CAPTURED BIRD official website:

THE CAPTURED BIRD is a darkly poetic fable that begins with a little girl drawing figures of people with chalk on the cement of a playground. She takes notice of an unusual crack in the pavement that is seeping a mysterious black fluid, which she follows to an ominous building. Inside, she encounters several bizarre phenomena, including walls that bleed black and tentacles that emerge from the ceiling to touch her. She then witnesses the birth of five terrifying supernatural beings that threaten the existence of her world.

THE CAPTURED BIRD blends Jovanka’s unique vision with influences such as H.P. Lovecraft, The Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen. The film is so promising that it has already been accepted or considered for inclusion in several film festivals around the world, before filming has even begun!

Performing both writing and directing duties, Vuckovic will be joined by a team of some of the industry’s finest, including: Oscar-nominated director Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, the Hellboy films, Pan’s Labyrinth) as executive producer, Canadian writer/director Jason Lapeyre (horror music video Crystal) as producer, filmmaker Douglas Buck (Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America, 2006’s Sisters) as editor, Karim Hussain (La Belle Bête, Subconscious Cruelty, Ascension) as director of photography, and Academy Award-nominated production designer Anastasia Masaro (Cube, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Tideland). The visual effects will be handled by Emmy-award winner Tammy Sutton (Avatar, Spider Man 2, Slither), while heavy metal band Redeemer is set to write and perform the film’s score. Storyboard/concept artist Rob McCallum (Silent Hill, Kick-Ass, Land of the Dead, Orphan) is joined by concept/poster artist Nat Jones (Spawn, 28 Days Later, 30 Days of Night). As if this incredible line-up wasn’t enough, fans will be delighted to hear of Jovanka’s committment to using realistic creature effects instead of relying on CGI. To this end, Mike Elizalde’s Spectral Motion (the Hellboy films, X-Men: The Last Stand, Land of the Lost) has been signed on to provide creature and makeup effects.

In order to raise money for the film’s completion, fans and interested parties will have the chance to become part of the film through a “crowdfunding campaign”, where contributions will be rewarded with film credit or other perks, depending on the amount donated. This information can be found at the film’s official website, which will be listed at the end of this article.

Speaking of the website, it’s no ordinary film site. Fans are given the opportunity to keep up with each step of the film’s progress. In addition to a production blog and video diary entries, a series of videos will be posted in which various filmmakers offer tips and advice on different aspects of filmmaking. Currently, this includes director George Romero and storyboard artist Rob McCallum, but look for the inclusion of other filmmakers soon.

For more information on the film, including how you can contribute financially, visit THE CAPTURED BIRD official website.

In other news, Vuckovic’s new book, Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead, is now available for pre-order from Amazon in both paperback (St. Martin’s Press, USA) and hardcover (Ilex Press, UK) editions, and will be released in February 2011. The book features a foreward by George Romero, cover art by The Walking Dead artists Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn, and Jovanka’s many years of accumulated knowledge and insight on the subject.

Here is the synopsis from the back cover of the book:

The zombie phenomenon is unique in Western popular culture. From its origins in the voodoo beliefs of Haiti, it has become a key ingredient in today’s cinema, popular literature and comics. With one simple premise that the dead rise again to feast on the living and turn them into zombies, the undead have inspired a huge variety of artists to explore ideas of survival, morality, fear, humour and horror. ZOMBIES! is the first book to take a wide look at the whole phenomenon, from low budget cult movies to long-running comics and best-selling humour novels. With stunning imagery, and an authoritative and entertaining text from one of the worlds most distinguished experts on the genre, plus a foreword by master of horror George A. Romero, this tome will appall and delight the reader in equal measure.

To pre-order, click here for the paperback version or here for the hardcover version.

The Blood Sprayer will be posting regular updates on all of Jovanka’s projects, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest.

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Jenny is a life-long fan of horror and exploitation films, particularly those made in the 1970’s and 80’s. She is a huge film history buff that has a fondness for non-fiction books on the subject, as well as an avid collector of film soundtracks. When she’s not serving her numerous feline companions, Jenny is a regular contributor for Italian Film Review ( and runs her own blog devoted to giallo and slasher films, The Bloody Iris.

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