My short bio: I'm Krisztian Majdik. I directed Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn, an indie animated horror film starring Tony Todd, Danielle Harris, Tom Sizemore, Joseph Pilato, R. Madhavan and more. It is premiering at Comic Con this Saturday, more info on our Facebook Page and Indiegogo Campaign where we’re raising funds to help widen the theatrical release later this year. Ask me Anything about the soul-crushing journey to create an animated horror film outside the studio system on a shoestring budget!

My Proof:

Thanks everyone, I had a blast. Time to shut down for tonight but I'll be checking in tomorrow to answer any questions that may have come up. Take a look at our Facebook page and indiegogo campaign!

Comments: 85 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

KrisztianMajdik7 karma

Hi reddit. I'm ready and looking forward to your questions.

beigegoodgadget4 karma

Is it true that you're a triple jump National Champion? Do you still compete? Does that experience carry over at all to your film-making?

KrisztianMajdik4 karma

This question I didn't expect! I did win an NCAA championship but it was division 3 so not that impressive. I don't compete anymore. I should, need to get rid of pack abs... So far it hasn't helped me too much in my film-making efforts but If someone doesn't like the film and hunts me down or throws tomatoes at me, my sprinting and jumping skills will help me to evade his attacks!

JunctionPunch4 karma

What is your favorite horror film?

KrisztianMajdik6 karma

Besides the original NOTLD? JAWS and POLTERGEIST. What's yours?

piefordays4 karma

I've recently gotten into making short films. I don't really think anyone realizes how much work goes into a 5-10 minute long film, yet alone a 2 hour one. As a director, what really inspired you to shoot the way you do and about how long does it take to wrap a full film for you usually? Thanks for the ama.

KrisztianMajdik5 karma

Thank you for your question. Now this is my first feature and it took FOREVER! A couple years on and off. You are absolutely right, it's HARD. Someone said something along the lines of "It's incredibly hard to make a bad movie and impossible to make a good one." We had no idea what we were going into (and what we were doing!). We had the production budget of maybe 1/3rd of a Simpsons episode and industry people told us there was no way we could do it. But most of us were just a couple years out of school, hungry to tell stories and we all shared a deep love for animation. That was the inspiration/motivation to do this.

In terms of what inspires me the way I shoot? I grew up with Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, Alien, big popcorn movies. Those films affected me and influenced my style. I like a fluid, moving camera. Animation was the world that would let me execute my style with the limited money we had. In other words, the freedom of it is least on paper. Little did I know that there were even more restrictions in animation than in live action!

SirRichardofLA4 karma

I feel like I remember hearing about this a while ago, how long has this been in the works?

KrisztianMajdik4 karma

This has been in the works for a long time. On a conceptual level, the project started in 2009 as a micro budget animated film. Basically a bunch of kids in a garage type of thing. We hit some hurdles on the way and the project went through a couple long breaks. Most of the work was done in the past two years.

SirRichardofLA1 karma

Gotcha thanks! Good luck with the premiere, doing it at Walker Stalker is brilliant! Just checked out your Indiegogo link - If I can get off work in time to drive down to SD from LA I'm definitely going, cool that you guys made tickets even cheaper than a regular movie theater ticket!

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Thanks, I hope to see you there. Any support we can get is very much appreciated. Our dream was to create a studio that does really cool, edgy animated films for a more adult audience. We need all the support we can get to make that a reality in the current animation scene that is more focused on a younger crowd.

mehher3 karma

Any tips for a film student like me? =)

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

Yes! Find out as early as possible what you really want to do long term. Then figure out the best path to get there. Say you want to become an editor, edit as many student films you can. Take relevant internships. Once out of school, beg for any entry level position in a post team but focus your energy to get a job at a place you'd like to work in long term. The most successful people I know worked their way up in ranks at one place. Basically get really really good at something relevant to your final career goal:)

If you want to direct, keep doing shorts, finish them, show them. Learn from mistakes and keep doing it...WHILE becoming really good at something relevant such as editing to be able to pay the bills and improve by working with people that are better than you.

Most importantly, be pleasant to be around and just be hard working. It will get you far.

killaclown3 karma

Hi Mr. Majdik, If you could have directed any movie that has ever been made which one would it be and why?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

I want to say The Lord of The Rings, Blade Runner, Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, any kubrick movie (who doesn't want to be considered the best director of all time)...but the one movie that popped into my head first is INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE...why? Because it is one of the most entertaining films of all time and I loved that movie since I first saw it as a young kid. It's probably the reason I ended up in film. Indie it is!

Alpha_Arrowz3 karma

Hello, I am a young kid, who wants to take an interest in Animation strongly, and maybe even movie making! Any tips? And how hard was it animating zombies to make it look realistic for the animators?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

That's good to hear. The sooner you can start, the better. My biggest advice is to just stick to it and practice every day. People talk about talent but it is really just hard work for years and years until one becomes good at most things. Read a lot of books so you become a good storyteller too! And observe nature and your surroundings. There are plenty of inexpensive software out there to start practicing. Unreal engine comes to my mind!

Animating zombies isn't hard because it's a lot of fun!!

tenillusions3 karma

What different are you bringing to the table in the 'Dead' franchise?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

We explore Ben and Coopers character and relationship much deeper in this movie. That to me is the core of the film.

tenillusions2 karma

How great is Tony Todd, and how was it for him to step back into the role of Ben? Was it odd giving him direction when he already played the character before?

KrisztianMajdik1 karma

He is obviously the king of great! Larger than life. I think he enjoyed it. he brought a different, more matured sensibility to the character. I directed him for part of the film...but directing is the wrong word. He came perfectly prepared and nailed it. Made our jobs easy. It was a joy to edit his takes though. I can say the same for Joe Pilato as well. Just a crazy, crazy performance.

RedstoneRay3 karma

When Darkest Dawn makes a lot of money, are you going to stay in the independent film industry, or go on to make studio movies?

KrisztianMajdik4 karma

Ideally both. In an But I'd be just happy to get a go at another film. Use what I learned on this one and really make it great. I'd love to do more animation as well as live action and I have a couple pitches ready to go.

RedstoneRay2 karma

Sounds awesome, I wish you the best of luck and hope you move on to other projects after Darkest Dawn.

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Thank you, RedstoneRay!

guywhowasthereonetim1 karma


KrisztianMajdik3 karma


suvrankar2 karma

Hi Krisztian ... Great to see you doing an AMA here! Will surely watch Darkest Dawn! Can you speak about how Night of the Living Dead is different from the other animated films? And what more does this film have in it for the audience?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

Thank you for your question, suvrankar. Well, first of all it's an adult themed, edgy film. Most animated films in the US are big budget, 100 million+ and aimed towards a young audience. Ours is raw. We basically did the equivalent of picking up a camera, going outside and shooting a horror film in the backyard...but in an animated world. That rawness adds a cool mood to the film that you won't find in the high end, overproduced world. It has of course great drama, tension, great performances and simply a very good, entertaining story for the audience. I hope they like it and if not, I'll be waiting here to take the blame!:D

Silvershanks2 karma

Can you elaborate on what made the journey, "soul crushing"?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Making animated films (or any movie in general) is very very challenging. Artistically and technically. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into and we faced many setbacks. Each of them very painful. But we learned from our mistakes, got better, shot by shot, scene by scene and finishing the film makes up for all the hardship...but what am I talking about! All in all it's great fun to make movies and the journey itself is fantastic. We filmmakers just like to complain!

Fuck_the_wtf_mods2 karma

How's Tom doing?

KrisztianMajdik4 karma

I hope he is doing great!

jpolhemus2 karma

Can you tell us about the process of making the film?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

Sure. I'll do the Eli5 version because this can get complicated. We started out with recording the motion capture, audio and facial capture of the actors. Next step was world building. We created the virtual sets and placed the mocap animation inside them. What follows next is the most fun part. We went into the virtual sets with virtual cameras and shot the film, very much like one would shoot live action. It's almost like playing a shooter game! Then I took all the footage and edited it into a (hopefully) coherent story. Now at this stage the film looks very bland. Black and white essentially. The next step is lighting and effects. Once that is done it goes into the oven, the rendering.

The last step of the VFX pipeline is compositing where everything comes together. While this is happening, we are refining the edit, add additional shots, do reshoots, drink a ton of coffee, cool down burning computers and keep tweaking the edit endlessly until we are happy with the cut. Next is color correction/DI where we refine the look. Sound design and Score finishes of the long process.

kaloosa2 karma

Night of the Living Dead has been remade many times over to varying levels of success (Savini's 1990 remake being the one shining example). What made you choose to revisit this story as opposed to just using it as inspiration?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

The original kickoff for this project came from the other Director on this project, Zebediah DeSoto. He also wrote the first draft of the screenplay. So I can't speak for him and his intentions. For the rest of us that joined the project, we were all big fans of the original and we wanted to add our spin on it. I sincerely hope we did a decent enough job to at least play a successful homage to the original while being respectful to it as well. No film will ever be as good as Romero's masterpiece but if we can be entertaining and capture at least a little bit what made "Dead" so great, I'm happy with the outcome.

frappywappylolz1 karma


KrisztianMajdik2 karma

He's not participating in this AmA. I'm all you got!

TurnOffTheDarkness2 karma

Couldn't get tickets in time for SDCC. Any other way I can see the film?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Yes! We will announce the release date and where you can watch the film shortly after comic con. Just keep an eye out on relevant news and follow our facebook page.

ibunnies2 karma

I live in Japan. When can I see this film online?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

It's not yet released but follow our facebook page for updates on the release date.

ibunnies3 karma

Submit to film festivals in Japan, and come to screenings, please!

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

That is a great idea!

DestroyerOfHam2 karma

Another film based of Romero's masterpiece, don't you think night of the day of the survival of the dawn of the return of the revenge of the living dead is getting a bit played out? Did you consider making any radical changes to the old shtick? With a low budget it's the perfect time to get creative in any number of ways..

KrisztianMajdik1 karma

We did try to add our spin to the story. You will have to watch the film to see if we succeeded.

DestroyerOfHam1 karma

I will watch, as Bill Moseley is a relative of my fiancé, I'll be sure to leave an honest, critics view of your film on imdb later down the line. I didn't mean to sound harsh earlier, it's just easy to get frustrated with horror films that bank on the success of a classic and deliver little..

KrisztianMajdik1 karma

Thank you, I appreciate it and welcome a fair review, good or bad. We put our best effort with the resources we had into the film. I hope you will enjoy it.

dryanreeb1 karma

Can you elaborate on some of the hardest parts of making this film as well as some of the most rewarding aspects? It must have been awesome working with the great Tony Todd!

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Tony Todd is great! His performance is fantastic and so is Joe Pilato's and everyone else in the cast.

The hardest part by FAR was budget limitation. We got some big name producers (Simon West, he's great!!) on that helped us get the cast and the financing but there wasn't a lot of it. It was very much a super low budget production on the level of a higher end 20 minute Saturday morning cartoon. We were 20 kids in a garage in 90 degree heat at times. It was fun but hard...very hard. If we would have known how tough it would be, none of us would have done it in the first place. but that's the beauty of such projects...

dryanreeb1 karma

Can you elaborate a little bit on the types of vfx software you used and why? It looked so nicely rendered! I was impressed by the footage I saw. =)

KrisztianMajdik4 karma

Yes of course. We used a bunch of different software. Motionbuilder for the motion capture cleanup, Maya for general VFX, vray for rendering, NUKE for compositing. I used Final Cut Pro 7 and AVID for editing. All of the above software did a fantastic job. We ran into issues when it came to rendering. The more we added effects such as smoke, haze, hair animation and generally stuff that adds a lot of production value, the more we ran into massive rendertimes. Sometimes 24 hours a frame or more. For those who are unfamiliar with the animation process, rendering costs a lot of money. We had to downscale and get rid off a lot of the fancy stuff due to our very limited budget. We tried giving it an interesting look that was inexpensive at the same time. Some sort of graphic novel come to live.

ibunnies1 karma

what do you like to put into your tacos?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

Guacamole, Carnitas or Chicken, Salsa, the usual stuff. I like it spicy.

_Kalan1 karma

Fast zombies or slow zombies - what makes the terror more intense!?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

Slow zombies that turn into fast zombies as the night progresses!

GenZing1 karma

Have you seen the actual "Night of the Living Dead"? If so, did this film inspire you and why?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Of course I have seen it. Most recently at the Hollywood Cemetery place to watch it! What inspired me most is that Romero picked up a camera with a very limited budget and team and just went out and made it. It's so incredibly hard to make movies (mostly it's hard to finish them!). What inspired me in terms of story, I was always fascinated by the drama between Ben and Cooper. I think it's a fantastic duel of sorts.

harcole1 karma

How do we pronounce your name ?

KrisztianMajdik1 karma

Oh it's a tough one. Krisztian is Just like Christian. Majdik (it's Hungarian) would be something like "moijdic"

Lordofpugs0 karma

What's your favorite kind of pizza?

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

I answered this a couple posts higher up but here it goes again:

Tomatoes, Mushrooms, some capers and....anchovies...but not too many, that'd be gross! I am known in my friend circles as a bit of a pizza snob because I often criticize the much loved NYC style pizza....

TheLordOfTheGeek0 karma

Favorite type of pizza?

KrisztianMajdik3 karma

Tomatoes, Mushrooms, some capers and....anchovies...but not too many, that'd be gross!

talktechtrends2880-1 karma

Hi: I am a young blogger of I would like to ask you some questions and post them interview-format on my site:

1) Why should people watch your film? 2) How was it working with Madhavan? Any why choose him? 3) Any words for aspiring filmmakers?

Thanks! Would be cool if you gave a shout-out of my site on Facebook or Twitter.

KrisztianMajdik2 karma

Sure. It's fun to watch! It's a very entertaining, dramatic film. We tried to do something different with it. But mostly, if you want to see more adult themed animation in the US, support us so we can continue growing this very small scene. My dream is to have a market like Japan, where there is a wide variety of animated films for everyone's taste.

2) Madhavan is a true professional. He is great. He came highly recommended and we had just the right character for him to play.

I'd love to give you a shout-out. PM me later.

guywhowasthereonetim1 karma


KrisztianMajdik3 karma

The first guy who played Tom, Mike Diskint, he delivered a fantastic performance and some of it is left in the mocap performance. The choice to replace him was a producer decision and we are very pleased with the performance of Tom that is in the final cut.

frappywappylolz1 karma


KrisztianMajdik3 karma

He's a zombie now;(

EdwardSnowman-2 karma

Do you ever wake up and say to yourself "this is what it's come to eh. Making yet another stupid fucking zombie movie." When did you realize your well of creativity had gone dry?

KrisztianMajdik5 karma

Ha, nice question...(ಠ_ಠ)

We chose to do this kind of film because we love horror and we wanted to try our hands on creating a zombie film. Why not? It's fun...but also because it has an audience. Unfortunately making movies is expensive and there is a business side to it. For a new, unproven team, with very little money, outside the studio system, we needed to do a project that could generate enough return in order to make another film. It was also essential to GET financing in the first place and attach our wonderful cast. Hopefully this one does alright and we can do a follow up. We have a fantastic sci-fi script lined up and I would LOVE to get started on that.