I recently got around to reading You’ve Got Red On You, the making of Shaun of the Dead, by Clark Collis – Shaun of the Dead is one of my all time favourite films, and my absolute favourite zombie movie. This was such a good read, and I loved hearing more about Edgar Wright, SimonPegg & Nick Frost, and all the other amazing people who made this film possible.
I have so much to thank these guys for. I remember watching Spaced for the first time sometime in 2004 (even though it was released in 1999).
I’d moved to London for law school in the late Summer of 2003 and met James, my future husband, on my birthday in November 2003. It was just after England had won the rugby World Cup, and James was still high on the win sporting his sparkling white England replica shirt, as well as a very Simon Pegg-esq hair style and beard!
He and his flat mates were all super nerds, and they introduced me to Spaced as well as things such as the Game Cube’s Smash Bros Melee and a range of cult classic.
Watching Spaced was unlike anything I’d seen before: truly mesmerising, and I immediately connected with the characters and the world that I was seeing brought to life on the screen, and the peppering of references to movies I’d grown up with and loved just brought me so much joy.
It literally changed my life. For the first time in my life, I started to fully embrace being a nerd, having suppressed most of my nerdy feelings for much of my late teenage years and early Uni days, because you really were mocked for such things back then. Young nerds of today really don’t understand how tough it was for us back then.
Had I not met James and his friends in 2003, and watching Spaced for the first time, I am not sure I would be the same person I am today. I now love being involved with Star Trek podcasts, attending cons and being a huge Star Wars fan. I cannot thank the enthusiasm and vision of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg & Jessica Hynes et al, enough.
Sadly, I was a year too late for getting involved in the filming of Shaun of the Dead (which looked like so much fun!), but nonetheless we were all super excited when we heard the film was coming out, and headed over to one of Leicester Square’s cinemas on the weekend of its release. We became huge fans of the Cornetto Trilogy from that moment on and, for that matter, of all of Edgar Wright’s movies since. We even had the privilege to speak with George Romero in London one year about his movies and how he’d inspired Shaun. We did also meet Nick Frost in Kew Gardens in February once (or at least James did as I hovered back as I was too shy to go up to him). I wish I’d gone to say hello!
The book is definitely a must read for any fan of this movie, or the work of those who made it happen. The unique style of Edgar’s directing is just so engaging and I loved how the book talks about his inspiration and approach to storytelling. I particularly loved looking at the storyboards. I even noticed Edgar’s style being used again in the latest Stranger Things episodes when they were in the pizza restaurant: the fast moving and interweaving shots between the two groups of characters was so obviously a tribute to Edgar’s style of filmmaking and his love of all things retro.
Thank you all once again for giving us nerds our own safe place in the world and for giving us permission to be ourselves.