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|George A. Romero|
|Birth name:||George Andrew Romero|
|Aliases:||George Romero; Grandfather of the Zombies|
|Roles:||Producer; Director; Writer; Editor; Cinematographer; Actor|
|Date of birth:||February 4th, 1940|
|Place of birth:||New York City, New York|
|Date of death:||July 16th, 2017|
|Place of death:||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Notable works:||Night of the Living Dead|
Tales from the Darkside
|1st Horror:||Night of the Living Dead (1968)|
George Andrew Romero is an American horror film producer, director and writer and is considered an icon of the genre. He is best known for revolutionizing the zombie sub-genre in his perennial 1968 film Night of the Living Dead and it's subsequent sequels. Romero's efforts turned zombie fandom into a cottage industry and his films have inspired legions of imitators in film, television, novels and comics.
Early life Edit
He was born George Andrew Romero in New York City, New York on February 4th, 1940. His father was a Castilian Spanish commercial artist and his mother was of Lithuanian ancestry. As a youth, Romero attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and graduated in 1960. He turned his eye towards film and began shooting short movies, industrial films and television commercials. In the late 1960s, Romero and a group of friends which included John Russo and Russell Streiner decided to abandon their work on industrial films, in the hopes of exploring larger and more satisfying film projects. Romero, harboring a "thirst for the bizarre", was inspired to venture into the horror genre after filming a tonsilectomy sequence for an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Night of the Living Dead Edit
The evolution of what would become Night of the Living Dead began shortly after Romero abandoned doing industrial films in search of something meatier he could sink his teeth into. Along with his friends John Russo and Russell Streiner, he began developing the concepts that would become Night of the Living Dead.
Romero was inspired by the works of novelsit Richard Matheson, specifically, his 1954 novel I am Legend, which revolved around one man's struggle to survive in a dystopic world overrun by vampire-like infected ghouls. Romero admitted to drawing the bulk of his ideas from the novel, but wanted to present an environment that showed the early stages of an undead apocalypse. To distinguish his story from Matheson's work, Romero opted to replace the vampire antagonists with zombies (or ghouls as Romero referred to them). Collaborating with Russo and Streiner, he began putting together a script entitled Night of the Flesh Eaters.
He pitched the film project to Hardman Associates, Inc. in Pittsburgh. President Karl Hardman and vice-president Marilyn Eastman joined with Romero's group to form the independent Image Ten Productions. The initial budget was $6,000 with the ten members of the production company investing $600 each for a share of the profits. When it was found that another $6,000 was required another ten investors were found, but this was also soon found to be inadequate. Image Ten eventually raised approximately $114,000 for the budget. 
Filming on Night of the Flesh Eaters began in June of 1967. To limit production costs, Image Ten used rural Evans City, just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to shoot their film. Most of the casting for the film was comprised of the Image Ten staff with Karl Hardman playing the role of Harry Cooper and Marilyn Eastman playing his wife Helen. Russell Streiner had the brief, but memorable role of Johnny, while John Russo donned the face makeup of one of the zombie extras. To fill out the rest of the roles, George Romero cast a stage actor named Duane L. Jones as the male lead Ben. The character was originally written as an uneducated truck driver, but Jones was reticent about playing a part, which he felt was demeaning, so Romero altered the script to match Jones' sensibilities. Karl Hardman's eleven-year-old daughter Kyra Schon played the part of his character's daughter, Karen Cooper. The role of Tom was given to a local man named Keith Wayne and the part of Judy was played by Karl and Marilyn's receptionist Judith Ridley. Zombies and posse members were made up from local extras as well as people that Romero knew from his commercial film days.
When it came time to find a distributor for the film, there were few companies willing to deal with the finished project as-is. All of them made requests for Romero to delete particularly visceral scenes from the movie, something Romero was unwilling to do. Finally, they submitted the film to the Walter Reade Organization, who agreed to distribute the film provided that Image Ten changed the title from Night of the Flesh Eaters to Night of the Living Dead. As it turned out, Walter Reade neglected to place a copyright indication on the prints even though Image Ten displayed the copyright notice on the title frames of the film when it was still called Night of the Flesh Eaters. Walter Reade removed the copyright statement under the new title and as such, Image Ten did not gain copyright ownership over their intellectual property. Because of this oversight, whether deliberate or accidental, Night of the Living Dead passed into the public domain. 
Body of work Edit
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Was inspired to get into the horror genre after filming a segment for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. 
- Robert Kirkman, the critically-acclaimed author of The Walking Dead comic book series was inspired by Romero's Night of the Living Dead films, in particular, Dawn of the Dead. 
External Links Edit
- ↑ Homepage of the Dead
- ↑ Homepage of the Dead; The Filming...
- ↑ L.A. Times, Entertainment; "George A. Romero, 'Night of the Living Dead' creator, dies at 77"; Anderson, Tre'evell.
- ↑ Editor on "Something to Tide You Over" segment.
- ↑ The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar
- ↑ The Cat from Hell
- ↑ Robert Kirkman; The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye; 2004
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Night of the Living Dead film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Night of the Living Dead crew members category.
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Tales from the Darkside film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Tales from the Darkside crew members category.
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Hannibal Lecter film franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Hannibal Lecter crew members category.
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