George A. Romero
George A. Romero
I first met George Romero in October 2000 at West Chester University. At that point he had just finished his first film in 6 years and hadn't been making too many public appearances. Let me tell you about my first encounter with George:
Even before he started to talk, he sat down with fans and signed autographs and chatted for a few minutes and made sure each fan got an autograph or two.
When he started talking, he had everyone's full attention. He first started talking about how he got started in the film business and then made his way through his professional history in the business. He talked about the process of getting Night of the Living Dead off the ground and how that whole shoot went. He spoke about the life of an independent filmmaker and why he loves doing what he does.
He opened the floor for a question and answer session. I got to ask the first question. I asked about the Dawn ending and some of the filmmaking aspects of that. He said the ending wasn't filmed and what he means by that is, they shot test footage and it didn't work right, so he changed the ending, which he was going to do anyway to accommodate the failure of the shooting.
People then asked about Knightriders and what his favorite part of the business was. I was surprised to find that movies like Martin, and Knightriders are his favorite to shoot and he doesn't mind being remembered mostly for the Living Dead films.
Bruiser was next. He was going to show Night of the Living Dead but figured we had all seen it at least once. I was so anxious to see George's first work in almost 10 years, and what I saw wasn't a disappointment. I don't know, but I believe it has become my favorite "non-dead" Romero work. Romero once again steps up to the plate and delivers a smash hit, in my opinion anyway. The story of an ordinary man who is a push over and thinks he has the perfect life changes in a heartbeat when he finds out he has been stripped of the last thing he has, his identity.
George Romero is one of the nicest men you'll ever have the chance of meeting. He sat outside with us on a cold October night on a bench in West Chester University to sign autographs for us again, and to chat. He sat down, was in no hurry, lit up a cigarette and made everyone's night.