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How Commenter Notes Influenced Shaun Of The Dead's Ending

Shaun of the Dead

Just about every movie has to go through the test screening process, where a group of random people -- who may or may not have been found at a Home Depot parking lot -- give notes on the current cut of the film. Some filmmakers understandably aren't big fans of this process, but sometimes there is that one special note that actually helps them get what they need. For example, Edgar Wright received a note on Shaun of the Dead that helped him get the ending he wanted. Wright recalled:

Unless you find the card that supports your argument. It's like finding the golden ticket. On Shaun of the Dead, the ending wasn't working because there wasn't enough carnage. We had run out of time. I found this one card that I showed the producer. All it said was, "More Zombies Being Shot." I was like, 'This guy's got it!'

Edgar Wright was a part of a roundtable interview with GQ featuring directors with films that pushed creativity, progress, originality and diversity. Basically all the best directors from the past few years, like Ava DuVernay, James Gunn, Tyler Sheridan, Jordan Peele and Patty Jenkins. The filmmakers were asked a number of questions about their thoughts on Hollywood and the current movie making process. One question centered around test-screenings and while there were some differing opinions on whether they were good or bad, they seemed to agree the commenter cards suck, but Edgar Wright was quick to point out his one positive experience with them, noting that the suggestion to increase in Shaun of the Dead's at the end was most beneficial.

For those who may not remember, Shaun of the Dead was Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's breakout zombie comedy that led the two of them into successful careers. That film ended with Shaun (Pegg) and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) ready to make what they believed their final stand against a horde of zombies outside an overrun pub. Just as they get ready to fight, a military convoy swoops in and soldiers lay waste to the zombies in a blaze of gunfire and blood.

As it turns out, the film almost didn't have any of that action. Wright knew the film needed to end with carnage, but had completely run out of time to shoot it. Luckily, one guy in a focus group had the same opinion and because his random opinion was so valued, Wright got the okay to shoot some quick action shots for the ending. The lesson here is if you're ever in a focus group, have good opinions and you'll end up saving the movie!

You can see Edgar Wright's latest awesome film, Baby Driver, in theaters right now. For all of the latest movie updates, be sure to keep checking back here at CinemaBlend.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.