Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Antonio R. Cannady: I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida
Film Courage: How would you describe yourself as a child?
Antonio: Very creative and ambitious. I daydreamed a lot and drew pictures for other kids in exchange for after school money.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school?
Antonio: I wanted to go to film school, but I just couldn’t afford it. So I am mostly self-taught as a writer/producer/director, though I did go to a TV production trade school to learn some fundamentals of production.
Film Courage: You’ve jokingly said that your TV growing up was an “electronic babysitter?” What favorite film or TV show as a child has had the biggest impact on your life?
Antonio: I loved shows from the 80’s like The A-Team, Quantum Leap and MacGyver. Those shows made me want to get into the entertainment business for sure.
Film Courage: Many storytellers talk about lots of alone time as a children and how it helped fuel their imagination. Was this your experience?
Antonio: Yeah, I did daydream a lot as a kid. I was always coming up with ideas, but I wouldn’t say I was a loner. I had my fair share of “me time” to just imagine the possibilities of a world more exciting then the one I was in.
Film Courage: Looking back on your life, what do you regret?
Antonio: I regret a lot of things, but those regretful things were also huge learning experiences that has allowed me to grow personally and professionally.
Film Courage: Is there a defining moment of your life (any age) that still drives you today?
Antonio: Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to make a movie for a studio. That goal from years ago, is what pushes me today. I won’t stop until I’m directing a movie for one of the major studios.
Film Courage: What principles have guided your life?
Antonio: Integrity, honesty and hard work.
Film Courage: You said previously wanting to move to Hollywood, California from the time you were little? Do you live in LA?
Antonio: I lived in LA for five years before returning to Florida in 2011. I enjoyed it and learned a lot in California, but relocated back home for personal reasons. I do visit there still. I just wanted know what’s it’s like to be in the trenches of Hollywood and I found out.
Film Courage: What is the The Make Movie Society? When did you start it?
Antonio: The Make A Movie Society is my production company. I started it a year ago in order to build a body of work such as film and TV.
Film Courage: Any advice to beginning filmmakers on the ups and downs of making films, such as how things fall through, then plans change in your favor, and back and forth? How do you keep yourself balance?
Antonio: Stay focused. A lot of distracting things will happen around you. It is important to stay focused.
Film Courage: You’ve mentioned raising money for other films where you worked a manufacturing job, working overtime and graveyard to raise money? Our hats off to you for pushing through irregardless of an investor. Any tips to filmmakers in the same position?
Antonio: The tip I would give is to not rely on another person’s word. Get the project as far as long as you can by any means necessary.
Antonio: My latest project is TV pilot called ‘My Wife Divorced Me Because I’m a Zombie.’
Film Courage: What inspired the story for ‘My Wife Divorced Me Because I’m a Zombie?’
Antonio: I just wanted to do something really creative, something not so serious unlike my previous work. One day zombies working in a record store just popped in my head.
Film Courage: How long was the idea in your head before writing it?
Antonio: About a year. It came to me when I was working on my last project ‘Know the Signs.’
Film Courage: How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Antonio: I wrote the first draft in four days. I spent about a month on feedback from colleagues and rewrites.
Film Courage: How many people did you share the script with during the writing process?
Antonio: About three people.
Antonio: There was no storyboard for the pilot. I did not want to overthink the script, so I set a date to have it production ready no matter what.
Film Courage: Have you shot the entire pilot?
Antonio: The pilot is complete. It is nearly out of post-production.
Film Courage: Where did you shoot the film/secure the locations?
Antonio: We shot the pilot and utilized locations in Orlando, Florida.
Film Courage: Is Florida a filmmaker-friendly state?
Antonio: No. Not at all.
Film Courage: What camera(s) did you use? How did you know you had the right camera to film this story?
Antonio: We used the Black Magic Pocket. After consulting with my DP Brian Bertrand about various options, we decided the Magic was our best bet.
Film Courage: Where is My Wife Divorced Me Because I’m a Zombie currently available to watch?
Film Courage: Are you also submitting it to festivals?
Antonio: Yes, we will be submitting to TV pilot festivals and production companies in Los Angeles.
Film Courage: What is the funniest scene in ‘My Wife Divorced Me Because I’m a Zombie?’
Antonio: There too many funny scenes, but there is a bit about The Walking Dead that’s funny as hell. That scene you can see in the trailer.
Film Courage: What sacrifices did you have to make to get this film produced?
Antonio: Too many to list.
Antonio: My previous projects were downers. I wanted to have fun on the pilot.
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Antonio: A feature film this Summer. The script is nearly complete and leads are cast.
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have always had the desire to tell stories as a young child. My imagination would, and continues to this day, run wild with all sorts of eccentric story ideas that I hope to bring to big and small screens all over the world.
The stories I tell will shock, inform or simply entertain you, and I’ll gladly take one of the three any day of the week. I’m primarily self-taught as both a writer and director, though I did obtain technical training as a producer at a vocational tech school back in 2007 before making the leap out to Los Angeles.
I’m always on the lookout for interesting stories to tell. I especially enjoy building fictional worlds from the ground up. It’s what I’m good at. Always for taking risk and doing things outside the box is the type of filmmaker I strive to be.
You got an idea for a film or scripted series? Then let’s do something about it.
I am writer, producer and director Antonio Ricardo Cannady.
‘My Wife Divorced Me Because I’m a Zombie’ is a half-hour dramedy that takes place in a new world where the undead and living, peacefully live among each other thanks to the miracle drug E-22, which slowly reverses the zombie virus. This allows the undead to live normal lives, somewhat, like the rest of us.
For more information on Antonio and the pilot, please contact: