Desiigner Premiere's His New Video For "Zombie Walk" on VEVO

Desiigner Premiere's His New Video For "Zombie Walk" on VEVO directed by Grant Curatola

Desiigner premiered the video for his single, “Zombie Walk,” on Halloween. It features rapper King Savage, who says the song was originally inspired by his arthrogryposis, but he and Desiigner clearly took a different direction with the video.

It mixes live-action footage with animation from Carl Jones and Saxton Moore—all while collaborator King Savage is seduced and attacked by a monster in the woods. In the meantime, Desiigner literally goes full zombie mode.

The director of “Zombie Walk,” Grant Curatola, spoke to Genius about the making of the video.

“The story follows two protagonists, Desiigner and King Savage, as they try to survive a night of the living dead,“ says Curtola, who was also one of the producers on Desiigner’s “Panda” video. "It’s kind of like a riff on Night of the Living Dead, Evil Dead, thrown in with a little bit more modern atmospheric horror like Insidious type vibe. Kind of giving it that new-age, art-house horror look and feel. And that was something that Desiigner really wanted to emulate.”

The initial discussion about this project took place at a very appropriate time: after midnight. Curatola started writing before the sun came up.

“I get a call at one in the morning from Steven Victor, one of Desiigner’s managers, and he was basically like, ‘Desiigner’s got some ideas for you,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, put him on the phone,’“ he says. "We spoke for about a half hour about some ideas. He was like, ‘I wanna be going up to the country' to a Cabin In The Woods scenario. I was associating different kinds of films. I was like, ‘Okay, it’s kind of like The Shining, like The Evil Dead.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, and then I get attacked by a zombie. And I’m racing to warn my friend.’”

The video took them to three New York state locations in three days: the forest is in Carmel, the graveyard is in White Plains, and the studio is in Brooklyn.

But that wasn’t enough for Desiigner—animation was needed, too. They enlisted Saxton Moore, founder of Pixel Pirate Studio, as animation director and Carl Jones from Black Dynamite and The Boondocks, as art director.

“Saxton and Carl basically took the script, took certain scenes, and we animated those scenes,“ Curatola says. "We worked very closely together to make sure that it felt part of the same story. We both gave each other room to work within our fields. He’s the onscreen star, so I always wanted to have him looking behind the camera and being able to see himself and see how he is being presented.”

Curatola says their aim was “that classic horror feeling” and once the video was finished, it was clear they accomplished just that.

“Someone the other day told me it’s like if True Detective and Thriller had a baby,“ he says "I was like, ‘That was the nicest thing anyone’s ever told me about my work!'”

You can read all of the lyrics to “Zombie Walk” on Genius now.

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