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28 DAYS LATER

The Infected
From the outset Boyle gave a lot of thought to the presentation of the infected to the audience. "When you do a film that features monsters of some kind or other, you have to have a very clear way that you're going to manifest them on the screen and I'd always wanted the monsters - the ‘infected' - to be moving at almost inhuman speed. I'd already made a couple of digital films for television in Manchester, and I kind of uncovered this way that the camera works, which is a particular way of recording fast motion, and the digital cameras snatch at this information in a slightly unnerving way - it isn't fluid in the way that you expect film to be. It gives a staccato effect, yet it's not like step-printed film, it's halfway in between.” 

Another key factor to the manifestation of the ‘infected' was the decision to cast athletes wherever possible. "When you watch an athlete actually perform, you realize that they are doing things that you should be able to do but that you know you'll never be capable of,” explains Boyle. "I thought if that became an aggressive thing, if an athlete turned on you, that would be genuinely frightening.” 

On a physical level, the virus was based initially on the Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which is communicable in primates (including humans), is transmitted through the blood and is often fatal. The onset of illness is abrupt and in some patients can lead to a rash, red eyes and internal and external bleeding. In the film, each ‘infected' was fitted with special contact lenses to achieve the impression that the eyes were bleeding internally. Producer Andrew Macdonald notes, "there was a lot of blood. A lot of eyes. That's where most of the budget was spent!” 

28 DAYS LATER is a picture co-financed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and DNA Films with the Film Council. Fox Searchlight has worldwide distribution rights. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group. DNA Films was founded in February 1997 by producers Duncan Kenworthy and Andrew Macdonald.

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