Nails filming production of Romero’s “Diary of
the Dead” for “Dead On” portrait of filmmaker

As George Romero shoots his latest zombie film, “Diary of the Dead,” Rusty Nails is recording the process for his ongoing feature documentary, “Dead On: The Life and Work of George A. Romero.”

“We went to a special effects house and saw early stages of makeup. We want to follow George throughout the making of the film,” said Nails, who also runs the Movieside Film Festival.

He has appeared with Romero at festivals around the world, screening footage from the in-progress documentary.

“I was just flown out to Milan to give him an award at La Milinesia” film festival, Nails said. “I was flown out to Fangoria Weekend of Horrors [in Burbank ] to be a guest and show a preview of ?Stay Dead.’ It seems pretty rare that somebody gets flown all over the globe to show a 22-minute preview.”

Nails is taking his time with the doc, which he hopes to release to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Romero’s first film, “Night of the Living Dead.”

He’s been steadily collecting interviews with Romero’s colleagues and fans, recently taping segments with Kevin Smith, Dennis Hopper, Ed Harris, John Carpenter and Stuart Gordon.

Nails travels regularly to Romero’s adopted home base of Toronto , where he documented the making of Romero’s previous effort, “Dawn of the Dead,” for both “Dead On,” his second feature doc, and for “Stay Scared,” the featurette released on the 2005 film’s DVD.

He’s in post on his first, “Highway Robbery,” about blind veteran Tom Ditzler’s battle to preserve his land in the face of road construction.

“I just showed the cut to Kartemquin,” Nails said. “They felt the piece was strong and gave me some really important notes.”

Nails’ first narrative feature, the punk-rock zombie spoof, “Acne,” is out on DVD from Facets Video. He’s polishing the script for his second fiction feature, “Teenagers From Mars.”