Two weeks ago, Carie Hughes (lying down in the picture to the left) portrayed the hapless Poll Worker charged with teaching zombies how to use a voting booth modified for their special needs. Needless to say, it didn’t end well. But, in terms of our shoot, it went awesome, with Carie turning in a great comic turn. Here’s her take on what it was like on the set:
“WOW! What an Amazing day, at the day of the shoot as the poll worker. This was my first time acting in a movie and I wasn’t sure what to expect or how it all worked, but once I arrived and got to make-up then costume I was ready for more. I so enjoyed watching the crew prepare and set up for each shoot. I was so impressed how well they worked as a TEAM.
When it was time for the Director to direct us to his visual of the scene I was so Excited I could hardly contain myself. I loved hearing “Rolling!” then “ACTION!” Each take I got more into it and wanted to give my very best. Working with the 2 Zombies was so cool make-up can make them be so Real.
My final scene was a great test for me on my patience. Laying on the concrete floor for a period of time with blood, guts and other special props was so Intense! The time and preparation for this one shoot was long but fun. I have to admit I loved having all the attention on me, I truly felt like a star:) For the last take it got really messy, but I mentally prepared myself to keep on acting even though I knew what was coming. Once the blood started to shoot everywhere I tried to stay in character. I was thrilled to hear Andrew yell Cut! I couldn’t see a thing but from all the laughter I knew it must have been a keeper:)
I had so much fun and laughed so much- I look forward to the next… I totally have a new outlook and appreciation for the filming Directors and Actors.”
*Artwork by Justin Gammon – pretty much sums up how I’m feeling at the mo’.
With just over a week to go before our final shooting location, I keep reminding myself that “It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” but it sure feels like things are picking up speed as my “To Do” list continues to grow.
We’re still looking for a few more volunteers to help out as tech crew, a few more regular hair and makeup peeps, and we even have space for more Press/Reporter Extras. It’s the last minute “cover all yer bases” sprint before we hit the ground running on October 28.
Want to help out? Then shoot us an email at email@example.com and put “Volunteer” or “Hair/Makeup” or “Extra” in the subject line and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Again, we can’t pay folks, but we will feed ya and you will be credited in the movie.
We’re so excited to be bringing the very important issue of voting rights for Undead Americans to life, er, um, whatever, in this movie.
(Production Designer Penelope Davis does last minute touch up for actress Joanne Robertson as fellow actor Parker Anderson unleashes his charisma at the camera.)
Joanne Robertson, star of many, many productions at Prescott Center for the Arts, wrote us this note, fresh from shooting her scene as news anchor Melissa Blonde in “Dead Votes Society.”
“So what did I do today? Got to watch a team of very talented filmmakers doing what they love to do. Got to be directed by Angie and Andrew, who really get this acting stuff.
Got to hang out with Parker Anderson who was the source of continuous laughs. Got to know some really cool people like Penelope the production designer and latent actor (ha ha.) Got to hang out with some long-time friends like Arnold who I really respect. From beginning to end, a top-notch, professional and VERY fun time.
Thanks you guys for the GREAT day! Break-a-leg on the remainder of the shooting… Can’t wait to see the movie. It’s gonna be great!!!”
Don’t forget, if you’d like to be an extra in the climatic last scene of Dead Votes Society” on Sunday, October 28th, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Fine Print) Sorry, no one under 18 years old. Must be available from 8am to 6pm on that day. This is a volunteer position. We will, however, feed you and give you screen credit on the film and IMDB!
Sean Jeralds (that’s him in the black turtleneck) has performed in a lot of comedies over the years in Prescott, AZ. Besides many farces at Prescott Center for the Arts, he was a cast member in the last Coyote Radio Theater group on KJZA.
So it was especially fun to have him on this shoot – an adaptation of a CRT sketch – playing a completely silent cameo as “Nervous Guy #1.”
Here’s Sean’s reaction to a day spent shooting and re-shooting 6 shots of scary comedy.
“WOW! What a competent, professional, well-planned and executed film shoot – that’s what it was like working with the team Angie and Andrew put together for filming of DVS. No detail was overlooked; from the catering to costuming, everything was dialed. I’m not sure what I liked most about the day, but my choices are 1) getting “glycerined up” by Penelope, 2) being drooled on by Cason, or 3) Watching Tiffany trying to keep a straight face. It was a great time and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Break-a-leg Team DVS!”
Awww, shucks! (repeatedly stabbing right toe into the carpet) What a great cast and crew we have on this film!
* Penelope Davis touches up Cason’s zombie makeup, with Sean Jeralds and Tiffany Antone.
We wrapped up our first shooting day around 6 p.m. on Sunday. And yes, it was AWESOME! And a lot of work. But mostly it was so much fun that the work didn’t seem like work.
Penelope Davis, our production designer, did an incredible job with the make up for both the zombies and the “normies.” Even with a knee injury, Tiffany Antone had a great attitude and played a terrific “straight woman” to Cason Murphy’s zombie. And yeah, it was great to have former Coyote Radio Theater member Sean Jerald play the extremely nervous (and sweaty!!!) zombie interpretor.
Other than a great cast and a kick ass zombie “look,” what made the shoot successful was a crew that figured out how to work well together super fast. Truly, a great group of peeps for the crew. And I know we’ll only get even better as we move through the next three shooting dates. I DO believe in zombies!
Angie, as producer of this fine little zombie movie, found herself researching zombie contact lenses after talking with our SFX Make-Up Consultant,Ridgḝ Gḁllagḧḝr. (That’s Ridgḝ, testing make-up designs with zombie spokesmodel Cole Lahti.)
Ridgḝ, quite rightly, holds that its not enough to just slap on some white powder, paint a little fake blood and black around the eyes and call it an apocalypse. Don’t believe it? Go to Netflix and use the search term zombie. Lots of low budget films, yes? Watch a few. Aaaaand they spent the budget’s other $1.50 on the catering. In terms of production value, not a lot of it.
And this where I totally dig Ridgḝ’s approach. Besides his very detailed make-up, he talked with Angie about using contact lenses to take the effect farther, plus added effects like objects impaled in our walking dead or burns.
Think of it this way. If our zombies are still wearing the clothes they died in, everything that’s happened to them since is evidenced on these garments and this flesh. WhenLex Althoff’szombie appears on the screen, if she’s got a pencil sticking out of her head like a poorly aimed harpoon, you can just imagine some poor zombie killer that didn’t live to tell the tale. IfCole Lahti’s zombie shuffles around the Square will one arm charred you can just imagine the fiery fate that could not stop her shamble.
All of which makes for an interesting movie. And production values. And Angie scouring the EU for just the right look in contact lenses. Its the work of Ridgḝ andProduction Designer Penelope Davis(costumes, make-up, props and production values) to make this all come to life aaaaand on a budget that matches what big Hollywood movies spend on coffee stirrers at the craft table (unless its a Bruckheimer film. Have you seen his coffee stirrers?!)
Every Friday, this blog will re-post a letter to the editor of the “Crest Top Chronicle” newspaper, to provide a platform for voices from the community concerning some of the real issues raised by the short film “Dead Votes Society.” This week: local activist and businesswoman Callista Brubaker.
My good friend Hester Morton made some good points in her September 14 letter, about the many benefits legalized zombie voting will bring to Crest Top’s local economy. However, I do have grave concerns about this “satirical” film she mentioned, “The Dead Votes Society.” If recent events in the Middle East have taught us anything, it’s that certain segments of the population just can’t take a joke. I’m sure that as former human beings, zombies have many wonderful qualities, but a sense of humor about themselves is not one of them.
Who can forget the wave of zombie violence that gripped London in the weeks following the premiere of Shaun of the Dead? Or the terrible recriminations Woody Harrelson suffered because of his appearance in Zombieland? Some may say that these incidents were not directly caused by these films, but were rather cases of radical zombie organizations exploiting undead anger (or just, you know, hunger) in order to further their own agendas. But I say, why take the chance?
I’m all for freedom of speech, of course. My ex-husband was a lawyer for the ACLU and he would not shut up about that subject. But the First Amendment doesn’t give us the right to shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Or to shout “brains!” in a shopping mall crowded with zombies. The makers of “The Dead Votes Society” would do well to remember this. In fact, I would suggest that the production take on a zombie consultant to review the script and to observe every scene as it is shot. If this zombie gets all offended and bitey by what he or she sees, then that portion of the film should be cut. After all, who wants to live in a society where anyone might be offended, just so smug Hollywood elitists can make a quick buck? I surely don’t.
CALLISTA BRUBAKER is the Director of THE ASSOCIATON OF LADY VOTERS. She also teaches a course in Applied Civil Disobedience at CREST TOP COLLEGE and owns the HEALING HANDS, HEALING HEART BOOKSTORE on Crest Top’s Historic Tequila Row. The views expressed here are hers alone and do not reflect those of the administrators of this blog or in fact of anyone, anywhere, ever.