*AZ legislature candidate Blaine Walpole, portrayed by the hilarious Kevin Goss. Photo by Denise Elfenbein.
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.”
— Carie Hughes
* Art/Illustration by Justin Gammon – ’cause I just love his work!!!
On Sunday, October 28th – just a few short days away, Dead Votes Society will be shooting the final location footage for our lil’ zombie movie. We’re nailing down a few details and could still use some help! So if anybody in the Prescott, AZ area would like the chance to work in front of or behind the camera, now is the time to speak up! We could use a few more Extras to play Press/Reporters, and 2 or 3 folks to work on the tech side (grips).
And you know what? Making a movie is FUN! Yes, there’s plenty of work to do, but ask anybody who’s been on set with us and they will tell you that we know how to have a good time while gettin’ the job done. So last chance, people. If you want in on the fun, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!
I DO believe in zombies!!! I do, I do, I DO!
*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.
Viva los Zombies!
*Aaron Boe and Lex Althoff. Photo by Chad Castigliano.
Dead Votes Society has officially passed the 3/4 mark in principal photography. It was a full weekend, starting off with a news desk location on Saturday, and ending with the goriest shoot of the movie on Sunday.
Joanne Robertson and Parker Anderson did an incredible job as our morning news show hosts. More than one crew member on the shoot turned to me and said, “Oh my god, that was perfect casting!” And they were right. This pair of local actors had great timing and chemistry together and were fully believable as their characters. Plus? Super fun and easy to work with. This was the one location that didn’t require SFX makeup, and the shoot zipped along smoothly. We actually got out early!
Sunday was a different story. We were all tired from the previous day’s shoot, it turned out that the location’s electrical system wasn’t going to cut it (a huge “THANK YOU!” to Forrest‘s dad for letting us borrow a couple of generators), and it took FOREVER to get our zombie actors ready. But, as you can see, they turned Aaron and Lex into great looking zombies and we finally started shooting around 1:30 p.m.
Folks were getting impatient as the set up time dragged on for the “martini shot,” or the last shot of the day. And yet, Carie Hughes, busy freezing on the concrete floor while Production Designer Penelope Davis and her crew prepped the scene with a gallon of stage blood and faux innards and gore, managed to stay professional and patient. After lots of “Wait, you can see fill-in-the-blank,” or “Move your head more that way,” and “More blood over Carie’s shoulder,” it was time to settle and take the damn shot.
And you know what? That final shot was AWESOME! Jaws dropped as the action unfolded. I don’t think anyone (except me, ’cause I know how inventive and detail oriented she is) imagined that Penelope would be able to pull off gore as well as she did SFX makeup. But it looked amazing and it looks even better on screen than it did “in real life.”
When Andrew called out, “It’s a wrap!” we all cheered and started hustling our poor, shivering poll worker actress off that concrete floor (Carie Hughes was as soaked in stage blood and gore as Sissy Spacek in “Carrie”), while the crew broke down the lights and sound gear in record time.
From start to finish, a great movie-making weekend!
*Andrew Johnson-Schmit, Parker Anderson and Joanne Robertson. Photo by Chad Castigliano.
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!
Behold, an Imported English Zombie Contact Lens.
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. When Lex Althoff’s zombie 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. If Cole 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 and Production 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?!)