August 2013: The Dead Mile Stories
Ashley Godick (Angelac Studio) put out a call on Facebook for zombie extras. She was running key makeup for the first episode of a web short series called The Dead Mile Stories, a supplement to K.J. Kleefield's 2012 The Dead Mile. I volunteered to shamble and Chris came along to observe.
We met makeup artist Kesar LaCroix, zombie extra Nadine Duhamel, actual actor Joel Seth, and a lot of other really cool people at the 6 AM makeup call.
After getting expertly made up by one of the talented artists on Ashley's team, we drove out to Nose Hill Park. K.J.'s adorable mom appeared with snacks, including homemade banana bread.
To build on the completed zombie makeup and to make us look a little more rotten, all the extras were coated in a spray of instant coffee. At first it smelled kind of nice. By the end of the day, I never wanted to smell instant coffee ever again.
Once the scenes featuring just the living humans were complete and they were ready to shoot the zombies, we took a little hike to the location at the top of the hill. While each zombie kill was filmed, all zombies not being killed had to quietly wait in the woods for their turn, far away from the camera and mike. Chris was handling the bounce so he got to see a lot more of the action than I did, and he wasn't even in the movie.
Due to unexpected wasp nests and occasional cyclists and joggers ("Whatcha doing? Oh, you're making a movie? Oh, neat! What? I'm in the way? Oh. Ok. Sorry." Repeat every 10 minutes) I didn't shoot my death until about 2 PM. I get my great moment in the film when I zombie-wander out of the woods behind Sasha, who whirls and slices me across the stomach with a samurai sword. I collapsed onto the gravel path about a dozen times before K.J. was happy with the take. Totally worth it.