Tuesday, 29 March 2011

We buy any carnage.com

A small amount of knackered goes a long way, it seems.

Following up on yesterday's contingency planning exercise, today was all about the question "how do we make a normal building look like there's been an apocalypse"; we may very well need to make a perfectly attractive school look like its been trodden on by the risen dead for fifteen months.

And the answer appears to be "pretty easily". Phew.

So today, Jake and I have been doing that thing that may look to other people like us watching zombie movies for shits and giggles, but which we term as research. Although we all know that what we're doing is mainly watching zombie movies for shits and giggles.

28 Days Later, Mutants and The Walking Dead TV series. Come sell us your vision of the end of the world.

We know it's bad in 28 Days Later from the off. Within two minutes the well-meaning-but-catastrophically-misinformed woman releases the grumpiest monkey; David Schneider has a moment; cue much spurting blood, zombie eyes and antsy chimps. Fade to a blank card saying "28 days later" and then immediately to Cillian Murphy's opening eye. A full month of the zombie holocaust has passed, while Mr Murphy has slept through it in a locked room. Peering out into this desolate world for the first time through the window in his door, he spies the awful wreckage of an abandoned hospital, over-run by the powerful and highly-contagious infected of Westminster.

A gurney is lying on its side…

Honestly. Go watch the film again. That's all they've done to sell the after-party of four weeks of zombie carnage. No blood up the walls, or crackling wires hanging from the ceiling, or broken furniture in disarray. Just a spilled gurney. And we buy it.

So, what else have we learned?
  1. Litter looks lovely. Especially pieces of paper strewn everywhere, for some reason. Add in a few ceiling tiles and discarded bags and you're home.
  2. Nothing says terminal civil breakdown quite like a looted vending machine.
  3. Sticking newspaper to every available window looks awesome, even if you can't logically figure out what purpose it serves. And it saves you from having to break every third one for effect.
  4. For maximum apocalypse, put up an untended missing persons' board, and cover it in children's drawings.
Set dressing 101, and filming at night is also going to buy us some bonus latitude. Who knows – we may not even have to worry about the harder-to-clear-up carnage, like bloody hand-prints on the walls, or zombie-themed graffiti, or perpetual dust mites hanging in the air.

That said, throwing in the odd corpse can’t hurt, can it? Reassured.

1 comment:

  1. Might have some slightly charred bones for you. Happy to hang on to them for the shoot but can
    sprinkle on the roses if not suitable. Just say the word.