Saturday, 11 June 2011

‘Nuff Rhys-pect

And so we reflect back on another week in Charmed central.

If it’s fair to say that a production routine has emerged, this week has been as typical a five days of movie preparation as we’ve had: securing our 1st AD, phone calls to prospective sound recordists and make-up supervisors, organising our camera test, and the second last-minute postponement of the trip to see our local MP at the Houses of Parliament.

I mean, I know the guy’s busy running the country, but come on... I bet he’d turn Michael Winner round quicker than that.

So, with our voting habits still unsullied by the need to re-pay a favour, we started re-casting for the elusive ninth cast member. We did get a chance to audition a fabulous Beaumont as part of our earlier casting activities, but sadly the unwelcome spectre of paid employment intervened.

Yeah – but is it going to be more entertaining than primo zombie mayhem? We all need to justify our choices to grand-children one day.

There’s a lot of love in the Charmed offices for the Beaumont character. 45 years old, quietly heroic, and struggling to bring up a teenage daughter after the apocalypse without compromising on too many of his middle-class values. Jake and I had assumed that this would be one of the easier characters to cast, not least because any self-respecting 45-year-old actor should have grown up on the same diet of classic zombie horror that I had.

So, we’ll see what comes back from the casting call… any thespiatically-inclined gore-hounds in their early forties could do so much worse than clicking here.

And the week finished with a chat with Rhys Davies, Director and Producer of the rather tautologically named Zombie Undead

The movie only came out last month, and was the fruits of two years of shooting in Leicester, fitting it in and around the various players’ day jobs. I haven’t caught up with the movie yet (Jake has rather selfishly called shotgun on the DVD for his own entertainment), but Rhys very generously gave us the up-to-the-minute view from the ramparts regarding no-budget post-production and distribution.

A heads-up from someone that has just gone through exactly the same journey that Jake and I have in front of us is absolutely invaluable. It is safe to say that when Chris Jones railed off the ridiculously long (and expensive) list of deliverables that Distributors and Sales Agents demand at last weekend’s Guerilla Film-Makers Master-class, the wind audibly fell out of the collective sail. And then Rhys goes and tells us that he edited his movie on a £300 laptop.

Zombie Undead is currently HMV’s third best-selling DVD, behind Lady Gaga and Adelle. Kudos, Rhys. There’s a lot of love out there for the genre.

Rather unsportingly, it was the same Leicester that last week ‘fessed up to an extraordinary lack of preparation for the zombie apocalypse. For readers in the environs, Rhys is the man with the plan when it all goes tits-up in town; get him on speed-dial while you still have time. Braced.

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