Tuesday, 11 October 2011


We were way too gentle with our stunt zombies.

Life in the edit suite continues along the way of the tortoise, albeit one that also needs to pull over for a kip once in a while. This is not a quick process, but the fruits of our labours are ripe and bountiful. Eventually.

But over the last couple of days a whole new editing challenge has reared its ugly. One that I’ve not had to work around before.

Sure, we are continually faced with the standard editing problems – eye-lines, matching arm and head positions between shots, wishing we had slightly more coverage, etc. And now we welcome the editing spectre of “flexible props” to our manifest.

When we were sorting out our stunt props before the shoot, Jake and I may have been a little over-careful in ensuring minimal levels of pain for our hero zombies. We ended up getting fake bludgeoning tools made that were guaranteed not to leave anyone with a head-ache; no one except us, anyway.

We are currently editing the party’s encounter with their first nasty ripe zombie – fast, strong and scary. We cast a body-builder called Lee in the role, who was an absolute pleasure to work with. Lee is big, broadminded, practices some flavour of martial art, and is chewing over a possible future as a stunt man. Not the kind of guy that would insist we play gently; in fact, he spent most of the evening egging on the cast and amping the impact up himself.

And it was in the fevered heat of his final take-down by a chrome table-leg that the cracks started showing.

I’ll show you what I mean. Below is Jim Sweeney (on the left) and his chrome table-leg weapon, about to carefully plant it through the brains of trapped zombie Lee. Sure, the leg has a few wrinkles by now, but it is mostly straight, shiny, and when it’s moving through the screen quickly it’s fairly convincing.

And yet two frames later, we end up with this…

Suddenly our scary take-down has become a Vic’n’Bob gag, and our editing options are dramatically limited. And the irony is that Lee would have probably preferred a real table leg anyway.

Still, the magic of Final Cut being what it is we have worked around it, and the whole bludgeoning looks great. Sadly the prop doesn’t look quite as attractive anymore, and it may have tickled its last pate. A new future as a bling buoyancy aid or a pimp-my-hair-scrunchy beckons; if only Jake and I were half as employable. Flaccid.


  1. Haha, a real pole may have looked better... may have left a bruise or two, but it's a price to pay I guess. ;)