Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How to look good knackered


The cinema is booked, the guests invited, and the fat-lady gargling in anticipation of the sweariest of arias.

Despite my naturally ingrained pessimism, it turns out that the 17th November is very much on for Zombie Resurrection’s debutante ball. Three hundred people from the cast, crew, hordes and their significant others, gathered back in Winchester to reacquaint themselves with the zombie apocalypse. It’s going to be an inordinately silly evening, and I can’t wait.

Just under three weeks away. Tick tick tick.

There are still the last few bits and pieces to nail down, but in a break from tradition I am actually allowing myself to feel mildly relaxed; the tricky stuff is now done, and the potential to be unpleasantly surprised by what we have yet to receive is greatly reduced. At the moment that we signed off the last of the CGI shots we allowed ourselves to believe that home and dry was a formality.

Such hubris, Phelps. Surely there must still be plenty of opportunities for it all to go catastrophically tits-up?

Ah – the unknown unknowns. The only constant in the life of a neophyte filmmaker. Those arse-biting moments that come out of nowhere to test the resolve and challenge the best laid plans. All you can do is keep your eyes peeled, breath bated, and double the amount of time that you expect every task to take. It’s going to be an interesting three weeks.

But until we get told otherwise, we get to enjoy that rarest of sensations – quiet confidence.

In fact, the mood in Charmed Central is currently so unflappable that we’ve turned our attention to that other outstanding body of work… the making-of documentary for the DVD.

Regular readers may remember the extraordinary aggravation that we had at the start of the process – digitising 21 hours of behind-the-scenes footage, and then struggling to find the most sensible way of getting them so they played OK on a PC. It was an unwelcome distraction from our efforts to get the movie finished, but one that I’m glad we persisted through. Because last week the finished cut of the making-of documentary arrived in our in-boxes from the mighty Chris Marley, complete with intercut footage from the film, actors giving earnest interviews while caked in honey-blood, and some wholly awful chat from Jake and me holding the whole thing together.

And it’s terrific. Terrific in the way that only something that doesn’t have Jake’s and my fingerprints all over it can be.

All those moments from the shoot that I’d forgotten: Danny sitting on a balsa chair and instantaneously turning it to kindling; Shaun-the-boom-op getting wrapped across the back with another stunt chair to celebrate his birthday; Jade losing it mid-interview when a naked pair of buttocks appeared at the back of her shot; our lovely horde getting painted and gored up; and long sections of various crew members sat around waiting for everybody else to get on with it. One quick re-working from the ever-dependable Dale-the-tunes to lay an authentic Zombie Resurrection musical vibe over the top and we are in business.

And, after watching it back, I genuinely have no idea how we managed to get a bloody film shot at the same time.

But shoot one we did; better get those RSVPs in for the 17th November if you don’t believe me. Unwinding.

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