Well. I can now say that I have been immortalized on film. Not just any film, but a film that is to be distributed internationally. Admittedly, I will probably only be visible for about thirty seconds, and also I will be totally unrecognizable. However, I can truthfully state—I am in pictures!!!!!
My first call was this week, and I had no idea what to expect. All I was told was to bring a folding chair and stuff to keep me busy. So. Once I found the base camp, I checked in and did the paperwork, and my wrangler told me where to go. First, off to wardrobe. I wore my own paint jeans and shoes and they supplied a shirt to go with. They noted that I already had blood on my jeans (I had recently finished painting my garage barn red–that’s my story and I am sticking to it) and were grateful. I could tell.
Then, off to makeup. My, my. Sprayed, painted, dusted, you name it, I got it. It took my makeup artist about a half hour to zombie me, and everyone agreed I looked smashing. I hesitate to say it was an improvement over the reality, but it was definitely different. Let’s just say the zombie colors brought out the blue in my eyes. Wowser.
Then. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait some more. Lunch. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Action! Reset. Seven times for one shot. You will see me–I am the third Z in. So, seven resets. Wait, wait, wait. I took advantage of the wait to do a round of tai chi outside the holding pen. One of the crew walked by as I was finishing the round and said it was pretty awesome to see a zombie doing tai chi! Then, wait, wait, wait, action! More action! OMG, more action! Unfortunately, when I am having a great time I tend to want to laugh. So, I was the zombie who was cracking up. I think my back was to the camera. If not, I suppose they will have to cut me. Oh, sadness! The zombie behind me was pretty well scrunched up against me and had his hand on my back to maintain the proprieties. I was laughing so hard! When they yelled “cut”, he asked if I was all right. Guess he thought I was crying. By the time they finally yelled “wrap”, I was probably the zombie they thought had got hold of some mary jane (no, not me). But I have to tell you, that first day was hilarious and wonderful and I loved every second from “rolling” to “action” to “cut”, and even to “reset”, “reset”, all the way through to “wrap it”.
OK, then they asked me to come back after a day off! Oh joy! This was an early call, and while those of you who know me are aware that alarms are alarming to me, I was ready for this one! Off I went. Wardrobe (same shirt). Makeup. One of the artists said she had heard I was doing zombie tai chi and she wanted to join me for a round or two. (How did she know it was me?) I had a new makeup guy, and I was his first zombie, so he did me up really spectacularly. As soon as we had enough zombies ready to go, we were bussed to the shoot and herded into a large room to, guess what? wait. Wait more. Action! Run, run, run. Reset. Reset. Reset. More action. And on and on all day and until the light was gone. No tai chi today because they did not want us to go outside. But the action was exercise enough. It was another absolutely wonderful day on the set.
I can’t say much in detail because they asked us not to. What I can say is that I have a new appreciation of people who make movies. They are fun, friendly, very good at what they do, be it wrangling zombie extras, applying makeup, or getting newbies to understand what they want us to do in any given scene, and care deeply about doing things right.
As for me. I was not the best zombie by far. But I may have been the zombie who most enjoyed it all. My glare and my growl and my zombie gait improved with repetition. The hardest part was to remember to growl and bare my bloody teeth in a dangerous hungry scowl, when what I really wanted to do each and every moment was to grin and laugh and jump up and down in pure ecstasy.
Rolling! Action! Cut! Reset! Rolling! Action! Cut! Reset! Wrap.