It’s 5.30am and I’m woken by the tune from the end credits of ‘Dawn of the Dead‘ (it’s called ‘The Gonk’ by the way) blasting from my mobile phone. I hit the snooze button.
So, today’s the day. It’s the first day of filming at RAF Bentwaters near Ipswich. We’ve spent the last 7 months planning ‘Stag Night of the Dead’, the latest opus from Neil Jones, and today will be the first time that I meet the ‘zombie horde’ that I have been frantically e-mailing for the last few weeks.
As I rub the sleep from my eyes I think about what might motivate a person to come to a decommissioned army base in the middle of nowhere so that they can get covered in latex and blood then shamble around for 12 hours (or so). Is it the allure of seeing their name as it rolls by during the closing credits? Some vein hope that this will be their first step (or stumble) into the realm of Hollywood glitz and glamour? Or is it just something different to do on an Easter Bank holiday weekend?
I don’t know, but I guess that I’ll find out soon enough. And that’s when it hits me. Will anyone actually turn up at all? Will our epic zombie battle be reduced to a minor skirmish at the edge of the frame?
‘The Gonk’ plays again, no rest for the wicked.
The hot water urn is on and heating up, the release forms are neatly stacked next to a pile of pens, the make-up tables are in place (no make-up team though!) and I’ve managed to blag an extra packet of biscuits from the production office. All there is to do now is to wait for the first victim arrival.
Three cigarettes later and Neil bowls out of the production office. “How many have we got?” he asks. I curl my bottom lip upward and shake my head.
“Still, it’s only 06.15 and we did say 07.00”, I say trying to be optimistic. Neil lights his second cigarette of the conversation (well actually, it’s one of my cigarettes – he’s conveniently ‘lost’ his) and marches off.
Mike is next to check on the numbers. Two ‘corporate’ cigarettes later and I’m alone again wondering how many different types of zombies the make-up girls can make me up as (that is, assuming they ever get up!) and if I will have enough ciggies to last me the morning, let alone the whole week!
To be continued…