In the second part of his series, zombie wrangler Ray Brown looks back at the making of Stag Night of the Dead. You can read his previous blog post Dawn of the Dead? here.
When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth. At least, that’s what I was hoping. I’m still standing outside the ‘Star Wars’ building at Bentwaters waiting for our zombie supporting artists to arrive.
But before I get to that, lets flashback in time just a little, like they do in those movies that open with a kick-arse action sequence, the hero cornered and almost certain to die. The Nazis/Aliens/Natural disaster closing in and suddenly the title card – ‘Twenty Four hours earlier’…
The last day had seen me drive around 400 miles, load, unload, re-load and get lost in a clapped out old Luton van that we’d hired to transport everything up to RAF Bentwaters. Man, did we overload it! Trying to pull away from a junction took forever. I think my top speed was 40mph.
After finally reaching the base and meeting up with a few more of the crew, we put together the production office, set up the make-up, blue screen and wardrobe room, made sure everyone had something to sleep on and finally treated ourselves to a fish supper. I think I finally hit the hay around 2am, absolutely destroyed.
Coffee, cigarettes and a bucket load of nervousness are the only things keeping me from collapsing as I help the First Unit load their equipment onto that bloody Luton van, ready for an ‘easy first day’s shooting’ that will ‘ease everyone into it before the zombie battle at the weekend’ (I’m sure The Guvnor or The Mascot will have something to say about their Day 1 experiences in the ‘Hush House’.)
‘Build it and they will come’ (yeah, maybe I am overdoing the taglines a bit!) and sure enough they did. All of sudden there’s people everywhere.
The make-up team arrive and get straight to it, churning out our first zombies. Everyone seems to be having a good time. Spirits are high and the excitement (coupled with a few more cigarettes, of course) kicks in making me ready for some hardcore zombie genocide!
Now, I can’t quite remember who was the first person to turn up, or get into make-up? There’s no prize, but maybe someone wants to stake a claim in the comments section below?