Thursday, 29 September 2011

On the 6th day...

A couple of bits and pieces of the paper trail from production...

The first day Call Sheet...

A page from the Continuity Log proving that blood has literally been spilled to get this film made...

Finally a tip of the hat to two more of our unsung heroes. The Sound Recordist Paul Brookes - A talented knowledgeable professional but also a wonderful guy to have on set who takes everything in his stride and is never fazed by big challenges. Adam Phillips - A jack of all trades for this production, Adam has done everything from driving to helping with lighting, assistant producing, as well as appearing on camera as a featured zombie.

We're on budget and after today we're on schedule. Producing is mostly fire fighting and you go from deflation to elation and back again numerous times every day. It's a head full of worry alot of the time no matter how prepared you are. It's important to always expect the unexpected. But I wouldn't change it for the world. As challenging as producing a low budget feature with lots of practical effects is, I'm loving this. We have a great team of hard working people who I am able to trust implicitly with the creative side of the project, and it's a joy to have assembled all of this new talent who are truly excelling in this environment.  I can see careers being born before my eyes and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. This is what true filmmaking is really all about.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

4 Days in...

It occurs to me as I try to write these posts that all I am ever going to do is praise people. To the reader that may limit the interest, I suppose dishing dirt is a more interesting read. But I simply can't help but praise every member of our cast and crew. The schedule has been jam packed, mostly 12 hour days,and the commitment to the cause has been outstanding. Everyone has been so willing to throw themselves into the low budget horror film experience, and the footage we're getting is exceeding our expectations. I should highlight Vicki Rodway's work in particular. When a film is released the actors, directors, writers, FX Artists etc get mentioned but no one really talks about the 1st Assistant Director. But Vicki is the best 1st AD we could have possibly wished for. The energy and enthusiasm of Vicki, James Plumb the director and the DoP James Morrissey is the collective heart beat of this project.

Day 3 was pretty grueling due to us shooting so much practical FX. I understand to some extent why people opt for CGI because it saves time, but I feel the extra time and hard work that has gone into the practical FX
will ultimately be worth it because it looks so much more realistic on film. The Make Up team led by Rachael Southcott and Laura Clarke have truly excelled themselves. Watching the dailies it occurred to me that this is going to be quite a gory film! Filming someone having their intestines ripped out by zombies and then breaking for food was a nice twisted delight to end the day on!

Now into Day 4...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Principal Photography: Day 1

The first day of shooting is always a tough one. A new team finding their feet and in our case a new team actually trying to find the location! We have a wonderful main location for the film but it's so isolated that even the locals don't seem to know where it is! The Sat Navs don't recognize the place, and not one of us can get a signal on our phones! Shooting the movie feels like being the characters in the movie, because we really are in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully they have Wi Fi here so we are not totally cut off!

Once everyone found the place and settled in our first day turned into a great success, albeit a very long one at 12 hours.

Our first day involved scenes with Sule Rimi who plays 'Ben'. He had a very physically challenging day and he was absolutely fantastic. Sule was so game to take on big challenges and so willing to go anywhere James Plumb wanted to take him. Not only is his performance spot on but he is a wonderful character to have around set.

Having seen the Make Up tests I knew that FX Artist Rachael Southcott's zombie designs were impressive but seeing them in all their glory on location was a highlight of the first day. You know you've got gruesome looking zombies when a crew of hardened horror movie fans recoil when they see the actors in full Make Up. Our first two zombies of the shoot were Sabrina Dickens and Adam Phillips and I'm so grateful for their patience and enthusiasm throughout the day. The scene they were involved in will be a great "jump" moment in the film.

It was great to see the important relationships between our key cast members gel so instantly. We only had the chance for very minimal rehearsal before shooting so it's a great relief to see them bond on screen and get their characters nailed so quickly.

Our director James Plumb's vision is so clear and it's great to see him in full flow. The strong working relationship he has with our wonderful DoP James Morrissey is producing fantastic footage. It was great to see the dailies and know that every penny of our budget is getting up there on the screen.

All in all, a very satisfying start to our Zombie adventure!

Andrew Jones

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Origin of a Project - The Producer's Perspective

The creative origin of 'Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection' was the first 10 pages of a zombie script I later abandoned. As a lifelong horror fan I've long admired the Romero zombie films and other great genre offerings like 'Return of the Living Dead', so I've always wanted to write a zombie flick. I came up with an idea that had legs but after the first 10 pages I just didn't have the passion to finish it. But the first 10 pages definitely had something worth exploring further.
I've spent the last couple of years associate producing on other people's projects, gaining experience of pursuing finance and also taking on writing commissions. I've missed the buzz of being on location shooting a movie. Having been trying to raise money for bigger budget productions with an international flavour I felt I was moving away from my production company's original intention, which was to produce films in Wales with new and fresh talent. So I made it my priority to get something low budget off the ground, set in Wales utilizing the local talent. It was important to keep the budget to a level where investors were not going to insist upon "name" actors to sell the film, something that is a requirement over a certain budget level. Given the internationally renowned brand name of 'Night of the Living Dead', and it's public domain status, a zombie film using this title would allow me to raise a modest budget quickly and be able to use new talent because the title sells itself. 

So moving forward with this idea I knew I wanted to work with a new young director and give them the same opportunity I had years previously directing a financed feature. I had previously met James Plumb a couple of years earlier and we'd discussed collaborating on other projects. Those collaborations never came to fruition but when it came to this project I didn't even consider any other directors. James has a tremendous ability to get the best out of very limited resources and his innovation and enthusiasm always inspires those he works with. His short films have been progressively more ambitious and he was clearly ready to make his feature film debut.

After James and I met to discuss the script, his terrific ideas inspired me to write a basic first draft in just 5 days. I included the first 10 pages from my previous idea. The first draft had the core structure we discussed, with a reversal of some of the zombie movie conventions and realistic characters at the heart of the story . For me, horror films have often suffered from a lack of engaging characters so I was happy we were addressing that. After writing the first draft I turned the script over to James with the instruction to put his own unique stamp on it. 

I feel the only way you can get the best out of a director is to allow them to run with their personal vision. As long as a director remains within the budgetary constraints, I don't feel a producer should stick their ore into the creative side of things too much. I'm available for creative discussion and feedback but if I hire a director then that means I should have enough faith in them to let them do their job. My job is organizing, liaising and setting up the logistics of the project. I try to get the director what he needs. I think a producer who vomits their ego all over a director and tries to undermine them creatively is sending their project straight into the shitter. Too many cooks ALWAYS spoil the broth. You just have to make sure you are 100% certain you have the right director to begin with. James Plumb is the perfect director to work with because he sees budget constraints as an opportunity for innovation rather than a restriction and he never brings any ego to the collaborative process. In the two subsequent drafts James added socially relevant elements, plus some gory set pieces and scares that the horror fan in me was thrilled with. The script has ultimately evolved into a story that marries elements of the original 1968 Romero classic with more contemporary, and distinctly British, concepts.

Once the script had James' stamp on it I approached Independent Moving Pictures with our business plan. After considering the script, business plan and compiling sales estimates, the finance deal came together within a couple of weeks. The title 'Night of the Living Dead' really does sell itself and being able to produce a film with such sales potential on a modest budget made this the smoothest finance deal I've ever experienced. Our Executive Producer has been truly wonderful in the whole process of setting up the project and I'll forever be grateful for the faith he has shown in us.

When it came to casting, our main cast came together over a few months. We viewed countless showreels and previous Film/TV work of local actors and James and I met with those who impressed us the most. It was so important to find actors who were not only talented and suitable for each role, but who had the right attitude and were willing to work with our modest budget. Low budget film making means a group of people working hard, with their main motive being creative satisfaction and long term career aims rather than short term financial rewards. We've been very fortunate to find a core cast who believe in James' vision and recognize that this project could be something very special. The recent read through confirmed we have a very talented ensemble cast with a great understanding of the material.  

We went through the more traditional audition process with the supporting cast, holding auditions at the Dylan Thomas Theatre in Swansea. We invited new, young actors from across South Wales. The most wonderful part of that process was finding undiscovered talent. There's nothing better than when a youngster with no previous acting experience walks into an audition room and is incredibly natural and compelling. A number of young actors did that at the Swansea audition and it's a great thrill to be able to give them their first feature film experience. For me, it was also wonderful to see James work with the actors. He is a dynamic, natural director and it makes my job so much easier having total confidence in someone to steer the creative ship. After that audition I felt like this is what I got into this business to do.

In terms of crew James and I have been able to draw on people we have previously worked with on other projects, and we have some extraordinary talent behind the camera who will all play a massive role in getting this story from page to screen.

Going into shooting, I take great inspiration from the original 'Night of the Living Dead'. A group of young filmmakers with limited resources but bags of ambition and talent producing a film that went onto launch many careers. I also look at Wes Craven's 1977 cult classic 'The Hills Have Eyes' and see some comparisons to our project- taking a talented hard working group of people into an isolated location, on a low budget, but with the ambition to produce something unique and effective.

If we put as much heart and passion into 'Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection' as they did on those projects then we can't go far wrong. And why not allow ourselves to dream of just a tiny bit of their success? With talent and hard work, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible.

Shooting begins in 4 days.


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Cast Read Through

Stills, taken by Vicki Rodway, of some of the main cast attending a final table read with director James Plumb, 7 days before filming...

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Our main cast have all now signed on for the film. Here they are...


Cardiff based actor with various notable Film and TV credits that include 'Starter for 10', 'Daddy's Girl', 'Mr Nice', 'Casualty', 'Crash', 'Panic Button' and 'Elfie Hopkins', working with the likes of James McAvoy, Rhys Ifans and Ray Winstone.


Monmouthshire based actor,writer and artistic director with an unconventional CV that includes Movies, TV, Shakespeare, Punchdrunk,Cabaret,Corporate Entertainment, the Orient Expess and slang lexicography. Notable film and TV credits include 'Credo', 'The Real Doctor Frankenstein' and 'A Bit of Tom Jones?'.


Cardiff based actress, singer and holistic therapist who speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French and some Italian! Notable film credits include 'The Stranger', 'The Ties That Bind' and 'The Vault'.

LEE BANE - "Kevin"

Cardiff based actor whose notable TV and film credits include the BBC drama 'Belonging' alongside Eve Myles, 'Doctors' and 'Girl Abducted'.


Cardiff based actress whose notable TV and film credits include 'Pobol -Y-Cwm', 'Living with the Dead' and 'Secrecy'.


Pontypool based actor whose notable credits include 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince', 'Dr Who' and 'Jack Whitehall Investigates'.


Bridgend based young actor who will be making his feature film debut in 'Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection' after 2 years spent at Bridgend College studying the Performing Arts.


Young actress based in the Vale of Glamorgan. Previous film credits include 'Running Pains' and 'Final Girl', which was written and directed by 'Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection' helmer James Plumb.

Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection - Production Blog

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION is a co-production between North Bank Entertainment and Mad Science Films, backed by Independent Moving Pictures. The film will be directed by James Plumb from a script he wrote with Andrew Jones, who is also producing. Principal Photography begins on September 24th until October 16th, on location in South Wales in the UK.

This Blog will be used during all stages of production to provide updates on the film, including casting information and production stills.