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!