Running for our lives, I mean the camera

Posted on October 1, 2011

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A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbury Park NJ...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve always enjoyed zombies and zombie stories but didn’t really get into them hardcore till just recently. I have my boyfriend to thank for that. Watching zombie flicks is just a normal evening for us. So when I got a text from him last week telling me to email someone ASAP about being an extra for a commercial during the Walking Dead, I was like HELL YEAH!

His text to me was very vague and basically only told me the email address and that it had something to do with the Walking Dead on AMC. Thankfully I’ve upgraded to an android phone and had that email sent within seconds of receiving his text. I wasn’t sure what to include though. Did I want to sell myself so they would pick me or what? So obviously I name dropped! I haven’t done a lot of stuff, but I did have an impressive name under my belt. So I dropped the biggest name I could from my very limited list of experience (and I wouldn’t even call it experience, just sheer dumb luck and a great friend by the name of Denise). Yep, I dropped the name ANTHONY ZUIKER in my email to them. Little did I know, it didn’t matter because they wanted lots of zombies for this shoot and if you emailed them, you were IN.

A few days later I got my email telling me the date and time and approximate location of where the shoot would be. My next mission was to make sure that I had plans for my children for the day. My two youngest went with their grandmother but my oldest came along with me. I wasn’t sure how she would react to this, but I told her what we would be doing and she seemed excited.

Saturday night we decided to get everything together so we could just wake up and GO because it was going to be a two hour drive to the location. Needless to say, we were a bit excited so sleep didn’t come very easily. A few hours after falling asleep the alarm goes off at 5:15am and by 6:00am we are OUT THE DOOR and on the road. It was a fairly straight shot to where we were headed in Maryland, and we ended up getting there just around 8:00am.

When we got to the park, we decided to change (in the car) into what we were going to wear. Erika had this gray track suit and I had a white button down shirt and jeans. We walked to where the rest of the zombies were and signed all the paperwork that was needed and sat…. we did a lot of sitting! It takes a LONG TIME to get roughly 80-90 zombies ready for a commercial.

After wardrobe we got in line to get bloodied up and “zombified”! We met some really nice people along the way. My daughter insisted that I go before her, so as soon as a chair opened up I got up there. My makeup artist was Jessica Wagner. She did a fantastic job on me as well as on Erika. Then we played the waiting game. shoot. While we were waiting we had someone come around looking at our wardrobe to make sure it was okay and how farwe wanted to go… meaning “how much do you want to mess this up??” We went down with all intentions of just being completely crazy and dirty and bloody and ripped up so we went all out. It turned out they didn’t want me in too much white so I also got a shirt from them to wear over my white shirt. It was a lovely zebra print shirt that was probably two sizes too big for me but it worked.

A few hours later we met the director, Brian Chilcoat and got all the info we needed to be great zombies, including where we would be shooting and how we were to act. A few minutes later we are walking to the location which was sort of like a clearing in the woods. It was all downhill and had stacks of hay across it. I can’t go into too much detail here but it went as most of you would imagine it…. “ROLLING”… “ACTION”…. run down the hill after Kevin Chilcoat… “CUT”… go back up the hill and re-set. Over and over again. I’m not complaining though, I’ve done it before and I absolutely LOVE being on the set and watching the process of it all. I know I’ve said that before in a post during my trip to LA or at least something very similar.

At this time, we are going on 8 hours of being on the set and working on the last shots of the day. The last shot was all the zombies running down the hill. Well we did such a good job at being zombies that the last shot was when we had our first injury. Thank god for EMT zombies being on the set. I was told to go get a med bag so I was off and running back up the hill, down the road, to the Jeep then back to the wounded zombie. (Not one of my brightest ideas to run down the hill when I knew I had physical therapy the next morning, which is a whole other story). I’m happy to report that the wounded zombie is doing well and has her updated booster shots and should be healed in time for the 5k October 22, 2011

Kevin Chilcoat w/ the wounded zombie, Holly

While I was running up the hill, Brian asked for 10 to 15 of the extras to stick around and help with some close-up shots of them running. We were going to stick around for this but they stared without me while I was running for the med bag, but my daughter got to be in it. I’m so proud of her for being such a great zombie extra. I hope to see some great shots of her in the commercial. So keep your eyes open for us on October 16, 2011 on AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Also, don’t forget about the Run For Your Lives 5k coming October 22, 2011 with many more 5k’s coming in the future. This commercial was filmed specifically for this race and it looks like it is going to be a LOT of fun.

I have so many different pictures from the day and would LOVE to include them ALL in this post but that would just be too much so below you can see a few more pictures that I love.  A few of the photos are from NormaBee Photography (they are watermarked)

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