Last weekend, this Calibamamom became a zombie. Oh I know, motherhood does that to us sometimes. The precious angels we give birth to manage to turn us into sleep-deprived, ravenously hungry, wild-eyed, moaning and groaning monsters. We have all been there, haven’t we?
But I’m serious here, folks.
Thanks to a top-notch team of professionals under the direction of the talented Greg Townsend, and including producers Michael Minkler, Ray Ellingsen, Kim Poirier and Bonnie Hallman, my family was able to be part of what Hollywood is known for…movie- making magic! We shot a book trailer for “100 Days of Death”, the first novel in a trilogy, by author Ray Ellingsen. In the story, a man who has always been a loner finds himself the head of a misfit, surrogate family when society as we know it, devolves after an apocalyptic virus virtually destroys humanity. Good stuff, whether you are a fan of the undead genre, or not. Honestly, I wasn’t until I read it. It’s truly a page-turner.
To be honest, we have been part of film-making before, but not in “zombie fashion”. My husband works in post-production sound, and occasionally, The Girls get the opportunity to do ADR/looping for features. As for me, I also do looping for film and television, and have acted on-screen in several shorts and student projects since moving here 16 years ago. However, this was the very first set all 5 of us were on at the same time. Even more astonishing, there were three generations of Minklers on this project…my hubby, Christian, running sound, his dad Michael producing, and our daughters acting. Hooray for family businesses
The fun began a few weeks ago, when one of my dearest sister-friends, Kim Poirier, asked if my 8 year-old daughter could play a small role–human, not zombie–in the trailer. Although Kim explained how she would be in the scenes with her, the film revolves around the undead, and I asked if it was possible for me to be ‘zombified’ as well, so G wouldn’t be scared. Sure, no problem. A few weeks later, she asked me to play a naked, very much alive, hippie…in another scene. Seriously, she did ask, but in the end, I was one of the Infected, who met my demise at the hands of the leading man, firing an M-4 assault rifle at my head. Now I can add “does her own stunts” to my resume. Good times, people. My 12 and 6 year-old daughters got in on the action too, being morphed into zombie children by the phenomenal make-up team of Christina Rodriguez and Brenna Deutscher. As you will see in the photos below, their work is beyond stellar. E and T’s close-up shot involved them…well…I better not spoil it. You’ll just have to wait and see the trailer!
Needless to say, we all had a fantastic time, and I am certain The Girls will never be scared of movie monsters, haunted houses, “ghost” reality shows or Halloween costumes for the rest of their lives. They know it’s all make-up, costumes, smoke and mirrors now. So it was an educational experience. Okay, that’s a stretch. On the upside, each one of them is now smitten with a different facet of movie-making. The Oldest Girl hovered over the make-up team, soaked it all in, picked up a few tricks, and was presented with her very own special FX kit at the wrap party, compliments of my mother-in-law, Heidi Myers. The Middle Girl tried to insert herself into every scene, and was overheard saying “I really like doing this,” to the director as she hung close behind him during the entire two-day shoot. The Youngest Girl was bitten by the performance bug long ago, when The Oldest started dressing her up and filming her lip-syncing and dancing to some of today’s greatest hits. So she felt perfectly comfortable on set, taking direction like a pro. As a matter of fact, they all did. To say that I am one proud Calibamamom is an understatement. Besides, how cool is it that when school resumes in the Fall, they can all answer the question “What did you do this summer?” with the statement, “Filmed a zombie movie”? Of course, the chances of me ever being elected PTA president would be dashed to smithereens at that point. I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment
Anyway, below are a few production stills shot by Kevin Kenney, for your enjoyment. If you would like more information about Moving Pictures Media Group or their projects in development, click here. In addition, please visit the “100 Days of Death” Facebook page for information as well, or to “like” it and share with your friends!