October 14, 2012

The making of a book trailer: live blog

Final Update - 8:00 p.m.

I'm exhausted. I'd have posted sooner, but as soon as we were done filming I went right back to being a mom, instead of a zombie mom. I hadn't seen Zoe all day, and there were dogs who needed attention, cars to be played with, and action figures to be dressed.  Also, pizza and salad to be eaten...mmm...pizza.

I've had a pretty amazing time, being a zombie. My throat is sore from all the hissing and growling. I'm not exactly an award winning actor, mind you, but I think I did ok.

The other members of our cast were pretty incredible. My zombie husband could out-growl any of those zombies on The Walking Dead (which premiers tonight!!!!! can't wait!!!). There were three small zombie-girls who did amazing things...once they stopped giggling. Our makeup artist zombiefied herself at the end, and I think the footage of her gnawing on my father's arm in the final scene is...priceless.

Oh - and the kids playing Jenna and Michael, two of my main characters? Perfect. It was so great to see them come to life.

Seriously, so many people gave up their Sunday to work on the trailer for my little book - it's hard to believe.

Charlie, our producer/director/cinematographer. Holy cow, how am I ever going to thank him? This was all HIS IDEA! I always figured...book trailer? Meh. Nice to have, but I thought I'd have to do without one. Now I'm going to have an amazingly bloody, zombie-filled one. Incredible.

His wife, Kelly, who fed us all and gave up her house to mass chaos for two full days. Wow.

My Charles. He took TONS of photos - expect an album to be posted soon - and was an all-around assistant and cheerleader for the full day. He was there in the woods with us, in the kitchen, at my parents' house when we did a shot with ALL the zombies. Seriously, he was great.

And finally. But so not finally. There was my dad. Who taught me to love horror by showing me Frankenstein and Dracula when I was so small I internalized the imagery and ideas. Who was so excited to come be a zombie today that I asked for him to play the part of "Zombie Getting Whacked By Louisville Slugger," even though I wasn't sure how he'd handle the role. And who...apparently...SHOULD have been an actor in this life of ours. Who knew? Dude. To see one's 50-something-year-old father flopping to the ground with RECKLESS ABANDON while made up to look like a zombie? It's sort of a crazy thing. But an AMAZING crazy thing. And I think, by being zombies in this little production together, we both checked off a big item from our lifetime checklist. Being in this trailer with him was maybe the best part about it...but don't tell him that....we don't want him to get a big head or know that I think he's great, ok?

Here's a pic of us as zombies, looking scary. There's one of us smiling, too.  I'll post that one later.

Does it get any cooler than that?

It was a great day. I'm so thankful for the friends I have, the friends I made, and for my amazing family.

Thanks, y'all!!!

2:07 p.m.

Just did some crazy shots in the woods.

Horror writers should NOT be afraid of things...but I am TERRIFIED of ticks.

I swear, if there's a tick on me, there will be tears.

My face is getting itchy, and I'm ready to wash it. But there's still one more scene to film. On to my parents' house to get some residential shots!!

And seriously - this has been a crazy fun day.

12:35 p.m.

We're done filming my zombie mom scenes. I think I have a sore throat from all the snarling.

Another thing I've learned: I might be too silly to be a good zombie.

I'm staying in my makeup so I can be a zombie again later...and now my dad's getting into makeup for his big scene. This is fabulous.

Oh - and fake blood down the shirt? A rather unpleasant sensation.

11:15 a.m.

I'm sitting on a chair, blogging. Trying not to get fake blood everywhere, because that would just be rude.

Charlie's daughter is a little afraid of me, but not overly so. Gah! If Zoe were here, she'd be running for the hills.

It took about 25 minutes to get me made-up, but I think we have some final touches. Fake blood tastes pretty nasty, and it's slimy, but here's the semi-finished product. I look unwell.

First Update - 7:28 a.m.

It's early and, thanks to some loud neighbors and a coughing child, I'm already sleeeeeeepy. But today is going to be so amazing, I'm still bouncy.

We have scones to eat, thanks to my friend Meredith, who will be with us in spirit today. I got some great Facebook and Twitter comments regarding my post about filming today. And apparently I need to convince Charlie to incorporate PIE into the footage. Hmm....we'll have to see about that one.

Time to make the kiddo some breakfast and get us all showered and dressed for the BIG DAY!

About Today

Today's a big day.

Today's the day we film my first ever book trailer!

We're forgoing subtle on this one; we're going straight for the blood, guts and gore of a straight-up zombie flick, and it's going to be fabulous.

I plan to blog throughout the day, and thought I'd start with some logistics.

  • First, this trailer is only possible thanks to the kindness of friends. It's being filmed by the fantabulous Charlie Thiel - check out his photography site when you have a sec (Incidentally, his wife's also an artist, and is also amazing. Look at her sculptures, too!). The cast/crew is mostly made of actors from the PURE Theater of Charleston. They're an awesome crew - go see their plays if you're local!
  • We'll be starting early - 10:00 a.m. I'm going to be the Zombie Mom...my father is going to be a zombie extra. I think we're both fulfilling a lifelong dream of being in a horror movie together, and I can't wait to take some pictures! Look for some later.
  • My fantastic husband Charles, also a writer/blogger/photographer in his own right, will be photographing the day.
  • We'll film in and around Johns Island and Folly Beach, South Carolina. Around here, there's woods...beach...swamp. It's beautiful.
  • My mom is keeping Zoe for the day. Thank goodness for moms. Charles and I are lucky in that both our moms are here and always willing to lend a hand.
  • Undead America: Zombie Days, Campfire Nights is currently set to release on Halloween! October 31, 2012. I received my first draft of cover art yesterday - it's amazing. I can't wait to show you!


Nadre said...

When do we get to see the trailer?? Also, can't wait to see the cover! Sounds like an awesome day!

Adriana Ryan said...

Oh WOW, this sounds soooo amazing!!! :D I can't believe you got to be a ZOMBIE!! :D I'm soooo jealous. The fake blood sounds kinda gross and I HATE ticks, too, but still!! ;) Can't wait to see the trailer! Congrats on the upcoming release, fellow Muse sister!

Jocelyn Rish said...

I just smiled the whole way through this post - what an awesome experience! I'm so happy for you. And let me know if there's anything I can do to help with the release!!

Leah said...

Thanks, ladies!! I appreciate the kind words and such! :)

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this post. I went to high school with Charles and saw on facebook his posts about you. So I decided to look you up...you now have a fan!!

and I can't wait to see the trailer and get the book...

leslie pitman flynn

Leah said...

Ohmigosh, thank you SO MUCH!!! :) I totally appreciate it - I think you're my first fan! :)

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