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Guest Blog : A feature film with £0 budget!

After gaining so much experience from making ‘Ay up me duck of the Dead’, a short film that was shot in Nottingham, it made sense to take things a step further. I guess you could say it was a massive step further as we’ve now decided to make a feature length film called ‘Zombie Hood’.

While the first film we made was created by people from the computer games industry, a full length film requires a larger pool of talent, but in the East Midlands, there is talent in abundance. This time, we’ve formed a production team that’s made up of people from all over the East Midlands and while the majority of them have limited experience in the film industry, once again we’ve gone for raw talent and enthusiasm.

So where do you start and how do find the people to form a production team, bearing in mind that the film has a budget of £0 and an 18 month commitment? Strangely enough, it really isn’t that hard. There are so many people who want to work in film, either to gain experience or just because they want to try something new, so putting the team together took about 2 weeks. It’s not much different when you’re looking for actors. We simply put an advertisement out on a talent website and received 130 applications for auditions, which have now been whittled down to about 30. The only thing that really amazes me is that we had acting applications from people from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, when we made it perfectly clear that no wages or expenses would be paid. The criteria clearly stated that we required local actors who could commit to up to 18 months without pay, but this failed to put off many aspiring actors from far and wide! I can only assume that they’re either desperate to get their names in the credits or they simply love zombie movies? Anyway, the auditions are due to take place in Nottingham during September, so It’ll be interesting to see how many potentials turn up on the day.

With the script for the film completed some time ago, we’re currently in the process of location hunting in the local area. We require a night club for one of the major scenes, but this doesn’t appear to be a problem as all of the clubs we’ve approached so far have been more than happy to let us use their premises for free!

We’ve also set up a ‘Zombie’ production team who will direct, design and manage the zombie hoard throughout the film. Part of the plan is to keep the undead away from the actors until we actually film their scenes.  We’ve hoping this will create a true feeling of fear, especially as the make up and effects team have already come up with a great new look for the zombies.

We expect to start shooting the first scenes towards the end of 2010, with a production schedule that will take us into early 2012. There’s still time to get involved in this project, either as part of the production team or as a lead or support actor. We’ll also be looking for zombies soon, so keep an eye on the website for more details.