A year in the life of a supporting actor

In 2011 i started to act as a supporting actor in the film Cockneys vs zombies,it was only meant to be a one off.
But i got the bug and carried on while waiting to go to India to marry my wife.
I done a further four films and enjoyed it so much that when i return to uk next year i will carry on.
This is the story of those five films and pictures to go with them.
(Please note that the pictures that go with this did not upload,i guess movellas doesnt do that)

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1. Chapter one

A Year in the Life of a Supporting Actor

 

Chapter one

How to start, well at the beginning is good, I am an English man from a small town called Sutton in surrey. I have always been a movie fan, mainly horror movies and of course zombies being my all time favourite.

I have a large collection of zombie movies around 60 in all, so when I read in the national paper about a new zombie movie is made I was interested, it had a picture of Michelle Ryan and was called cockneys vs. zombies.

A week went by and it went out of my mind until I opened the local paper that following weekend and there in front of my eyes was an advert asking for people from Sutton to be extra’s in the new movie cockneys vs. zombies. I can tell you I put my application in right away.

A couple of days later I got a reply asking me to turn up on the 25th April 2011 to play a zombie, I was over the moon, I never thought this would lead me on a path of a supporting actor, I was in the mind that this would be a one off, my chance to play a zombie.

I was told to wear old clothes as there would be a lot of blood put over me when I was going to be made into a zombie, the start time was 6am and the location was only a 25 minute walk for me at the top of Sutton.

Lucky for me I had a day off work this day, I was working in a big supermarket as a fish monger, a job I enjoyed as much as cutting the fish etc. but I hated working in a supermarket, the people just got on my nerves. But as I was waiting for my visa to go back to India I had no choice but to work part time to earn some money.

My fiancé Carmel was waiting for me in India, she is a school teacher and we were to be married as soon as possible.

The day arrived and I set off not at all sure what I was going to find, I had never been on a film set, well once at a party in a film studio’s we went on the set of judge dread, that was fun seeing the huge future world of dread.

As I got close to the park, Overton park I had played football there in the past, I played for 2 football teams but that’s another story.

I noticed on the lamp post’s there were signs, with c vs. z and these lead all the way into the park. As I walked into the park it was like wow, there were lots of cars parked in one corner and camper trailer’s and a snack caravan, even at this early hour I could see lots of people standing around, I headed to meet them.   This picture is of the camper trailers as I entered the park

I joined the people standing around and started talking to 2 guys, small talk about what we did and how we were looking forward to the acting work, I saw one man and he was already made up, it looked great, a zombie in our mist ha-ha.

First thing the producer called out our names, then we were put onto the zombie coordinator, he put on a video and we watched, the video showed how to walk like a zombie and act, zombies are drawn to noise and they walk one way, if a chair is in the way they walk into it not around it.

After the video the coordinator got us onto the field behind the camper trailers, 5 at a time and put us through the motions.

I had to walk slow forwards, moaning, and then pretending to hear a noise, I had to slow turn round and head towards the noise.

Then I waited for a bit and then was picked out for make up, time was running short and the director wanted the zombie’s made up as soon as possible. I sat in the chair and the girl started to make me up, putting white powder all over my face and black powder round the eyes, then she worked on a head wound, boy when I saw that it looked so real.

Then I was made to stand up, while she put blood all down my blue shirt and on my black trouser’s,on my shoes and then lots in my beard, ‘I love men with beards’, she said makes it look as much better with lots of blood.

 

This picture of me straight after make up.

The two men i where talking to said the head wound looked unreal, the wound looked so cool, it was a hot day but I had chosen to wear my black leather coat, so that was covered in blood and I had to wear it the full day, heat or no heat.

Close up of my head wound.

Then I was told I was needed on set, so a man drove me by car to the disused old people’s nursing home, where the scene’s where to take place.

I arrived and he went off to pick up more zombies, there was no one about so I walked to the entrance and walked on in.

There were about 6 of us and we were told to wait in the corridor, the cameras where getting ready, we were told we would walk towards the camera, then turn a corner and then start banging on a closed door.

First we walked in a group towards the camera, never looking at the camera, a big no in the movies. After a couple of takes, the director was happy then it was the scene turning into the door.

This scene took a bit longer as the zombies kept banging the camera as we turned and I admit I did it once, just brushed past it but we were told that the slightest knock will ruin the take.

So after a good few times, we did it at last, no one knocked the camera and we were filmed from behind walking towards the door.

The man I saw first made up when I arrived in the morning, he was called Alan and I would meet him again later on another movie set.

This time the door was open and the camera was facing us, we had to pretend that the door was still shut, so the camera could get a shot of the zombie’s banging on the door.

This was great fun, as we surrounded the door, reaching out with our hands to try and bang the door, after a few take’s the director was really pleased with the shot and he showed us all the shot on the video play back, I have to admit it looked great.

My 2 friends were in another shot round the back of the old nursing home, so when director said that was it for that shot I meet up with them round the back.

The entire zombie’s sat on the grass and we watched a roof top scene, with Michelle Ryan coming out of a window and being joined by another of her crew, then he looked at us zombies and said that one needs a chiropractor. Then they go into a roof top hole and we could hear Alan ford talking, he nearly blows the guy’s head off. He said come on darling to Michelle Ryan.

That scene went on and on, it must have lasted an hour before the director was pleased, mean while we had our picture’s taken by a member of the film crew, for film extra’s ,she told us, so maybe in the digital video disc ha-ha.

Coffee and tea id free through out the day and me and some of the other’s decided to have a coffee, the scene was still being played out by this time and it was a good chance to get some photo’s

Me having a coffee break

I decided it was a good time to take pictures of my fellow zombies; most of the guy’s were enjoying a cigarette.

Break time, Alan is on the far right.

There where even a married couple on the set as zombies.

Don’t they make a great couple?

We went back and after a while of soaking up the sun, we were told to go back to the park for lunch. The lunch was not bad at all. I had the burger and chips and of course a coffee, I love drinking coffee as my wife will tell you, rob that’s such a bad habit, oh well we live to enjoy I guess.

Lunch time for zombie’s

Standing around waiting to be called back on set, I took some pictures of me and the two men I meet first in the morning.

That was a tough fight rocky

Now this man looks like a zombie

There was a great picture I missed of some of the zombie’s eating there lunch sitting at a table, now I wish I had got that one.

After lunch it was a walk back to the nursing home, the scene was inside the large kitchen, while the main actors done there bit inside, we the zombie’s did our bit outside. We had to put our hands on the window panes and run them up and down, as if we where trying to get in.

One of the prop girls kept putting fake blood on my hands, when it dried more was applied. The actor’s mainly Alan ford, telling them he was fed up of the zombie so and so and lets get tooled up and get these mother’s.

The amount of times I heard the line’s again and again, as it was take after take, this went on for a good two hours, by the end I just wanted to go home to tell you the truth, it was hard work.

Finally the director cry’s out, ‘that’s a wrap every one’, some of the zombie’s cried out in joy; it was a rough second half of the shoot for us zombie’s. But over all what a day, to see how the film industry works, the camera angles, the lighting. Also I meet Alan ford who was very nice and I said hello to Michelle Ryan. A great day and one I won’t forget.

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