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I made a realistic prop gun using a water gun

Prop Gun Before 2011

Prop Gun After 2011

Through the Frugal Filmmaker http://filmflap.blogspot.com/ I found this guy KnopTop who has a Quick FX YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Knoptop. He posted this video for making a plastic gun look like old metal. All you need is black spray paint and metallic spray paint. I think his guns look better than mine, but I still thought it was pretty cool. You can check out the tutorial below:

I created a storyboard for the first part of the movie & wrote a new synopsis

Hi folks,

so the new synopsis for the movie is: the lone survivor of the human race looks for shelter in a zombie infested wasteland.

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I found my next shooting location in Nevada

I’m beginning the next phase of the film. I’m shooting in a new state, I’ve given up on California. I’m also drastically reworking the story of the film. In the past few weeks I saw The Naked Prey starring and directed by Cornel Wilde. It takes place in the 19th century in Africa and Cornel Wilde is a guide for some white men who have come to Africa to hunt elephants for their ivory. The ivory traders offend the natives and end up being captured and killed in very creative ways. The natives have some respect for Cornel Wilde, so they strip him of all weapons and clothing and give him a chance to run away. They give him a 5 minute lead, and after that lead time, they chase after him. It has a very simple plot that I love and I would like to do something similar with zombies. For the new direction my movie is going in, there will be no group of survivors or ex military people, which is something I’ve noticed turning up in a lot of zombie films anyway. I’m going to have one lead character trying to survive in a kill or be killed environment.

I went location scouting last Saturday. Below are some pics of locations I will try to work into the script.

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Lost My Location & the Cast & the Crew Almost Got Arrested

I had two filming dates scheduled, the first on Saturday January 9th and the second on Saturday January 16th. After a 6am call time, on Saturday January 9th, the actors playing zombies were in makeup for 4 hours. After about 10 am I began driving the actors to a small secluded field around the corner from my Mom’s house. I could only fit 3 people in my car at a time and I made 5 trips. It took about 15 minutes. After I dropped everyone off I began walking to the filming location with my camera, storyboard and bounce card. And that is as far as I got. There was a police helicopter hovering over us with a cop screaming into a loud speaker. We were instructed to lie down on the ground and put our hands on our heads. As we waited about 4 or 5 cop cars drove up and the police got out and drew their guns.

One by one, we were instructed to walk backwards with our hands on our heads. One by one we were handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car. After about 45 minutes, while the cops inspected the water guns I was using as props and talked to each of us, we were let go with a warning and told to leave. It was truly a horrible experience. Some neighbor saw us and called the cops saying we had guns. I say bullshit. There were a dozen actors in full zombie makeup, a camera, and a couple of makeup artists. It was obvious we were making a movie and some wannabe piece of shit decided to ruin it. Even the cops scared us and wasted our time for no reason. It was obvious we were making a movie. All they had to do was tell us to leave.

Anyway, the very next day, Sunday, I drove to a friend’s house in San Bernardino. It was about a 90 minute drive from the Hollywood area where I live. I thought I could film here instead and began making plans for Saturday January 16th. Then a day before the shoot, I get a text message from the makeup artist saying she and her assistants are going to cancel. The makeup artist was not happy about almost getting arrested and I’m pretty sure that’s why she quit. Unfortunately by the time I found out it was too late to find a replacement.

I’m pretty much starting all over again and though I have barely shot anything, this film is already a big pain in the ass. I go to school and work a part time job. I had a month off after fall semester and was hoping to shoot some scenes for the film and get it going. I didn’t get to film anything and I lost some money buying supplies, paying for the makeup artist, getting wardrobe for the zombies, and preparing for two film dates that got botched. The first part of the film I shot I can’t use because it really isn’t that good. I was planning on starting over again with the scenes I was going to shoot on those two Saturdays.

Oh well. I can’t afford to buy a permit in California. I’m going to have to look at filming in other states in the USA that have more affordable film permits. A place where the permits are a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand. Anyway, I included some pics from the debacle below including everyone in handcuffs.

What could have been….. Sigh

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2nd Location For Future Scenes

The barn where I shot the first scenes of the film is not available any more. The guy who owns the ranch changed his mind about filming on his property. This new location is where I hope to shoot major portions of Zombie Ferox. It’s a nice open space and I can make it look like more than one location. I hope it works out.

Zombie Makeup Test

Here is a make up test I did last week. This is what the zombies will look like in future scenes. I started working with a new makeup artist who is really talented. I’ve included some pictures below too.

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First Location Locked

This is the location I’m filming for the first scenes of Zombie Ferox.

Location Scouting Update

I went location scouting at a youth correctional facility. It’s sort of like a little town and I was looking for locations that could look like a city lost to the apocalypse. It didn’t really live up to my expectations and I also can’t afford the permit to film there. You need to have $1,000,000 dollars of general liability insurance. I got a quote from a production insurance company after I provided them information about my film: no crew, not many actors, 10 year old antiquated equipment, etc.  The quote I got was $1500 dollars a day. I’m trying to keep the budget for the entire film under $1,000, so that’s the end of that.

Also, they don’t have any running water at the institute, which means no working toilets. I don’t know what it costs to rent one of those Port-A-Johns, and I don’t want to find out.

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