NOVEMBER 7th 2013: BARNABY'S BLOG by Karl Smith
Hi there everyone, this is Karl Smith AKA Barnaby.

Thought I'd share with you lovely people the amazing tale of how I almost never became Barnaby...o_O (suspense).  It all began with me sending messages to loads of feature film auditions asking if I could be in their films etc... only to be shortlisted every time.

So after a frustrating 3 months auditioning I began to lose hope of landing a job, until one of the jobs I applied for replied back... as you can imagine, I pretty much screamed like a school girl.  It was a job I applied for to be a Zombie teenager named Sidney.  I figured I'd push my luck and go for a main character ha ha.

The message was from Lord Zion, basically saying I fit the part etc.  It wasn't till later that day that I realised it was for a character named Barnaby!... I read Barnaby's description and laughed to myself saying "This guy sounds just like me".  He was basically a short fat guy... nuff said.

Fast forward a couple of weeks.

It was time for me to meet Zion and another possible Barnaby (there were two of us at the time).  Unfortunately I woke up feeling like utter rubbish, I told myself there was no way I was going to be able to get on a train (which I'd never been on before) and go all the way to Crawley (which I'd never been to before) and meet Zion (who I'd never met before)... So I did the unimaginable.  I text Zion, despite all the months waiting for a job offer, to give the role of Barnaby to the other guy.  This made me feel 10X worse.

I spent the whole morning regretting what I had done and wished that I felt well enough to go up to Crawley.  It was almost 1:00... the time I was originally supposed to leave to get my train to Crawley.  (I should probably point out that I hadn't told my family about me turning down the job, who were going to take me to the train station in 10 minutes time).  I didn't want to let them down so I decided to LIE my way out of this... I was going to be dropped off at the train station, say goodbye, wait till they were out of sight then go around town for a few hours, return home and say I got the job... pathetic I know. But I was really nervous o_O.

So they dropped me off in the car and told me that they were proud of me and that I was going to be great... I felt really bad about lying to them, even worse once they left and I go up town instead.  So they drove off and I stood at the train station debating on whether I go to Crawley despite telling Zion to give my part away, or going up town for a couple hours.  As weak as it sounds I began walking away from the train station... not my proudest moment.  But before I got too far from the train station, I changed my mind and jogged back.  I bought a ticket and ran to the shops for some snacks then ran to my train... it was the wrong train so I ran to another... wrong again, fortunately third time lucky :)

I felt really good about what I was doing; I had overcome my anxiety and off I went to Crawley.  25 minutes later I arrived and began my walk to the Hawth theatre. The weather decided to change from alright to absolutely chucking it down...(there goes my 60 cologne I was wearing).  I finally arrived at the Hawth; there were old diddies queuing up for tickets, it was at that point that I realised I had no idea what Zion looked like. (If i'm honest I was looking for a guy who looked abit like Phil Mitchell for about an hour... not sure why). Thanks for that - Z

So I waited for 2-3 hours and decided it best I leave, people were staring at me weirdly... maybe it was because I was asking around for a guy named Zion (the looks I got were hilarious), so I began my trek back to the train station feeling very annoyed with myself.

Whilst walking I reached into my pockets and found Zion's number, so I decided to send a text asking if he was going to the Hawth any time today.  He didn't reply (I assumed he was angry at me for letting him down so I carried on walking, it wasn't till I reached the train station that my mobile went off, it was a message from Zion telling me that they were upstairs the whole time... I felt so stupid for not checking, especially since I could hear people talking upstairs for hours.

I then preceded to run all the way back the Hawth, walked up the stairs and there they all were... I must of looked a right state (you did - Z), heavy breathing, soaked to the bone, not a very good look I can assure you P).  I shook hands with Zion (who was looking rather confused with my being there); he told me to go sit with Vikki.

It wasn't until Vikki mentioned it that I realised I had no idea why I was even there... I couldn't just show and demand the role back... so I awkwardly asked if I could just watch them shoot the movie...I haven't the foggiest idea why I said that but I did.  I also met David (co-director) and Jack (Sidney Cadaver) a few moments later.  After the other Barnaby left we all sat around a table and just spoke for an hour.  I asked if I could perhaps work with the filming crew (I really wanted to say FILM ADVISER but that would have been pushing it) - Yes it would! - Z - David and Zion agreed to let me be a runner which I was happy to do.

Now comes the end of my terribly long story. It was literally 5 minutes until Jack was going to leave to go home, when I agreed to film a quick scene with Jack. At first I was regretting it due to lack of confidence, but after a few shoots I really enjoyed myself, I thought it was really fun to be Barnaby.  David and Zion stood up from their chairs and just walked away...  I was talking to Vikki and Jack when David and Zion returned.  They said it was good and thanks for coming down.

We all left the Hawth and said our goodbyes. I went home told my family of my experience and a couple of days later I got a text from Zion offering me the part of Barnaby.

And the rest is history!

I have to say these last couple of months have really changed who I am, I feel better than before and much, much more confident.

I want to send out a very special thanks to Zion, Vikki, Jack, Chloe, Esme, David and the rest of the team for working so hard on the movie and for generally being awesome.

Thanks for reading peeps.

NOVEMBER 3rd 2013: FILM SHOOT DAY 4 by Zion
The thing I hate most about filming is getting up early.  I am not best suited to it.  My life as a rock n' roller has meant late nights to rise late morning.  For this, I am leaping out of bed anywhere from 6 to 7.  I know you workers do that daily, but it really messes with my body clock.  I tend to run off ProPlus!

We had a lot to do today (as per usual), so was on set at 8.  Shortly after arriving, I had a call from Krusher: his gearbox was fucked!  This meant I had at least an hour round-trip to go and collect him.  Production Assistant, Sonia Mason, came with me for company and we also used the opportunity to check out a potential location.  We failed in that!

Got Krusher and were back in Blacklands by 10.  I arrived to find David (director) and other crew members with Chloe and Esme out in the woods filming some scenes.  I joined in then directed some bits with Krusher whilst David went off to set up the next shots elsewhere.

Again, had some fairly major scenes to shoot today and Ryan was on hand to help with stunts.  Not leaping-out-of-aeroplane type stunts, but stuff to make sure that events could occur without cast members injuring themselves.

It is hard writing about this stuff without giving any story clues away!

Filming is an odd thing.  In your head, you visualise a scene and figure that it will be fairly easy to execute and it will only take a short amount of time.  Then, in reality, you are at the location dealing with the elements, lighting, sound, camera angles and so on.  Next thing you know, a scene scheduled to take 30 minutes has taken 90!  This happened today with an awesome VFX scene, heavy on make-up.

Some nasty stuff happened today.  Not real nasty, you understand; movie nasty.  Some of those poor cast members...  And the cold was tough, too.  Although, lesson learned and, between takes, arctic sleeping bags were being thrown over those poor, shivering souls.  It helped.  A bit.

Back to the shack.  As we took longer on earlier scenes than scheduled, we made some changes to the scene that occurs here to speed things up.  Often you do that and end up with something more effective.  In this case, I think we have that.  Never-the-less, this was a dialogue heavy scene with lots of co-ordination and action cues so I thought this scene would take forever.  The reality of it was, once we had sorted the lighting problems, it was done in a couple of takes.  Awesome!  Back on track.

I was then in make-up for the first time today.  My big scene was coming up and I was relishing it.  Alas, the weather was not on our side.  It didn't just spit, it didn't just rain, it didn't just downpour, it positively monsooned!  Within an hour, the ground was unusable and there was no way that we could shoot as planned as it was all outside.


As I type, our schedule is fucked.  We are going to have to do some serious juggling for the next two weekends, as well as add an extra two shooting days to cope.  Of course, that is no guarantee of anything as we will be subject to the weather's whims again.  Keep those fingers and toes crossed for us, ladies and gents!

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NOVEMBER 2nd 2013: FILM SHOOT DAY 3 by Zion
I have been so excited to get back to filming.  Just before this weekend's shoot, I saw some photos from Day 1 and saw us all in character.  It suddenly came alive for me.  When you are on set, looking at eachother, you don't really take in fully what you are seeing but, on film, it becomes real.  Love it!

We were back at Blacklands Farm in Henfield this weekend.  We had a pretty full-on schedule and, for the first time, had legendary metal DJ Krusher Joule to do his role as Felix.

Again, we were outside, but this time in the woods.  Found several great locations within the woods, including a purpose built cave out of branches which we utilised later in the day.  The first scenes shot though were between me (Victor), Vikki (Kelly) and Jack (Sid).  Got through them fairly fast.

Scenes with Chloe (Myrtle) and Jack next.  Poor Chloe was frozen during it.

The interior of some kind of shack was next.  Decorated with evil, but I can't give much more away than that...  Looked damn good though!

When night fell, we shot the first scenes with Krusher (Felix).  And, boy, what scenes they were.  Esme (Tracy) was also in the scene and both actors dealt with one of the toughest bits of the script really well.  We had stunt co-ordinator, Ryan Hunter, on set today.  He came in handy.

We worked hard and we worked diligently until about 10.  Tired and exhausted, we headed for home.  For once, on schedule!

OCTOBER 20th 2013: FILM SHOOT DAY 2 by Zion
I only got 2 hours sleep - worry! - so to say that I was exhausted was the understatement of the century.  Nevermind.  What doesn't kill us etc.

As we needed to catch up, we were on set bright and early at 8am.  Not a time I am particularly familiar with or fond of.  I had a plan to execute to got Jack and myself in make-up immediately so we could start shooting a scene between Sid and Barnaby as soon as poss.  Whilst we were doing that, Vikki and Chloe could have their make-up done then the brilliant MUAs can get to work on the extras.

And speaking of extras... what a great bunch we had today!  Loads showed up and braved the weather which ranged from sunshine to monsoon, often within moments of eachother.  Alas, the latter caused us many problems and delays but, that is what happens when you shoot outside in Britain in October!

Thankfully, the two scenes we failed to do yesterday we managed to get done today.  Matt & Donny (camera) set up the jib (fancy crane that holds the camera) ready for some big shots.  It was great, right up to the point that the heavens opened.  And, boy, did they open.

By this time, a whole heap of extras were in fancy dress for the scenes.  A memory that will stay with me a LONG time is the sight of a very butch and hairy Alice In Wonderland running around in the wind and rain chasing his runaway tent.  Hilarious!

Bad news though, the rain, as we cannot film in it.  So we had to wait for a break in the weather then rush out to get shots done.  With failing light, this meant that we could only shoot about 50% of the scene we were trying to shoot.

Once darkness hit, we were able to get another scheduled scene under the belt so, in all, came away with about 80% of the weekend's scheduled shots shot.  We will have to play catch-up somewhere else in the future.

I enjoyed today much more.  It went faster and I have relaxed into both my character role and my on-set role.  We also have a brilliant cast and crew.  Their obvious talents to one side, despite the horrific weather, there was the bare minimum of grumbling and spirits remained high.  Big thanks to them!

Cannot wait until November now to start shooting again.  Outside...

OCTOBER 19th 2013: FILM SHOOT DAY 1 by Zion
After months of Very Hard Work Indeed, we finally start filming today.  I am a mixture of extremely excited and extremely terrified.  

Woken up bright and early by an eager make-up assistant, we leave in the production bus cum changing room and head toward the first location, Blacklands Farm Campsite in Henfield, Sussex.  We chose this location as it was the most campsite-like campsite we found, if that makes any sense?!

Set up the production office in an on-site building then cast members - me included - had their make-up done.  This is the first time we have seen the whole Cadaver family together in make-up and, I gotta say, we look great!

As well as writing the movie, acting in it and producing it, director David very kindly and generously allowed me to co-direct.  I've always been a visual kind of person and ultimately want to write and direct so having this opportunity is amazing.  My eternal gratitude will always go toward him!  The downside to this is that a) I am extremely busy on set all the time and b) I am directing in full costume and make-up the whole time.

I think it is safe to say that it is probably the first time in movie history that a film has been directed by a Zombie...

We have been discussing shots for a while; shredding the script apart to do the storyboard so, actually being there making it come alive was awesome.  Being able to decide where the camera would be, what would be in shot, what the actors would do and so on was brilliant.  Kid in a candy store time.  Best of all, David set the "Sound...Camera...Action!" tasks to me so I am one step closer to becoming some kind of maniacal dictator ;-)  Jokes to one side, I definitely prefer it behind the camera to in front.

Of course, I do like it in front and I had a few scenes to do today.  When doing those, I completely forgot to wait for direction and kept cocking the scenes up until I got used to it.  I am also terrible at remembering the lines that I bloody wrote!

Things progressed quite slowly today - something quite common on Day1 - so we actually fell behind schedule almost immediately.  The weather and daylight were against us so we couldn't shoot as much as we needed to.  That meant a stressful night ahead for us all as we tried to work out the best plan of action to catch up on Day2.

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