Read the original article at THE MIDNORTH MONITOR.
The cast and crew of REZilience have reached their goal.
It was official on July 23, when the final funding came in. The majority of funding being donated by Sagamok First Nation, which has developed a partnership with Jayson Stewart for the filming of his first movie.
But a surprise donation of $2,500 came from actor Gary Sundown, after Stewart took to social media to peak interest and raise funding for his film.
While the funding goal had been reached, it did not stop Stewart from continuing to surpass the minimum amount, but rather shoot for a bigger budget. He did so by holding a Day of the Undead in Massey.
Under a scorching summer sun, Stewart was joined by his family and cast members to get bloodied up and scrub some cars.
“We’ve been busy,” he said, adding he was worried that the threat of rain would have caused issues.
Drivers had the option of two types of car washes. One was a regular soap and water wash down. The second a bloody attack from the zombies, who after making a mess, would later wash it up to new looking.
Attached to the car wash was a small yard sale located on the sidewalk beside Highway 17. That night was a spaghetti dinner and showing of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead.
“It was an incredible day,” Stewart said after the events. “Even though we were worried about the weather, everything turned out well and the community came out to support what we hope to be the first annual Massey day of the undead.”
He added there are plans in the works for next year’s day of the undead, with the hopes of a larger festival in the future.
“We lost track of the number of cars we washed. (We) sold a lot of stuff in our yard sale, served many plates of spaghetti and, though we didn’t have many people out for the film, those that were there enjoyed the (movie).”
The zombies washing the cars were Stewart’s five children who were joined by a few cast members.
Massey’s Beth Cassidy has a small part in the film, playing “two-by-four zombie.”
“I get beaten with a two-by-four,” she laughed when explaining her nickname. “This is my chance to be a stunt woman.”
Cassidy was a drama major and to this day still performs as a singer and actor. She said she had a small role on YTV’s Dark Oracle, but most of her performance are done on stage.
As to what she thinks of the film being made by Stewart she summed it up in one word.
“Brilliant. It is very creative and it fits the area that we live in.”
In total, the day raised just shy of $600 for the film project.
Filming begins Aug. 4, and until then Stewart, cast and crew will be in the planning stage.
“I am getting the final confirmation from all of our background zombies, purchasing last minute equipment, signing rental contracts, doing newspaper and radio pieces, final tuning of the script and work with the talent.”
Donations are still welcomed as there may be unexpected costs that come up in the future.
“I would like to support my cast and crew with special perks. As a thank you for their commitments and volunteering of their time.”
An online art auction is still being held for the next couple of weeks with new pieces added. While the online campaign has come to an end, donations can be made through the REZilience website at: www.judgementfilms.com.