“It’s been wild!” he said.
Like most events or productions bumps and hiccups occur, which Stewart said had happened with last minute drop outs. However, the film gods were in favour of Stewart and all vacant spots were filled.
“Fake it until you make it,” he joked as he prepared dinner for his crew. “Working with people who know what they are doing on the same set as people who have no clue is a challenge. But at the same time it affords you a lot of training opportunities.”
Filming had taken longer than he anticipated, saying it was due to losing key people in the grip and gaffer (lighting and electrical).
The loss lead to crew members taking up more responsibility on set. He had joked that you wouldn’t normally see a producer making food, or his camera operator looking after the lighting.
“Lighting has taken up most of our time,” he explained. “With it being night shots, there is a lot to light and (there) is no natural light out here.”
Stewart commended his crew, saying they have been incredible and pulled beyond their weight.
Tents and trailers were on set, which provided some sleeping arrangements for cast and crew.
Remington Louie, the lead actor from Winnipeg, had spent the night before in a trailer on the airfield.
“The country side is gorgeous,” said Louie. “I don’t know if you been to Winnipeg, (but) it doesn’t look like this.”
Louie, who just finished filming Road of Iniquity, wasn’t the first actor cast as the character Dwayne, but fate intervened when the first actor had to drop out, and Stewart contacted him four weeks ago.
“He contacted me about coming out here because something happened,” Louie explained. “It was short notice, but here I am today.”
Louie said the script and the concept of the story are “awesome.”
“The metaphors he is trying to incorporate into it is fantastic,” he said.
Lending a hand for the film were some experts who shared their knowledge and skills to create a realistic short film.
Eddie Jeanveau spent the week creating authentic sounds for the film. For example, he recorded the zombies making sounds so the actors voices were in the film rather than a stock sound.
While Stewart worked on getting dinner ready, Patrick Gervais was on site preparing to make the scene gory with special effects. Chantelle Bowerman and Alysia Topol were two of the creative masterminds responsible for transforming the actors into the walking dead.
The Espanola Flying Club allowed Stewart to find the location shot in “his backyard.”
He said the location is prime for filming as there had been no disturbances throughout the processes.
Once filming wrapped up early Saturday morning, it was time for Stewart to take a break from REZilience.
“I’m taking August off for my family,” he said, adding they had come out to visit him on set.
The next project he works on will be a more private one as he celebrates his anniversary with his wife.
Come September, he will be back in the arms of REZilience to finish the post-production of the film. Afterwards, he plans to shop the short film around to gauge interest and hopes to set up a public viewing.
If you live in the Espanola or Massey area and see what look like zombies, don’t panic. Shooting is now underway for REZilience and scenes are being shot in both communities. Director Jayson Stewart of Massey says the busiest day is this Friday because that features all out zombie attack scenes meaning everyone is on site. The film is unique among the zombie genre because it’s the first zombie film in Canada to feature a large number of Indigenous people.
Photo credit: Supplied
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.