Zombie casting call for film to be shot in Maine this fallPublished on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Last updated on Monday, May 21, 2012 at 12:12 am
It's a new comedy, set in Maine, about an overbearing father and an upstart teenage son brought together by a zombie apocalypse.
And there's a casting call.
They want you, braiiiiinnnns and all.
"How to Kill a Zombie" is the second feature-length film by Freight Train Films of Monmouth. FTF President and actor Bill McLean said his 18-year-old son, Ben, wrote the initial script after compiling a six-page list of ways to dispatch zombies that are, they claim, so original, so out there, they'll only tease at one of the many means.
"Bubble wrap," said a grinning Ben, a senior at Monmouth Academy.
Bill McLean, stunt coordinator and on-screen Gas Station Attendant in the recent "You Can't Kill Stephen King," stars as Mack, the militant dad. Ben McLean stars as Jesse, a teen who's not so sure he wants to be the junior militant of dad's dreams. Tiff McLean, wife of Bill and mother of Ben, will direct.
They're looking to cast: a grandmother, office workers ages 18 to 60, seven lead zombies, a load of extras and Steve, an engineer with severe short-term memory loss.
"If every minute you had to be told you had a zombie apocalypse, you've got a problem," Bill McLean said.
The open audition is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston. Non-zombie actors need head shots and resumes. For undead hopefuls it's makeup optional. However, McLean said, clothes are a must. No half-naked zombies, please.
A one-day audition for "Scooter McGruder," FTF's first feature-length comedy, drew 75 people four years ago. McLean is hoping for at least 100 this time. Assistant director P. Seth Roberts has his sights on 200.
"Maine has all the talent you need to put together a successful film," said Roberts, of Turner.
Much of the behind-the-camera "How to Kill a Zombie" crew worked on "You Can't Kill Stephen King," which made its world premiere at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival last month. Like that movie, McLean is looking to shoot in Central and Western Maine. He's scouting locations and planning a 20- to 30-day shoot in September and October.
Zombies would need to commit to one to two days on set, other actors up to two weeks.
Fall is good zombie season, McLean said. "Zombie films are better when they're cold and gray, a little more depressing."
The script is in pre-production, with father and son hammering out fight scenes. They're in most of the film's 79 stunts.
"You've seen 'Shaun of the Dead'?" McLean said. "He's got some good action scenes in there. We've got more."
Ben McLean said he's not nervous. He's got most of his lines memorized already.
Filmmakers are aiming for an "R" rating, heavy on verbal and physical comedy with some blood.
In 2011, "Scooter McGruder" won LAFF's People's Choice Award — Best Feature Film. McLean said it's close to a direct-to-DVD distribution deal. During a weeklong run at the Auburn Flagship Cinema in April, "we out-box-office'd six Hollywood films that week out of 12," McLean said. "The sound wasn't so hot, quality wasn't so hot, but people forgave it because it was funny."
He declined to reveal the budget for "How to Kill a Zombie," other than to say it's "considerably more" than Scooter's $5,000 budget, and this time, hopes are higher.
"We've been punching away with short films and commercials the past two and a half years to really hone our filming skills," McLean said. "We're really foaming at the mouth for this."
So to speak.
"How to Kill a Zombie" casting call
When: Tuesday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Ramada Inn, Lewiston
Bring: For actors, a head-shot and resume are requested but not required; for zombie extras, makeup and full zombie dress are optional