West Lake goes Zombie

We first heard that they were making a movie when we read an advertisement in the Picton Gazette.  Two intriguing factors caught my attention.   They needed extras and it was being shot up at the old abandon air force base. 

In August, in a previous post,  I’d written about the old Camp Picton Gunnery School.   https://westlakemusings.com/2012/08/16/if-ghosts-could-talk/.    It fascinated me in a spooky, macabre way. This volunteer zombie gig would give me a whole day to explore the camps potentially haunted, decaying buildings. 



We replied to the advertisement and signed up as volunteers.    

Our anticipation grew by the day.  Warren and I didn’t really know much about the zombie genre.  Shaun of the Dead was one of our favourite movies but we hadn’t seen any others.   We checked on-line for zombie images and started to plan our look.  The production had arranged  Lydia Reznor,a professional makeup artist to fix our faces, but we were required to wear old clothes that could be torn up and blood splattered.  “What are you wearing?”  I asked Warren. “Have you checked the temperature?  They are calling for freezing rain and strong winds.”   We adjusted our clothing choices and added lots of layers.

Adding to our excitement was the news that our son Matthew was coming up from Toronto and joining us at the shoot.

Michael MacGillivray was the director.   The film involved lots of running down the air strip, peaking through abandoned old windows and chasing our beautiful heroine through dark  fog machine filled mess halls.  The production company Zombie Island was creating a short clip to be used to promote a future survivor type event, coming this spring.

The producer – Nicholas Araya was a great guy.  He brought along his dog, girl friend and mom and dad.  He was kind, appreciative and organized.  The day involved lots of sitting/standing around while we waited for the director to change his lens or set up.  While waiting they filled us with lots of food:  bagels, juice, fruit, coffee for breakfast, sandwiches, chilli, cookies, donuts, chips were mid day noshes, and orders for hot dogs and hamburgers were still being taken when we headed out.

As expected, it was bitterly cold, with a killer wind especially out on the landing strip.   To balance out the nasty weather there were lots of characters to observe.  Apparently an ad like this one calling for zombie volunteers brings out the craziness in people.  Who knew?   In the end, approximately forty volunteers showed up to be a part of the zombie horde. There were all shapes, sizes and ages.  Father/daughters, families like us, girlfriends together, guy bros together, and huggie couples. Perhaps the majority were young people with an interest in film making.  

There were so many highlights in the day.  I loved seeing how they set up and shot a movie.  I loved spending time with my husband and son in a common activity. It was fun to have a professional apply our makeup and see how just gruesome we could be.   As a bonus, I was treated to an inside view of a 1941 abandoned mess hall, still partially furnished with brass chandeliers, an old hi-fi set, and a large teak and red leather upholstered bar.  It’s quite a place and still holds a fascination for me.

Below are my photos capturing the day.

About westlakemusings

In 2013 my husband and I retired. We bought an old pre-confederation house out in the country. This blog is about our new world in the country as we explore all of life's possibilities.
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13 Responses to West Lake goes Zombie

  1. cathie king says:

    WOW… Matthew and Warren look great!

  2. Donna says:

    Woooooow! What an exciting and fun filled day (except for the cold, of course). Great pictures but we do need to see one of you Diane. Warren and Matthew looked very Zombiesh (if there is such a word). I think we even talked about “what a great place to make a movie” when we there in October.

  3. Oh! How did I miss this? I am sooo jealous. My husband thinks I’m nuts (well, that’s just a given) but I love zombie movies. I need to start getting the paper from the county. Double drat. It looks like it was a lot of fun.

  4. Rev. Marilyn says:

    What a bizarre family outing, but so unique and totally fun! You all look absolutely amazing! Great photos. Matthew looks healthy (beneath the makeup). You look awesome as a zombie family.

  5. Pingback: A new world has opened up for me | westlakemusings

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