A chance encounter with a bloodthirsty horde of Zombies stumbling through a Ballymena park is, thankfully, a rare occurence.
But if you met some of these rather unsightly characters and scraped away the horror make-up, you’d find they are - to use a Ballymena cliche - ‘dead on’!
Fear not, the walking dead have not arisen and there’s no need to buy any silver bullets or whatever else gives your average member of the undead a fatal dose of heartburn. Those rotting corpses casually draped over a summer seat sporting a fashionable slash or two are actually the ensemble gathered together to perform in ‘Vapours’, Ballymena’s first horror movie.
The concept for ‘Dead On Films’ emerged as Shane Duncan, Daryl Duncan and Danny Joyce were having a beer one idle afternoon.
“Basically, the conversation turned to how we could make a movie,” said Danny Joyce. “We had no experience at all but fancied the challenge of trying something new.”
Not surprisingly, in the digital era, the team created a Facebook page to harness support for the venture. And that’s how ‘Dead On’ Films was really born.
“As the page grew in popularity so did our crew and we decided, what the hell, let’s do this,” said Shane Duncan
Having sculpted the script to reflect the enthusiastic amateur actors and actresses who had signed up, the developers settled on a zombie theme for the project.
Daryl Duncan continued: “Because of the interest generated we wanted to involve as many extras as possible. Basically we were keen to get people involved that might never have such a great chance again. Extras came from all over the country and from all walks of life.
“We filmed in three locations in Belfast but most of our locations were in and around Ballymena.
“Our biggest obstacle was budget. Trying to pay for equipment, make up, clothing and refreshments wasn’t easy but we wanted to produce a decent wee film without financial backing.”
Finding a suitable day to film each month was difficult - people failed to turn up or pulled out at the last minute.
Daryl said: “Weather problems were very stressful and it is a credit to the cast and crew that the venture reached completion.
“We hope to finish editing by next month and organise a premiere night in Ballymena which will raise funds for a small local charity.”
Having cut their teeth, the original developers recognise that whole journey was a valuable learning curve.
Shane added: “Hopefully we have inspired those involved to continue in the industry. We have another feature in the pipeline and a few shorter films currently in pre production.”
The Ballymena Times will bring you up to date with details of the premiere when all is arranged. Barring a zombie apocalypse of course ....
All pictures submitted by ‘Dead On Films’.