What to expect when chasing Zombies…

… in an action flick, that is!

It’s been a week since the shoot for ‘City 7‘ already and the bruises on my legs have turned from a deep purple to a lovely color palette of blue and green. And so far, no nightmares about being chased by zombies! Although, that zombie in the photo below gave me the creeps big time..

Ran into this stencher in the locker room…

So, just like last time I played in a zombie project, I will share what I have learned on the set. This time, of course, I was on the other side…playing a zombie slayer instead of a zombie.

Should you ever find yourself on the set of an action flick:

1. Prepare to get a workout! Yes, that means running up the stairs, down the stairs, kicking in doors, jumping over counters repeatedly and lugging weapons around constantly. They might not be that heavy, but after 12 hours of carrying them around, you’ll feel it the next day. I thought I was in decent shape and YOU’LL think you’re in decent shape, but I guarantee…you’re WRONG, haha!

Oh yeah, I get to be all aggro and kick in doors! Rawwr!

2. Invest in some Arnica – it’s great for treating bruises. You WILL get them – there’s no way around it – and I wasn’t even getting tackled by zombies, or thrown against the wall like some of my fellow actors. I was debating posting a pic of the bruises on my legs (result of said repeated counter-jumping), but decided to spare you that sight. I think the Arnica helped with the muscle soreness, too. Or maybe it was the Advil.

3. Drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration! Can’t say it enough.

4. Know your props! If you’ve been given guns, rifles, machetes or any other gear, take the time before she shoot, or in between set ups, to play with them. Get really familiar with your props. That way, it’ll feel like you’ve cocked and loaded that rifle a thousand times before and you look like you know what you’re doing. Go ahead, do that ‘are you talking to me’ thing that Robert de Niro did with his gun in front of the mirror ;)

Fellow actor Erica playing with her guns and Ryan making sure we’re not breaking them any more than we already have…

5. Don’t worry about getting into character too much. Here’s your motivation: RUN!!! Trust me, that horde of zombie extras coming down that hallway, all snarling and clawing, is looking pretty friggin’ real to me! No digging deep in my acting repertoire there…

.

Yours truly taking some direction from director Peter Stoll

6. Don’t leave the set still carrying your gun or rifle when you are on a break. Just common sense. Might get some unwanted attention by people who really ARE armed, heh..

7. Have fun, be a team player, pay attention and most of all, kick ass! You’ll feel like a total badass! I certainly did, even though I’m really a total wuss (see my mentions of Arnica and Advil above).

Team City 7, baby!

Well, there you go. That’s my 2 cents. On a more serious note…because there IS inherent risk working on an action flick and because I’ve learned a bitter lesson in the past, I decided to write another blog: ‘Safety on the set – a lesson learned‘. Oh, and you can also ‘like’ Digital Raven on Facebook for updates on the production.

This is my 5th time working with actor friend Mike Burnell (on the right) and 3rd time with actor/writer friend Marc Crespo (2nd from left)

I want to thank Peter Stoll, Christin Stoll and Ryan Berry for this opportunity, and especially Kristin Martin for the endorsement! Thank you for writing tough as nails females into the story and not making it a big deal either. I can’t wait to see the finished film, and the outtakes, of course! I had a BLAST working with all of you! The facebook-friending and photo-tagging frenzy the day after the shoot only confirms what a great team you picked!

Happy Zombie hunting!
Pia, aka ‘Scout’

UPDATE 11/3/2012: You can watch the entire ‘City 7‘ short film here. Thanks for watching!

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