After After months of preparations, the filming of REZilience has come to an end.
From Aug. 4 to 7, Jayson Stewart has been surrounded by a cast and crew as he began directing his first film.
The big scene, which called for roughly 60 zombies, was filmed at the Espanola airfield. The Mid-North Monitor caught up with Stewart as he began preparing for the final shoot that night.
“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.