In mid-January, the ForZombies team was contacted by ComicBooked.com with a request to create a football-oriented commercial. With the Super Bowl coming up this Sunday, it’s the right time for it, but it certainly put some pressure on us with a definite deadline. As luck would have it, both of us were free for filming during an intervening weekend, but luck would only carry us so far.
The ForZombies team plays some literal football.
We had some work to do before the shoot. We found some old-style mock-leather football helmets online as well as a referee shirt and whistle. They were ordered with hopes of an on time arrival. The range on the delivery stretched into the Monday after our scheduled filming. We crossed our fingers and luck was with us again. They arrived on time. Such are the perils of filming on short notice. Sanj was able to scout out a middle school football field. Having a goal post available for filming was key.
The script, well, there was no script. We had a general idea that we wanted to fumble around with the football and decide that we need different equipment. After assaulting some random human, we then meet with success tossing around a foot (zombies take football literally). The clip ends with a head, resembling a former victim from our earlier videos, punted over the field goal and hitting the snow. In the original ending, Sanj is in his referee shirt giving the high sign for a successful field goal. When the clips were assembled, it became apparent that the video should end with the head hitting the snow.
Filming day arrived. We were able to scare up a one-man camera crew for a designated two hours of shooting for a one-minute clip. The field was snow-covered and the high that day was 30°F – far from ideal conditions for my usual zombie attire of a bloody short-sleeve shirt. It may seem rather short when all is said and done, but we are trying to tell a story with several clips, some of them shot multiple times and some scenes were discarded altogether.
Frankly, neither of us keeps up with football. The idea of shooting a football segment wouldn’t have occurred to us on our own. We don’t even know which teams are playing, but we do know of Tebow and his Internet fame. We had to feature the infamous pose in our video and Sanj was all too happy to oblige. After spiking the head and doing a zombie touch-down dance he pays homage to the meme. Tebow purists may insist the elbow is supposed to be placed on the left knee, but we’re zombies – we don’t know the difference.
Shooting wrapped up half an hour ahead of time. The temperature was a strong motivator. We shot as quickly as we could and warmed up between takes. Time came for editing. Sanj used an old clip of a silly version of the Blue Danube Waltz done by our music contributor, Shmoolie. It’s our first release with absolutely no subtitles. None were needed. The music is a perfect backdrop to our physical comedy. Sanj was able to pull off the field goal with some green screen capture and After Effects magic. And it all came together in under two weeks. This sets a record for how quickly we’re able to pull a release together.