Zombie apocalypse

2012-11-20 00:00

IF you’ve encountered the walking dead around Pietermaritzburg in the last six days, fear not, the end is nigh.

What you have seen are actors taking part in a film being shot by University of KwaZulu-Natal Media Studies honours students.

The filming is taking place at a house on the corner of Fisant and Lourie roads in Chasedene.

Dood Verby, an Afrikaans zombie film, which tells the story of siblings Johnny (Morné Bester) and Tanya Delport (Lielia Scheepers), who in the hope of keeping their zombie mother (Maureen van der Merwe) alive, resort to feeding her animals from the local pet store.

Problems arise when the local pet store runs out of animals, and their beloved Ma still needs to eat.

The film was the idea of Karel Schmidt, who wrote the script and did the directing.

Speaking to The Witness on the final day of shooting yesterday, Schmidt said: “The assignment was to do a horror film and I decided to do something light.”

First assistant director Stuart Nixon said filming had taken place at various places around the city.

“The primary location is here in Chasedene. Doolittle Exotic Pets at Cascades Mall also allowed us to shoot there. We also shot on campus and we had a combination of day and night shoots,” said Nixon.

“We’ve had a lot of committed actors. It’s actually been encouraging to see how many people want to be involved in a student film. It’s all locals.”

Bester, who player the lead actor, Johnny Delport, said being part of the film was a “good experience” he enjoyed. Dood Verby is his debut role.

Scheepers, who played Johnny’s obnoxious sister Tanya, said that she might carry on with acting in the future.

Maureen van der Merwe (55), who played the mother, got involved after meeting Schmidt by chance one day.

“We met on the street one day. He asked me who owned the house and I told him I did.

“He then asked me if I wanted to play the part of the mom.

“I’ve loved every minute of it. They’ve opened our eyes about what the film industry is all about,” said Van der Merwe.

She said the film wasn’t her first acting experience as she did drama at school, and had some roles in church productions.

Crew member Stefan Rust told The Witness that the crew comprised of six people, and they hoped to have the film completed by December 3, the marking date.

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