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Life with the dead in Halifax County

South Boston News
Lewis Guthrie and Josh Perkins / May 13, 2013
A natural disaster causes the dead to come back to life as flesh-eating zombies roaming the streets of Halifax County. The remaining humans barricade themselves in an old farmhouse as they fight off hordes of zombies and try to survive the night. This hair-raising vision is what film director and Business of Art & Design graduate Lewis Guthrie has in mind for his remake of the classic horror/sci-fi film Night of the Living Dead. Guthrie is working with his friend and film producer Josh Perkins on the project. This will be the pair’s first full-length film.

“When people think of zombie movies, Night of the Living Dead is one of the first that comes to mind. We want to remake this movie by setting it in modern times and giving it a darker perspective,” Perkins said.

Guthrie agreed: “Remakes are hit and miss for me. A lot of times people just make a movie and slap the original title on it. But we’re not only updating it, but also really trying to capture the fear people had when they watched the original. Night of the Living Dead is really a social commentary and we want to incorporate that underlying fear people still have today.”

Filming will start at the beginning of June and wrap in early August, with the movie ready for a public showing by Halloween. Guthrie and Perkins are looking for actors, and a casting call is scheduled for Friday, May 17 from 1-5 p.m. at the SVHEC-Innovation Center. They envision most shooting taking place on Friday and Saturday nights at locations in Halifax County.

“We’re looking for people with some acting experience, and we’re hoping people from Little Theatre will be involved. But it’s an open call, and anyone 18 and older who’s interested should come out. If we can’t use you as a main character we can definitely use you as a zombie,” Guthrie stated.

Guthrie noted that he’s also looking for non-acting volunteers. “Makeup artists, anyone who can donate costumes or audio equipment, and people with lighting or camera experience would be extremely helpful,” he said.

The filmmaking duo say they’ve received great support and they’re appreciative of how the community is coming out to support them. “Ron Miller has just given so much help and guidance. We probably wouldn’t be as far as we are without him. He put us in touch with Woodson Hughes who’s allowing us to use his farmhouse, Amey Tutor is writing our script, and Berkley Priest from Cata9Tales has offered to help with music,” Guthrie said.

Guthrie and Perkins have released a promotional trailer to give everyone an idea of the look and feel their remake will have. It may be viewed on the film’s Facebook page or on Guthrie’s Youtube channel

Guthrie encourages all interested actors to come to the casting call on May 17. Participation is voluntary, and no one will be paid. Anyone who would like to make a donation or contribute in other ways should contact Guthrie via the Facebook page, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call 434-222-6856.

Lewis Guthrie is a graduate of the Business of Art & Design program at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (offered in partnership with Danville Community College), and will be starting Liberty University’s cinematography program this fall. Josh Perkins is planning on studying art at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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