Saturday, February 11, 2012

On Valentine's Day, redneck zombies need loving too

Zombies live amongst us.

Zombie wannabes, anyway.

Filmmaker K. Harrison Sweeney wants you for roles in his feature film, “From the Trailer to the Grave.” The film is set in a post-apocalyptic Wyoming. It’s being billed as a “redneck zombie romantic comedy.”

So it’s “redneck zombies” that he wants.

Many of the principle roles have already been filled. But Harrison, a Worland, Wyoming, native and UW grad, says that several supporting roles will be open to Wyomingites. He will be holding auditions in Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie during Valentine's Day week, which seems strangely appropriate.

He says that most of the roles that are available “will be for zombies and people who turn into zombies. We are looking for people from all walks of life – oil tycoons, teachers, children, roller derby dames, politicians; all are encouraged to try out.”

What about aging state workers? He doesn’t say.

As a Wyoming guy, Harrison says that it’s important to shoot his film in Wyoming. He’d like to help kickstart the state’s film industry. Many films that are set in Wyoming's great wide open (“Brokeback Mountain,” "An Unfinished Life," "Did You Hear about the Morgans?") end up being shot in Wyoming stand-ins -- British Columbia and New Mexico. He wants to change that. Wyoming seems to have better luck starring in sci-fi films. Witness "Starship Troopers," its creepy off-world scenes filmed at Hell's Half Acre, and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," partially filmed at Devils Tower because no stand-in exists for this distinctive national monument, not even in Canada. So perhaps Harrison is right on target with this alternative reality film. Who would know alternative realities better than someone who grew up in Worland?

Auditions in Casper will be held on Sunday, February 12, at the Wagon Wheel Roller Skating Rink at 305 Van Horn Ave. There will be a workshop on "Zombie Behavior & Movement" from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Auditions will then be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon. 

The Cheyenne workshop from 3-3:30 p.m. at the Atlas Theatre on Wednesday, February 15. Latecomers will not be admitted. Auditions will commence immediately thereafter from 3:30-5 p.m.

The Laramie workshop will be held later in the week (his press release didn’t specify a date) and will go from 5-5:30 p.m. at the UW College of Agriculture auditorium. Auditions will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. UPDATE: Date for Laramie event is Sunday, Feb. 19. 

Zombie wannabes cast for the film need to be available for shooting during the last three weeks of September and the first week of October.

My wife Chris and I attended the screening of Harrison’s short film, “Undead Lovers,” last August in Laramie. The short is basically a teaser for the larger film project and was filmed at the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie and at The Virginian Hotel & Bar in Medicine Bow. It features a variety of Wyoming talent, including a bevy of Naughty Pines Derby Dames and a title song by Jalan Crossland of Ten Sleep.

As is the case with most up-and-coming filmmakers, Harrison has tapped into a variety of sources to raise funding. He’s done successful online campaigns on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. He’s probably maxed out his credit card (if he has one) a la Kevin Smith and has hit up everyone in his orbit. He’s a working actor, too, getting small film and TV parts to finance his habit. His good ol’ boy persona has appeared in “Rizzoli & Isles,” in commercials for Foster’s and Prius, and is one of the voices in the Wild West video game “Red Dead Redemption." He has a small part in an upcoming Eddie Murphy film.

Get more info on Harrison and his films at

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