Day 66 – No guts, no glory!

I returned to our location in Botley mid May to really get my head around how I’m going to shoot the hordes on 15 June.  At that time, the field was covered in hay.  I’ve since been sent video clips of tractors baling the hay, which was actually thoroughly fascinating but also a relief knowing the field is ready for our zombies to descend!  I will hopefully be heading back early June, and again the day before to set up.

Giorgio Cavaciuti contacted me offering his services as cameraman, which was fantastic.  Giorgio has covered several shoots now and is travelling some distance to assist us on this important day.  Billy Jameson has also kindly committed to lending a hand with camera, including the use of his drone to get aerial shots of the horde.  I cannot wait to see those!

I have a small army assembling from Totton college to bolster zombie numbers and also be on hand to take behind the scenes footage. Liam Low Ying is returning to also capture behind the scenes stuff and Day 66 soundtrack maestro Mat Hasker will be on hand as a runner.  Sam Warren, Luke Goble, Howard Tribe and John & Ann Hampton are other returning crew keen to get involved.

One person who will sadly not be present for Beacon’s most ambitious shoot to date is Steve Launay.  Steve’s father, John, has unfortunately been hit with some bad health of late and has requested Steve’s presence when he travels to France, that very same day.  Steve is gutted he won’t make the shoot but looks forward to seeing the results.

Most props are ready now – I had the fun task of making intestines recently.  I’ve become a dab hand at making props over the course of this production but I was concerned about this one – but then I decided, no guts, no glory! 

I found a great YouTube video that suggested a few ways to do this.  My favourite, and by far the better looking, involved the use of tights.  I got my wife, Selina, to buy me a pack (far too embarrassing to buy myself) and I cut each pair in half and stuffed with white tissue paper.  I then tied each stocking together and attached one end to an old t shirt from my brother’s stag do, which bears the logo “Howard’s last fling – Prague 2016”.  On the day itself, the intestines will be carefully soaked in fake blood and at the required moment, Howard himself will wear this t shirt underneath his zombie costume and I shall proceed to rip the guts from his stomach.  Should look suitably disgusting.  Back in 2016 when I was sat in Goldfingers, Prague, for best part of six hours (strictly there on business), I had no idea what was in store for my attire that night.

I’ve now completed the shot list for the day, but need to revisit this to ensure I’ve prioritised shots with the hordes and also made the best use of time available whilst the majority of extras are made up.  Some filming will get underway straight away, as I have around 20 extras arriving already made-up, which is excellent.  Numbers currently stand at around 85 extras, plus however many a performing arts college from Southampton are supplying (around 20-25 I believe).  I may also have a few extra make-up artists now coming from Southampton, which should help make light work of things.

Extras and crew have been asked to bring a packed lunch along to the shoot, although I have been attempting to secure a donation / sponsorship from local retailers.  These efforts are ongoing and should I be successful I will communicate that to all attendees before the event.

On Sunday 26th May I travelled to the Fordingbridge area with Liam Low Ying to get shots on my mobile phone for the opening credits, which Liam is editing to fit the theme tune by Mat Hasker.  Talking of which, that tune has recently been re-jigged by Mat to sound more apocalyptic.  I’m loving the new sound and can’t wait for everyone to hear it!  Be sure to check our social media feeds for a couple of amusing videos Liam has put together from our trip.  #gorse… 

Late 2018 I sent the editor of Total Film, Jane Crowther, a set of answers to a ‘meet our readers’ monthly article that features in a subscriber only edition of the magazine.  The article asks readers a bunch of film related questions.  I used the opportunity to plug Day 66, even wearing my baseball cap for the profile photo.  Despite being told to look out for it in a future magazine, and being sent the entire Breaking Bad DVD boxset as a thank you for participating, I’d given up hope it would feature, given how far into 2019 we’d got.  Imagine therefore my joy to see it in the latest TF – just before the hordes themselves!  Perfect timing or what?!  I’m very grateful to TF for allowing the plug and giving us this opportunity to spread the word even further.

That’s really it for this month folks – I can’t wait to get these hordes done and dusted.  It’s been a real headache to arrange and stressful as hell.  But things are falling into place nicely now and I’d just be grateful that if you can’t make it, at least please keep your fingers crossed for decent weather!

PLEASE REMEMBER – We need as many Beacon members getting involved with the hordes as possible.  Not only Beacon members, but friends and family too, so please please please spread the word!  Contact me via email (find it on the club’s global emails) or via Facebook or any of the below Day 66 social medias.  Thank you for your continued support!

Don’t forget to check out the Day 66 website,, and also follow us on Twitter (@Day66_Movie), Facebook (Day 66 Movie), Snapchat and Instagram (day66movie).  Taking a few seconds to follow us, and re-tweet / share our posts really does make the difference in getting the word out there!  AND CONTACT US TO GET INVOLVED!  SUPPORT YOUR CLUB!  WE NEED EXTRAS AND CREW MEMBERS!  Thanks allJ