A zombie version of the Harlem Shake video meme? Yes, please. New in NOLA’s Laura had to check things out first hand.
By Laura VanDruff | Instagram
I’m a huge fan of gratuitous selfies — it’s gotten to the point that I’m convinced the only person who knows how to take a flattering picture of me, is me. And I have absolutely zero shame about posting my self portraits to Facebook. My good friends indulge me with a smattering of “likes.” My tolerant acquaintances greet my bursts of vanity with silence.
On the last Saturday in February, however, my pic du jour elicited a radically different reaction.
“Laura, are you OK?” asked a concerned friend. “You look a little … tired. Trying a new look?” ribbed a second. Another, in despair: “AAAAAaaargh!” A fourth: “I don’t… I can’t… I just… words…” And perhaps my favorite, from my godson’s mother: “Oh my goodness, I am NOT showing that to Aiden!”
I can’t blame them, after all, because more than seeming a little “unwell,” I was looking positively “undead.” Thanks to a seriously sick layer of decay and grime applied by makeup artist Johnnie Bzombie Bullard, I was zombified and ready to party with other volunteer zombies in “Harlem Shake Zombie Style,” a video being filmed by Matt Zaff (director), Zac Sleeth (cinematographer) and Matthew Harris (special FX).
Yes, this is what NOLA movie folks do on their day off.
Many of you may already be familiar with the Harlem Shake videos popping up by the hundreds on YouTube.
Zaff shared his inspiration for contributing to the craze: “After watching a bunch of Harlem Shake videos the song got stuck in my head. I was falling asleep, and I just kept hearing it over and over. I’ve also been watching ‘The Walking Dead,’ so images of dancing zombies were also popping into my head. I wasn’t able to fall asleep until I decided to make a video and ask my friends to do it with me.”
I was initially invited to participate via a text message from my friend and the team’s ad-hoc production coordinator, Courtney Meyer. After an enthusiastic “Yes!” I got permission to bring along my camera to document the apocalypse. Our little production set up shop on a rainy morning behind warehouses in the Bywater. Technically, we didn’t belong there — that is to say, nobody asked permission!
“New Orleans is a community very familiar with big Hollywood productions and all of the money that they bring with them, which made securing a location without paying thousands of dollars very difficult. The constant worrying if the cops were going to shut us down at any moment was the most stressful part about it for me. Luckily, they didn’t, so it was all totally worth it. On Saturday morning we were a krewe of 20-some odd zombies trespassing on someone’s property, unloading truckloads of set dressings and props, and starting fires in the rain. Oh, and everyone was dancing wildly.”
And now for the video:
Check out more photos on Laura’s Flickr stream.