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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Zombie combat training

A company in Surrey is now offering zombie combat training and while I'm all for being prepared just who are the zombies people get to train against?

Well if you're like me you'll be disappointed to know that they are not real zombies captured from the last zombie outbreak. No they're actors playing zombies, so ya, no live ammo.

I guess that makes more sense from a business perspective, since if you were using real zombies what would you do once all your zombies were shot? I suppose just make sure a few of the would be trainees got bit, but that would put a dent in business as well.

Anyway, they're actors playing zombies and you just shoot them with paintballs not buckshot from your 12-guage. Still they have some pretty imposing looking zombies and the abandoned woods in south Surrey is a decidedly spooky setting, especially in the twilight of an early fall evening.

There are ramshackle shacks and other sets throughout the forest on the 57 acre property that certainly add to the feeling you are in the midst of your own Walking Dead scenario.

Zombie combat training is the brainchild of Ron McCall who has worked locally on movie special effects for the past 15 years. "The media response I've gotten from this is amazing," said McCall.

He wrote the script to a 45 minute scenario that takes zombie combat trainees through the aforementioned dark woods, they're guided by a 'soldier' and encounter other non-zombie characters as they move through the woods to the final zombie showdown. All the while they get to blast away at a number of shuffling undead.

So who gets to play the zombies the players train on? Mostly unemployed actors who get paid $6.50 per show to run around in the cold and dark and get pelted with paintballs. "If they work back to back shows it works out to $13 an hour says McCall." And if they don't....?

He admitted that after their first week he thought the entire cast would quit en-mass, but they didn't, proving that either there are some really desperate unemployed actors out there or some people just really like playing zombie.

Although Zombie Combat Training is still recruiting/auditioning would be zombies. They request that potential candidates submit a headshot, even though all actors wear zombie masks. So if you worked their entire season (till Nov 15) you might earn back the cost of that headshot.

If you want to be one of the people blasting away at unemployed acto...I mean zombies, then you can 'kill' undead to your heart's content for the sum of $95 per person, or $50 per person for groups of 12 or larger.