And so, ten years ago this was the final day of shooting of ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ in Ealing Studios. As you can see from the schedule above and the pictures below it was a full on day of mopping up and I remember racing from set to set shooting all the scenes at Shaun’s house along with shots of the tooling up in the bathroom and zombies breaking through the trapdoor in the Winchester.
It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
I hope that three days away from our last ‘Cornetto’ movie being released in the UK this has been a educational trip down memory lane. It’s certainly brought the shoot back to vivid life in my memory.
Enjoy this last day of photos. You’ve got red on you.
Final Slate of Principal Photography
Final Slate of Camera C
Final B Camera Slate from 2nd Unit
Huge, huge thanks to Lee Thomas, Nira Park, Leo Thompson, Marcus Rowland, Peter Serafinowicz and Simon Pegg for helping me put this together.
I am not sure what we were talking about here, but with only one day of the shoot to go I know I was pretty damn exhausted.
I’d forgotten that this was one of the last scenes we shot. We had gone two days over on the schedule, which was the cause of much discussion and stress. I had to cut down on the fire insurance in the burning down of the Winchester to make up for the extra two days we needed.
Either way this final half week felt like a breeze compared to the middle of the shoot. There was definitely a demob feeling among cast and crew that ‘Shaun’ was nearly done.
Only three more days of the ‘Shaun’ shoot. I remember that the weather and the mood was good. This may be evident from some of the sillier out-takes from this week like the Beatles take and the ‘Man Who Would Be Shaun’.
It was the middle of summer at Ealing Studios and we were wrapping up the ‘Shaun’ shoot. I remember the end of the shoot being a lot of fun, or at least a little less tense than the Winchester siege portion.
Best set dressing ever.
Ten years ago, we shot the scenes in Shaun’s flat with the ‘ooh, he’s got an arm off’ zombie. See another panorama shot by Marcus Rowland and me wearing another Blues Explosion t-shirt.
The fine gentlemen playing the Suited Zombie is Tim Baggaley and he returns in ‘The World’s End’ as the barman in Pub 4: The Cross Hands. Look out for him.
When people ask what my favourite moment in ‘Shaun’ is, I frequently say this.
Today is Pete Serafinowicz’s birthday. So wish the big man a happy one.
I love this photo of Ed spread out in the living room. Please note the bongos.
Also please note the Yellow Pages open on the page for ‘Fulci’s’ restaurant.
We are out of that basement. And into the relative light of Shaun’s flat. Note that we did the aftermath shot first. I am rocking a Serpico shirt in the hope that I look a little more like shaggy 70′s Pacino.
This is the clapperboard for Ed’s ‘Cornetto’ line.
Hooray. We are finally out of the Winchester. But oh, now we are trapped in the basement. I love this panaroma shot by Marcus Rowland. I am pleased that I was rocking a Blues Explosion t-shirt a decade ago too.
Nick Frost is so great in this scene, him sticky with blood and a fag is his mouth is how I would like to remember him always.
Here’s Patricia Franklin who achieves full Cornetto legacy status by appearing in ‘Shaun’, ‘Fuzz’ & ‘The World’s End’.
In the original script we had a lot more fire action in the Winchester. But for a low budget film fire insurance is prohibitively expensive, so we had to be creative. Setting the bar alight was my way of suggesting the whole place is going to burn.
In one take I thought Simon may have caught alight and was transfixed at the monitor for a second in horror. He wasn’t of course, but when I told Simon I had thought he might have, he replied ‘And you didn’t call ‘cut’?’.
I’m not sure this first photo was from exactly ten years but it’s worth posting. Look how happy we all are! Next to me and Simon are the lovely Lucy Davis and Kate Ashfield as well as the usually camera shy Nira Park.
This scene behind the bar was memorable to shoot. The power of a zombie mob coming at you cannot be underestimated. Even though you know it’s not real, it’s truly something to witness. Some of our performers in this sequence were fantastic.
The lack of behind of scenes stills on these days tells me one thing; we must have been pretty stressed out. Look at Simon, he’s exhausted!
But there’s a reason that Simon is doing the clapperboard. I am pretty sure this is Nick’s shot where he is attacked by Peter and Simon had stuck around to watch even though he wasn’t in this shot. That’s a good pal in the wake of a zombie apocalypse.
Here’s where it starts to go crazy. I remember feeling hugely uneasy as the zombie swarmed the Winchester, it was quite powerful seeing the masses flood in.
Not least the naked man below. A formidable flesheater in every respect.
Below is another dear old friend; the fruit machine ‘Ooh Aah Dracula’. The sound of this film is in both ‘Shaun’, ‘Fuzz’ and yes, ‘The World’s End’.
Shooting this scene was exciting but nerve wracking. We used practical squibs and huge shot gun charges from Shaun’s rifle. They take much longer to do than digital effects, but I think you feel the impact so much better.
The calm before the zombie storm. Here’s the suave Dylan Moran with the suave producer Jim Wilson. Jim was one of our earliest supporters on ‘Shaun’ as he developed the film at FilmFour and stayed on after the movie moved to Working Title.
As you can see, after a week or so of zombies banging on windows and moaning behind doors, when David was finally pulled out, the undead crowd went crazy. I remember it being an especially intense crowd shot as mob mentality took over and the zombie supporting cast went insane with bloodlust. They’d been waiting so long to eat!
You can see Paul Putner as one of the zombies above. That was originally to be a callback to his taxi driver earlier in the movie, before it was cut out.
For the (SPOILER) dismemberment, Dylan Moran was on a rig that attached his body to a dummy in mid air and then let the zombies swarm and feast on him.
It’s another tense day in the Winchester. Funnily other than my memories of the shoot being as intense as the scene I also remember the mood being lifted whenever the cast would order in a huge round of Starbucks from Ealing Broadway. It was quite strange seeing the characters quaff frothy coffee in the pub in between takes.
Barbara’s (SPOLIER ALERT) death was also Penelope Wilton’s last day of the shoot which made it doubly poignant and distressing. Simon Pegg’s tears are real.
As befits a extremely tense scene I remember this being a tense day on set. Sometimes the point in the shoot where the cast and crew have become tired, exhausted and emotional lands at exactly the same point in the movie where the characters are under similar duress.
When a long heated dialogue scene between five characters (six including Barbara) erupts, you need at least one shot size of each performer and then also extra eye lines too if those people start arguing among one another.
So this was a dense complicated little stand off.