The hundreds of stumbling ghouls who will amass at Jasper’s courthouse square today are here only for a film shoot.
The footage of the zombie hordes is meant for local director John Ware’s movie “THR33 DAYS DEAD.”
The film follows three friends attempting to survive a zombie infestation of their rural community.
Aside from a cameo from the star of the cult classic “Troll 2,” the cast and crew of “THR33 DAYS DEAD” is comprised almost entirely of local talent. The majority of the film shoots have been in Walker County, and the movie has been financed primarily by local residents and fundraisers held in the area.
Producer and Assistant Director Tina Teeter said the cast and crew have planned for the downtown shoot for months, and they have at least 300 people signed up as extras.
Some of them are coming from as far away as Nova Scotia, Canada.
“We’ve been bombarded with people,” she said. “Jasper is going to be covered up with zombies.”
Teeter said the filmmakers also hope to shoot in other locations throughout Jasper today. However, officers with the Jasper Police Department will close parts of 19th Street near Jasper’s Courthouse Square between 3 and 5 p.m. today for the downtown shoot.
Ware said most of the downtown merchants have been supportive of the movie and happy to accommodate the shoots.
During the Jasper City Council’s June meeting, the filmmakers requested an approval of the shoot. The council, however, never voted on the matter, and there was confusion on Friday as to whether the filmmakers would be breaking the law.
Mayor Sonny Posey said on Friday afternoon, however, that he is letting Police Chief Connie Cooner Rowe handle the event.
Rowe said the two-hour limit on the shoot was necessary due to business hours at downtown stores early in the day and a wedding at the First United Methodist Church.
“The makers of the film are being very cooperative,” Rowe said.
Teeter said the movie will be a positive thing for the community.
The hundreds of extras that have come for the shoot are staying in hotels and eating at local restaurants, contributing to the city’s tax revenue, she said.
Teeter said that, during today’s shoot, the filmmakers will take collections for Scares that Care, a nonprofit that uses the fan base for the horror genre to help sick children.