The Night Shift: The beginning

Editor's Note: I'm happy to begin our new weekly feature, The Night Shift - which is the on-set diary of the new independent supernatural-adventure-comedy of the same name currently in pre-production in Mobile, AL. Over the course of the next several weeks and months, you'll get an insider's peek at what it's like for filmmakers to craft a new entry of paranormal pop culture. A big welcome to Erin Lilley, who is involved in the film as a producer and actress, and who will be taking over writing duties every Friday. Now I'm going to pass it along to her to introduce you to The Night Shift. - Aaron Sagers

The Night Shift

Hi, Paranormal Pop Culture readers!  My name is Erin Lilley, and I'm one of the producers of the upcoming independent film, The Night Shift.  I'm also one of the actors, so when our executive producer and director, Thomas Smith, was approached about doing this blog, he very sweetly, thought of me.  Actually, I'm thrilled to have this opportunity, and can't wait to share with you some of what's going on behind-the-scenes.

So what is The Night Shift?  It is the feature-length version of a short film that our company, Fighting Owl Films, produced in 2008.  The original film focused on Rue Morgan, the undead caretaker of a cemetery with a slight demon problem.  The film was shot in Mobile, Alabama (really), with local talent playing Rue, his best friend Herb (a quick-witted skeleton torso with a flair for fashion), Claire (the living day shift worker and Rue's crush), and Trigger (the demon in western wear).  It cost about $200, and had a crew of about six people, including the actors.  It went on to screen in several film festivals across the country, and has garnered a lot of support and interest online. 

We also received the thrill of our lives when Fangoria reviewed it positively (shown here).  I'm seriously still in a bit of shock over that, to be honest.  The feature will be about 90 minutes, with a cast of about 35, and a considerably larger - though still on a shoestring-budget - so the production values should be worlds better than before. 

Also, Rue and his gang have a few more baddies to battle, and there are a lot more fun adventures to be had.  We're making this movie as a salute to the films we loved as children - Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Goonies - and hope that you enjoy watching it as much as we've enjoyed working on it.

As for me? I played Claire in the original, and I'm reprising that role in the feature.  I also played Trigger in the original (and if you had any idea how girly I am, you'd find that a lot funnier), as well as a ghost child, a tresspassing teenager and I had a turn as Herbie puppeteer. 

My day jobs (yes, we all have them since we have to pay the bills somehow) have me working as a voice-over artist and a professional church singer.  Thomas is a web designer and we've been married for a little over two years.  Yes - married to each other.  We don't have a physical studio, so our apartment has been taken over by props and costumes. 

Right now, my living room is home to two Herbies, a decapitated dummy dressed as a bad wedding singer, and a couple of very confused parakeets.  Next week, I hope to have some fun stories (and maybe pictures!) from our make-up workshop.  Our chief make-up artist is going to teach the extras and some of the principals how to do their own ghost and zombie effects for the shoot.  If nothing else, it should make for an interesting way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I'm a first time blogger and I'm still learning the ropes, but this has been fun.  Please bear with me, and I hope you enjoy this first-hand, inside look at the making of The Night Shift!  And in the meantime, please come say hi on our Fighting Owl Films Facebook page.