The zombie apocalypse is coming to downtown Bel Air Saturday, and everyone is invited.
Office Street will be closed from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday for the filming of a scene for the upcoming zombie movie "My Boring Zombie Apocalypse," which is being directed by Kevin A. Perkins of Baltimore.
Perkins, who has been working on the movie for at least three years, described it as the "we take back the planet scene" as the survivors gain the upper hand against the zombie hordes.
"It's this rather big melee scene between the good guys and the bad guys," he said.
The movie is about a 17-year-old boy who wishes he could be living in a post-apocalyptic world, and he gets his wish, but he learns that slow-moving zombies are not the threat they are perceived to be, especially when so many Americans have guns.
Perkins said the movie is more about how society responds to a zombie outbreak.
"If we had to put up with it and live with it and get along with it, what would change?" he asked.
The one-way Office Street, which is lined by the Harford County Courthouse on one side and by banks and retail shops on the other, will be transformed into a movie set/zombie block party.
Perkins said the long and narrow street is a good location because only one end needs to be blocked, and it has high buildings on each side.
He said a "massive city skyline" will be added in the post-production phase, when the movie is being edited, and it will look like the final battle is taking place in a major city.
Perkins expects shooting will be complete this fall, and the film, which is about 40 minutes long, will be released in early 2015.
"This is kind of the last big scene we needed," he said of the shoot in Bel Air.
Anyone interested in being an extra is encouraged to visit the set and wear military or police dress; register in advance on the "My Boring Zombie Apocalypse" Facebook page or visit the Collectors Corner comic and games store at 17 N. Main St. on the day of shooting, according to a flier for the event.
Perkins said there will be little blood and gore effects during the shoot, so parents are encouraged to bring children.
Perkins said he has been a longtime friend of Randy Myers, the owner of Collectors Corner – there are stores in Baltimore and Bel Air – and he is working to promote Collectors Corner and other downtown Bel Air businesses through the shoot.
"We're encouraging everybody [in the cast and crew], when you get up there, to grab something to eat in Bel Air, to really patronize the town," he said.
Trish Heidenreich, economic development director for Bel Air, said she and her staff have been giving Main Street businesses notice of the shoot through email and fliers.
"We've tried to be as conscientious as possible in the coordination of this, to ensure that it actually will have a positive impact, that we're having all these extra people on Main Street that Kevin Perkins has encouraged to go and shop and dine on Main Street," Heidenreich said.
Perkins said chose Bel Air with the encouragement of Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office. Production crews for the Netflix television series "House of Cards" have shot scenes in Bel Air and Harford County.
He also praised Heidenreich for her assistance with bringing the movie shoot to town.
"I am telling all my filmmaker friends to check out Bel Air if you want to do some filmmaking up there," he said. "They're just really super-friendly people and they really bend over backwards."