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Zombie horde vanquished in Bel Air

Extras portraying soldiers in the movie 'My Boring Zombie Apocalypse' stand over a pile of extras playing dead zombies during a shooting of a scene on Office Street in Bel Air Saturday.
Extras portraying soldiers in the movie 'My Boring Zombie Apocalypse' stand over a pile of extras playing dead zombies during a shooting of a scene on Office Street in Bel Air Saturday. (Courtesy of Bob Rose, Lizardmark Productions / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The human race can breathe easier: the zombie hordes were stopped on Office Street in downtown Bel Air Saturday afternoon.

The final battle was, of course, make believe; filmmaker Kevin A. Perkins, of Baltimore, was shooting the climactic scene for his upcoming film "My Boring Zombie Apocalypse."

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"It went 10 times better than it really should have, considering the weather," Perkins said, recalling a roughly two-hour shoot on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Office Street, a one-way side street between the Harford County Courthouse and a block of two- and three-story commercial buildings that connects South Bond Street and South Main Street, was closed during shooting.

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A call was put out last week for extras to play zombies and soldiers during the battle scene, and about 60 people showed up – there were about 30 zombies and about 30 soldiers, Perkins said.

"It was really a lot of fun, and I really got everything that I was looking for," he said of his experience in Bel Air.

Perkins said "all the pieces fell together" in coordinating with Bel Air officials and downtown businesses.

"I will definitely be back that way to shoot if I need something," he said. "It was a pleasure to work with those guys."

Perkins' movie is scheduled to be released in early 2015, and he said he has to get just a few more shots known as B-roll, such as shots of people reacting to news broadcasts, before filming is complete.

Pictures have been posted to the "My Boring Zombie Apocalypse" Facebook page showing families wearing grim zombie makeup, and young men dressed in camouflage uniforms and holding military rifles.

Photos of a donated Mercedes-Benz Unimog all-terrain truck, with a grenade launcher mounted on the cab are also posted.

Perkins said that, when shooting an independently-financed film, "you kind of depend on people who would just get a huge kick out of being on film."

Perkins said many of the soldiers were played by Airsoft enthusiasts, who stage mock battles such as death match or capture the flag and use the rifles, which are made to resemble military weapons, to shoot 6mm plastic pellets at each other.

The director said the enthusiasts, many of whom were going to take part in an event hosted the next day by East Coast Airsoft, of Bel Air, work to make sure their uniforms and weapons are as realistic as possible.

"It's pretty much replicating what the military does," said Matt Gabriel, the 23-year-old co-owner of East Coast Airsoft, who played one of the soldiers.

Gabriel, who lives in Bel Air, owns East Coast Airsoft with his father, Hal Littman. They have been in business since 2008, and Gabriel said he has been an Airsoft enthusiast since he was a student at Bel Air High School, where he graduated in 2009.

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Gabriel said he enjoyed his first experience on a movie set.

"They had pretty good makeup artists there, so the zombies actually looked real," he said.

He said he and his fellow extras took part in a scene where they get out of the Unimog and pretend to shoot the zombie extras coming toward them.

"We tried to make it seem as real as we could with no acting experience," Gabriel said.

Perkins said the footage shot in Bel Air will be blended with footage of buildings on fire and of aircraft flying over the city.

"I need to make this feel like a real pivotal turning point, the fact that we save the day," he explained. "I really need to make it look epic, like there's a lot going on at once."

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