Turned into a movie set and taken over by teenage zom­bies

Hor­ror. I was only nine when she got me watch­ing creepy

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS -

di­rect­ing this one. “If you’d have tried to take me to a mu­si­cal be­fore I made this you’d be taking me kick­ing and scream­ing,” he laughs, adding: “My favourite mu­si­cal was South Park: Big­ger, Longer & Un­cut…”

John ad­mits he’s now fully fallen in love with the genre and hails the cin­e­matog­ra­phy of West Side Story and the fun of Legally Blonde. Anna And The Apoca­lypse sees La La Land meet Shaun Of The Dead, so was it a chal­lenge for John to bring the zom­bie, Christ­mas and mu­si­cal el­e­ments into one melt­ing pot?

“The way I wanted to work­it­wasthatthe­first15 min­utes would be just the High School Mu­si­cal meets Shaun Of The Dead in Port Glas­gow ceme­tery.

Ella Hunt, 20, plays Anna. The ac­tor grew up in Devon and left main­stream school­ing at 14 to train in per­for­mance. She said: “School was a funny time for me. I think in the UK in par­tic­u­lar young peo­ple are op­posed to be­ing overtly as­pi­ra­tional. They call you cocky or weird, and as a kid who has al­ways loved per­form­ing and knew what I wanted to do and was open about it, that wasn’t al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated.

“There was a strange feel­ing of be­ing back in school. I loved it. And un­like school, I’ve got a whole group of best friends. It was a bit of a heal­ing process.”

In­ver­ness ac­tor Mal­colm Cum­ming, 27, plays Ella’s love in­ter­est, John.

He ac­knowl­edged the late Ryan’s in­flu­ence on the work as it de­vel­oped.

“The pro­duc­ers were very open about what it was like for them to work with Ryan and taking that orig­i­nal idea for­ward,” he said. “There was a sense that this was some­thing spe­cial – th­ese peo­ple kids, no zom­bies,” John ex­plains. “That’s the way I like to tell sto­ries. I like you to know who the char­ac­ters are­and­wan­ty­outolove and cham­pion them. “From there, we can then get off and run­ning and be as crazy as we wanted and haveas­much­fu­naswe wanted. Th­ese kids are just in­cred­i­ble… well, I call worked with him, they were his friends. Ryan’s par­ents came on set and saw how far some­thing he cre­ated had gone.”

Ella added: “The legacy that Ryan Mchenry has left is en­cour­ag­ing a whole bunch of young creatives to go into a ca­reer in film­mak­ing and to do it boldly. It’s about be­liev­ing in each other. Maybe we aren’t a big stu­dio, maybe we haven’t done ev­ery­thing that peo­ple in movies across the Atlantic say we’re sup­posed to do – but let’s just do it.”

One of the movie’s ma­jor strengths is the sound­track penned by Glas­gow song­writ­ers Roddy Hart and Tommy Reilly, pro­duced by top indie pro­ducer Paul Sav­age, more used to pol­ish­ing the work of Calvin Har­ris and Franz Fer­di­nand than a high school mu­si­cal about zom­bies.

St Stephen’s was no Hogwarts, no mis­take.

But I learned and laughed a lot there – and had a few nar­row es­capes, be­lieve me. I’m just grate­ful my mates and I made it out alive.

Anna And The Apoca­lypse is re­leased on November 30. them kids but they’re in their twen­ties! But they’re my kids and from the mo­ment that they all met they just fell in love with each other and it was amaz­ing.

“They came in to­gether for re­hearsals and they all felt like they were back at high school again, run­ning about the cor­ri­dors caus­ing chaos. They were all made-up in blood play­ing switch and scrab­ble in the green rooms and the en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm they brought to every scene was just in­cred­i­ble.

“We’d be two hours be­hind, the rain com­ing down and it’s freez­ing cold, but they al­ways de­liv­ered with en­thu­si­asm!”

Blood on the walls as Paul English re­vis­its the movie shooting in his old school, left, and Ella Hunt stars as Anna, main and be­low

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