This past Saturday saw the indie sci-fi horror movie, Ombis, filmed in Angola, NY — about a 45-minute drive from the CBN offices near Buffalo.
Yours truly was on hand to not only check out all the action, but I actually got to play the part of a victim -- a victim that was attacked by the Ombis Slime Monsters!
Ombis is the fourth movie from director Adam Steigert and DefTone Picture Studios, a local production company housed out of Western New York that has previously put out the likes of Bitez, Gore, and the recent zombie thriller, The Final Night and Day.
Ombis has a stellar cast that includes the local talent of Richard Satterwhite as Sheriff Thomas Bracket (Satterwhite appeared on the ABC series Three Rivers), the lovely Melyssa Jade (rumored to be playing Savannah), as well as Robert Bozek, Brenda Rickert, Jason John Beebe, Rich Winiatowski as the alien Nemesis, and the up and coming talent of Kevin Tanski, who has a role in Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan's blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises.
Special to Ombis is a cameo appearance by the Reverend Tim Shaw, a paranormal investigator and host of his own internet radio show, the "BlackCatLounge." Shaw has been seen on SyFy's Ghost Hunters, The Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab, CBS Radio, along side SyFy's The Haunted Collector, John Zaffis, in the Core Productions documentary John Zaffis, The World Within — and much more.
Ombis began shooting at 11:30 a.m. and went non-stop for at least 12 more hours, with the main street of Angola, NY, closed off for the entire shoot. The local fire company was on hand to cook some burgers and hot dogs, and stores and restaurants participated by letting the Ombis crew set up their production offices in-house, as well as providing refreshments on the long and hot day. DefTone Studios had tents positioned where enthusiastic movie goers could register as an extra, as well as selling some of their merchandise (I picked up The Final Night and Day and a free test tube of Ombis slime!).
I arrived around 2 p.m. where I met some of the cast and crew. I briefly spoke to director Adam Steigert (we'll have an interview up later) who impressed me with his ability to take control. There was easily over a couple hundred people there, and the 25 year old had absolutely no problems managing the scene. I could tell he had a clear vision of what he wanted, where he wanted people to be, and what he wanted them to do.
Of course, no director is complete without his crew, and with the crew I was most impressed. It was like one large family as producer Mike Sciabarrasi ran the show from behind the scenes with the help of Rich Clark and many more. The make-up artists were doing their work, people were getting shuffled in and out, groups of extras were being divided into their proper categories, fans came to take a peek, and a local martial artist was choreographing a scene. Overall, it was just a fascinating and fabulous experience.
Mike asked me if I would like to play a "victim," to which I immediately responded in the affirmative. Off to the make-up chair I went, and a couple of gouges and scrapes later I was set! The make-up looked so fantastic that more than a few locals thought it to be real — as did some of my friends when I posted the pic online with: "I got into an accident!" (Sorry, Byron, bad joke!)
I met more than a few people who came out to be part of the excitement. A resident from Kenmore, NY, 25-year-old Angel Izard, said she saw an ad in the local entertainment newspaper, Art Voice, and decided to submit herself to the whims of the make-up crew — to be cast as a Slime Monster! Later on, I watched as Izard was transformed into something more, something scarier - something slimier - and witnessed as she attacked innocent townsfolk!
My own part saw me take the role of a victim (see below for pics) where I was running through the streets of "Metzburg," avoiding not only Slime Monsters — but the many dead bodies that littered the road! I was part of a mob of panicked people that ran for their lives - but not fast enough - as we were cornered in all directions by the infected people turned monstrous by the green gook of some otherworldly alien plague!
I participated in numerous shoots all from different angles, with my final scene being the close-up. There, I went one-on-one (sorta!) with an alien infected Slime Monster (Chip Reichenthal) — with my chances of appearing in a sequel being slim to none!
Obviously I had a great time on the set, much to the credit of DefTone Picture Studios. I would definitely do it again, and highly recommend for you to get involved in your own town's local movie scene!
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