Zombies coming to Sanford as producers prepare to shoot film in the flood-damaged community – MLive.com

MIDLAND, MI - The community of Sanford has been busy picking up the pieces after dealing with historic flooding in 2020. Now, people in Sanford could be seeing zombies out and about this year as two actors turned filmmakers are planning on using the dramatic, flood-damaged scenery around town as a set for their upcoming zombie virus film.

Unfortunately the flooding that happened last year provided kind of the perfect backdrop for something set in a post-apocalyptical world, explained producer Chris Krause.

Krause and his girlfriend Megan Meyer are setting out to produce an indie zombie film in Sanford called Followers. Filming on Followers is slated to begin in August of this year.

Krause was born and raised in Sanford who went out to New York to work as a professional actor for about six years before being brought back to his hometown thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that hes back home Krause is determined to set out and make his film while aiming to it bring awareness to what happened to the Sanford area during the 2020 flood.

I was thinking, Hey It would be cool if I could make a film that also has the added bonus of drawing attention to what happened to our town, to show people like what happened here because it really was devastating, he said.

This town still needs help, it didnt look like this because we had $20 million to set dress, this was just the way it isif I can help thats an added bonus, Krause added. Im an actor, Im not a contractor, Im not a millionaire or anything I just cant give money to rebuild stuff so if this my own way of doing it then thatd be great.

The film isnt your typical zombie apocalypse movie. In addition to raising awareness of the Sanford flooding, Krause explained that his film sets out to comment and touch on both systematic and interpersonal race relations. He said that only white people are able to get infected by the zombie virus in the films world. So to keep themselves safe, groups of other white people follow the infected hordes. But that safety comes at a price.

It creates a culture of followers people who follow hordes of these infected around because it offers a level of protection, he said. But the trade-off is you stand back and do nothing when it attacks other people.

Krause explained that this touches on a concept that he calls followers, which is referenced in the films name. Krause defined a follower as someone who is willing to stand back and let other people get hurt if they think that by not doing anything theyll stay safe.

Thats something that really just over the past couple of years kind of spoke to me in addition to making a fun creepy, horror film, which is always fun, Krause said. My favorite horrors are the ones that really examine the deeper issues.

Inspired by found footage horror films such as the Blaire Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity series, Krause and Meyer started a Tik Tok channel called Follow Pete and Ash to promote their film by drawing audiences in through seemingly real video snippets. The couple started the channel under their respective characters names in the film and began telling the characters stories as if it were actually happening to them. Krause and Meyer explained that they started off acting as a couple that was hearing a weird noise in the woods and that their later videos began to get more and more intense. Krause and Meyer shortly had a horde of Tik Tok followers hooked wondering if their paranormal clips were actually real.

Once they had gotten to the point where they had a large viral following and fans arguing in the comments if the videos were real or not, it was time to let the cat out of the bag.

We finally did release that it was a movie with kind of like a trailer and we got both negative and positive feedback, but mostly positive to be honest, Meyer said.

Meyer said that the Tik Tok channel had amassed over 200,000 followers in just two weeks. The Tik Tok channel can be found at: https://www.tiktok.com/@followpeteandash?lang=en

Weve just been able to engage people in a level that weve never thought, which is really cool, Krause said.

An actor by trade, Meyer had to branch out to learn the ins-and-outs of social media marketing as she worked to promote the film through avenues like Tik Tok while also working on extra tasks like sound design.

I did a lot of things I would never do for myself on social media, like engaging with comments, trying to follow people, she said. So it was a lot of figuring out the tricks of how to grow a social media fanbase.

Once the film is shot, edited and ready for viewing, Krause said that his plan is to ideally sell the film directly to a distributor but that he was also looking at presenting it at film festivals, both locally and across the country.

Were looking at doing the old school model as well which is submitting to film festivals, especially the big ones, he said.

In the meantime, Krause and Meyer are raising funds for the films production on GoFundMe with an ultimate goal of $30,000. As of Tuesday, June 29, over $4,000 has been raised for the film. Click here to view the GoFundMe page.

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Zombies coming to Sanford as producers prepare to shoot film in the flood-damaged community - MLive.com

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