|Don Keen gets zombified by Daphne Lewis.|
Carey Rayburn, the director and co-writer of the series, “The Unfriendlies,” worked the cameras with the help of actors Marc Sellors and Jim Brucke, both of Birmingham. Locals Daphne Lewis and Don Keene played mostly-dead in the cold surf.
“If I wasn’t a Florida girl, I’d probably think it was just right,” Daphne said of the water temp.
“The Unfriendlies” is the story of a family that goes camping in the woods and doesn’t realize that the world has been swallowed in a zombie uprising. Carey described it as being “quirky” like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” One of the opening shots in the pilot episode will show the initial zombies emerging from the ocean and trudging inland.
>>See video of the director shooting scenes at PCB<<
“The pilot episode is mostly comedy and a little exposition, but they get darker,” Carey said. “The comedy will remain, but there will also be some dramatic story lines. Season one will consist of six episodes, and we will have five different directors.”
You can find details of the production and photos of their woodland shoot at Facebook.com/TheUnfriendlies.
While in town, Carey was also working on two other longterm projects dealing with the history of the beaches: a documentary short about Petticoat Junction, and a longer documentary about “Old” PCB and its attractions.
Carey has gathered aid on the documentaries from author Tim Hollis, whose new book, “The Minibook of Minigolf” focuses on PCB’s Goofy Golf attraction, and J.D. Weeks, author of “Panama City Memories.”
“I’ve been interviewing people about former attractions such as the Hangout, Tombstone Territory, The Sui-Slide, Long Beach Amusement Park, Jungleland, etc.,” Carey said. “I’m gonna spend the next year or so coming to PCB to interview whoever I can find that has stories to share about what it used to be like.”
Recently, Carey filmed a reunion special with the Rader family looking back at their Ocean Opry years. His goal is to have it completed by December and show it in Panama City Beach.
“I was a big fan of theirs when I was a kid, and years later when I became a filmmaker one of the first projects I did was a documentary short on them in 2004,” he said. “They closed a year later. I’ve been in touch with Debbie Rader Clanton for awhile on Facebook, and I told her I thought we should do a video of them telling stories about their 27 years. We talked about it for a few weeks and decided to do it part memories and part documentary.”
Meanwhile, the zombies slogged out of the surf several times for takes at different angles. Marc got some underwater footage using a Go-Pro. Tourists walked through shots, forcing retakes, and the morning fog caused cameras to lose focus.
Finally, Daphne and Don trudged past Jim, playing an older gentleman relaxing on a beach towel. They passed him by without notice.
“I guess my meat is not sweet,” Jim joked.