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Mark Stone at Stay Dead Events wanted to bring something new to Alberta – an 18 hour survival alternate-reality simulation. He wanted it to be as realistic as possible, as immersive as possible, and as intense as legally possible. He wanted to create an alternate reality promo/viral video online to blur what is real and what is not. In early 2014, Stay Dead gained huge media attention, and we were lucky enough to be there, by late summer, our video for Stay Dead went viral – gaining thousands of views per hour. As of 2017, our video has 1.5 million views and counting.

Hundreds of players, NPC Actors, and zombies will be locked in a mall for 18 full hours, looking to advance a real life story that unfolded inside the mall. They will have to look for food, water, and fight to survive.

However, cameras were NOT allowed. To preserve the immersive experience, any camera crew had to be part of the experience and survive themselves.

We had to get in on the action as an “indie” documentarian – the idea is the footage we get will be first person cloverfield-esque. In the end we created two products – one short 2 minute promo, and a longer 30 minute “short film” of the event up until the deaths of the cameramen.

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Cameras were restricted in this event and had to be authorized. Additionally, authorized cameras had to participate in the event themselves and survive – meaning, if they were to die, that is all the footage they get.

That poses a few challenges if you wanted to make a promo video, especially if the ones you’re making it for are technically going to “kill you”. It means however, if we died in the game before we finish getting footage for the promo, that is ALL we would have. To preserve the vision of this event and it’s immersive experience, we would have to survive as well.

Jordan and Harvey posed as indie documentarians trying to document the apocalypse and be fully immersed in the game. To fulfill this vision, we used two cameras: One Go Pro, and a camcorder.

It was all shot in first person, with many batteries and film media at the ready in our “survival” bags.

4 hours in, Jordan was shot in the head. One of the two camera team is now out of the simulation.

With one cameraman remaining, Harvey followed groups of survivors arguing, debating and panicking about what to do next as they fight an onslaught of marauding bandits and zombies.

Finally trapped in a dark room hiding from bandits, the last cameraman is outnumbered and killed. This was all the footage left.

The music was composed custom by “Scott Hampton” titled “18 hours”. The original edit featured “Dirty Paws” by of Monsters and Men but Scott Hampton created a track with a more edgy, darker feel.


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