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"Herd", A Zombie Movie By Frameworks Productions, To Begin Filming in Poplar Bluff, MO

Josh Seabaugh
Steven Pierce explaining to a group of auditioning actors how the zombies in his movies act

Filming starts in April for a new zombie movie, and production will take place in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The movie is called “Herd” and auditions were held in Rust Media Center in Cape Girardeau.

Produced by Framework Productions, the movie will be directed by CEO and co-writer, Steven Pierce, who grew up in Poplar Bluff. Pierce is an award winning writing and director who has received four collaborative Emmy Awards for his work on "Saturday Night Live". Pierce chose to film in his hometown because he thought the setting would work well for the movie

Steven Pierce is an award-winning writer. Pierce held auditions in the back room of the Rust Media Center in Cape Girardeau

“The reason we’re here in the first place is because I grew up in Poplar Bluff and I don’t think it’s an area of the country that’s photographed very often because it’s just not known about as much. So we’re starting the film on the beautiful Current River out on Van Buren, which was my dream when we wrote it, that we would start out there”

On March 21st, auditions were held for extras on the film, specifically for zombies. In groups, ranging from three to six people, people were instructed to walk around, gradually growing in pain. Pierce would instruct them to go from migraine to the worst pain in their life, before going into a full, zombie rage. Auditions would last around 2 minutes for each group before those who auditioned were informed about filming and the next group was invited in.

This audition of growth in pain and anger was because the zombies in “Herd” are described to not be undead, but rather be suffering from a virus. Similar to “28 Days Later” or “World War Z”, Pierce said the zombies are infected people who have lost control.

“It’s more like a rage virus but these are infected. Well, we call them also ‘Heps’. H-E-P-S. We call our zombies ‘Heps’. They’re all infected and they’re wandering around with, you know, all these symptoms which have basically droven them out of their mind. We call it like Ebola mixed with rabies”

For those who couldn’t make it to in-person auditions, Framework Productions is running a campaign on Instagram on the official Herd account “@herd.film”. People can post a ten to fifteen second video of them as a zombie, and add the hashtag, “#LeadTheHerd”. One person will be chosen to be a featured zombie in the film. Other information on the film production will also be posted on the Herd Instagram account

Filming starts in April 2022. Pierce said filming will take place late in the evenings and will continue until the early morning. hours. The expected release date for "Herd" is late 2023.