TopLine Comms and Absolute Radio are teaming up to help Philippa – a mum of two with multiple sclerosis and a horror film fanatic – realise her dream of starring in her own zombie film.
At TopLine, we’ve handled a great many animated and live-action projects in our time: we’ve done some TV ads, we’ve filmed a few roundtables, we’ve herded some sheep. You know, the usual production company stuff.
What we’ve never done is make a zombie movie. And to be honest, it’s always sort of bothered us. We don’t get many zombie movie clients. Everyone wants a fun, two-minute animated explainer, and nobody wants to see their CFO eaten by the pustulated hordes of the risen dead. Nope, we don’t get it either.
So when Philippa – a mum-of-two with multiple sclerosis – rang into Absolute Radio to talk about her long-held desire to star in a zombie movie, we jumped at the chance to bring her dream to life. Or, um, death.
What’s multiple sclerosis?
According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, MS is a neurological condition that affects the nerves. The immune system doesn’t work properly, and symptoms such as fatigue, vision problems, and difficulty walking manifest as a result. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may negatively impact quality of life.
It’s estimated that around 100,000 people in the UK have MS. Diagnosis usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40. To find out more, it’s worth checking out the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website.
Philippa grew up in a small town, and met her future husband at age 17. Some 21 years later, they’re still together – and happily married with a 16-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son.
Philippa learned she had MS at age 30 – right in the middle of the diagnostic window. “It has taken a lot away from me”, she says, “but luckily my sense of humour is still intact!”
And her sense of horror. An avid fan of zombie movies and a longtime Absolute Radio listener, she called Christian O’Connell’s Breakfast Show to ask if they could help her star in her very own film. “People want to help Philippa and have been moved by her story and empowered by her positivity as the ‘MS Warrior’”, says Christian. “The incredible and generous offers of support have been overwhelming.”
After Christian and the Breakfast Show team asked the public for help, we were delighted to oblige.
The TopLine team visited the Absolute Radio studio to recce the location of the shoot.
Okay, this sounds like a good cause and she sounds like a cool person. What’s involved, and what’s the film about?
Well, when you’re dealing with a zombie horde, you really need to pull out all the stops. So we’ll be handling production from start to finish: producers, directors, camera operators, editors, sound recorders, makeup artists, actors, and more – everything you need for a standard professional production, only completely free of charge.
The film itself is called “Morning Gory”, and will follow Philippa and her trusty sidekick Christian as Absolute’s standard Tuesday morning breakfast show goes horribly awry. “Make up artists, stunt men, people offering to take a day off work just to come and make tea for everyone. It’s been heartwarming”, says Christian. “I should single out TopLine Comms and Jamie, who offered to basically make the whole thing happen.”
As for Philippa? She’s looking forward to taking the brave, steely, resolve she shows every day in her ongoing battle against MS – and using it to bash a few zombie brains in. “I’m so excited to not only meet the breakfast team, but to have a go at making a horror movie. I’m in awe of all the trouble everyone’s going to for me.”
It’s no trouble at all, Philippa. Just promise us that when the zombie apocalypse inevitably comes, you’ll put this experience to good use!
You can donate to the Multiple Sclerosis Society here.