Syfy’s ‘Z-Nation’ to invade campus during June


Kellita Smith, who plays one of the main characters Lt. Roberta Warren, getting a shot in front o the JFK Library. Smith has also played Bernie Mac’s wife in “The Bernie Mac Show” and Tanya in the movie, “Feel The Noise” | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Kaitlyn Engen, Reporter

No, a zombie apocalypse is not happening. However, the EWU campus will be transforming into the latest “Z-Nation” over the next month, and students can count on seeing zombies at scattered locations around the EWU campus.

Film crew, producers, directors and of course, zombie actors and actresses of the SyFy television series “Z-Nation” showed up on campus last Friday, and they are welcoming students to join in on the live zombie action.

“It’s really interesting and something totally different than what we normally do,” Nina DeCamp, EWU program coordinator for business and auxiliary services who headed the effort to bring “Z-Nation” to campus said.

DeCamp, along with her colleague Tessa Anderson, is in charge of handling the location agreements that allow filming (typically by EWU students) to take place on campus. When she and Anderson were approached by “Z-Nation” location manager Pete Moroz, they knew they were in for a project requiring much “dead-ication.”

“This is a huge project so we had to get everyone—all the directors—involved and talk to the vice president of the Business and Finance Department,” Anderson said. “It’s a huge communication project,”

DeCamp gave a day-long tour to Moroz and other “Z-Nation” crew members, who were seeking out unique parts of the EWU campus to film the fifth season of “Z-Nation.”

“They’re kind of going for ‘post-apocalyptic’ and ‘pre,’ so they’re trying to have buildings that are kind of older and also buildings that are new and modern as like a ‘transition period.’” DeCamp said.

“Z-Nation” will bring to life key spots around campus to film: the SRC and Reese Court terrace area (June 6), the outside of Showalter Hall (June 8 and 18) and select academic buildings such as the Science Building (June 13, 14 and 20), Patterson Hall (June 21) and Hargreaves Hall (June 19-22).  

Actors playing zombies on set of Syfy’s ‘Z-Nation. The film crew will be filming at various locations on campus throughout the month of June | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

Because filming is happening on campus locations during university business hours, EWU and “Z-Nation” welcome student participation. They invite all students to witness, interact and enjoy the behind-the-scenes view.  

“They’re trying to be really open with communicating with students who are walking by or that are curious about what’s going on,” Anderson said.

Students may even be shocked to encounter some of their peers at the set. Some EWU film majors and alumni are participating in the show’s production, as well as some students who auditioned to become zombies themselves.

EWU zombie fans and phobics have much to anticipate now through June 22.

“I’m really excited to see the season, to see how they transform the campus into something crazy.” DeCamp said.   
“Z-Nation” is changing up the scene on EWU campus, and to say it has something for everybody is a real “no-brainer.”