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Osterhus and Sundheim play key roles in films for Blood of the Martyrs’ songs “H.E.L.P.ER” and “Swiftly”
The zombie apocalypse has made its way from TV shows to music videos through the making of Blood of the Martyrs’ “H.E.L.P.ER” and “Swiftly,”with the help of a current Liberty University student and a Liberty graduate.
Senior Rachel Osterhus and graduate Jeff Sundheim acted as the main characters in the music videos for the band Blood of the Martyrs, which were filmed during the beginning of the fall semester, with the latest video published on YouTube Oct. 30.
The members of the Christian heavy metal band contacted Osterhus and Sundheim after a mutual friend recommended them for the video, according to Osterhus. The music video portrays the two struggling for survival after the zombie apocalypse.
Osterhus, who is a theatre arts major, said she had never worked in film before and thought it sounded like a good experience. She described the two days of filming in Farmville, Va., as interesting, even though she was not fully aware of the story behind the music video before working on it.
“It was hard to jump right in and to not really have a background,” Osterhus said. “We didn’t create a backstory … It was hard to put all of those conditions on myself (for the apocalypse).”
Sundheim said he mentally prepared for the long hours of filming before arriving each day. He also said it took him some time to get used to all the zombies and the fake blood used during filming.
With the five members of the band also involved in the filming, Osterhus said she and Sundheim were able to talk with them and get to know them over the course of the two days.
“I’ve never really interacted with people who are into the screamo music, but they were so endearing, so kind, so welcoming,” Osterhus said. “They brought us water and snacks, and they just thought of everything. They didn’t have everything planned out, so they were flexible. … They were really encouraging.”
Sundheim said the extras used in the video showed him the extent of the band’s fan base.
“So many people showed up to help these guys out with their video, so you know they are doing something right,” Sundheim said. “They are reaching people for Christ in a way that isn’t really the norm in the music industry. You don’t hear of many good metal Christian bands, and they are, which is so awesome.”
Realizing that heavy metal and a zombie apocalypse are not typically seen in the Christian music industry, Sundheim said the band and music video sheds light on how Christians are not the cookie-cutter people that others make them out to be.
“(Christians) have different likes and dislikes from each other, and it is shown in this band,” Sundheim said. “I personally am not a fan of heavy metal music, and I am a Christian.
But these guys are serving the Lord in a way that people sometimes judge and don’t realize is making a huge impact. I, as a Christian, applaud them for using this unique gift of music for (God’s) glory.”
Describing the zombie world as beyond her understanding, Osterhus said this experience helped her grow not only as an actress, but also as an individual.
“I ended up coming out of those two days really learning the value of loving people, the value of getting to know people,” Osterhus said. “We can always love each other no matter (the) different opinions and different things we enjoy. It was cool getting to know new people … and to love on new people and to be available and to just trust that they are following their call, whatever that may be.”