LONGMONT -- Halloween is two months away, but Silver Creek High School's band already is getting into the spirit.
Clad in shirts stained with fake blood and monster masks, the band ran through a dress rehearsal of its zombie-themed halftime show Saturday night for family, friends and a reality TV crew.
"It's a really special opportunity for the kids," Silver Creek band director Jay Clanin said.
A film crew taped Saturday's rehearsal for an upcoming episode of the Travel Channel's "Making Monsters." The reality show follows Ed and Marsha Edmunds, owners of Distortions Unlimited, a Greeley shop that makes animated robots, costumes, masks and other ghoulish props, mainly for haunted houses.
Silver Creek's band turned to the company for zombie masks that would make students look spooky while still allowing them to play their instruments.
"Making Monsters" aired as a four-episode miniseries last year and was renewed for another 10 episodes this season. Producers aren't yet sure which episode will feature the Silver Creek band students. The first episode of the new season is scheduled to air Sept. 30.
Cameras rolled this summer when Silver Creek's drum majors -- seniors Tommy Heidebrecht, Kyra Czerwinski and Faith King, all 17 -- met with staff at Distortions for a brainstorming meeting, and again for the unveiling of about 125 latex rubber masks, complete with scruffs of hair, droopy eyes and repugnant teeth.
"Our reaction was just what (the film crew) wanted," Czerwinski said. "We were like, 'Oh my god, that's so cool!'"
The masks have holes for the students' eyes, ears and mouths, which created an interesting look for the flutists, Heidebrecht said.
"It looks like a zombie is eating the flute," he said. "It's really cool."
The show, which runs less than 10 minutes, follows the aftermath of an accident in a Longmont laboratory, where scientists had been working on a serum intended to make band kids faster and stronger. Instead, they unleash a herd of zombies on the city that gradually turns the band into monsters.
All that happens while the band plays several pieces from Hans Zimmer, including music from the movies "Corpse Bride" and "Gladiator." The closing number is "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed.
"We always try to do crazy shows, but this is over what we usually do," Czerwinski said.
Ed and Marsha Edmunds, who sat in the bleachers for Saturday's rehearsal at Longmont High School's Everly-Montgomery Field, both said they liked working with the students. This was the first time camera crews followed teenage clients, said the show's associate producer Veronica Pope.
"I think the part that I liked was their enthusiasm and excitement because they love what (band director) Jay's doing," Ed Edmunds said.
The band show, aptly named "Distortions," will be performed during halftime at several of Silver Creek's home varsity football games, during CU Band Day on Sept. 22 and during the St. Vrain Valley School District's Band Night on Oct. 10.
About 100 students play instruments in the show, and another 20 students play zombies.
One of the extras, Silver Creek senior Mikayla McNea, 18, will graduate in December and said she wanted to do something outside her comfort zone.
"I only have four months of high school left, so why not do something extraordinary with it?" she said.
An army of parents created the show's set pieces, including gray brick walls and a life-size taxi.
Melanie Mann, whose 15-year-old son Jack Mann plays the bass drum, said parents rallied to support this year's show.
"This group of parents is amazing. You put one thing on the Facebook page, and it's taken care of immediately," she said.
Band director Clanin started working on the show in December. His in-laws, who live next door to the Edmundses, made the initial introduction. But prior to filming, Clanin had to get the kids on board (that part was easy), as well as their parents, the school's administration and the district's board of education.
It was a lengthy process, and Clanin hopes his students will remember the hundreds of hours of work that have gone into making the show.
"Hopefully, they realize that hard work pays off," he said.