||Hey, how are you doing Mayank?
Owen, I'm doing super.
Tell me a bit about your role of Jack Cardille in
'The Day They Came Back'.
Jack is a fast-mouthed, short-tempered teen
who's actually frightened inside. Jack is the
younger brother of Phil, played by Caley
Oakes-Bisson, and tries to help out the group
when they come under attack by the living dead.
Like most teens, Jack hates to be ordered around,
and is rebellious. But don't let Jack's
"don't give a crap" about anyone
attitude fool you, he's really a hero in
training, as he makes one of his biggest
sacrifices by letting his bro climb down a rope
during one of the crucial scenes of the film.
Jack really loves his brother a lot, and I'm sure
that people won't judge him too harshly from his
was the shoot?
The film was shot from March into May of 2005,
and was mostly done on weekends. I also came back
for a reshoot of the beginning scenes in August
2005. In the beginning of the year, it would be
absolutely freezing, and I would be in my hoodie
from 7am call time to later than 10 at night.
However, it was the girls who I felt bad for -
running around in PJs and a skirt in March!
The stills from the movie look great. Awesome
atmosphere. Tell me about shooting this in Glen
Cove, Long Island at Welwyn Preserve.
Ah yes, the Preserve. Let me tell you
something - as an actor I am supposed to
completely believe in the imaginary, as if I was
really in a haunted location. Welwyn Preserve
really made my job a lot easier - it was scary!
Upon entering this old Holocaust Memorial, we see
a vine-infested meadow with an old greenhouse
down a hill. Now when I say 'vine-infested,' I
literally mean it's crawling with vines - I'll be
honest, I tripped a couple of times over those
things! It was hilly, and very unaccommodating,
and I really sympathized with the other cast, and
crew, for lugging equipment up and down these
places - especially at night. Scott was
able to find a place as spooky as Wewlyn without
incurring studio reproduction costs. It was
intimidating working in a harsh environment,
knowing that these thorny vines weren't set by
the prop department, and could really do some
damage if people weren't careful.
That sounds really cool. Do you have a favorite
or outstanding memory of working on 'The
Day They Came Back'?
One of my favorite incidents of working on the
set was when we prepared ourselves for the
running scenes. In these scenes Jack, Phil,
Danielle, and Jamie are escaping from a gruesome
death by jetting into an abandoned, pre-World War
greenhouse. So to look like we were winded from
running, all of us would jump up and down,
sprint-jump, and literally howl like monkeys and
chimps while the crew was seriously preparing to
roll when "ACTION" was called. Another
funny, but disgusting moment was when Danielle
Stevenson, played by Jessica Lynn Johnson, had to
vomit over the bridge due to her brother being
eaten alive by zombies in the previous scene. We
had to use fruit loops cereal crunched with
orange juice to make it look like real vomit. I
gotta tell you, although it was just meshed up
cereal - that image makes my stomach go uneasy.
Imagine Jessica who had to do that a couple of
Based on your experience
with this movie -- whats the toughest part
about no-budget independent filmmaking?
Although it is an independent film, the
experience was not as glamorous as I thought it
would be. Sometimes the shoots would be put on
hold if we had a lens problem with the ONLY
camera we were shooting with. The food wasn't too
appetizing -- mostly chips, drinks and sandwiches
- I love those three, but after 3 months of
shooting, a little diversity would have been
nice. We understood though because of the
no-budget aspect of the film. Also, one time
because we had no PA's on one of the day's, I
myself had to drive from Glen Cove, Long Island
to Queens, to pick up the other actors - cutting
into shooting time. So there were definitely
problems. Financial strains affected everyone
related to the movie.
What was it like working with director Scott
Scott was a very nice director to work with.
When I first saw Scott at the auditioning
process, I saw this "Jesusesque," thin,
punk-looking young man. I thought this was a
prank or something because he totally shattered
my notions on how directors should look. However
when he began to express his passion and
enthusiasm in "The Day They Came Back,"
by casting talented actors, I knew he was just as
serious as those other middle-aged directors. On
the set he was very relaxed. I look forward to
working with him again.
What was the most important thing you learned
about film acting from working on the The
Day They Came Back?
learned how important patience is. Like anything
in life, if you are passionate about something,
and pursue it adequately, I believe (and hope)
that its fruits will eventually manifest itself
along the road. If you can't handle the long
hours of waiting, the days of malnourishing food,
the long working days - then this probably isn't
for you - especially when you're not getting
paid! But I'm not placing myself on a pedestal.
I'm only mentioning it to reinforce my belief
that if you truly love to do something with all
your heart, then it's worth the struggle.
Thanks so much Mayank. All the best to you in
both life and career.