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Interview with Ellen Dubin for Scifivision

Read an extract of an exclusive interview with Ellen Dubin for Scifivision. She tells everything about her role in “Dead before Dawn” !

(…) One of Dubin’s recent projects is Dead Before Dawn 3D. “Dead Before Dawn 3D is a comedy/horror film about a group of college kids that accidentally unleash an evil curse that causes people to kill themselves and turn into zombie/demons (zemons). I play Beverly Galloway, the sweet prim and proper mother of the male lead Casper Galloway, played by the wonderful Devon Bostick (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), who turns into an evil, wild, vindictive zemon. My role is a throwback to those old fashioned mothers of the 1950s’. It is a wonderfully funny 3D film directed by April Mullen.”


The actress was offered the role. “The casting director of the film Stephanie Gorin phoned my agent Yanick Landry and offered me the role. What an ideal situation – not having to audition is a real treat. It is wonderful to have people believe in you like that. My favorite way to book a part ! “Also when they said the following – “Zombie and Christopher Lloyd,” I jumped at the chance right away! Who doesn’t want a zombie role on their resume? And to work in a film with the iconic Christopher Lloyd was enough to say yes before even reading the material.”

Unfortunately, Dubin didn’t get to film any scenes with Lloyd. “Much to my regret, I never got to work with Christopher Lloyd. That was one of the reasons I did the movie in the first place, and I told the writers I would come in on my day off and work with him for free, that is how much I wanted to meet him and work with him. I know there is one scene where both of our heads are supposed to be on the screen, in the scene, at the same time. I hope to meet him at sci-fi conventions in the future.”

Even so, she was happy to do the film. “I am grateful to be a part of the first 3D zombie film in Canada directed by a woman. I have always wanted to be in a zombie film or TV show, so I am so happy I have that on my resume now. I learned that I continue to take risks as an actor. I never want to stop doing that. I love being a team player and the whole creative process on a film set.”

In the movie, some things were shot different because it was filmed in stereoscopic 3D. “There were certain shots set up that had to be more specific for this style of filming. With 3D, it is best to have objects thrown towards the camera so when the audience watches the film, they actually feel that impact.

“Sometimes, we would have to deliver certain dialogue down the barrel of the camera to create a more distorted image which added to the comedy of the film. They would have monitors set up beside the set so the crew and the cast could watch the playback of the scenes with special 3D glasses. The lighting also had a slightly green tinge to it. Fascinating fun process [that] reminded me of doing green screen work with the same type of precision and focus.”


As a zombie/demon film, the actors were required to wear special effects makeup. “The makeup artists on this movie are truly the unsung heroes. They were amazing – Kenji Sato and Monik Walmsley did an astounding job of transforming me from a very sweet prim and proper mother, to a scary, deranged looking zemon – pale face, veins, blood, and all. I can’t tell you too much about the makeup because we are keeping the special look a surprise until the film is released. Let’s just say that I was truly horrific looking ! I didn’t have to act – the whole look said it all !

“The part of the makeup that was the most uncomfortable for me was having to wear the black contact lenses – they covered my whole eye. The process of removing them was very scary and time consuming. I didn’t mind being covered in blood, food, gunk, and water, but the lenses were my least favorite part.”

Dubin went on to say that the contacts were actually the most difficult part of the whole film for her. “The most challenging part was getting those contact lenses in and out while playing the role. It was difficult to see through the tiny hole in the lens and also to do very physical movements while wearing them. “I am used to being in very uncomfortable clothes and makeup. I did five hours of prosthetics on the Disney/ABC miniseries A Wrinkle in Time, and in Lexx my sci-fi series I was in many uncomfortable costumes. So I am kind of the go to gal for unusual makeup and costumes.”

Regardless, the actress enjoyed being turned into a zemon for the show. “I loved the whole experience of making the film, but my favorite was when my character turned into a zemon. As an ex dancer, I loved creating the special movement – the unique walk of the zemon. I loved the transformation of being a crazy, deranged zombie – the walk, the look, the physicality, the voice, everything. Because these characters were zemons, a creation of the writers, I could invent something a little different than the standard zombie walk and voice. Loved that creative process !” (…)

Read the full interview on Scifivision.

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