Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Amy Allyson Oliver about her involvement with the apocalyptic zombie film, Test Group. Oliver is a relative newcomer to the film industry and is excited to have been chosen to play the central female character in Test Group, Kara Hunter.
Not only will Oliver play Kara Hunter in the planned trilogy of films, but will reprise the role for the epilogue film, and a web series called The Hunter Files.
"I'm excited to be doing the other two films in the trilogy, Omega Protocol and Darwin's Law. Also Project Infinity which will be shot afterwards," Oliver said.
Oliver is also auditioning for and hopes to land more roles in several future The Otherside of Georgia Productions projects including Love in Vein by Stavros Cockrell. Oliver expresses an affinity for the horror genre and is enjoying working in the Test Group universe where zombies abound.
Working on Test Group has fed Oliver's desire for creativity and surprises. A talented cast and crew brings a wide variety of creative individuals together and the willingness of the director and producers to allow these individuals to offer their input on the film and characters has created an amazing environment in which to work. "The creativity and talent that has been brought together for this film, and the next two films to come, is blowing my mind," Oliver says.
Additionally, Oliver and other cast members are kept on their toes by the surprises writer/director Keith Bailey has built into the script and the filming process. "There are very few folks who have the whole script. And it's very hard to surprise me, so it's been like, 'Oh really? That's gonna happen?' or, 'that has happened.' It's exciting. I love surprises," says Oliver.
While some might find such a dynamic project wearing, Oliver finds it exhilarating. "Working with the cast. Working with the crew. The new scenes. It all equals excitement and I like to use the phrase the Marines use: Improvise, Adapt and Overcome. Keith [Bailey] is becoming a perfectionist at that, I would say."
Oliver is also excited by the opportunity to learn new skills and gain a better understanding of how the industry works. "Personally, I love learning new things because I'm new to the industry and everything from audio, video, choreography, music, makeup, I'm getting a crash course. I'm really enjoying that."
Oliver praises the Otherside of Georgia Productions crew for their ability to create a feeling of family for everyone involved in the film. "The fact that I was cast in such a large role for this film, and at the time I did not know how large the role was going to be. Knowing that I have a son, and all of the responsibilities and challenges that come with that, the response was, "Bring him along." We're all family here and it's truly meant, and it's genuine and I hate that I have to leave. But when I come back, it's open arms and I am welcomed and I'm excited. The best part, I would say, is the genuine feeling of being a part of a family and having another home."
And it is in the role of Kara Hunter where Oliver has been given the opportunity to grow and develop as an actress. "I'm learning more about her everyday," Oliver says of Kara. "I'm used to giving orders or taking orders and I like that the director and the co-producers actually ask our input on developing our character. I was expecting, 'This is what we want you to do. Execute.' Being able to be creative and add our input is pretty great."
Ultimately, Oliver hopes audiences will be as enamored of the Test Group universe, cast and crew as she is. "Basically, my hopes for this movie, and everything to follow, is that I love the stage. I love the camera, and I love the public and I am hoping that they'll love me back. And that they'll love us back. That they all want to be Test Groupies."
If you'd like to meet other cast members, check out these folks: