Jim E. Chandler recently shared with me some insight into playing Marshal Dahl in the Atlanta-Based zombie movie, Test Group.
Chandler is an experienced actor with several credits under his belt. Test Group is actually Chandler's second zombie film.
"Two years ago, I shot a film called Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. It came out in June 2012. That was my first experience doing a zombie film," Chandler says.
In Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Chandler's character is transformed from human to zombie and ultimately loses his head to Abraham Lincoln. Chandler says of Marshal Dahl, "I start out as human. I won't tell you if I make it or not."
Test Group is an independent "guerrilla" film, a type of film project Chandler not only has experience with, but has enjoyed working on during his career. "To be along for the ride on what we call in the industry, a "guerrilla" film making project, is actually something that is dear to me because I've done so many of them," Chandler says.
Chandler also finds the passionate atmosphere of the Test Group sets appealing. He explains, "The best part for me has been seeing the passion. They're new to the film-making world, but they're riding on their passion and their belief in the story."
Not only is the cast and crew passionate, Chandler notes that they are talented both on screen and off. "The other best thing that I've noticed is their ability to do public relations. Just to create a buzz and to have something happening in Atlanta like this has been a treat for me to witness because the most important thing about getting a movie out there is to get people in the seats or to get people interested in watching it. They've fully been able to accomplish that in the short amount of time that I've been involved with the project."
Writer/director Keith Bailey has earned Chandler's respect through his willingness to accept input from his cast and crew on how to make Test Group the best it can be. Chandler explains, "That's one thing Keith has been great about. When I did have a question at one point during shooting, he gave me the opportunity to present what my feelings were and what my thoughts were. We were able to have a discussion about it and move forward with a positive conclusion. Having that from him, and then also being able to work with people who don't necessarily have the experience but also working with the people who do have the experience, just creates an interesting dynamic to be around on set."
Chandler found Test Group through a young actress with whom he worked on another project. Christa Beth Campbell, who plays Maggie in Test Group, also worked with Chandler on The Hideout, a social commentary short film which is making the festival rounds right now. Says Chandler of Campbell, "She made me aware of it [Test Group] and then I contacted Keith to be a part of it. I'm excited to see her whenever I get to work with her as well."
Chandler is involved in a few other projects at this time as well. He plays a key role in the True Exposure Productions film, Sinking Sand, and performs in the web series Pop Rocket. Sinking Sand is expected to be released in 2016. Pop Rocket has recently posted its fourth episode on the OlanRogers Youtube Channel.
You can keep up with Chandler by following him on Twitter @jimjamec or liking his page on Facebook.
If you would like to learn more about the cast of Test Group, please view these articles:
If you would like more information on Test Group, you can read the post HERE or check out the film's home page.