Acting in a film is hard work, but when it's your first film, it can also be quite fun and eye-opening.
Actor Jake Ryan Scott, who has a big role in the new horror film Children of the Corn: Runaway, recalled one of the long nights when he and his co-star Marci Miller were stuck in a car on a lift during filming. They would perform their lines and have to wait in the car while the crew set up cameras for different shots. Since they were already miked up for the shoot, they decided to put on a little show for everyone in between takes.
"I just remember me and Marci singing old songs by Abba, Queen and The Beatles, and only these few people could hear us on the set," Scott says. "That's when it clicked that we're completely connected to these people and you have complete trust in them."
The McKinney native and McKinney North High School sophomore has been pursuing his love of acting since he was 7 in a McKinney Repertory Theatre production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol as Tiny Tim. Two years ago, he spent a month in Oklahoma filming his role in the 10th movie in the long-running Children of the Corn franchise based on Stephen King's 1977 short story about a religious cult in a small Nebraska town run by children who murder all the adults and worship "He Who Walks Behind the Rows." Children of the Corn: Runaway will be released March 13 on Blu-Ray and digital download.
Scott joined the MRT's Young Actors Guild, where he met other actors who found work in movie and TV productions and where he also found his agent. He's had several small roles in movies and TV shows such as the FX series American Horror Story, as a trick-or-treater in the second episode of the third season, and as the slasher film Bunnyman Vengeance, where he gets run over by a car.
More than two years ago, the makers of Children of the Corn: Runaway invited him to audition for the role of Aaron, who flees an old cult with his mother, Ruth, played by Miller, "and that's all I can really say without giving anything away," he says.
"He's very curious and very eager to see the world," Scott says. "So you can see my character unravel through the themes and see what he learns as he travels the world and meets the new kids for the first time."
Scott took only one audition to score his role in the film, and he got to spend a month on the set in Oklahoma.
"It's really weird going from an extra who's working on set for a day or just a few hours or one episode of something for six episodes," he says. "At first when I went there, it had the same atmosphere. Everything clicked for me when I had a trailer on set. That really blew my mind, and people were like, 'What do you need? Do you need a drink or a coffee when you get up in the morning?'"
Scott says it's also just fun working on a horror movie filled with special effects and blood-splatter equipment.
"I really love the different aspects of it," he says. "For horror, it's amazing to see the special effects that come
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Of course, the work can be long and tiresome at times with 12-hour shooting schedules and the grind of getting ready for every scene.
"The work was harder because you get there and get in your makeup truck and start doing stuff and they hand you the script for that day," Scott says. "And sometimes it can be completely different, so you're having to relearn that script on a dime. I personally liked the night shoots. It makes the intensity of the scene higher and just some fantastic performances come from that intensity."
Moviemaking is also a bonding experience. The hard work and long hours can bring a cast and crew together in ways few other jobs can. It's those fond memories, like the singalong he and Miller employed to pass the time, that help keep the crew sane.
"It's one of those moments that acting clicked for me," Scott says about his special moment with Miller. "Acting is one of those art forms that bring people together."