Tales From the Set: The Making of Don’t Go to the Reunion (Marla & J.R.)

In an ongoing series we will be featuring the tales from the making of Don’t Go to the Reunion. Today we have for you stories from J.R. Watins who plays Jay in the film and Marla Van Lanen who plays Ms. Sorensen.


Marla Van Lanen–Ms. Sorensen

I am forever grateful I got the chance to work on this movie. Although my time on the set was brief, I walked away with plenty of memories and observations. I was fascinated by watching the creative process of the producer, director, the cinematographer and the film crew. The obvious attention to detail and the hour and hours of planning that had gone into the layout of shots. If I walk away with one thing from this experience, it’s a greater appreciation for movies because of the knowledge of the work and creative brilliance that is behind each painstakingly developed instant that you are watching. On this movie, I could feel the love and emotion the film makers contributed, nurturing this project like a parent who watches their child, a small piece of themselves, grow and develop. Kevin’s creativity was inspiring. What a talented writer. And his smile was the brightest I’ve ever seen. It lights up the room. Steve is a fantastic director. His vision and foresight is remarkable. He has a way of making you feel at ease, yet challenging your abilities to get what is needed. Every one needs a passion in their life. For Kevin and Steve, it’s the love of slasher movies and a desire to pay homage by making their own.

I took an instant liking to Zach the assistant director, from the first moment we met. he was obviously invested in the success of this movie and I expect to see great things from him in the future. The cast was outstanding. Very professional and an inspiration to me. Especially Hannah, my partner in crime. I have you to thank for finding out about this role, and I will always be grateful. I got to know some of you better than others, but you all were great! I learned so much in a short period of time. I enjoyed being among people whose creativity and insightful opinions emerge unrestricted by the day to day routine of what most of us call life. It was exhilarating to step outside my comfort zone. To dare to imagine, and make the imagination come alive. The crew was so much fun! I wish I could list you all here, but you all brought out the best in each other, were fun to be around and made me laugh! Once it was time to work though, it was all business. I was impressed by how a group can come together and work like a well rehearsed orchestra, never missing a beat to support the task at hand. Everyone knew their role and each performed to perfection. Thank you to everyone involved. I am so proud to be part of this production!


J.R. Watkins–Jay

Well, this was the first movie i worked on so I have no comparison but I loved every minute of it. Being part of the crew was not easy work but it gave me a feel for what happens behind the scenes but acting in a horror movie was really the icing on the cake. Being a fan for so long now having the opportunity to be a part of one is better than I can ever describe. Seeing director Steve Goltz work in action was impressive. So smooth and laid back with everyone, and really knows what he is doing.

Like I said I have nothing to compare this too but the way the cast and crew got along was amazing. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that we were all staying in the same house for the shoot. I was greeted when I arrived by Stephanie and Zach and was comfortable right away. I made some new friends, got to experience acting and being on a movie set, and had a fuckin good time. I would say my 4 days spent on the set were great and I can’t wait to see the finished product. This is going to be the jolt the slasher genre needs!