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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Z Nation part 1 - Interview with actor, David S. Hogan.

You may have noticed that once in a while a TV programme becomes something of an obsession for me. I know, no shit Sherlock I hear you say. Sometimes it runs right up to me and then metaphorically slaps me around the face with a large slippery wet fish, sometimes it takes a little longer for the show to work whatever magic it may contain. In the case of the subject of this blog article it is a case of the latter, as slowly but surely a certain television show has been shuffling and shambling its way into into this here bloggers obsessed little mind. 

I'll be writing more about the mad as a box of frogs show that is Z Nation in a number of future articles so I'm not going to go into to much detailed musings on the various delights of the Zombie apocalypse show at this point. In fact there are one or two VERY exciting developments coming up concerning the 5D blog and the show itself, one of which is given away later on in this very piece........and if you think that's just a cunning plan to make you read the rest of this article, then like most people who know me you've seen through my not so clever facade.

For those who may not have seen it.......Z Nation is a horror/comedy that begins three years into a virus-caused Zombie Apocalypse which has already killed most humans. A group must transport Murphy, the only known survivor of a zombie bite who did not himself turn into a zombie, from New York to the world's last known functioning research lab in California. Murphy had been the unwilling subject of a government test vaccine in the days just before society fell apart, and his blood contains antibodies that are mankind's last and best hope for a vaccine. However, Murphy harbors a dark secret that threatens them all. (Wikepedia).

Now, the situation is that here in the UK we are currently meandering our way through season 1 whilst season 2 I believe is well and truly up and running across the pond so as usual we are a little way behind the States..... no change there then. So a few weeks ago I was sitting down with a much deserved glass of red wine to watch the sixth episode of Z Nation, Resurrection Z. It was all looking rather good, when who should pop up but a guest actor who is something of an old friend of 5D. The Fifth Dimension, David S. Hogan. Well, I say he's a friend, he may indeed say otherwise, but we follow each other on Twitter and get this, we've even communicated with each other. In fact his lovely wife and also follow each other........but David, mate that's been in an entirely professional manner, I promise! So in my delusional mind, David & I are actually BFF's - no matter what he tries to say.

Well, somebody's too damn good looking 
for their own good....
David's work first came to my attention last year when I was asked to watch and review a new Scifi shocker 'The Device' from Seattle based production company, The October People (yes, more friends of 5D). It's an excellent slice of Alien infiltration and abduction filmmaking (for which you see the article RIGHT HERE, and in it David plays Calvin who lets just say succumbs to all manner of Alien possession. It's good stuff. Anyhoo, "there's my buddy right there on screen in one of my favourite shows' I thought. You won't be surprised to hear that my next immediate thought was to see what could be in it for me, I mean, ahem, for my blog. So after intense negotiations between David and myself (in other words, I begged, he gave in and said yes) he generously gave me an interview.

David S. Hogan is an actor and producer known for Z Nation (2014), The Device (2014), and Grimm (2011). He was raised in Seattle, Washington by James and Susan Hogan. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Seattle University, where he also studied music, psychology, and drama. After graduation, he hit the boards, working often with Seattle Shakespeare Company, where he played roles like Puck, Caliban, Antony, and King Henry. He is a three time winner of the Seattle Times Footlight Award for Stellar Acting. He also plays an important role in the Seattle independent film scene, where he teaches acting for the camera and promotes the northwest film and television industry. (IMDB)


Q) To begin with I'll start with the inevitable 'How did you get into acting' question. did you get into acting?

A) I was in college when I auditioned for my first show. It was a musical, The Threepenny Opera. I remember peeking into the audition room and watching actors perform and sing, and it absolutely terrified me. I ducked quietly away, only to slink back to the director next day and plead for another shot. I went to the callback audition, and was eventually offered the role of Street Singer. I got to close the show singing “Mack the Knife.” It was pretty special, and I was hooked.

Q) Before I ask you about Z Nation I want to talk about a film that I reviewed last year, a marvellous Scifi shocker called The Device. I think it's safe to say that your character 'loses it just a little' - What was that filming experience like?

A) Yeah, it’s very safe to say that Calvin loses it, but he is going through the ringer a bit, isn’t he? There are literally alien voices in his head. Which are real. I had to make it real for me, and what Calvin experienced is obsession, extreme paranoia and delusional thinking. So I employed my imagination and used that magical “as if” to put myself into right his shoes.

Q) So tell me how easy/nice/difficult/terrible it really was working opposite your real life wife, Angela DiMarco?

A) I absolutely LOVE working opposite my wife, Angela DiMarco. As partners in life and business (producing and teaching), we work together often, and it’s something I always look forward to. Not only is she a great actor, she is a hard worker and is really fun to be around on set!

Q) Do you have plans to work with John Portonova & the rest of The October People company again?

A) The October People are fantastic filmmakers, and I would leap at the chance to work with them again. Gents, if you are reading this…Hint Hint!

Q) How did you land the role of Brother Eli In the Resurrection Z episode?

Just your normal day with a few Zombies...
A) Landing the Brother Eli role on Z Nation came from the good old fashioned actor audition grind. The first read (video submission) was for the Patrick role (the character that slits his own throat in order to turn into a Z), and I was called back for the Brother Jacob role, which ended up going to my buddy Brian Sutherland. It was a great process, and I was thrilled to do the work - from the first read to my time on the set.

Q) How easy / difficult etc it really was it to fit into an ensemble cast that had probably by his point began to knit together pretty well?

A) Resurrection Z was the sixth episode of Season 1, so the cast and crew had gelled and were working very efficiently. The director, John Hyams, was very easy to work with, and great at his job, so my time on set was delightful. My character, Brother Eli was a member of a Zombie worshipping cult, so I had some co-horts (Brian Sutherland, Julian Gavilanes, and Julia Keefe) and we banded together to form a soft of “Z Family” while we were together. My friend Russell Hodgkinson is a series lead, “Doc,” so it was great to be on set with him, too. Other highlights were working with Kellita Smith and getting plugged in the head with a sniper bullet from Nat Zang. 

Q) The episode is perhaps my favourite of season 1. Do you watch your own work at all and have you seen it?

A) Yes, I have seen the episode and I do watch my own work. I usually see stuff that I wish I could have done better, but to me it’s all about learning, growing, doing my best, and moving forward.

David hobnobbing with Russell Hodgkinson (Doc)
Q) The popularity of Z Nation and the rest of the various Zombie Apocalypse TV shows & movies still seem to have little sign of slowing. Why do you think we are still so fascinated with Zombies & the like?

A) I think Zombie shows allow creatives to explore extreme gore, violence, and humor in a very exciting way. And the genre also gives the audience room to grapple with realism (the world of the characters and their challenges) and escape into fantasy (the undead come to life). 

Q) I've been fortunate to land an interview with actor Keith Allan (Murphy) form Z Nation, is there anything you'd like me to ask or say to him?

A) My question for Keith Allan: “How do you blow off steam or relax when you are off the Z Nation set?”

Q) What upcoming things are there planned for David S. Hogan?

A) I just came of an audition with Seattle Shakespeare Company (performing Shakespeare is one of my passions), and our first feature film as producers (Mighty Tripod Productions), Paralytic, is currently in post-production. I also have two web shows to plug - The Mighty Minute on the Mighty Tripod Productions YouTube channel and the David S. Hogan Show on my YouTube Channel. Thanks again for the interview!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank David for taking time out from what I know to be a very busy schedule in order to answer my questions. Thanks mate too for the photos that you sent me from the Z Nation set!

David's IMDB page can be found at

You can follow David on Twitter via @SeattleActorDSH

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