What to watch: Disney XD's Bunks

Tune in on Sunday, October 27th, 2013 to find out what happens to this spirited bunch of campers on Disney XD's Bunks.

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Emily Piccinin chats with Atticus Dean Mitchell (left) and Aidan Shipley (right).

Just in time for Halloween! Last week, I was lucky enough to watch an advanced screening of Bunks, the first TV movie Disney XD has ever produced. Located on Bay Street in Toronto, I was greeted by smiling faces who ushered me into a conference room where two stars from the movie had just finished up some interviews. Actors Aidan Shipley, who plays Dane, and Atticus Dean Mitchell, who plays camp counsellor Wookie, were more than willing to talk about where they had filmed the movie and how they enjoyed the experience. They were full of playful jokes and their vibrant personalities made it easy to spend some time with them.

This movie is sure to get you feeling spooked in preparation for Halloween. Bunks is tons of fun and families will enjoy it immensely. Brothers Dylan and Dane are coerced by their parents to attend bootcamp for the summer. In a last minute stroke of genius, they switch name tags with two boys, Sanjay and Delroy, who are about to hop onto a bus headed for Camp Bushwhack. Dylan and Dane impersonate these boys who were intended to be camp leaders while Sanjay and Delroy are, unfortunately, sent off to bootcamp. While leading a team cabin of “Chipmunk” members, Genius Bar, Grinsberg, Hollywood, Twilight, and Cheeseburger, they encounter a myriad of circumstantial challenges — including none other than a zombie apocalypse. Attention parents! Don’t be alarmed. The zombies aren’t anything to fear. They are ghoulish and gruesome, but nothing that will leave your children running for your bed at the wee hours of the night. The goofiness of the characters and storyline are enough to lighten any unease.

After the screening there was a Q & A period with Aidan and Atticus. Here were some of the answers they gave us:

Are you both in school?
Aidan: I’m at Ryerson University (in Toronto) for film.

How do you balance your university and acting careers?
Aidan: Bunks was filmed during the summer months, which was nice because I had the time to work on it. In the film program the workload is light enough. I mean, it’s light sometimes and heavy at others. When it’s light it allows you to enjoy the audition process a lot more. It’s a good program to allow for time to do other things.

What do you think families will like the most about the movie?
Atticus: I appreciated the writing when it came to not “kiddying” it up or dumbing it down. We seemed able to keep it fairly accessible for everybody. It’s goofy, but it’s smart.
Aidan: I’ve got a five-year-old niece, so technically she can’t watch it. I think that when she can, she’ll enjoy seeing me do silly things like rolling around in every other scene — a lot of tuck-and-rolls.
Atticus: The good thing is that there’s something in it for everybody.

What would your advice be to younger actors trying to break into the acting world?
Atticus: Don’t look at is as a business. Don’t look at is as: “I need to make money from this job!” I tend to look at this more as an activity — as my favourite thing to do, which just so happens to pay the bills. As soon as you take the business aspect out of it, it helps because you go into auditions much more relaxed.
Aidan: You need to be prepared for rejection. You get used to it very quickly. If you don’t have thick skin it’s going to be hard. Roll with the punches. Immediately forget about it as soon as you leave the audition.

Watch Aidan Shipley and Atticus Dean Mitchell take on a zombie apocalypse and save Camp Bushwhack!

Disney XD’s Bunks premieres Sunday, October 27th, 2013 at 8 p.m. EST.

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