Scarecrow is a film about an otherworldly Scarecrow who is released from his imprisonment by a group of young people (unwittingly) and then terrorizes them. It’s not groundbreaking but it is entertaining. Horror films are like pizza, not always presenting something original but yet always enjoyable. As Marcy in Scarecrow, McAuley and her on-screen boyfriend Chad (played by Keenan Tracey of Bates Motel, The Returned, and others) are the couple which release the Scarecrow. Marcy is a typical nice, girl-next-door who is unfortunately drawn into a fatal situation by Chad’s antics. For the many of us who have not starred in a horror film, the experience of acting in one is quite taxing. Constantly running in fright, screaming at the top of your lungs (something which Lanie was specifically asked not to do in the audition due to constant noise complaints), exhibiting the hysterics that the role calls for…well, it can be draining. McAuley recalls, “You wouldn’t think about it if you haven’t been a part of a film like this but, it’s always exhausting to cry throughout a number of scenes.”
Anyone can be intimidated when they first enter into the professional world; for someone like Lanie who had been working her entire life toward this point, it was particularly intimidating. She advises young actors that being involved in a horror film allows you to channel that nervous energy into the role of a victim very effectively. While much of McAuley’s training had given her the chance to practice her talent, the knowledge gained working on an actual movie set brings with it an equally valid knowledge base. Scene and character work is one thing, but there’s a great deal to be said for set etiquette and general set experience. Knowing whom to listen to, where to be, how to approach blocking, how to hit your mark, how to find your light, being aware of the crew working around you, learning everyone’s names, making sure you acquaint yourself right off the bat with the director, the ADs, Scripty, and anyone else you’ll need to interact with…these are all practical parts of a well-rounded actor. It’s the little stuff you don’t think about when you’re around it all the time, but when you’re the newbie on set, everything feels foreign.