Neil Brown Jr. – Command Dispatch I

Call to Action: Zombie Survival Crew First Lieutenant Neil Brown Jr. – Guillermo from the Vatos episode of The Walking Dead – talks survival and what he learned during Battle: Los Angeles.


Sometimes the fiction I portray helps me to understand real-life truths. Working on Battle: Los Angeles gave me some insights I thought wise to share with my Zombie Survival Crew brigades ahead of the film’s 3-11-11 release.

Battle: Los Angeles asks the broader questions about survival during a cataclysmic global event as major U.S. cities are attacked and marines are sent into Los Angeles to evacuate civilians before the government launches a massive counter-offensive. Sure, we’re battling aliens, not zombies, but many of the same rules apply.

Lesson 1: Stealth Tactics

Filming took us through some real Marine training and as much as I’d like to say the weapons work was the most valuable, the truth is how many of us are going to encounter military-grade weapons right off the bat during a zombie infestation? (Unless you have them already…)

No. The most valuable lessons were in learning how to really take cover during a firefight and how to conceal your presence. Tactics like the following:

– Don’t leave evidence of your presence. Pick up empty shell casings, cigarette butts, etc, etc.

– People do what you see in movies when a firefight breaks out. Big mistake.

– Process: Get low. Find solid cover. Identify source of fire or danger. Examine your environment.

– A car door will not protect you from bullets. The only safe places to take cover around a vehicle are behind the engine block or axles.

– In a house dry wall will not protect you. Get into the residence and take cover behind additional items such as a bookcase or table.

Lesson 2: Teamwork

As a cataclysmic event unfolds it is time to put aside differences and work together. This is about humanity, about survival. Everyone has something to offer.

If we are to survive, we have to band together as I learned filming both The Walking Dead and Battle: Los Angeles. Understand the enemy – how they operate; what they want; the best ways to defeat them. It cannot be done alone.

Lesson 3: Strategic Choices

Every person has something to offer towards common survival in the case of a cataclysmic global event but having a good command team in place is essential. From my Battle: Los Angeles cast mates I’d offer up the following as top recruits.

Cory Hardrict – He’s the type of guy who will receive the phone call, look at the bottom line, come up with a plan and execute it. No questions. No doubts. But he’s also a team player.

Michelle Rodriguez – She’s kind of a nerd but down to fight to the death for anyone on her team. She’s gritty and grindy, and something to watch in a battle.

Will Rothhaar – This kid is young, ready for anything and fast. He’s a team player unafraid of a dangerous assignment.