Director's note: Doug Aarniokoski on "The Day"

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August 27, 2012

Hi movie fans. My name is Doug Aarniokoski, I'm the director of "The Day," and it is my pleasure to introduce our movie to you. If you are looking for a post-apocalyptic ass-kicking roller coaster ride, you have come to the right place. This film has had an amazing journey to get to the big screen. It has been a crazy and sometimes brutal path: from the cast and crew suffering through harsh conditions and freezing cold temperatures during production, right through to its exciting premiere at the world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival. (WATCH TRAILER)

When we began this process of making our film, we set out to make a jacked-up version of what we all had come to know as the post-apocalyptic genre. We loved films such as "The Road" and "Book of Eli" — however we loved action films as well and really wanted to raise the bar to make this something fresh and fun for the audience.

(After all, I love movies as much as anyone else and I really wanted to make the type of movie that I would want to see on a Friday night.)

The first step was to cast the film. We went through this process in a very unconventional way. We didn't have a casting director — we simply made a list of the top five actors who we felt best embodied the characters in our film and we sat down with them and tried to talk them each out of wanting to do the movie. Seriously, we told them how freaking cold it was going to be filming outside in Ottawa. There were going to be no movie-star trailers to lounge in, no cell phone reception where we were shooting and no visitors were going to be allowed on set. It was basically film-making boot camp. They would be required to lose weight to look as if they were starving. We even told the girls they might have to shave their heads. Well, that caused many actors to call their agents straight away to ask if we were joking. ... We were not. (FACEBOOK PAGE)

To achieve an organic realism, we shot this movie entirely on location and not on a sound stage. We also shot the movie entirely in script order — which is never done for a number of reasons.

I really feel that these types of details help elevate the experience for the audience. I also insisted that the actors not rehearse together so that their reactions would not feel premeditated and expected. The actors also decided who their characters were before this world got turned upside down. Each actor and I discussed their character and why they made certain choices leading up to the 24 hours you are about to witness. So it really became an exercise in immersion.

The result of this process is an amazing cast who each give an unforgettable performance. .... But don't get me wrong, at the end of the day this is an action movie...and it is rated R ... and believe me when I tell you we did not pull any punches. So grab your popcorn and soda, pick a seat and hold on tight, because when the lights go down, it's just You, Me and the End of the World.

(READ MORE: 10 SUPERSTARS FOR A POST-APOCALYPTIC WORLD)

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