Independent filmmakers are always looking for ways to make small movies look big without breaking the bank. This is especially true for action films. You may not be able to afford huge set pieces, massive explosions, and expensive cars or planes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an action film. I spoke with Ross Boyask, the writer/director of I Am Vengeance and its sequel (now on VOD) I Am Vengeance: Retaliation about making action movies, shooting action movies, and casting action movies. We also discussed working with wrestling superstar Stu Bennett (WWE‘s Wade Barrett).
Let me ask you about your take on Retaliation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels very different from the first one in the sense that it’s a team-oriented action film.
Ross Boyask: Yeah. The idea behind developing I Am Vengeance: Retaliation, was we didn’t want just to do more of the same. There were two specific aspects. Obviously, we still wanted Stu [Bennett] as John Gold, to play the lead. In the first movie, he was mainly a loner on a path of revenge. And then in the sequel, we liked the idea of him connecting with this team of ragtags, and have a good sense of humor. Essentially, they’re designed to help him lighten up from this terse, tough badass. We liked the idea of opening him up a bit more and making him a bit lighter.
The other aspect was changing what the film away from the revenge thriller about a guy walking from place to place and doing what needed to be done. What we wanted to do for the sequel was go bigger and better, and make it more of what you would call an action movie. It still has revenge as a theme, particularly with Jen Quaid’s (Katrina Durden) character.