By: John M Jerva
(Originbal Publication Date: September 10th, 2016) If you are a fan of the action genre then chances are you’ve probably seen a movie written by Chad Law. Born and raised in the small town of Farmland, Indiana, Chad’s love of film started at a very early age and years later he has turned that love into a successful career in the industry!
Chad was able to take time out of his busy schedule to chat with Action-Flix.Com about how he got started in the industry, past movies he has worked on, working with some of the greatest actors in the business, future projects and of course his new post-apocalyptic action-thriller DAYLIGHT’S END! Enjoy!
Action-Flix.Com: Chad, thanks for talking to me! OK, first question. Since this is your first interview with Action-Flix.Com, I was just wondering, if you could briefly tell the readers about yourself and how you got started in the industry.
Chad Law: “Well, I’ve been making movies with my friends ever since I was a kid. On VHS. It was really just us playing around despite me taking it seriously at the time. But I’ve always wanted to make movies obviously. And now I get to in “real life.” As a writer, I’ve worked on several movies now, ten or eleven at least, something like that, including HERO WANTED with Norman Reedus, Ray Liotta and Cuba Gooding, Jr., that was my first. I did THE HIT LIST with Cuba, SIX BULLETS with Van Damme, CLOSE RANGE with Scott Adkins, and DRIVE HARD with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. I’ve been kind of all over the place. As far as how I got into it, it was really just a mix of lots and lots of hard work and luck. I didn’t know anybody in the industry so those were really my only two options. Hopefully that answers your question (laughs).
AF: Yeah that was great! It’s nice to see that hard work pays off! Before we get into DAYLIGHT’S END, I wanted to ask you what past movie out of those that you are most proud of. I know probably all of them, but is there one that sticks out?
C.L.: “Oh. That’s a tough one. I like all of them for different reasons of course, and I am of course hard on all of them for different reasons too. But I’d probably have to say HERO WANTED even if only for sentimental reasons maybe. I mean it was my first. First time being on a set, first time getting a check for a script, first time meeting an Oscar winner. First time leaving the country. It was a lot of firsts for me. And we had such a great and fun cast-Cuba, Ray, Norman. Tommy Flanagan and Kim Coates before they did SONS OF ANARCHY together. Gary Cairns who is now, of course, also in DAYLIGHT’S END. Ben Cross. Such an amazing cast all around. I have issues with the movie naturally, but it was just so much fun to make. Great memories. So I’d have to go with that.”
AF: I can see why that would be a good memory. Nicely done Sir. Last question before we get into the new film. It’s good that you mentioned working with all those great stars. Do you ever get star struck? I mean I probably would if I got to meet Van Damme or Scott Adkins. I think I wouldn’t be able to talk. Do you ever get that way?
CL: ” Thank you. Yeah, it changed my life for the better or for worse (Laughs). As far as starstruck, no not really. Not anymore at least. I mean, I remember meeting Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ray Liotta for the first time. That was surreal to me. Because I was like what the hell are these guys doing talking to me? I remember sitting in my tiny apartment and waiting on Cuba to call for the first time before I’d met him and thinking why is he calling me? But honestly no not anymore. You get over it quickly I think.You have to. We’re all hopefully there to do a job. That said, it’s still very cool to me to work with any and all of these guys. I mean…Van Damme. I grew up on Van Damme! And Scott is just such a talented, great guy. I hope to do more with Scott in the future.
AF: Yes, Van Damme I think made every one want to take karate.I know I did because of him and it’s been over 25 years later. I hope you and Scott make more. CLOSE RANGE was such an awesome film! One of my favorites. Now lets talk about DAYLIGHT’S END. How did you come up with the premise. I mean there seems to be a zombie themed movie every two minutes. How did you come up with an idea that was both fresh and different?
CL: “Awesome man! Glad you liked CLOSE RANGE. I know it was a tough one for everybody. As for DAYLIGHT”S END, I’m glad you find it fresh and different but our only goal was to try and make a movie that we wanted to see really. And that’s essentially where the idea came from. We were just making a sort of burrito of things we loved all rolled up into one. We wondered what would THE ROAD WARRIOR be like if you got to know the people Max was helping more. We set out to do that among other things and I feel we accomplished that. I like to say we were making a movie 12 year old me would want to see. And, well, I’m still essentially 12 years old.”
AF: (Laughs), me too! I never thought of THE ROAD WARRIOR fighting zombies. Cool thought. It’s no secret you had a small budget on the film, how were you guys able to get so much action into it? I mean, I think, there’s more action in your film then there is in some big Hollywood blockbusters. How was that accomplished?
CL: Zompires man (Laughs). Zompires. (Laughs). No seriously, what we accomplished in scale is all due to Will Kaufman, Kelly the DP and the rest of the amazing crew they put together in Texas. Just such a great group of people that really busted their asses. What’s that saying?”God Bless Texas.” Will and Johnny and their whole team. Sonny Puzikas and everybody…they all just really know what they’re doing.I mean these are real guys many of them.Ed Spila is a real cop in Dallas. Sonny was Russian special forces. James Yeager has been known to fire a gun or two. All of these guys are in the movie. These guys are the real deal.”
AF: Funny you should mention that. I was going to ask you what training and technical expertise there was because just like I said in my review, everyone looked like they were for real. Was there like a bootcamp for everyone else involved to train them?
CL: “Well, like I said many of them already knew but for the lead actress, Chelsea Edmundson and Gary Cairns and some others, yeah there was some training. Gary, Chelsea and me all went out to this sort of firing range boot camp with Sonny Puzikas and some guys out in the middle of nowhere Texas. It was pretty awesome, but most were either trained or got trained as good as possible as quick as possible. Mini bootcamp (laughs).
AF: Sounds awesome. Now Dallas, Texas, where you shot the film, seems to be its own character in the film. How did you choose to film there and what was it like? I’m sure it was hot. I lived there for a year so I would know.
CL: “It was great. I love Dallas. It’s like a second home to me now. But it’s first home to Will the director. He’s from there. That’s how we chose it. It’s home for him. And it was hot. Very. But I loved it. A once in a lifetime experience for me all around.”
AF: Yeah I read that Mr. Kaufman was from there. Was it hard to film on the streets? I mean a lot of the action takes place on fictional empty streets. Was that hard to pull off?
CL: ” It was. We just had certain sections of roads blocked off or could only film in a certain way. But it helps to have friends on the force. Thanks Ed Spila! We used CGI as well. To get rid of any gawker that ended up in frame (Laughs). I mean, at one point, something called Wienerfest was going on at the park across the way. It was tricky, no doubt.”
AF: I couldn’t tell there was CGI. Nicely done. Really, Wienerfest? How funny is that? Now I’m sure you would want to do a sequel. What are the chances of that? I’m sure it has to do with how successful it is? But I’m sure everyone would want to see more Rourke (Johnny Strong’s character)?!
CL: “Awesome man! Yeah that’d be great. I’d love to do part deux. But we gotta see how this one does.One step at a time. Baby steps. But I’d love to yeah.”
AF: I know, but I can dream can’t I Lol?
CL: Oh it may not be a dream. We’ll see. We’re working on a sequel to Will and Johnny’s SINNERS AND SAINTS right now. We’ll see.”
AF: Great! Funny again you should mention SINNERS AND SAINTS 2. You mentioned that to me before. Like I said to all you guys, hands down one of my favorite action films! What’s the status on the sequel? I’m sure everyone would want to know.
CL: “Awesome man. Yeah I think it can be great. I wasn’t involved on the first. I didn’t know the boys then. I met them after. Because I thought they did such a great job on it. We’re gonna try to make the second like the first…on steroids. Hopefully, very soon.We should have news on it soon. It’s in the works. Things are looking good.”
AF: Awwwwwww man you just made my day! First one on steroids? I don’t know if I could handle that (Laughs). Lets talk about the director, Mr. William Kaufman. I already know he’s a super nice guy but in your own words, what makes him a great director?
CL: ” Yeah, super nice guy but he just gets it man. It’s amazing to me how many others in the business don’t. He’s not one of them. He’s soldiered himself. He understands the action as well as the drama though. As well as actors. As well as story. To me, that’s what it is. We have a shorthand now him and I. It’s called he and I both grew up liking the same stuff. He’s gritty. Gets the action. That’s important. We bonded at a BBQ in North Carolina and I haven’t been able to quit him since.”
AF: That’s great that you have such a great relationship. it definitely shows in the product. And what about Johnny Strong? I gotta ask, is he as cool in person as I think he is? I wasn’t lying when I said he’s the bad ass hero we need in action cinema! He just seems to get it. Am I right?
CL: Absolutely. Him too, he just gets it. And he knows his stuff. He’s not “playing guns.” He knows guns. Me and him have talked obscure Asian action cinema many a late night.”
AF: Cool! Now I would like to switch gears for a second and ask you about piracy. I’m sure you get asked this a lot but it’s important for everyone to know. It makes me so mad when I read people on sites say that they are watching movies illegally that hard working people like you make. How can we all put an end to it? Just want to get your thoughts on the matter.
CL: “Well for starters, thank you. You’re exactly right. I f..king hate it. It’s killing the industry in more ways than one and it’s like so many don’t understand that. How to stop it? I wish I knew exactly. But what I do know is that if people want to enjoy a variety of movies then they need to pay for them otherwise they will cease to exist. And that’s tragic in my opinion. If movies don’t make money because nobody watching them is paying for them then there will be no more money to make them. Supply and demand. It’s as simple as that.. If everybody that pirated CLOSE RANGE for example only paid a dollar for it, we’d already have enough to do a sequel for it.”
AF: I know, it sucks! It’s either they don’t know or don’t care and if it’s the latter than that’s what is really scary. Well sir, I for one will try my best to help out in anyway I can. Thanks for you opinion on the matter.
CL: “Yep, like Ice Cube said in BOYZ N THE HOOD, ‘either they don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.’ “
AF:Now I wanted to ask you about writing DAYLIGHT’S END. I read on the iMDB that you originally co-wrote it with your brother and that it got high up in the Project Greenlight competition. What was that like? And did the script change much from the earlier draft to when you finally made it into a movie?
CL: “It was fun but a very different script from what we made. Very different, It changed drastically, yeah.”
AF: Can you give us any differences?
CL: ” It would take a light year (Laughs). Seriously it would. They’re almost two different things entirely. But the Project Greenlight was a jumping off point for sure. It jumped off everything for me as a writer.”
AF: Nice. I thought I would ask. Let me just say the script you made is a winner! Now I wanted to ask you about being a writer. Does a studio or company come to to you and say ‘Hey, we have this idea, can you give us a movie?’ Or do you write a treatment and shop it around or is it both at times?
CL: I can’t even remember the first much honestly now. It’s just this to me know. It’s both at times. Many I write on spec. Me writing and then shopping or setting it up. SIX BULLETS and ONE IN THE CHAMBER, for example though, I was hired for.”
AF: Nice to know. If you had a bigger budget for DAYLIGHT’S END, would you have done anything differently?
CL: ” Of course there are always things that might change with more money or a bigger budget. We lost some things due to budget, but honestly, I don’t miss them. For better or worse, DAYLIGHTS is the movie we wanted to make.”
AF: “Would you ever consider doing a bigger budget film or do you like the independent way where you have more say and control over what you’re doing?
CL: “I’ve worked on all sizes of movies and both have their ups and downs. I’m of course open to bigger budget movies. I’m open to anything as long as I think it can be done well.”
AF: Can you tell us about any other new and upcoming projects we can look forward too?
CL: “As far as upcoming projects, I have one called ISOLATION that comes out later this year.That one I’m really happy with. It’s with Stephen Lang, Dominic Purcell, Tricia Helfer and Luke Mably. Shane Dax Taylor directed it and he and I are getting ready to do another as well called SALVAGE that I’m excited about.We’re gonna hopefully shoot that very soon here…in Kentucky.
“I also worked on a World War 2 movie called BEYOND VALKYRIE that’s coming to a few theaters on September 26th. I haven’t seen it yet but I’m looking forward to it. I’ve heard good things. It’s with Sean Patrick Flanery, Stephen Lang (again), Tom Sizemore, Rutger Hauer, a bunch of guys.”
“And then there’s one called THE SHADOW EFFECT with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Cam Gigandet and Michael Biehn. It’s really good but I don’t have any idea when it’s coming out yet.”
“But then, yeah, we’re in the works on several things. As I said, another one with Scot Adkins and William Kaufman, a period action one. The sequel to SINNERS AND SAINTS. A submarine actioner currently titled SUBMERGED. There are several that we should be getting rolling on here very, very soon.”
AF: I wanted to thank you for your time again and for the amazing interview. Thank you again, I can’t say it enough! Talk to you in the future! All the best!
CL: “Thank you. I did enjoy it. Thanks so much again.”
Daylight’s End is now available on DVD and Digital Download everywhere!