Chad Law [Interview]


Who doesn’t love a damn good action movie, amiright? Sometimes we need to stop being so serious with the world, and just relax and enjoy ourselves with some unbelievable yet visually stimulating violence. That is what the movie experience really should be all about. Of course, to not be a hypocrite, I generally watch films that are normally less climactic and exciting (i.e. I have probably watched The Squid and the Whale more times in this decade than anyone should). But, this idea alone does not stop me from recognizing that brilliance comes in so many different shades of the rainbow. I have watched several Jean Claude Van Damme movies and was just as fascinated as I was in watching My Dinner with Andre, I’m just saying. It is okay to appreciate both.

And today we want to celebrate this sort of idealism by sharing some amazing words with one of today’s greatest wordsmiths and directorial eyes in the action/adventure world. Today we have some words from the brilliant Chad Law, who has created some of the finest, explosive and action packed films of our modern era. He is a perfect embodiment of fun in cinema, if I were to be frank. Chad is a guy who knows how to tell a compelling story, all the while creating an extremely stimulating visual experience. He is one of the best in the business, and we are so happy that he was able to give us a few words.

So ladies and gentlemen, the great Chad Law!

When did your love for the cinema first begin? And when did you decide you wanted to work in the world of film?

Well, I’ve had a genuine love for movies almost ever since I can remember. I remember waking up to find my mom and dad watching John Carpenter’s The Fog after they thought I was sleeping and that was that. That was what I did as a kid. With my dad, my brother, our friends. We watched movies and then made our own versions of them with this big VHS camera our parents got us for Christmas one year. It was to this day the best present I ever got. But yeah I just fell in love with the movies almost instantly and, unlike a lot of loves, it’s never faded. I tore into the new movies as they came out and also started tearing into older ones with my dad. Things that came before me and things a kid technically propably isn’t supposed to watch I’m sure. Silver Bullet, Fright Night, Conan, Rambo, The Lost Boys. You name it. That was my childhood. I think it all worked out.

And as for when I knew I wanted to make movies for a job, I knew very young. I just didn’t know how to do it. It seemed totally impractical to me, being a kid from Farmland, Indiana, no matter if I knew I wanted to do it or not. I never even rode on an airplane until I was almost done with college. California and Hollywood and all of that might as well have been another planet to me then, you know? But I knew I wanted to do it very young. It wasn’t until after college though that I decided to actually try it. Because I knew I wanted to do that and nothing else. Everything else just felt or sounded terrible to me. It was like I had to do this…and so I finally went out and tried to do it and…it worked, we’re getting there. Haha.

You have worked specifically in the action/adventure world of film for a great deal of your career. Your stories have been portrayed by the likes of everyone from Cuba Gooding Jr to Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. Quite an impressive group of actors to help visualize your tales! So what is it specifically about the action genre that makes you enjoy working in it so much?

Thanks. Well, I like all kinds of movies, all kinds of stories. I like to say that I just like good stories, trying to tell good stories, but that’s debatable of course. It’s all so opinion based anyway, what’s good and what isn’t to someone. But I feel I always at least try to to tell good stories, regardless of genre, whether it always works out or not. But I love action movies, yeah. That’s what I watched growing up. That’s what I still watch. I just recently watched Baby Driver and Atomic Blonde. Those are action movies. I wasn’t the guy growing up trying to study Felini or even Kubrick or whoever. I was the guy growing up studying guys like McTiernan and Walter Hill and quoted Point Break and Young Guns. And I’m proud of that. Those guys are great filmmakers, period. A lot of times people try to write off action movies or horror movies. Genre movies. Like they’re some kind of a lesser thing or something and I don’t get that. At all. I mean, those are the types of movies that I love, that so many out there love. Go ahead and do your movie that makes me tired and maybe wins awards or whatever, you know, I’ll be over shooting guns. I’ll never forget, I remember Quentin Tarantino saying something like, “if you can direct action well, then you can direct anything”. And I think that couldn’t be more true. There are lots of movies that I love that aren’t action movies…but I love action movies.

When you are writing a story for an established franchise like Jarhead, as you did with Jarhead 3: The Siege, although a very different film than the first two, do you have any specific goals in reaching out to fans of the original film in the series, while putting your own original stamp on the project? Or is more of a goal to create something entirely different and hope there is reception to be had?

Well, on something like Jarhead, Universal essentially has their own things that they want to try to implement to tie it to the first or sort of try to tie them all together or whatever. And I just sort of tried to work around those things the best I could with the director, one of my best friends, William Kaufman. I mean, we knew the movie we were making would be nothing like the original. It couldn’t be. Universal wanted an action movie and we were making an action movie but the original wasn’t an action movie. At all. So I knew going in that it was apples and oranges and would be very different. As Universal wanted we tied it together the best that we could I think. But what we were making was essentially Assault On Precinct 13 meets Black Hawk Down in the Middle East. That’s what I was making anyway. It was never gonna be the original movie. I’m a fan of the original of course but, in my opinion, our movie works best when completely disconnected from it. Like, if it was just called it The Siege or whatever. It’s a Jarhead movie really in name only. The original technically shouldn’t have a sequel and, in a way, it still doesn’t. Haha.


In 2012, the film you co-wrote, 6 Bullets, featuring our new friend Bianca VanDamme, came out and I have found it to be a great thrill ride. Where did this story come from? Was it always an intention to have Jean Claude’s own children playing crucial roles? Or was this an afterthought. Either way, what are your thoughts on the final product that was 6 Bullets?

Well thank you so much. The story essentially came from of course the whole trafficking trade which is all too real. Much more real than I think a lot of people realize. Just do a simple Google search and you’re like, this is insane. So it came from that but also of course after we were hired to design a movie specifically for Van Damme. So I knew it was with him going in. From page one. Which was so crazy of course having grown up on his entire filmmography throughout my childhood.

And as for his kids, Bianca and Kris, I knew they would be involved, yeah, even if it was unclear as to where. They’re great I think. Kris was also just in Black Water that I wrote with Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. It was shot at the first of the year, it’s in post now. And Bianca I think is great in 6. I wish she lived longer. Haha. I’d gladly work with either of them on another movie regardless of their dad being in it or not. But yeah I was very happy – and surprised – by 6 Bullets in the end. Ernie Barbarash, the director, I think just did such a great job. It honestly turned out to be a much better movie than I expected it to be. And I love it when that happens of course. It’s usually the exact opposite. Haha.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to tell our readers about?

Lots of good things I’m hoping here. Like I said I just did Black Water with Van Damme and Dolph and that should be out next year. And I’m getting ready to do another called Salvage which is from the director of another movie I did and was very proud of, Isolation, Shane Dax Taylor. We’re casting that now to hopefully shoot in the next few weeks here. Then we’re doing Sinners and Saints, Johnny Strong and William Kaufman and I and someone else I can’t quite mention yet I don’t think in the fall. That’s gonna be very exciting, yeah. I think it’ll surprise a lot of people. There’s some very good things brewing.


What was the last thing that made you smile?

This question actually. Haha. And before this propably this Scarmucchi guy being escorted from the White House after like only ten days. That guy really needs his own biopic! Now I’ll bet THAT’s a good story.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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