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Josh C. Waller

Josh C. Waller

Director of Raze, USA

Q: What film inspired you to start a career as a filmmaker?

A: I have always gravitated towards film, since I was very young. Back in the days of the VHS, my stepdad set up the TV in our backyard. He also set up speaker wires everywhere and created surround sound on the lawn (before surround sound, of course). Then we commenced watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977) under the stars. I want all people to experience what I felt that night as a child. It was magic.

Q: Did you make Raze with a specific audience in mind?

A: I tried to cross different borders with Raze. Typically, with a film within this sub-genre, it might fall into the exploitation realm and be solely for us genre nerds (me included). I know that there are many people that won't be able to watch this movie solely because of the graphic violence, but I do think that we managed to make a film that takes itself a tad more seriously than the typical fare of this sort. I will say that we definitely wanted to please the genre crowd though. They are less forgiving than others. I know this firsthand because I am one of those people.

Q: What memorable events happened during the production of Raze?

A: One memorable event was the casting of Rosario Dawson. Tracie Thoms and I arranged the whole thing as a surprise to Zoë Bell. We were in the midst of shooting and Tracie was going to be fighting "another girl.” I tried to keep it as much a secret from Zoë and finally told her the day of that the girl that was going to fight Tracie "flaked." We asked Zoë to come into the pit for a second to help out and when she walked in she saw Rosario and Tracie standing there ready to fight. It was a little reunion. It was amazing to see Zoë light up like that.

Q: What did you learn from working on Raze?

A: On Raze, I learned that you don't shoot 6-day weeks for anything longer than 3 weeks. Honestly, we did what we could on the budget we had. Shooting 19 action sequences in approximately 30 days is not something I would recommend to anyone. Including myself.

Q: If you could work with any actor, living or dead, who would it be?

A: Fortunately for me, I was able to work with an actor I'd been dreaming of working with for years, David Morse. It was a dream come true. But there are a couple actors out there who I would love to create something with—Hugh Jackman (the dude is talented), Cate Blanchett (She could say hello and I'm mesmerized), Gene Hackman (of course), and Jimmy Stewart (needs no explanation).

Click here to view screening dates and times for Raze.