Director and Writer James Mark teamed up with his brother Chris to create an anime inspired fantasy action film that will get any action buff going. Think superheroes meets Liam Neeson. That’s how I would describe this film. We got to talk with Director and Writer James Mark about his film, inspiration behind it, and where we can check it out.
KRISTIN: Can you first tell us how you got into this kind of writing and then also directing?
JAMES: I’ve always had a passion for writing and filmmaking although I never decided to take a full step towards developing it until Kill Order. I’ve been working as a professional stunt performer since 2006 and a live stage martial arts performer before that. During this time my stunt team (Team 2X) and I would often make digital videos and shorts. I took a liking to directing them and the web seemed to take a liking to our videos, particularly Jedi Ninjas. Eventually I decided I wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking and be behind the lens instead of in front.
KRISTIN: Tell us about Kill Order. What is it about?
JAMES: Kill Order is about a high school boy named David who appears to suffer from some form of mental illness. Soon we learn that this isn’t the case when a swat team bursts into his classroom in an attempt to take him captive. David is then visited by a demonic figure that takes over his body and he turns into a lethal killing machine with superhuman ability, taking out the entire squad. The rest of the film he finds himself on the run trying to escape his assailants and learn the truth of his existence.
KRISTIN: Where did you get the idea for this film?
JAMES: My brother and I love Japanese anime. This film was really a film for us as fans of the anime genre. I wanted to make a live-action film with an anime feel to it, which is where the Japanese influence came from. The idea behind Kill Order was to create a film that could support and showcase the talents of Chris and Team 2X’s physical ability, so the story was built around that.
KRISTIN: You have a great cast on this film. Were you involved in the casting portion of the film? Did you have a specific vision for certain characters?
JAMES: I was involved in many portions of making this film as most indie filmmakers are forced to do. Casting was one of them. The majority of the cast are played by friends of mine that are actors or aspiring actors but mainly members of our stunt team, Team 2X, which allowed use to create exciting action within our limited budget.
KRISTIN: What do you think it is about this film that will draw the viewers in? What makes it different?
JAMES: The action. The film is short in length for a feature as it is with a runtime of 77 minutes, but the majority of that is balls to the walls action performed by extremely talented stunt performers who are playing their own characters. So when one character punches another and sends him flying into a tree… it’s the actor/stunt performer that went into that tree – there is no double. If you are a fan of the genre then I believe this will draw you in.
KRISTIN: This story has a science fiction aspect to it with superhuman strength and special abilities. How did you tie that into the more “real life” plot line to make it balance well and be something that flowed smoothly?
JAMES: I guess the appropriate response would be, by not focusing on it. We touch very lightly on the mythology behind Kill Order and the science fiction oriented past of our main character but we are extremely vague and don’t give too much information. We tried to keep the focus on David’s immediate problems and use this film as an introduction to his character for a much larger story in a sequel.
KRISTIN: When and where can we check out Kill Order?
JAMES: Kill Order will be released on VOD and DVD on February 6th 2018.
KRISTIN: With this film being done, what other projects are you currently working on? Are you writing or directing anything new yet?
JAMES: I have a few projects in development right now, one of which we are hoping to film at the end of this spring. Also Kill Order was always meant to be an introduction to David’s character and a prequel to a larger film.
KRISTIN: Where can we keep up with your work online?
JAMES: I don’t have an official work blog but I generally post about work on instagram – @Jamesmark2X
Make sure to check out Kill Order on February 6th on VOD and DVD. Also follow James Mark on Instagram and stay tuned for more upcoming projects.