Friday 22 September 2017

Interview with Kerry Carlock and Nick Lund-Ulrich - Directors of the unique new superhero film Armstrong

Kerry Carlock and Nick Lund-Ulrich, directors of the unique new superhero film Armstrong, talk comic book heroes, directing a film ‘together’, and how audiences will look at superheroes after their film.

Q:  Is Armstrong the beginning of a whole new franchise or is the intention – because it is such a different film from the standard comic book movie -  just to do the one? 

KERRY:  Well, that’s the inevitable question if you do a superhero movie with an origin story, isn’t it!

NICK:  We love the world and the characters so there are definitely more stories to tell in the Armstrong universe.

KERRY:  The first indie superhero franchise?

NICK:  I love it.

Q:  What did you learn from other superhero movies that you applied to this one?

NICK:  The Dark Knight showed that a more realistic, grounded take on a superhero would absolutely work.

KERRY: It’s not really a superhero movie but I think Terminator is a big inspiration for us.

NICK: Yeah, it’s a small story set in a really big world.

KERRY:  And its kind of a misdirect in that you think its about Arnold and Michael Biehn duking it out but really its Sarah Connor becoming the leader of a revolution.

Q:  Do you find it easy to ‘direct’ together? Lot of compromising going on?

NICK:  We’re very creatively in sync and we had been working on the script for a long time so we knew the story inside and out.

KERRY:  We hashed out all of our differences in the writing stage so that by the time we got to production, we were on the same page 99.9 percent of the time.

Q:  What do you consider each other’s strengths?

KERRY: Since Nick is a VFX artist, he is great with both the visuals and the technical aspects of movie making.

NICK:  And Kerry comes from producing so she’s great at seeing the big picture and she was also a theatre director so she’s great with actors.

KERRY: We found that we naturally took the lead directing different scenes based on those scenes, too.

NICK: Yeah, I loved directing the action scenes and Kerry dove into all the emotional dialogue.  It worked out really well.

Q:  Who casts the film? Did you get to pick the leads?

KERRY:  We cast the film ourselves and would keep running lists of actors we liked from our favorite TV shows and movies.

NICK:  We were looking for really solid actors that could slip right into the roles and embody the parts.

KERRY: When we saw Vicky on “Orange is the New Black,” her physicality and emotional depth really fit the character of Lauren.  We contacted her through a friend of a friend and she loved the script!

NICK: Our producers, Doug, and Paul, helped us look at a lot of different actors for Armstrong and Eddie.  But ultimately we ended up finding Jason and Shawn by way of friends who knew them and had worked with them.

Q:  What’s the title referring to?

NICK:  The title refers to the wounded superhero character David Armstrong. Over the course of writing the script we tried out different titles, but always came back to Armstrong.
KERRY:  And it’s always good for your movie title to start with the letter A.  ;)

Q:  Will Armstrong make us look at superheroes a different way from hereon?

NICK:  We believe that Armstrong is a unique take on the superhero genre and proof that there are plenty of other kinds of stories that can be told with superhero type characters.

KERRY: We heard some one say recently that Superhero movies are like what Westerns used to be in the 40s and 50s.  They were pervasive but there were all different kinds of Westerns- there were spaghetti westerns and musicals and revenge stories and comedies.

NICK:  We think superhero movies are branching out too and audiences want to see what these archetypes can do in all different kinds of situations.

KERRY: We’re fans and this is a movie we would want to see.  We want to see the big VFX driven adventure but we also want to see a superhero be frustrated and struggling and fighting for his life.
NICK:  There’s room for all of it.

Vicky Jeudy, Shawn Parsons, Jason Antoon and Christian Anderson star in Armstrong, available on VOD and DVD (Walmart only) from October 3.