Chad Law is from a small town in Indiana. He was a very creative teen whose imagination led him and his brother Evan to shooting over seventy-five movies, most of which he starred in and directed, with a video camera given to them as a Christmas gift. Chad now has a list of credits as a writer and producer of feature films with impressive cast members. He’s had a very busy schedule lately, but took some time out to speak with Movie Vine.
MV: Welcome to Movie Vine, Chad. Before we get started thank you for taking the time out to talk with us.
Chad: Thank you. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
MV: Let’s begin by discussing Hard Drive. Since this movie is in post-production. How much can you tell us about the movie?
Chad: Well, first off, the title’s now been changed to DRIVE HARD for the time being. We’ll see if that actually sticks but that’s what they’re calling it for now. Not DIE HARD but DRIVE HARD. The script I wrote and that went into production was actually called HARD DRIVE though, yeah. But anyway, it’s a different type of movie for me somewhat as it’s more a quirky action buddy movie instead of a dark, more serious type of thing like I’ve done in the past. Or at least like some of the things I’ve done in the past were intended to be before they became comedies. (laughs) HARD DRIVE was meant to be quirky and have a sense of humor. John Cusack and Thomas Jane star. Both of who I, of course, have been a big fan of for years. HIGH FIDELITY with Cusack is one of my favorites. It’s hilarious. And HARD DRIVE is sorta more like GROSSE POINTE BLANK for him I feel. He plays a criminal that gets out of jail and is looking for revenge and he kind of tricks a driver’s ed instructor, played by Thom Jane, who used to be a race car driver, into being his wheel-man for a heist that takes them all across Australia. It’s set in Australia. It’s all very tongue in cheek as you can probably imagine. Brian Trenchard Smith, who Quentin Tarantino has gone on record as saying is one of his favorite directors, directed it. I can’t wait to see it. I can’t wait to see how it all turned out. It should be a lot of fun. There was actually a test screening in Beverly Hills a few weeks or so ago but I couldn’t make it unfortunately because I was down in Dallas shooting DAYLIGHT’S END. But I can’t wait to see how it all turned out. I’m really looking forward to it.
MV: Where did the idea for Drive Hard come from?
Chad: I don’t know really, it just sort of came as ideas often do, I guess. I don’t really have a good answer. I just like making movies and watching movies and I guess I just wanted to do a sort of high octane buddy comedy kind of ala MIDNIGHT RUN or something in that vein, most of it set in a car during a chase. The type of things I grew up watching and have always been a fan of, you know? Road movies, chase movies, buddy movies. It’s kind of all of those things combined and I’ve always been a fan of those types of movies when they’re done well. Most of the story is actually set in a car. I remember there was this movie with Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson back in the day called THE CHASE that was set mostly in a car. Anthony Keidis from Red Hot Chili Peppers was in it too. It was always on HBO or Cinemax when I was growing up and, honestly, I always kind of dug it. I’d like to see that movie again actually. It’s been a while. I watched it every time it was on.
MV: How much can you tell us about Daylight’s End since it’s currently filming right now?
Chad: Well, it’s directed by William Kaufman, who directed SINNERS AND SAINTS and who I worked with on both THE HIT LIST and ONE IN THE CHAMBER. Will’s my favorite director I’ve personally had the pleasure of working with this far. I think he’s great. He just gets it and he and I play nice in the sandbox together. Well, most of the time anyway. (laughs) It stars Johnny Strong from Will’s first movie, Lance Henriksen from ALIENS and a bunch of other amazingly talented actors — Chelsea Edmundson, Gary Cairns, Hakeem Kae Kazim, Louis Mandylor, Sonny Puzikas, Heather “mothertucking” Kafka from Michael Bay’s TEXAS CHAINSAW remake. She’s awesome. We’ve got a bunch of great actors in it. I could go on and on. You’ll be seeing a lot more from all of them in the future I think. But it’s a post apocalyptic action-thriller, kind of an action horror hybrid, and it’s been a lot of fun making it. In fact, I don’t want it to end. But I think it’s gonna turn out really, really well. The footage I’ve seen is amazing. I’m super excited for it. In fact, I’ll go on record as saying I think it’s gonna turn out much better than the script I wrote for it and, usually, for me, as a writer, I always feel it’s the exact opposite whether I’m right or wrong in my opinion, so that would be a nice change of pace for me. The cast, the crew, everybody on the movie is just there for the right reasons and I think that’s really gonna show. It’s been super hot in Texas as it is in the summer here but everybody’s soldiered through with proper hydration and only minor fainting. (laughs)
MV: I know that Daylight’s End was the project you submitted to Project Green Light contest. How has the movie evolved since the contest?
Chad: In almost every way aside from the title and the sort of vampyric-horror element that it has. Otherwise, it’s very, very different — in a good way I feel. But it’s kind of a full circle thing for me. I mean, I met actor Gary Cairns when I was trying to make my first version of DAYLIGHT’S and was kind of trying to break into the whole movie making game or whatever and now he’s starring in this version too so it’s pretty cool. Like I said, it’s all a very full circle moment for me. To make a movie in this genre called DAYLIGHT’S END despite it being very different from what it began as. — a new story basically. It’s a pretty cool thing for me.
MV: What inspired you to write a post apocalyptic movie?
Chad: The feeling that we’re all perpetually doomed? No, seriously, again, I’ve just always been a fan of the whole end of the world type scenario and when Will called and asked me if I wanted to do this with him I said absolutely and here we are. I’d do almost anything with Will. He and I were both fans of similar things when we were growing up and it was fun to just sort of throw our hats in that ring a little. To do something sort of in that ROAD WARRIOR, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, John Carpenter vein. I’ve always been a huge John Carpenter fan. I just wanted to make sure all of the characters came out and were fleshed out and that we were smart about it and I think we’ve done and are doing all of that. The actors have all been great in adding to it and really helping bring things to life.
MV: If you were caught in a post apocalyptic situation, what 3 things would you like to have with you to survive?
Chad: Marauder repellent, aka a big gun, gasoline and a car. The things our lead character, played by Johnny Strong, needs in the movie. A girl would be nice too. Can I name names? A name? I can’t imagine having a girl with me at the end of the world would be so terrible either. (laughs)
MV: Have you ever been brought in to rewrite someone else’s script?
Chad: I have actually, yeah. In fact, as a writer, the majority of my work, whether credited or uncredited, is from me being hired to rewrite other scripts, I do that often. ONE IN THE CHAMBER, for example, which I did with Will, was actually a rewrite for me. It wasn’t something I wrote initially. I was brought onto it pretty much right as they started shooting. So that’s one, yeah, right off the top of my head. It’s tricky sometimes. Especially under a timetable like we were under on that one. But yeah, the short answer is I’m brought on to rewrite other scripts fairly often. I do a lot of that.
MV: When you’re writing do you picture a specific actor for a part that you’re writing for?
Chad: I don’t know. Sometimes, yes, sometimes, no. It really just depends on the scenario. But for example, on DAYLIGHT’S END, I did, yeah, as I knew or at least had in mind who a lot of the characters would be played by before I even began. We knew Johnny was gonna be in it, I wrote a role for my buddy Gary, we had Lance in mind when we started. I knew Jean Claude Van Damme was gonna star in SIX BULLETS when I first wrote that one. On the flip side though I thought HARD DRIVE was gonna star The Rock in the Thomas Jane role and Jason Statham in the John Cusack role so you really just never know how things are gonna turn out. I’ve kind of, for the most part anyway, gotten away from picturing a specific actor in a role as it almost always changes so drastically from what you sometimes envision. I try to focus more on the character than the actor. That’s what’s most important anyway. Actors become the characters, that’s what’s great, most of them don’t just wanna play themselves, you know? We all do that everyday anyway. Where’s the fun in that?
MV: What input on casting do you have after a script is complete?
Chad: Again, it really just depends on the scenario. With DAYLIGHT’S there was definite input, with THE HIT LIST and Cuba there was input. With HERO WANTED there was some input as far as Norman Reedus and Gary Cairns went. I’ll always throw in my five cents, you know, don’t get me wrong, you just never know if the right people are gonna actually listen or even care. I mean, most of the time it has to do with a lot of things aside from who some people just want to cast in the end. There’s a lot of factors. It’s a business at the end of the day. Sometimes creativity and business don’t blend all that well but they have to so you just sort of do your best to make it all work.
MV: Will you try your hands at directing in the future?
Chad: I’ll definitely try my hand at directing at some point. Who knows? Maybe even sooner rather than later. I just, of course, want all of the elements to be as right as they can be but, at the same time, nothings ever really perfect so…yeah, definitely. I’ll definitely direct at some point. I’ve even been considering a couple of things now. Who knows?
MV: In watching 6 Bullets, Hero Wanted and The Hit List, I was sitting on the edge of my seat with all of the action. I have to tell you I am truly a fan of your writing. What types of movies do you most like writing?
Chad: Wow, that’s great, thanks. That’s really nice of you. Thank you so much. I have my own opinions on all three obviously. But, for me, I really just like writing the types of movies I feel I would want to watch and I like to watch all kinds stuff. I’m a fan first and foremost. I enjoy action obviously, horror was where I started so I really like it. But I think I’ll try my hand at a straight drama even at some point too maybe. They’re just so much harder to get made. I just like trying to tell good stories and then hoping I can get them brought to screens. I really just enjoy trying to tell stories people, myself included, would hopefully want to see.
MV: What recommendations would you give to someone just getting started writing?
Chad: Just write. All the time. As much as you can. Learn what works, what works for you. Read as many screenplays as you can. Watch as many movies as you can. That’s what I did. The great thing about wanting to be a writer is that if you want to be, you can be, you just have to write and a writer you are. That doesn’t mean you’re good at it or not good at it per se but anybody can write pretty much. The hardest part is getting your work to be seen or getting it into the right hands and that’s a whole other job all to itself. For that I think you just have to be persistent and beat on doors, whatever it takes. Develop leather skin. But if you’re a writer, be a writer, it’s a simple as that, the writing part I think. A writer writes, you know? Actors act, whether on stage or in a mirror, wherever, and so on and so on. Like with most things, I think you just have to study, be prepared and learn by doing and honing it, you know?
MV: Can you tell us what you’re working on next?
Chad: Yeah, several things actually. I’m gearing up to do a thriller in the Bahamas called ISOLATION with director Shane Dax Taylor and one in Vancouver called RUN ‘N GUN, which, like DRIVE HARD, is also more of an action comedy. Both should be a lot of fun. I think something I’m wanting to do with HBO and a pretty prolific filmmaker producing may also be coming together for next year too. There’s also, I think, another one with Thomas Jane and Will and I are going to work together again on one called BURNING SUN with Cole Hauser and Terrence Howard and the sequel to his and Johnny’s movie SINNERS. This great little movie I sort of helped produce with my buddy Gary Cairns, MONUMENTAL, it should be hitting festivals sometime next year too. It’s crazy the way that one was done. It was shot all around the country earlier this summer. It should be pretty cool. Anyway, I might be forgetting something but there are several things coming up, yeah. I’m excited. It’s a really good time. I’m excited to just have the minor bit of success I have had. It’s always an experience one way or the other.
MV: Thank you Chad!
Check out the newly released MONUMENTAL Trailer below..
You can check out Chad’s film credits on his IMDb profile here.