Saturday, October 29, 2016

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Action Star Paul Logan Talks About Writing & Starring in THE HORDE

In THE HORDE, action star Paul Logan plays John Crenshaw an ex-NAVY SEAL who accompanies his girlfriend and her students on a weekend nature-photography expedition deep into the woods. What should be an educational, fun-filled weekend turns into horror as the group is besieged by an unspeakable evil - a horde of hideously disfigured, mutated humans with an insatiable taste for blood. As things go from bad to much worse, Crenshaw becomes their only hope if they are going to get out alive.

Merc With A Movie Blog recently caught up with Paul Logan, the writer and star of THE HORDE to ask him about the creative processes that went into making this exciting horror/action movie.

The writing THE HORDE:

MARLA REED: In a behind the scenes commentary for the movie CODE RED, you stated that when you watch horror movies, you like to imagine how you would handle the situation in the movie as the lead character. Did this play any part in your coming up with the idea of THE HORDE?

PAUL LOGAN: It Definitely did. I always put myself in the character’s situation while I am watching an action movie or a horror movie and think of what I would do.  The reason this one came about was because I thought most horror films are the same. It's a bunch of kids going into the woods, the killer or the killers hunt them down one at a time until there is usually one girl left and she gets away. We've seen it a million times. But we've seen it a million times because that's what the horror audience wants, expects and enjoys. So I thought, what would happen if you had the same scenario, a bunch of kids out on a nature photography field trip in the woods with their teacher. A bunch of mutant, cannibalistic killers hunting them down... but one person in their group was ex-special forces, was a Navy SEAL who can fight back and turn the hunters into the hunted.  You have all of the boo scares, terror and gore of a horror film and all of the extreme action and brutal fights of an action movie as well as a cool love story. I want the audience to do the same for THE HORDE and become one of the group hoping to make it out alive.

MR: There are a lot of action scenes in THE HORDE. What was your writing process like in regards to creating the story? Did you envision the fight scenes first, then write the story around them or did you go from point A to point Z as one fluid thing? What sort of visualization processes did you use blocking out the fight scenes to see if they worked, saying dialog aloud to hear it? 

PL: My writing process is usually this. I get an idea, brainstorm it by writing down any cool things that I can think of. Then I do an outline describing what happens in every scene and finally I write the dialog and action. I have been told that I write very visually, which I take as a compliment. I try to put the reader into the script so that they can imagine that they are watching the film as they read it. This also helps with production so that all departments can get a better feel for the environment and characters while prepping for the film. My stunt coordinator, Tony Snegoff, told me after reading the script that we could shoot all the fights the way that I wrote it. I’ve read many scripts that just have a blank page that says insert fight scene here. 

MR: Your characters are all very organic and have a natural flow in the storyline. As a writer, you accomplished giving them each a background without the mini expositions in character dialog bogging down the story. Was that something you felt was important for THE HORDE in terms of making it work? 

PL: Thank you so much. I tried to make all of the characters real and different yet still keeping them in the classic horror roles that the audience likes. THE HORDE is a combination of THE HILLS HAVE EYES and RAMBO, so I wanted to pay homage to the two genres but in a current way blending them in with a love story. I wanted the audience to know these people in the limited time that they got to meet them so, that when the danger hits, they fear for them and hope to God John Crenshaw saves them.

Acting in THE HORDE

MR: What was it about John Crenshaw as a character that appealed to you as an actor? What aspects of the movie were the most interesting to film?

PL: Since I wrote the script, I had the liberty to create a character in John Crenshaw that I would love to play. He is a bad ass, former Navy SEAL who has given up the life and fallen in love. He is used to being in the middle of life and death action and now has to live a “normal” life, which is alien to him. Once the attack happens though, he must once again embrace that unstoppable combat soldier he is to save the students and the woman he loves. 

I love doing the action, I’ve been training martial arts since age thirteen, so getting to do that on screen is always awesome. I also wanted the audience to see the vulnerability and kind side of John, which many action heroes don’t show.

MR: There is some amazing talent in this movie. As an actor working with them, in what ways to you feel they helped you 'up your game' as an actor? 

PL: I was so fortunate that we got our incredible actors on board. Some were friends that I knew before like Costas Mandylor, Matt Willig and Nestor Serrano. Some I had the pleasure to work with for the first time like Bill Moseley, and Vernon Wells as well as all of our amazing actors who played the students and Tiffany Brauer who played Selena. Any time you have the privilege to work with actors like this it ups everyone’s performance. Your hero is only as strong as your villains and getting to work with and play off of these talented people was great! It definitely brings the best out in everyone, I thank them all.

Fight Coordinator

MR: Was there any fight scenes that had 'looked good on paper' but had to be changed or modified when filming actually started? Or ones that were added? 

PL: I wrote pretty detailed fights in the script. So when I did the choreography, I sat down with our stunt coordinator Tony Snegoff who brought in amazing stunt actors for me to fight. We took what I came up with and only tweaked a few things that we enhanced by actually being in the environments that we shot in. I wanted the fights to be very real and extremely brutal. John is an ex-Navy SEAL fighting savage creatures wielding knives, axes, spears, and any other weapon that they can use to kill. I made the techniques hard and deadly, I want the audience to feel each blow and go “OHHH!!” when I snap a limb or take out a mutant. I brought in a lot of mixed martial arts moves, arm bars, knees, elbows, chokes, etc. These techniques are real, effective, and will be recognized by the UFC audience who make up a big part of your action movie audience. 

MR: Most of the action sequences looked to be shot at night. In what ways, if any does that affect how a sequence is set up? Also there were stunt people wearing SFX makeup that may have impaired their vision. Did that pose a challenge?  

PL: Night and special effects make up always add an additional challenge to action sequences, but our team handled it perfectly. Safety is always a priority and thorough preparation coupled with pros who know what to do makes things so much easier. We also had a great fight scene in a lake, which always adds to the difficulty. Taking all that into account, THE HORDE delivers kick ass action and fight scenes.

Looking to the future

MR: THE HORDE is out there now and it's doing well, so what's next in store for Paul Logan, the writer and the actor, as far as film work is concerned? 

PL: I have done some other action films for other companies. My next project is also one that I wrote. It’s called THE EDGE OF MADNESS, it’s basically DIE HARD in an Asylum.  My character is a detective trapped in an asylum that houses the worst of the worst of the criminally insane.  Lots of action… it Rocks!

We want to say a big THANK YOU, to action star and writer, Paul Logan for taking the time to talk to us about the creative processes that went into bringing THE HORDE to life. We are absolutely looking forward to his next projects. Right now though, it’s Halloween weekend and do you know where THE HORDE is? We do! It’s available on, Vudu, iTunes, Google Play and other VOD platforms.  You can also check out my review of THE HORDE right HERE
Find out more about the versatile Paul Logan, an accomplished martial artist, stuntman and actor who may be one of the hidden jewels in the treasury of action cinema by checking out his IMDB page and official website.

Please be sure to follow Paul Logan on his official twitter and Instagram

Learn more about THE HORDE at the official movie website and Face Book Page

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