Go90 has paired up with Studio 71 to create RUSH: Inspired by Battlefield. As the name states, it’s a project that draws from the popular Battlefield video game series. The film has been split into a digital series, and was released September 20th. The Knockturnal caught up with co-directors Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer, along with stars Jeff Schine, Vlada Verevko, and Stephen Chang.
This is a Battlefield-influenced movie. Did you do any pre-game research?
Jeff Schine: I’ve always been a big gamer, and I’m a fan of the franchise, so it was real easy to drop into that world. I think they did a really good job, dropping in some nuggets from the game itself, so fans will find some things to be familiar with.
What else did you do, besides playing the game, to get ready for a film like this?
Schine: I have some family in the military, so I did some asking, some general research. I’ve always been a fan of films of that type, so you sort of feel like you understand that universe more than you should. I mean, it’s so far outside anything I do in my real life, but it’s a blast to get a chance to do a little bit of training. They took us out for a while, we did some movement & stuff, so it was a lot of fun.
What was one of your favorite parts of the film?
Schine: There’s a couple parts where I have a lot of stuff blown up in my face. I haven’t had that happen before, and it was actually a lot of fun. I had more debris from Detroit thrown at me than ever before.
Are you guys fans of Battlefield?
Niko Pueringer: Oh yeah. That’s the whole reason we’re here. Jeff Shine, our lead, so to speak, is a huge gamer. Professional Rainbow Six player.
Did you guys have any casting issues, finding the right people to play the parts?
Pueringer: Finding the actor to play Braddock took awhile. It’s funny, we serendipitously came across Steven Ogg, when his manager reached out to us to see if we’d be interested in doing a YouTube collaboration with him. And we were like, “we actually have another project that might be cool.”
As far as your creative process, how did you guys come together and make this film?
Sam Gorski: We’ve been making videos together since middle school. So yeah, it’s been a long time. We’ve just been continuing that through here. The end goal’s always just been making movies- I guess it’s not really movies. Just anything that’s big and has a story.
Pueringer: Yeah, narratives. Sam and I are big action guys, and big gamers, so we got to put that all together for this.
What was your favorite part of making this film?
Pueringer: My favorite part during this film was getting to work with blank-firing machine guns for the first time. When those things start barking on set, it’s pretty cool. Commands attention.
Gorski: Tanks and helicopters are also pretty fun. It’s just a great opportunity to play with big toys.
Did you do any in-game prepping before doing the film?
Vlada Verevko: I know nothing about video games. The last game I played was probably Super Mario or Pac-Man, so that’s as much as I know. So for me, it was quite an amazing experience, even though I wasn’t part of the whole action sequence. Maybe I was a little. But it was still very exciting to see how it’s all done in reality.
Is this the first action film of this caliber that you’ve done?
Verevko: Yes, for sure. That’s why it was a great experience, seeing everything behind the scenes, and being a part of some badass scenes.
What were some of your favorite badass things?
Verevko: Probably the moment with the explosion happening all around me. Everyone else was getting a lot of that, and I wasn’t since my character is quite civil compared to everyone else. That was fun.
Did you do any in-game prepping before going on set?
Stephen Chang: You know what they did? A lot of training before, because I didn’t know anything about guns. You can probably tell in the movie that I have no idea what I’m doing. But Sam and Niko, they prepared me really well, and gave us really good training on how to hold the weapons, what’s professional and what’s not. That was our “training,” I guess. But no video game playing for me.
What was your creative process like, going into the film?
Chang: You know, I wish I had, like, a really great Daniel Day-Lewis story or something like that. For me, it’s interesting, because you don’t know until you get on set. Being in Detroit, and being in this weather, and meeting all the other actors, knowing what it’s gonna be like. You have to go in with an open mind, go with the flow, and find your rhythm.
What was your favorite part of the movie?
Chang: I just love the other actors. I mean, that sounds so corny, but I loved working with them, and I think they’re all great. I loved working with Niko and Sam – that was one of the relationships that was the most memorable, to me. As for a specific moment? (pauses) He’s gonna get mad at me, but Mark [Leslie Ford] has a scene where he was supposed to be freaking out. He was doing this freakout where he was rolling over tables and everything. It probably didn’t make the movie, but it was the greatest thing you’ll never see.
Darius Stone contributed reporting.
The Digital Series is now exclusively on go90.