Film Courage: James, tell us about your decision as a director and a producer to move from horror into action films?
James: I wanted to do action movies because I just started noticing there’s not a lot of super low-budget action movies. I’d hit this wall in horror where I kind of had to reinvent myself because I was making $150,000-$200,000-$300,000 horror movies. What would happen is producers would be like How much did you make this for? I’d tell them and they’d be like Wow. I used to think people would be like He made it for two hundred thousand dollars? Imagine what he could do with three million? But they’d be like He made it for two hundred thousand dollars. This guy’s good at two hundred thousand dollars? Let’s give him two hundred thousand dollars. I was like Oh crap, I need to go up higher and I wanted to work with more name talent (more recognizable name talent) and so I was like Okay, well action. My friend was making action at the time and he was getting big names and so I was like Okay, that’s the way to do it, go into action. I went over toward action and immediately budgets go up and you’re able to get more name talent because you’re making an action movie. I guess they know that you have to have a certain amount of things to do an action movie so the budgets are higher. Typically horror you can make much more contained in a house. That’s not to say they are not more contained in action, but typically you’re going to be able to attract bigger talent and more money.
Film Courage: With horror you have to have a scare within a certain amount of time and then scares in between or kills?
James: Yeah, pretty much have to have something going on…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
About James Cullen Bressack:
James Cullen Bressack is an American producer, director, and screenwriter. At the age of 18 he received critical attention from audiences and critics alike when he made his debut feature, My Pure Joy. One to push boundaries, James followed up with the bold and unapologetic Hate Crime which forced audiences along for a brutal home invasion, the first found footage feature ever to be made in the style of having no cuts. The entire film plays out painfully in real time. It was promptly banned in the UK for its fearless story telling, one of three films to be banned in the last 25 years and remains so to this day. The prolific filmmaker refused to slow down completing seven more features including Pernicious, 13-13-13, and Blood Lake, starring Shannen Doherty and Christopher Lloyd, which made James the youngest director to ever direct for television.
After writing and directing the haunting Bethany, James shifted his focus to producing. He has now produced forty-eight features including releases for Lionsgate and Cinedigm and is a member of both the PGA and SAG/AFTRA. His impressive body of work has won him numerous Best Picture and Best Director awards on the film festival circuit. James has achieved all this at the age of 29 and refuses to slow down as he continues to push the envelop and make films no one thought possible. His most recent features include Beyond The Law, starring Steven Seagal and DMX along with Survive The Game and Fortress which star Bruce Willis and Chad Michael Murray. He also just completed photography on the feature Hot Seat starring Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty and Sam Asghari.
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FORTRESS featuring Jesse Metcalfe, Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Kelly Greyson, Ser’Darius Blain, Shannen Doherty. Directed by James Cullen Bressack. Written by Alan Horsnail. In Select Theaters, On Demand and Digital on December 17, 2021.
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