Your new movie Eternal Code
- in a few words, what is it about?
is the brainchild of me reading an article on Facebook
about a doctor who was planning a surgery removing the head of a braindead
person and replacing it with a terminal paraplegic person. My mind started
spinning and the fountain of youth came up and the moral dilemma of having
that power, so thatís what I wrote and thatís now Eternal Code.
Quite honestly, if you had the secret to
eternal life at your disposal, what would you do?
Iím not sure... I think knowing weíre all here for a limited time
has taught me to seize the moment and to have urgency in my life that would be
long lost without a looming deadline... but Iíve lost more close family
members and friends, so the fear of losing more would be an urge hard to fight
at times I bet.
Code is quite heavy on the action side of things - so do talk
about your movie's action sequences for a bit, and how were they achieved?
Yeah I wanted this film to have more action and movement in general
because it felt like the story really called for that! As with a lot of
action you have to make sure you have very capable actors or bring in stunt
replacements. I was very excited all my actors were up for the task to play
the entirety of their characters! I had no idea how physically capable Scout
Taylor-Compton is, sheís such a dynamo!
Wallen with Ken Alter, Erika Hoveland
few words about your overall directorial approach to the story at hand?
As always there are challenges in making a feature
film. We shot this one over 16 shooting days. I had a new cinematographer on
this one and that dynamic is always tricky to start speaking the same
language, but Jackson Swan and I found ways to move well together. As far as the
actors go I feel very comfortable directing acting for the most part as I
understand well where theyíre at in their process when I need to nudge them
in the right direction.
also play one of the villains in Eternal
Code - so do talk about your character, and what did you draw upon
to bring him to life? And have you written Sam with yourself in mind from
I had a blast
playing Sam, heís an a-hole haha, fun character to play! When you play
villains you can ďcolor outside the linesĒ and thatís always a good
time! I actually didnít write Sam to be my character, I was hoping Iíd
play Carter, but Shane Hagedorn delivered such a good audition I thought
weíd lose out if I donít cast him as Carter. I draw some from people in my
life but mostly I construct a backstory that justifies who he is and how he
behaves, and then I try to live as truthfully to that as I can.
What can you tell us about the rest of your
cast, and why exactly these people?
feel I lucked out on my cast! Charlie was a male character in all the rewrites
up until the last one. I kept reading the script feeling it needed something,
and then I thought the mechanics of it being a woman were really intriguing, and
I had already talked with Scout Taylor-Compton after being introduced by Yan Birch,
telling me ďsheís great, youíll love working with her!Ē And he was
right! I love Richard Tyson as my villain, he is a special kind of actor and a
beast on screen! I wanted to bring the compassionate loving husband and
father out of Billy Wirth, heís a great tough guy on screen but such a good
man off screen I wanted a piece of that and I felt I really did! And I love
Yan Birch playing this scientist who is so lost in how good the solution will
be that he doesnít realize the risks and damage of his choices in the name
of good! I saw a touch of Stellan SkarsgŚrdís character Eric from the Marvel
movies. I also saw Mel Novak playing this good non-violent kind character
and wanted to show a true piece of him as well. Melís got a huge heart and
is such a good soul, I think that came out! Vida Ghaffari [Vida
Ghaffari interview - click here] was tricky, I hadnít seen
this side of her but felt she could pull it off and she most definitely has
the look for it! The rest of my cast were the results of a ton of great
auditions!! We had several hundred auditions and we had the ability to get
some amazing talent especially from the Michigan independent film scene.
Do talk about the
shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
We had a blast making
this film!! We had moments that we needed to come down in energy for because
of the sensitivity of the scenes we shot but other than that it was a very
energetic and inspired set! A lot of blocking rehearsals and jelling with each
other. The hardest part was probably the location moves and staying on
schedule while still keeping our focus on seeking excellence.
can tell us about audience and critical reception of Eternal
Vida Ghaffari, Richard Tyson, Yan Birch
Vision wanted Eternal
Code our as soon as we could knowing October is lingering around the
corner and horror films get an even bigger spotlight so the festival run was
minimal for us this time around but the few we entered we got selected and won
with the crown jewel being Best Crime Drama as the 24th Annual - Indie Gathering International
Film Festival! We also got a limited theatrical and I really
enjoyed seeing the film with an audience at a theater, seeing if the
chuckles and the gasps hit! There is something really special
about seeing a film in a movie theater! And on a film critic
stand I was happy to see you enjoyed the ride Michael!
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Yes a lot haha, because I held off on signing a few of my early films,
I have film number 2 and 3 (Eternal
Code was #7) releasing on 11/1 (Enigma and Abstruse).
Enigma was a great and fun ride starring TJ
Storm and Dennis Haskins, and Abstruse has been making huge waves on
the festival circuit and it stars Tom Sizemore and Dennis Haskins in a
role you never seen him!
Then to finish the year we release the sequel to Bennettís
Song, and itís a holiday movie, A Bennett Song Holiday with
Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haskins and up and coming star Bryce Xavier
along with much of the original cast!
Then in February we finally get to see Agramonís Gate and I canít
wait for that!! Busy end of this year and starting the next just
And letís not forget I host and do live fight commentary for Warrior
Wednesdays on UFC Fightpass ďLiveĒ the last Wednesday of every
month for those who followed me from my fighting days!
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Harley Wallen on Facebook as well as Painted Creek Productions, my
production company. Iím OfficialHarleyWallen on Instagram and
HarleyTheSwede in Twitter.
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I think we about covered it all, Iíd mention Ash and Bone but we are
too far out still to tease that one.
for the interview!
Thank you Michael, I appreciate you taking the time to talk movies and
more with me!