Your new movie Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel - in a few words, what is it
It is a fun, humorous story about how intolerance can turn you evil and
that you don’t have to overcome every obstacle, just make a difference
where you can.
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel is of course the sequel to 2004's Surge
of Power: The Stuff of Heroes - so did you ever plan to make a sequel
to that movie, why did it take that long, and how has the basic concept evolved
between the first one and the second?
At the outset, I wanted to make at least one movie introducing Surge
with the hope of a series of 4 movies. This has now morphed into
these 2 movies, our web series, Big City Chronicles, and potentially a 3rd
movie to make a trilogy. So, there may still be 4 Surge of Power
It took so long because of life interrupts, money, resources, and
homophobes who tried to prevent it from being made.
The first movie was an origin story to introduce Surge, his archenemy,
Metal Master, and set up the world of Big City. The sequel occurs
several years later, after Surge has had a chance to get his sea legs on
as a superhero. The concept of setting the sequel later in time is
to someday do a comic book miniseries to tell the story in between movies.
The first movie was a big spoof on the superhero, comic and sci-fi
genres. Now that the origin story is out of the way, I have a lot
more territory to build out the Big City universe. I can now get
into the characters, explore gay issues, and start expanding the story
beyond spoofs and gags.
This might be a
question about the first film just as much as about Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel - why make a superhero movie in
the first place, and why make the superhero gay? And are you at all into
superhero movies and comicbooks in your personal life, and some of your
The superhero genre is baked into my DNA. It started by watching
the Super Friends cartoon as a kid, reading comic books since 1979, which
led to making and wearing superhero costumes (now called “cosplay”),
to becoming the mascot of a company I worked for that had a superhero
character promoting its products, and now to this – contributing to the
superhero genre with my own character.
Vincent (center) with Eric Roberts and Robert
There are already so many superheroes out there in the comics, on TV
and in movies that if I was going to introduce a new character, there
needed to be something distinct about him. I wanted to introduce
cinema’s first out gay superhero and do it in a humorous fashion because
levity allows mainstream audiences to look past the orientation and enjoy
themselves. For example, look at Will and Grace – very popular to
a mainstream audience with prominent gay characters, and, like Surge, came
back after 10 years, haha!
(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel?
I make it a habit
to keep up with the superhero movies and try to keep up with as many
superhero TV shows. Sadly, that doesn’t leave much time for
reading comicbooks anymore.
Do talk about Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel director Antonio Lexerot, and
what was your collaboration like? And as writer/executive producer/lead of
the movie, how much creative control did you demand/were you granted?
and I get along great. He really adds a lot to the story. We
see almost eye-to-eye, and when we’re writing together, we’re almost
saying some of the same things. He was also very dedicated to
getting the project done and was very supportive along the way with the
ups and downs. As you might suspect as writer/executive
producer/lead/primary financier and the creator, I have as much creative
control as needed.
few words about Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel's brand of humour?
humor is all-ages, with double entendres so adults can enjoy, kind of like
Bugs Bunny cartoons. The MPAA rated it PG-13 for “Some Suggestive
Material”, so you can get an idea that we’re being respectful to a
young audience but want adults to be entertained. It’s very campy
like the old Batman Adam West TV
show, but with some more serious subject
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel does also feature some quite
accomplished special effects - so could you talk about the effects work in
your movie for a bit?
Like the first movie, we had 2 different VFX shops doing the design
work, one better at 3-D animation (BFX Imageworks) and one better at
energy effects (Charlie X). Both were great to work with and they
appreciated that I had very specific ideas in mind. Their work
resulted in us getting an award at a film festival for “Best Special
The VFX in the first movie, The Stuff of Heroes, but now, years later,
VFX are much more affordable. We also needed to step it up a bit
because big budget movies have raised the bar so high. We have a lot
that needs to happen. Surge shoots blasts and flies. Metal
Master throws metal objects around and destroys a bridge at one point in
the movie. Surge’s car that we affectionately refer to outside the
movie as the “Surgemobile” becomes a character in the sequel. It
has 2 different celebrities appear as its artificial intelligence.
The car not only talks, but has some of its own tricks and turns into a
robot and a jet plane at different parts in the movie. So, we needed
some good VFX to tell our story.
You also play the lead in Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel - so do talk about your
character, and what did you draw upon to bring him to life?
I draw upon the basic nerd who has some erudite smarts but maybe not as
many street smarts. Gavin Lucas is a comic book reader who longed to
be a superhero until he got his powers and became Surge. Like any
good comic reading geek, Gavin feels compelled to do something to make the
world a better place, whereby our theme in both movies surfaces, with the
help of Nichelle Nichols’ character Omen, “Make a Difference Where You
talk about the rest of Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel's key cast for a bit, and why
exactly these people?
Nichelle Nichols is so important to our projects. Because of her
legacy as the first black woman in a position of power on the bridge of
Star Trek’s Enterprise, she took a shine to our effort to put cinema’s
first out gay superhero on the big screen. It is quite poignant to
have her with us, not only in these 2 movies, but she has also shot scenes
with us for our Big City Chronicles web program and scenes for the 3rd
movie, Call of the Champions.
As for others: The “why exactly” is that many of these were
my childhood heroes, actors I watched and enjoyed the characters they
portrayed. It has a lot of meaning for me to have them with me,
embarking on my effort to have a gay superhero out there.
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel also features cameo appearances
from quite a bunch of fan favourites of the larger comicbook crowd - so
how did you even get all these people to appear in your film?
got all these celebrities by asking nicely, explaining the social
importance of my project and how fun it is, negotiating with them and
their managers and agents, and paying them appropriately for their
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
shoots had different atmospheres. Many shoots were small crews
shooting just one or two actors, many in front of green screens, so those
were pretty easy. Larger shoots and on-location shoots like on the
Hoover Dam, the Las Vegas Strip and Salt Lake City were more complex and
$64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?
should look at our website
www.surgeofpower.org. The movie is
playing in Los Angeles January 5-11 at Arena Cinelounge, New York City
January 19-25 at Cinema Village, San Francisco at 4-Star Theatre February
9-15 and Chicago at Facets Cinematheque February 23-March 1. Our
distributor will have it up on at least one online platform shortly.
A few months later, the DVD and Blu-ray should be available. We’ll
post everything on our website and social media.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel yet?
Yes, 9 reviews have come out so far and they have been great.
Audiences have enjoyed the movie and we even made a Big City Chronicles
episode of audience reactions to the sequel, which can be seen on our
website and on YouTube that runs about 6 minutes. Here are some fun
quotes in the last couple of days from publications:
Independent Critic: "immensely fun and good-hearted
cinema" "practically impossible to not fall in love with it
along the way"
Eye For Film: "A joyous low budget romp"
PopGeeks: “delivers just the right kind of fun"
Horror Society: “well rounded production that’ll hit the
heartstrings” “overwhelmingly charming and endearing”
Most of the criticism revolves around the low budget – so, yeah, I
didn’t spend $200 million, so what. Those comments are not true
criticism. They’re just measuring against the landscape they know
– Avengers, Spider-Man, Justice League.
there ever be another sequel to Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel? And other projects you'd like to
As mentioned earlier, we have a web series, Surge of
Power: Big City Chronicles that just concluded its first season.
We’ll launch Season 2 in a few weeks, after we get the theatrical
release under way. As also mentioned, we have already shot scenes
with Nichelle Nichols for a third movie, Surge of Power: Call of the
Champions. We have also already shot 4 cameos for the 3rd movie.
What got you into making movies in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
did a little acting in my younger days and live stage performances, but
not really behind the camera. My training came from making the first
movie, Surge of Power: The Stuff of Heroes. It took 125 cast and
crew, including 20 celebrities and was shot on actual 35mm film – rare
for an indie movie then and unheard of now. So that was my training
– baptism by fire.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Surge
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel?
My only filmwork
of Power: Revenge of the Sequel was The Stuff of Heroes. Now I also
have a full season of Big City Chronicles under my belt (17 episodes) and
I already have 12 episodes in the can and ready to go for Season 2.
writers, actors, whoever else who inspire you?
I really like Josh Whedon, Tim Burton and Greg Berlanti. Acting, I
really like Blake Lively, Jennifer Lawrence and Zachary Quinto.
Star Wars the first 2 trilogies and
Rogue One, ET,
Nine to Five, Age of Adeline, Dreamship Surprise, Avengers.
... and of course, films you really
Star Wars episode
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
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Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
Surge of Power movies
continue their stories all the way through the credits and have stingers
at the end. So, you have to watch all the way through to get the
Thanks for the interview!