David Daze has proudly set drug dealers, silent assassins and martial arts masters loose on the streets of Augusta.
On Sunday, Mr. Daze will premiere his feature film American Street Fighterz: Street Godz of War II at the Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St. The neo-Western The Notorious Colonel Steel, directed by Augusta filmmaker Christopher Forbes, also will be screened.
An action-heavy tale of revenge, redemption and copious kicking of, well, you know, Street Fighterz was inspired by Mr. Daze's love of the action genre and frustration over what he saw as increasingly stale fight sequences in big-budget features. The film was shot in and around Augusta.
"I wanted to make a film that didn't necessarily follow Hollywood standards," Mr. Daze said. "I wanted to do something that was a little bit different. I don't see a reason to make the cut-and-dried fights you usually see. I just wanted to make cool fight scenes."
Drawing inspiration from directors such as Brian De Palma (Scarface), Martin Scorsese (GoodFellas), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction) and Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), Mr. Daze said his goal was to produce spectacular fights on a limited budget.
"I really admire all their work," he said. "Particularly Tarantino. He really pushes the envelope, particularly in his movies."
Part of the secret was enlisting a large cast and then working hard at keeping them happy. He said a large part of the directing process involved motivating his cast.
"Most people who do an independent film will work with a small cast, maybe six or eight people," he said. "But I have probably 50 in this one. It takes a lot of motivation. You have to be understanding toward people. You are working around work schedules, spouses, all sorts of things. It gets to be a headache sometimes but you've got to have people believe in you."
Mr. Daze admitted that there were days when negligent ninjas and stubborn street fighters tempted him to back away from the project. He said those were the days when, like an athlete, he would dig deep for inspiration.
"You have to do some soul-searching, that's for sure. I had to spend hours talking to some of these actors. I mean, some were really motivated and some weren't. But the idea was always to make a movie that is low budget that can compete with a higher budget movie and prove that it can be done."
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
GO SEE IT
WHAT: American Street Fighterz: Street Godz of War II and The Notorious Colonel Steel
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: The Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.
COST: $6; call (706) 722-8341