Here is our chat with Daniel Armstrong, Director of Strongman Pictures Entertainment.
So, tell me about Roller Derby Slasher, MurderDrome. What’s it all about?
Well, in a nutshell the story revolves around a Roller Derby girl called Cherry Skye, she loves skating and Roller Derby with a passion – and she’s unbelievably good at it. Everything else in life – relationships, diet, housework, not being hunted by the vengeful spirit of a mass murderer – she does less well. She also has a deeply repressed dark side, and is haunted by violent nightmares about a place she’s never heard of called The MurderDrome.
She’s found herself in a tricky love triangle that brings her to blows with one of her derby competitors and, in the process, manages to unleash the soul of a long dead murderer which brings on night full of meat hooks and mayhem for Skye and her team mates. Whilst doing all she can to stay alive, and prevent the demon sucking her soul into hell in it’s place, she comes face to face with her own dark past.
How long was the process from initial concept to filming?
Hmmm. Not 100% sure. I know I first wrote a roller derby action script almost two years back. But it totally sucked. It wasn’t until around maybe Jan or Feb this year that I was talking with a friend (who starred in a music vid we shot) about slasher movies and suddenly the concept of Roller Derby Slasher was born and I started working on MurderDrome. The actual screenplay went through five drafts in about 5 weeks with the assistance of Lousie Monnington and Trent Schwartz as editors. And we started shooting about a month after we locked the script down. We’re currently half way through the shoot and scheduled to be done and in post by the start of October.
What were the greatest challenges on set?
There is one HUGE challenge that makes all others seem insignificant in comparison. The entire cast are on roller skates. The whole time. In every single scene (well near enough anyway). We have to manage all the other usual impossible to achieve challenges indie films face of course… we just have to do it on wheels.
Do you feel the film has an underlying message?
When you hear a noise outside in the dark DO NOT GO OUT ALONE TO SEE WHAT IT IS! It’s clearly a murdering psycho for the love of Pete!
What will audiences take away from it?
Hopefully an experience. It’s a fun film (I know it’s about killing people but we kill people in fun ways!). It’s aggressively B Grade, we want the audience to enjoy the ride. We’re passionate about the craft and are putting all we have into this, but we have our tongue in our cheek a lot of the time. It’s entertainment. It’s a roller coaster, and it’s full of big cartoony characters and is developing into a unique world of it’s own. This awesome, comic book roller derby slasher world!
What are you hoping for when it’s out?
Our aim to find an audience. Everyone working on MurderDrome is a volunteer, so we’re in it for love and the chance to show an audience what we can put together. That’s why we’ releasing it in episodes free online through our YouTube channel. We want people to see it. We want to create and work and show the world what an amazingly talented bunch of actors, crew and techs we have and to do it on a project we want to see made – not one that is getting made because it’s commercial or has funds attached… if you get me. My production company mission statement is “Films For Fans” ~ that’s what we’re doing.
We’ll experiment with advertising as a revenue stream, and once all done online see how we go on the festival circuit and the DVD distribution traps. But the priority remains getting the work out to an audience.
Anything you want to get off your chest right now?
Nah I’m all good, bro! Oh wait yes – like the MurderDrome FaceBook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/MurderDrome/174198055962816 and subscribe to our youtube channel – www.YouTube.com/user/StrongManPictures
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