Rising to the defense of an oppressed civilization, a warrior turns own his empire is the premise of the action movie, The Veil, directed by Brent Ryan Green. In this Q&A session, Brent talks about this made in Oklahoma film that’s premiering at the deadCENTER Film Festival.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role with The Veil.
My name is Brent Ryan Green and I am a film director from Oklahoma. I have been working in the film business for 10 years now as a director and producer. My production company is Toy Gun Films. We are an independent production company with offices in Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. The Veil is my feature film directorial debut and prior to that I directed four short films. The first was En Tus Manos in Colombia, followed by Paper Flower in Tokyo, and then Half Good Killer in South Africa and Running Deer in Oklahoma.
How would you describe The Veil to people?
The Veil tells the story of a warrior who turns on his own empire and rises to the defense of an oppressed civilization in a final war for a dying world. The Veil stars William Levy (Dancing with the Stars, Addicted), William Moseley (The Chronicles of Narnia film series, The Royals) and Serinda Swan (Tron: Legacy, USA’s Graceland).
What was the most challenging aspect you had in the production?
The biggest challenge with The Veil was trying to pull off such an elaborate and complex script with the budget we had. Jeff Goldberg, the writer of the film and my producing partner, wrote an awesome, high-concept film. The Veil has a lot of sy-fy and action elements in it. We had a lot of complicated stunts and a very limited schedule. Also, we battled the weather here in Oklahoma. We were shooting in the fall, and one day it snowed so much we had to quit filming. But everyone was amazing and we pulled off some extremely ambitious projects.
What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?
This was a unique project in the sense that I knew I wanted to film in Oklahoma and we developed the script around the locations. It was a long process, but I had been scouting some of the awesome locations Oklahoma had to offer and tailored the script to those locations. I am so excited how amazing Oklahoma looks in the film. I think people are going to be blown away by how good Oklahoma actually looks on film.
What were some particular scenes that were enjoyable to film?
One of the most enjoyable scenes to film was a scene where the actors needed to be coming out of the water. We had planned to shoot this at Red Rock Canyon, which was the last location on our schedule. We had planned to shoot all scenes involving water earlier in the shoot while the weather was still warm, but because of the location, this scene had to be shot later. We started filming in the fall when it was 80 degrees outside.
“The enjoyable part of this was after having filmed with the amazing cast and crew for weeks, they were still willing to give it everything they had to make the film great.”In true Oklahoma fashion, there was snow on the ground by the time we finished our 23-day-shoot. So, the final water scene in which the actors had to come out of this little pond at Red Rock took place on a day when it was 35 degrees outside. Way too cold to get in the water. But both of the actors, William Levy and William Moseley, did it. We had to get what we needed in one take. The guys went into the water, I called “action”, they did their scene, and then jumped out of the lake before the camera could even cut and rushed into the van. For some context, I was in my ski clothes with 5 layers on – it was that cold.
The enjoyable part of this was after having filmed with the amazing cast and crew for weeks, they were still willing to give it everything they had to make the film great. No way you can ever ask an actor to do a scene like that. But this was a special project and the commitment level from the cast and crew is like nothing I have ever experienced. I hated having to put the guys in the lake, but I loved their commitment.
What are your thoughts on the deadCENTER Film Festival?
DeadCENTER – I can’t say enough about this festival. They have been so supportive of me and my work. Every film I have directed has been in the deadCENTER Film Festival and my last project in the festival, Running Deer, won the Grand Jury award. Lance McDaniel and Kim Haywood have been so generous to me over the years. Also, deadCENTER as a festival itself is amazing. I have been in over 50 festivals and I can honestly say that not one festival I have been in has anything on deadCENTER.
Anything else you wish to add?
I also want to add that the Oklahoma film and music office played a huge role in our film. Without the tax credit program, we would not have been able to shoot in Oklahoma. They, along with deadCENTER, are the cornerstone and key to the film industry in Oklahoma.
For more of Uncovering Oklahoma’s coverage of deadCENTER, including past and present interview sessions with filmmakers, click here.