Drawing on his own life experience as a Navy Seal and involvement in the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jason Cabell, not only wrote the script for Running With the Devil but made his directorial debut. Making your debut with Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne in tow? Not too shabby, Jason!
Running With the Devil officially marks your directorial debut. How was your experience working with Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne?
Nicolas and Laurence were great. From preparation to execution I learned a lot. I greatly appreciate them lending their genius to the film. They are consummate professionals and set the bar really high.
In addition to serving as the director, you also penned the script – how did you manage to juggle between both of these crucial roles?
In some ways I think it’s easier being a writer/director. Writing to shoot and capturing your vision on paper first ultimately make things easier to stay true to that vision in production.
Thank you for your extensive service as a Navy SEAL. You have a fascinating background that also stems from your involvement with the Drug Enforcement Administration. How has your personal experience influenced the movie’s plot and dynamic as a whole?
You’re welcome. They say write what you know. My personal experience influenced the plot and dynamic a bunch. I wanted to show the unglamorous dangerous grind of smuggling from the ground level.
There are a lot of action-packed moments in Running With the Devil – which scene was the hardest to film? Which scene was the most fun to shoot?
The helicopter scene was the hardest by far. It was filmed in a matter of hours because of availability and the weather. We were running five cameras at the same time and I was running all over the mountain from camera to camera and from inside the helicopter but we got it. I’m really proud of that sequence. The airplane/skydiving sequence was the funnest for me to shoot. Actor Rich Barner and Stuntman JT Holmes did an outstanding job along with all the talented pilots and skydivers at Skydive Phoenix.
What’s one message you hope to pass along to viewers after watching Running With the Devil?
Everyone wants to tell the story of Escobar or El Chapo. I told the story of the day to day grind of smuggling.
Redbox’s “Back to the Movies” initiative is encouraging people to spend more time watching movies with other people, without the distraction of cell phones, since research shows that social media and device addiction is on the rise. What are your feelings on tuning out distractions and watching more movies together?
I’m all for unplugging from devices. I do it as much as possible. I think device addiction is a real problem. Anything we can do to spend less time on our devices and interacting with each other is a good thing.
Is “movie night” a planned activity at your house? If so, what do you do to make it special?
100% a planned activity. We all put in on the calendar at least twice a month and stick to it. It’s a great excuse to get together as a family for dinner and a flick.
If you could only watch one movie (or play one video game) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wow! That’s a tough one… One movie would probably be Goodfellas by Martin Scorsese.
Honestly, it’s hard to argue with that last answer. Goodfellas is a classic! Special thanks to Jason for chatting with us. Be sure to check out Running With the Devil available at the Box and On Demand now!