Published on January 18th, 2013 | by gareth0
Director Vlad Yudin Talks Generation Iron and Bringing The Graphic Novel HeadSmash To The Big Screen
Vlad Yudin is a very busy man. He is currently completing “Generation Iron” which is a remake/update of the classic “Pumping Iron”, and he is also working to being the graphic novel HeadSmash to the big screen. Those are but two of his many projects, and Vlad was kind enough to take some time to speak with us about his work.
What can you tell us about the film and what attracted you to create it?
In ‘Generation Iron’ we explore the world of professional bodybuilding. Most of us don’t know much about it, even though the sport grew tremendously in the late 70’s with the rise of Arnold and of course the Pumping Iron film. It’s hard to explain what bodybuilding is. It’s a combination of sport, art and science… Bodybuilders are very complex characters and I wanted to explore them in detail and understand the movement.
What sort of research did you do for the film and how does it compare and contrast with the original?
I did a lot of research for this film. I read a lot about the sport, its history and had long conversations with the filmmakers of the original Pumping Iron, about their experience of making the film. The common perception was that today’s bodybuilders don’t have the charisma and personalities as the ones from the 70’s, like Arnold and Lou Ferrigno. But after I spent time meeting with the guys from the modern sport and had long and detailed conversations I realized that was not true. They are real characters with complex personalities and captivating stories.
Have you spoken with Arnold or been given any feedback from him about the project?
Sorry, I can’t reveal anything about Arnold yet. But very soon…
Who would be your ultimate cast to work with and in what type of project?
I think that each project is different and requires a unique cast and execution. It all depends on the role and the characters. But it only works if it looks authentic and if the actor is one hundred percent committed. I’ve seen a lot of films where great actors simply didn’t look right in the roles.
What do you like to do in your free time and which movies are on your to watch list?
I love thrillers and sci fi films. I like foreign films as well. Once in a while I like to watch Hitchcock films, like Vertigo, Rope, Rear Window. Those are some of my favorites of his work. I love the suspense, the intensity and the camera work in those films. Classics…
What would you say was your big break and what would you say to people looking to get a start in the industry?
I would say one of my first films called ‘Last Day of Summer.’ It was a film that told a story about a tormented employee of a fast food restaurant, who gets a gun and decides to go on a brutal rampage revenge against his employer and pretty much everyone else at that place. As he’s about to do it, he notices a girl inside the place and that pretty much throws a twist into his plan. That film is important to me. It deals with some pretty important subjects that unfortunately we hear about a lot these days.
As far as what I would say… Only do it if you truly love it and you have passion for it. A lot of people love the film industry for its image etc… But you have to love the actual work and the process, in my opinion.
Compare and contrast making movies in the states and abroad and do you have a preference?
I think it’s great to make films all over the word. There are so many amazing locations outside of US. And I would like to explore that more and find all that the world has to offer. Many times it’s easier logistically to film in US because of the diverse locations.
Where do you find your inspirations as going from Head Smash to a Historical and Body Building film is a diverse lineup?
It’s true, Generation Iron is completely different from Head Smash. Even the genres are completely different. But it’s exciting though. I draw interests from various sources and always focus on the story. I love to be able to work in various genres. That keeps me interested and motivated. But I give 100% effort to each project and get 100% support from my team.
When you consider a script or a potential TV or film project, what elements tend to draw you in and make you want to work on that film?
It has to grab my interest and bring out emotions. I am not too keen on the genre. It has to provoke some type of a feeling. It has to make you think and keep you engaged. The characters have to be dynamic and colorful. It’s very difficult to find a truly unique script. So much has to be done. Execution is always key.
What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
Well, I am very excited to be working on ‘Generation Iron’, which will be released in the early Fall. And our Graphic Novel titled ‘Head Smash’ will be in stores this summer. We have something special planned for Comic-Con in San Diego this July.
Final question, what is the one thing about directing that most people are shocked when you tell them?
As a director you have to be brave and truly believe in what you are doing. You have to be confident, because if you are not then everything falls apart. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take advice. But you have to believe in the material and know it, because you will be questioned and maybe even challenged at times.