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INTERVIEW
Darrin DeMarco


 

Darrin DeMarco is the star of the popular low-budget Nintendo inspired film, "River City Rumble," a member of X-Strike Studios and MORE!

MT> You have a starring role in River City Rumble. Please describe your character in River City Rumble.
DD> I play the role of Alex, friend of Ryan, whom he fights alongside through the streets of River City. Alex is faithful to his buddy, yet gets a little distracted at times during their adventures, whether it be by food, women, or a chance to make a bad joke. He's definitely not the brains of the operation, but makes up for that in muscle, which is most likely a reason I was casted.

MT> There is quite a lot of brawling in “River City Rumble.” Do you perform all your own stunts and have you ever been hurt in the art of film making as a result?
DD> We do indeed perform all of our own stunts for our films. Most of us have very limited training in either martial arts grappling, but we try to play it as safe as possible. Any fighting is choreographed beforehand, and we have recently been consulting those with martial arts training and knowledge of stage combat, in order to improve our talents in this area. Unfortunately, we are not professionals, and we have limped off the set from time to time with more than a few injuries. The worst I encounted in RCR was a kick to the face from Thor (Rory O'Boyle), which can actually be seen in the outtakes. Something else I have noticed, is that the hits that cause injuries never look as painful as they really are.


MT> River City Rumble, Silent Horror, Project: Snake… what’s next?
DD> We are currently in pre-production for our next project, "Sidequest." It is a spoof on games within the RPG genre, such as Dragon Warrior, Chrono Trigger, and the Final Fantasy series. Role-playing games offer a lot of oppurtunities for humor, and good story-telling as well, so we hope it will live up to gamers' expectations.

MT> The movies are low budget, but we still recognize that X-Strike Studios hasn’t yet hit the “Big Time.” How much money do you guys lose on a project in the name of creating them for the love of it?
DD> Since RCR, the money spent on each project has increased. I believe Tim Ekkebus (Director/Writer) mentioned the budget for the entire film was around $500.00, not including production of the DVD itself. Project: Snake, on the other hand, demanded a much more expensive budget. Between costumes, make-up, travel costs, and props, we probably spent over $2000.00 on the film. It is a big sacrifice we are making to produce these films, but as you mentioned, it is our passion that drives us, as well as the positive feedback we recieve from gamers, that makes it all worth it.

MT> During the last “America’s Gaming Expo” in Philly, your both was conveniently located directly across from the Good Deal Games booth. GDG had Ralph Baer, the father of the home videogame signing autographs. Do you figure that this was the only reason that you had people visit the X-Strike booth?
DD> I am sure it didn't hurt to be located across from Mr. Baer. This was the second time we had a booth at the VgXpo, but we realized we were coming into this convention pretty much unknown to most. We were just glad to have gamers stop by and check out what we had to offer, let them know what we are all about, and hopefully interest them in our product. We were hoping for a bit more build-up for our premiere of Project: Snake, but were pleased as a whole with the impression we made in Philly.

MT> Nintendo Power Magazine recently gave “River City Ransom” a good mention and plug. I bet that felt really good being recognized by the Big N, themselves. Have you received any other notable recognition?
DD> The article in NP is definitely our most impressive form of recognition to date. We have been offered reviews on a number of websites, such as 1up.com, VirtualFools.com, and Gameindustry.com. Hopefully, our new projects will impress some other publications out there, because that certainly was an exciting moment when I saw my own face in a magazine that I have been reading since I was 7.

MT> Your bio states that you like to “stare at girls on stairmasters at the gym.” Is this true? Do they like it when they notice you staring?
DD> Well, I am a certified personal trainer, so I am simply evaluating the workout they are doing, that is all. Also, I do have a girlfriend, and my motivation for going to the gym is not to meet women, but to simply maintain my impressive physique for our upcoming films, and all my fans out there.

MT> I still think that X-Strike Studios missed a golden opportunity buy not having one of the characters power up by picking up a hamburger off the ground and eating it. Please tell us that we can look forward to this over-looked gag in an upcoming film.
DD> The thing we enjoy the most about making these films is that there are so many jokes to be made, and so many prospective games to tackle. Even Final Fight would probably make an entertaining film, if handled correctly. I assure you, that gag would be present if we decided to do so. Also, if we ever produce a Castlevania movie, I gaurentee you there would be a "pork chop in the brick wall" joke.


MT> Rumor has it that “Evil Dead” star Bruce Campbell is “quaking in his boots” at your low-budget entry into film making. Do you anticipate him talking smack or mud-slinging soon in defense to X-Strike Studios efforts?
DD> Now that I think about it, maybe taking a cheap shot at an icon like Bruce Campbell was a bit ambitious. I had an oppurtunity to meet Mr. Campbell last year, when he spoke at SUNY Fredonia, but I hid in the back row. He's pretty intimidating in person, even without a chainsaw for a hand.

MT> Many of our readers may be inspired by what X-Strike Studios has accomplished. Other than a camera, a lot of money to lose, and a token red head, what else would they need to start their own videogame-based movie studio?
DD> Simply put, passion. What we lack in budget and resources, we hope to make up for in areas such as writing and production, in an homage payed to a culture that is so beloved by many. We do make parodies, but we aren't making fun of these games, we are making a tribute to them. It is painful to watch Hollywood turn games that many of us love so much into an embarassment, and we feel that video game fans deserve better than that. We decided to stop complaining, and do something about it. That reason, along with our knowledge in many different technical areas, give us the motivation to produce something that I think will give gamers hope for VG-based movies, and offer the games and fans the respect that they deserve.
>

Good Deal Games would like to thank Darrin and X-Strike Studios for,
well, doing what no other real movie studios would ever do!

E-Mail: Darrin DeMarco
or visit the X-Strike Studios webpage

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