30th Jan2018

Interview: Tony Jopia discusses ‘Damned Nation’

by Philip Rogers

Damned Nation is the latest action-packed film from Cute Little Buggers (2017) director Tony Jopia. I got a chance to ask Tony a few questions about how he plans continue the story, what we can expect in the future and how fans can keep updated regarding the future of Damned Nation.

Damned-Nation-Creatures-poster

Damned Nation is an action packed short which gives us an introduction to an apocalyptic future. Why did you decide to complete a short film, and will you be looking to continuing the story as a feature film or a series?

We wanted to make it as enjoyable as we could. Just because it’s a short it doesn’t mean we can’t fill it with all the ingredients that make a fab action movie, in this case it’s all contained within a shorter amount of time. The overall idea is much bigger but unfortunately, we only had one weekend (just over two days) to shoot the whole thing so, as we have with all out projects, we maximise what we can get and then we go for it. The short is actually a part of a bigger story, the feature film concept has a special forces unit sent in to rescue a pregnant woman who has the key to identify a possible salvation to the human race. The world is in a bad state, nuclear war has destroyed most of society and transformed not only humans but creatures around us into monsters, undead and mutations that are hungry and ready for their next meal. They have 24 hours to find her, and survive the closest thing to hell.

We want you to think Starship Troopers (1997) meets Children of Men (2006) meets Ray Harryhausen’s Jason and the Argonauts (1963) and Sinbad monster movies. We didn’t have the budget to create the creature and mutations so used zombies to get our idea across. We have also written the idea as a TV series to support the film which follows the regular rescue mission the unit embark on. They are sent in to find survivors or destroy deadly creatures causing mayhem. Lots of monsters and action combined with dark humour and gritty drama.

In Damned Nation we see the survivors fighting off zombies, what else can we expect from the series/film in the future?

I’ve always wanted to make a post-apocalyptic movie like Damnation Alley (1977) that had creatures we know becoming mutated into giant monsters. We face four-legged nasty hungry beasts with jaws ready to tear anything apart. From giant scorpions to winged killers, creatures you will recognise but now are deformed to mutations that have fused together to create a new breed of nastiness and of course there’s the undead who are deadlier than ever.

You have tackled with zombies previously in your film Dawning of the Dead (2017). Is there any connection between the two films?

No real connection, two different stories. The only connection one may find is in the short as its set around an apocalypse zombie world, but we aim to concentrate more on the creatures and mutations rather than the walking dead…but of course not ignore them entirely.

Where can people follow Damned Nation on social media to keep up to date with new news regarding the series/film.

We’ve launched the short film first to pick up momentum and hopefully attract interest in the feature film and TV series. The production company The Film and TV Company are producing and shooting the movie with me directing. Co-producers will be Stuart and Alex Jopia, Line produced by Jonny Ross and Sean Wilcock and executive produced by Jeremy Stephens.
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Damned Nation is available to watch now on the official Facebook page, where you can also find out more about the project including; the trailer and short film, production news, pictures of the monsters and all the latest news.

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