Dragon Day: Red Dawn for Intellectuals
The idea for the script of DRAGON DAY first came to me in a half-sleeping dream. We had been up in the mountains, and my wife was driving us back to LA, while I dozed in the passenger seat. I dreamt I saw soldiers on the side of the road dragging people out of their cars, getting ready to execute them. This nightmare made me wonder what could ever make something like that happen in the U.S.
Our national debt was an issue I had spent time reading about. Having grown up in Argentina, where I saw the devastating implosion of the country because of its hyperinflation, I began to imagine a scenario in which our addiction to debt finally came to a head. The idea of a cyberattack began to slowly form, and I enlisted the help of Matt Patterson (co-writer / producer / DP) to help me write the script.
We started exploring the idea of China attacking the US by implanting secret viruses in the microchips made in China— something that turns out is actually happening.
When I would pitch the film to people, I could rarely finish the logline before the reaction was “Oh my God, that’s really going to happen”. Our joke was we had to finish the film before it became a documentary. The movie scares people, and it scares me, but it’s also meant to be a fun movie.
It was important to me to create characters that would feel three-dimensional and real. The first character I wrote was actually ALONSO, the Mexican migrant worker— I considered telling the story from his POV because I was fascinated with his perspective, which would be so different than a white middle-class American. It’s why he becomes so central to the film, especially at the end. DUKE EVANS was next—and there’s just a lot of me in there— a father, husband, tech geek who stands a lot to lose.
Back when we wrote the script, it seemed like no one knew what or who the NSA was. The film’s release is eerily timely in that both characters DUKE and PHIL work for the NSA, which we learn, has some culpability in the attack on Americans.
Part of the film was also inspired by movies from the 80s I grew up watching like WAR GAMES or THE DAY AFTER— and I wanted DRAGON DAY to have almost this classic feel and avoid the modern political correctness of Hollywood movies.
While the film explores a plausible scenario of an apocalyptic cyber-attack, I feel the movie is ultimately forcing us to ask ourselves a universal question: what do we need to be happy? What is truly important in life? What are we getting ourselves so much into debt for? What is the price of the so-called American Dream? Our characters DUKE, ALONSO, and LESLIE never find themselves full of joy until the end of the movie, when they’ve lost all their material possessions, and have nothing left but their love for each other.
-Jeffrey Travis, Director
Black Blade: Looks interesting. Not showing in my area however.