Brad Armstrong Talks 'Speed'
Pierce not only played one of the principal roles, but he also tapped into some of his deep connections in the bike world for “Speed,” which will be released this month by Wicked Pictures.
“The only reason this movie could have actually gotten made is because of Derrick Pierce and his tie-ins with the Ruff Ryders and other motorcycle clubs,” Armstrong said. “He was the backbone for the project. Without him there would’ve been very few motorcycles.”
Armstrong said during one sequence on the 6th Street Bridge in downtown LA there were more than 80 riders on the set.
“It really was a feat of the buddy system,” Armstrong continued. “It was one of those things where I didn’t have a lot of pre-set shots I was going to do. I didn’t know all the guys’ abilities. I had never met them before. I kind of let the cameras roll and let the guys do their thing and what we got was amazing, especially the stuff out in the country — the racing stuff. It was staggering. The stunt stuff on the highway is ridiculous.”
In the spirit of Hollywood’s “Torque,” “Biker Boyz” and even “The Fast and the Furious,” Armstrong set out to shoot a drama that explores some of the ethnic rivalries that exist in hardcore bike culture. And sexing up the storyline was a natural.
“We’ve got a lot of hot chicks riding bikes and sitting on the back of bikes in skimpy outfits,” he said. “It had a very sexy feel and built-in audience with all the guys who are bike riders. It kind of had a cult following already.”
Wicked Girls Jessica Drake, Kaylani Lei, Kirsten Price and Alektra Blue lead one of the largest casts the company has ever assembled. In addition to Pierce, some of the principal male stars include Barrett Blade, Prince Yahshua, Spyder Jonez and Keni Styles. Meanwhile performer Dale DaBone, who is also a well-established Hollywood stunt rider, displays his skills in the movie.
“It was a huge ensemble cast. Fourteen main characters have great parts, and we have another 25 sex players. There are 39 people in all that have sex in the movie,” said Armstrong, who also wrote the script. “They all kind of came to the table with their characters. They were very believable. It was not just one chick carrying the movie or one dude carrying the movie. There really were a lot of cool characters that were bringing their A-games. I don’t know if there is really a weak character in the movie, even if they’re not talking a ton.
“Mr. Marcus doesn’t have a huge amount of lines but he has one of the movie-stealing scenes at the end with Spyder.”
The 2010 XBIZ Director of the Year for an Individual Project (“2040”) said that he re-watched the stunt-laden “Biker Boyz” and “Torque” prior to filming with an eye for “what to do and what not to do.”
“Dale DaBone was one of the lead stuntmen in ‘Torque,’” he said. “I don’t think the bike stunts and bike races could look much more real. My editor Scott Allen did an amazing job with some of the races. Because I know what the raw footage was when we were shooting on the picture truck and it was no comparison to how amazing he made the races look. He went above and beyond the call with some of the racing footage.”
Armstrong called Styles’ performance “fantastic.”
“Keni told me he could ride and he was actually quite a rider,” the director said. “Derrick was also quite a rider and Jessica stepped up to the plate big time. She went and took a riding course over the weekend and got her bike license. So we get those shots of her pulling up and pulling away and she did some of her own riding. It’s really cool when you can actually get the girls to do the cool shit. It definitely lends some authenticity to it. I could have never gotten some of those shots unless she was riding.”
To view a trailer, click here.