Exclusive Interview: Director Christian Sesma Talks New Action-Comedy Vigilante Diaries

Director Christian Sesma‘s new action-comedy VIGILANTE DIARIES will arrive in select theaters and iTunes on June 24th, followed by a Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand release on July 5th, from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The movie revolves around a team of black-ops agents turned crime-fighters, led by an elusive, brooding anti-hero of near-mythical physical and weapons skills, known only as The Vigilante. Abandoned by governments, corporations and his handlers and with a bounty on his head, The Vigilante’s jam-packed missions of rescue and revenge take the audience from the mega-mansions and underbelly of Los Angeles to far-flung locales including Iraq, Armenia, Russia, and the UK. The filmmaker took a time out to talk about his latest project that ended up being a really fun throwback to old school action movies.

Christian Sesma

Alien Bee – First off, I’m aware of the Vigilante Diaries web series so what made you decide to do a full length feature?

Christian Sesma – Paul Sloan and I just finished screening our other film THE NIGHTCREW and our friend actor/producer Mike Hatton approached us with exec producer, Asko Akopyan, about doing another action indie film. He had the idea of taking the 20 minutes of already shot and produced web series, which was now just sitting on a shelf, and shooting another hour of movie to make a feature. Paul and I thought it would be badass to make it into a full movie and there you have it.

Alien Bee – To me, the movie is like one part The Punisher and one part The Expendables. How would you describe it and what inspired you to come up with this?

Christian Sesma – Exactly! At that time in 2013 we wanted to make a true, gritty, hard rated R Punisher type web series…where it’s no punches pulled on the violence and action. Throw in some Jason Mewes for good measure and all of a sudden it had a life of its own as an action comedy…which I think why it feels more popcorn film like an Expendables movie….The inspiration for where the movie went was just, “let’s call our friends and make a crazy fun action movie as a love letter to the 80’s and 90’s films that we love”…that’s why it feels very cliché…very mashed up…we embraced the idea of “Diaries” so each segment or “Diary Entry” of the movie felt different from the other…but it all formed once crazy, nutty story arc.

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Alien Bee – Vigilante Diaries definitely has an international flavor. Did you actually film the movie in all of these locations around the globe?

Christian Sesma – Absolutely…we shot all over…Somehow with these movies, no one ever tells me that I’m not making some huge studio movie…LOL…like no one says hey Christian, you only have 20 bucks you can’t make a Bourne movie or Kill Bill or a Mission Impossible…I come from the guerilla filmmaking school…so with a lot of creativity and an amazing team we were able to make a real international action indie film…which I’ve never heard of at our level.

Alien Bee – With all the terrorism happening in the world today. Did y’all have any fear of something crazy happening with all the gunfire and explosions you used in the movie?

Christian Sesma – The thought has crossed my mind with the level of gunplay and violence…but again this is an entirely fictional world…the fact that it doesn’t have a Marvel or DC logo in front of the movie doesn’t change the fact that it’s the same thing…these are totally graphic novel based characters and situations. From the very start it was a graphic novel inspired project. So for me…it’s no different than asking that same thing to Daredevil, or Suicide Squad or Fast and Furious…

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Alien Bee – You’ve assembled a great cast for the movie. How was it working with big time badasses like Michael Jai White and Rampage?

Christian Sesma – It was a dream. I have been a huge fan since day 1 for both Rampage and Jai White. And for us to bring them together in the same movie was like playing in a giant genre sandbox. They’re both really great friends and awesome people…and of course two very, very dangerous and highly skilled fighters. We are very lucky to have them be such a huge part of this movie.

Alien Bee – I’ve noticed you work with a lot of the same people on all of your projects. Kind of like Adam Sandler does with his friends.

Christian Sesma – Again, I come from the Tarantino/Rodriguez school of filmmaking…and I have always enjoyed working with my friends. There’s nothing better than playing pretend, making movies with your favorite people. And if the role is perfect for them why not use someone you already have a deep rapport with?

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Alien Bee – How is it working with Jason Mewes? He looks like he’d be a lot of fun to work with!

Christian Sesma – Jason and I go back now 6 years of making movies together. It started when he was the lead and star of what I consider my first real indie film called Shoot the Hero. We just hit it off and we’re obviously geek brothers…I like to use Mewes as an actor and not a gimmick. He’s great and has real chops. We all fell in love with Jay from the Kevin Smith movies, which I’ve been a massive fan of forever…and we love Mewes doing the dick and fart jokes and all that…I mean that’s him…he’s hilarious…But I also know that he’s much more than that as well..so we try to let Jay be Jay but also give him more stuff to do and different characters to play.

Alien Bee – You’ve cranked out action, horror and sci-fi projects. So what’s your favorite genre to work in?

Christian Sesma – Action most definitely…that’s my genre for sure. I’d love to do a huge action sci-fi movie…I mean Aliens is probably my all time fave movie.

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Alien Bee – What’s up next after Vigilante Diaries and will we get a sequel?

Christian Sesma – We joke about this, since Vigilante Diaries is the project that never dies. I would love to revisit this and do more…I think Vigilante was always meant to be episodic and I’m curious to see if the “diary entry” style of the movie will play with audiences…But I’d love for this to be a series on Hulu or Netflix or Amazon etc…

Alien Bee – Lastly, would you like to say anything to everyone checking this out?

Christian Sesma – I’d like to say hope you dig my crazy, nutty action comedy flick, that’s basically our love letter to the 90’s Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer movies that inspired us to be filmmakers in the first place….LOL…

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