Interviews: Actress Tracy Birdsall Talks About The Sci-Fi Film Rogue Warrior : Robot Fighter

In Rogue Warrior : Robot Fighter, starring Tracey Birdsall and written and directed by Neil Johnson, the former plays Sienna, a resourceful rebel on a quest to take down the evil empire of robots. After a run in theatres, the film now makes its way to VOD. We had the chance to catch up with Birdsall, whose credits include Who’s Jenna? and Dawn of the Crescent Moon, for a chat about the movie.

TMS: The movie looks like a major studio movie, and yet it was shot rather cheaply I believe? Tell us about some of the great behind-the-scenes talent that helped the film achieve its dazzling look?

TB: What a nice opening statement! Any time you are working on a budget, you suffer somewhere. We decided to work with the best talent, use the best locations, and basically work ourselves to death. What you can’t buy with money, you can buy with talent, knowledge, and suffering. Since both Neil (Johnson) and myself are such hard-working determined individuals, we basically sacrificed ourselves and all of our time. We were able to get very expensive and talented names in our film as we had already shot part of it and were able to lure them in with the quality of film we were putting out. We made part of the film and then made our name actors allured to it - the quality of it. Then we worked with a small army in post-production of extremely over-qualified individuals in several countries that we had known from prior projects - again, alluring to them due to the press following and the quality of the film. It also helps to use really talented individuals being patient until they are between other projects.

TMS: One can imagine that substance was always more important to you than style though?

TB: I would say that the film has both style and substance. We were hoping to make legendary sci-fi.

TMS: How much of the script, do you believe, is a love letter to classic science-fiction films and how much of it is its own beast?

TB: It’s very much its own beast, although we are both lovers of classic sci-fi! I only had the development of Sienna to create, and I tried to make her as much her own character as I could. I tried very much to make her an individual that others would be compared to some day. Even her emotional strengths and vulnerabilities were carefully calculated to make her individual. We don’t often see that character journey in sci-fi, so I really delved deep - to be different, original, and memorable.

TMS: How did Sony Pictures get involved? Were they involved from the beginning?

TB: No, not at all. That was all our sales agents doing.

TMS: And what kind of release are they giving the film? We started out in theaters, and shortly thereafter we were released with an exclusive deal through Walmart for 60 days. On August 15th we will go wide throughout the USA and Canada. That’s all the information I have!

TMS: The movie played at theaters. Do you think it loses anything when ported to VOD?

TB: VOD is when the masses will see it, so I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all! When you create a project and pour your heart and soul into it, you’re just happy that everyone will see it. I think it’s an amazing thing. Of course the behind-the-scenes and interviews are only on the physical media, so it should continue selling in stores I believe.

TMS: Do you believe VOD is the way of the future?

TB: Most of what I watch is VOD or Netflix… I never use cable or regular television anymore as it’s just so convenient. I’m also a binge-watcher, so I believe VOD is the now. Watching a film in theaters is only amazing if they show it in 4K… to me.

TMS: Do you yourself prefer a physical product – a DVD or Blu-ray – over dialing something up on the internet though? Or have you been won over by VOD, too?

TB: I was won over long ago. I rarely watch a show on a computer though. I still like to get the best definition, so I’ll watch it in the home theater or on a good television. That said, VOD is amazingly convenient when you travel (which I do so much of), so everything is much like being at home at the end of the day. I’ll still buy the Blu-rays if I love something, mostly to watch the special features - which I love.

Rogue Warrior : Robot Fighter will be available on VOD on August 15, 2017