The drama of WWII is a setting that many of the greatest filmmakers have set their stories in for maximum effect. From Spielberg to Tarantino to Waititi, the angles are varied, but audiences still clamor for more. Battle for Saipan, now available on digital and on demand from Paramount and Saban Films, is the latest in this line of war stories featuring a familiar cast giving performances from the trenches.
Battle For Saipan is an edge-of-your-seat WWII epic wherein a US Army hospital on the remote island of Saipan is overrun by Japanese forces during a relentless attack. Outgunned and surrounded by the enemy, a lone medic played by Casper Van Dien puts it all on the line to lead a band of wounded warriors to safety.
In this exclusive interview, PopGeeks talked with Producer of Battle For Saipan, Daemon Hillin, about his experience in seeing the project take shape.
PopGeeks: What was it about the true story upon which Battle For Saipan is based, that made you want to be a part of this project?
Hillin: Our movie was inspired by actual events during Ben Solomon’s life, while stationed at Saipan. His heroic story encouraged us all to tell a story about American heroes.
PopGeeks: You been involved with producing films that feature a high level of action and intensity. What about that style of movie appeals to you?
Hillin: I love fight choreography and action. Being able to work with individuals who are very talented, excites me to work with artistic individuals.
PopGeeks: How did production on Battle For Saipan differ from your past projects?
Hillin: This was one of the smoothest and well put together films I have ever made.
PopGeeks: Do you feel that a war film is an evergreen genre? What appeals to audiences about storytelling in that wartime setting?
Hillin: Yes. War films are not time sensitive, as they are forever a part of our history and are what shape our culture. War films tug on the emotions of humanity and show us what sacrifices people have made to get us to where we are today.
PopGeeks: What were the challenges in producing a period film set in the 40’s?
Hillin: Recreating sets and building props from many years ago can be difficult. Not to mention all of the military uniforms our amazing production team had to create.
PopGeeks: Casper Van Dien had a high profile military movie role battling aliens in Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. Did that past experience influence his casting as a soldier in Battle For Saipan?
Hillin: Starship Troopers is one of my favorite films of all time. We immediately had Casper in mind to play the lead in this film, he brought everything and more, then we could imagine in this role.
PopGeeks: What do you hope is the takeaway for audiences as they experience Battle For Saipan?
PopGeeks: We hope our story resonates with our audience and they can see what our heroic soldiers have done for us and our country,
From writer/director, Brandon Slagle, Battle For Saipan, starring Casper Van Dien, Louis Mandylor with Jeff Fahey, is available now on digital and on demand.