MaxPayne.hu: Our first question – When did you first come up with the idea of making a movie from the story of Max Payne, and what motivated you?

Fergle Gibson: I *think* it was the summer of 2004. I was going through a bit of a rough patch at the time, and started writing a lot of my feelings and thoughts on paper to get them out of my head. This written inner monologue of mine started to form the basis of a story about a man desperately trying to seek some sort of redemption in his life… and since becoming a fan of Max Payne after purchasing the first video-game back in 2001, and then the sequel in 2003, the parallels were too hard for me to ignore. It quickly took a theatrical turn, and became the screenplay to a chapter in the life and times of Max Payne, entitled “Max Payne: Payne & Redemption”, which was ultimately a reflection on my own life, but with more danger, thrills and Hawaiian shirts.

MaxPayne.hu: Could you tell us a little bit about the story of the movie, and when it takes place?

Fergle Gibson: Originally, Max Payne: Payne & Redemption took place in-between the first two Max Payne videogames, telling the story of a man suffering from a pretty severe case of PTS! But since Fox demanded us to cease and desist, followed by my decision to drop the “Max Payne” name in order to continue working on the project, the production is now not “officially” part of the Max Payne universe… So you could say it takes place at any time. But being that it’s an original story, very little has or is going to change, other than the removal or re-writing of material that might violate the intellectual property rights belonging to Twentieth Century Fox. It still retains its cynical, hard-boiled “Maxey” essence that all the fans love, and felt that they were short-changed on in the Max Payne film with Mark Wahlberg.

MaxPayne.hu: What was the main consideration when creating the characters, what was your muse, and where did you get your inspiration?

Fergle Gibson: All of the characters featured in the section of the story I was (and still am) working on, were based on an amalgam of traits belonging to people I’d either once known in my life, or people I still know… Including the lead, now unnamed character, who I also based on fictional characters, such as Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, who, as I’m sure you’re aware, were a large inspiration for Max Payne’s character as well… in the videogames, at least.

MaxPayne.hu: How long will the movie be? Will it be a six-part series, just as you had planned? Or are we going to see a longer product?

Fergle Gibson: Originally, Payne & Redemption was going to equal a total runtime of around 120 minutes, split up into 20 minute episodes, and starting with the third. But due to the current state of the economy, and other overriding factors, it is unlikely (though not for definite) that we will be making anymore episodes after the one we’re working on now. I’d love to, and this is a very regrettable situation for all of us to be in, but unless the project is picked up (anyone interested???), or I suddenly come into a lot of cash (I accept most major credit cards…), I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

MaxPayne.hu: How is the shooting going?

Fergle Gibson: Due to being out of pocket, we haven’t shot any new footage since October 2006. This lack of finance has been a huge problem, and has held the production back for years. So this year, we’ve regrouped and focused on what’s important: the first step being to summon up sufficient funds to get the ridiculously expensive HDCAM SR master tapes from ’06 transferred to hard-drive, which will allow me more control over the project, as it will reduce the need for me to rely on the costly services of others. In the long run, this means less cash having to go out, and more chance of the film moving forward at a controlled, steady pace.

MaxPayne.hu: Could you tell us a release date, or anything that would give us some idea as to when the film will be released?

Fergle Gibson: I DO have a release date in mind, but I’m not making it public yet, as there’s a chance it won’t be met, and I don’t want to raise anyone’s hopes, only to let them down. As soon as the rest of the footage has been shot, and the film has been edited and screened in front of a test audience, an estimated release date will be made public. So until further notice, it’s still very much “when it’s done”.

MaxPayne.hu: Would you tell us about the style of the movie, and what kind of atmosphere you’re setting out to create? For example, a film noir, or an action movie?

Fergle Gibson: Payne & Redemption is very much an old-school “Bogart” style film, staying true to the overall mood and profundity of the hard-boiled crime genre, whilst paying tribute to the style of a few other genres as well. It’s centered deeply within the introspection of the lead character, showing us how the world and people around him affect his state of mind, and how he deals with those psychological struggles… which usually involves exacting his own brand of justice with a full clip, a whole lotta painkillers, and relentlessly talking to himself every two seconds.

MaxPayne.hu: How far did the “Fox affair” disturb the shooting?

Fergle Gibson: The “Fox affair” didn’t disturb the *shooting* of P&R, as we had wrapped principal photography approximately one and a half years prior to receiving the now infamous “Cease & Desist” letter on April 22nd, 2008. It did, however, come as a blessing in disguise, as it made me stop what I was doing, take a much-needed step back, and look at everything from a wider perspective. This allowed me to figure out what I needed to do to get this show on the road, then begin putting it into effect. There’s no denying that Fox threw a huge spanner in the works, and caused a hell of lot of problems and issues that had to be worked out, but in retrospect, I wouldn’t say my run-in with Fox had any real *negative* impact on the production at all, in so much as it actually helped cleanse my mind of all the clutter that had accumulated over the duration of working on this project, and help lift me to a higher level of maturity and wisdom in which to work from. I’m a great believer in the old adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and as once said by a famous Detective, I now feel “pumped up and ready to go fifteen rounds with a mutant alligator”.

MaxPayne.hu: Last, but not least, the “maxpayne.hu” website would like to wish much luck for the shooting, and assure you of our support. Thanks for the interview!

Fergle Gibson: Any time! And stay tuned to www.payneandredemption.com for more updates! 🙂

Please visit MaxPayne.hu for the original, Hungarian translation.

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