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About The Production
Following their prior independent film success with The Cooler, writer/director Wayne Kramer and producer Michael Pierce chose again to work outside the studio system with Running Scared, turning to independent production company/distributor Media 8 Entertainment. Media 8's Sammy Lee immediately saw the potential in the script of Running Scared for a dynamic action-thriller. 

"After seeing The Cooler, we knew Wayne had the ability to make an incredible film with both great visual style and top-level performances,” comments Lee, who came aboard the film as a producer. "The script for Running Scared promised the same strong mix of intense character drama, along with heart-stopping action, so we knew it was a movie that would be a perfect fit for us to make.”

Using its financing resources, Media 8 was able to quickly green-light the film and fully cover the costs of production (the company will also handle all foreign sales and distribution on the film). By working with Media 8 on the film, Kramer was able to begin production unusually quickly, with principal photography beginning only six months after Media 8 first read the script. As pre-production began, Media 8 also followed its philosophy of being "filmmaker focused,” supporting director Kramer's creative vision throughout, including his casting choices. Says Sammy Lee, "Our independent stature allows us to take risks that studios may not be able to take. But when we work with a director like Wayne, we like to do everything in our power to support his creative freedom and vision.” New Line Cinema came aboard to distribute the film in the United States.

As his ambitious follow-up to The Cooler, Kramer has chosen to make a gritty, 1970s-style, fast-paced thriller with a few modern twists. "This is the most challenging script I've written and it's the script that I love the most. I think it's the type of film that not too many people are making,” says Kramer.

Sammy Lee agrees, saying, "The film is a nonstop, absolutely unrelenting ride. The action is so gritty and real that I think audiences will really connect with it on a visceral level. The film has all the style and polish of a big action movie, but it still retains the edgy, uncompromising tone of an independent film.”

Kramer's producing partner Michael Pierce assesses the multi-layered script with similar enthusiasm. "This movie was always something I've been passionate about. This is my favorite of Wayne's scripts.” He describes the story itself as "so finely woven that it's like a house of cards.”

"I wanted to do something that for most of the film would seem ambiguous to the audience. This guy is going after this kid and if he doesn't find this kid and this gun, his whole life is over. So we're never quite sure of his intentions,” says Kramer of the character Joey Gazelle.

Playing the role of Joey marks one of leading man Paul Walker's initial forays into more mature filmic territory. Executive Producer Andrew Pfeffer recalls, "Wayne wanted somebody young and cutting edge and the mob today are not the kind of archetypal gangsters we think of when we close our eyes. Wayne wanted the film to be very current and cutting-edge.”

When casting the role of Joey, Wayne Kramer didn't immediately think of Paul Walker. "When Paul was suggested to me for the role, I didn't quite see it,” says Kramer. "I had liked him in The Fast and the Furious, which was the only film of his I could recall having seen, but wasn't sure he could pull off a New Jersey mob soldier. After meeting him face-to-face, I was taken with how tough behind the eyes he was. I knew I could cut and darken his hair and give him a few scars and such, but I was most impressed with how he just pinned me down with those cold blues. I knew right away he could play ‘hard' and volatile.”

Kramer continues, "Paul is also seriously charming. It


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