*With less than a month of shooting, and a tight budget Deon Taylor made making the hit, new thriller “Traffik” look easy. The film which stars Paula Patton, Omar Epps, Rosalyn Sanchez and Laz Alonso was written, directed and created by Taylor by himself.
The story is about a couple – Brea (Paula Patton) and John (Omar Epps) – as they head off to a weekend get-away to a secluded estate that turns into the scariest moment of their lives when a violent biker gang interrupts their bliss. Joined unexpectedly by their friends, Darren (Laz Alonso) and Malia (Roselyn Sanchez), the foursome is forced into a deadly fight for their lives against the gang who will stop at nothing to keep their dangerous secrets from getting out.
“Traffik” is a product of Codeblack Films, a division of Lionsgate and was produced by Roxanne Avent, Patton and Taylor and it highlights the dark, brutal business of human trafficking. What many may not get is the film was shot in only 22 days with a very low budget, according to Taylor, who says the best feeling was knowing that his project was able to be completed.
“I was laid out for like two weeks when we finished the movie. It was an extremely hard movie to make. We shot the movie in 22 days. We had no money. So it was very long hours, long nights. I just remember being focused on the film. Like, I don’t even know what’s happening,” said Taylor. “I was just extremely happy that we finished it, and I knew in my head that I’d completed it.”
Shooting such a moving film brings about many emotions. Sanchez shared her most impactful scene as “Brea,” that made her think not just as a woman, but a woman who is tired of being hurt.
“The scene with Laz Alonso when I walk away, even though that’s not related to human trafficking because we don’t know by then what’s about to happen. But that scene as a woman to recognize I’m [she’s] not happy, I don’t want to be abused anymore. You don’t respect me. It’s clear, it’s evident, and I’ve been putting up with it for years – but not anymore, you know? I thought that was such an empowering moment as a character and as a woman to be able to know you just have to breathe and move on. It’s not the last man that’s ever going to be attracted to you and deserve better,” said Sanchez.
“Traffik” opens up several conversations, not just about human trafficking, but the inhumane and normalized behaviors of people, greed, police brutality and racism. The film hits theaters everywhere April 20. For showtimes, click here.