Bobby Razak has been pushing the boundaries in film since producing and directing Rites of Passage, a critically acclaimed documentary that provides an introspective view inside the world of MMA. Recognized by many for his short films, commercials and inspirational documentaries, Razak has worked with some of the heaviest hitters in the game today including TapouT, Dethrone Royalty and Ecko. We catch up with the creative visionary to discuss life, career and the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
FXF: Tell us a bit about Bobby Razak and your background in film.
Razak: I studied film at film school and also studied acting for 2 years in North London college back in London so I could understand the process. I also did a bit of PA work when I moved to Los Angeles but I never lasted long in those jobs because of my ego. I always thought I should be directing them. So I started to raise cash and make my own movies.
FXF: Rites of Passage is a groundbreaking documentary that helped put you on the map. When did you create it and what was the inspiration behind the film?
Razak: Rites was made in 1998-1999. The inspiration was I wanted to show the world this amazing new movement that was developing called No Holds Barred and its transition into MMA.
FXF: What is your history and relationship with the TapouT crew?
Razak: Family – Charles “Mask” Lewis was one of my best friends. Rest in peace my brother.
FXF: Charles “Mask” Lewis has been a major inspiration for many. How did Mask help influence you in your career?
Razak: Mask sponsored me and helped me fund some of my early projects. I believe I helped make the brand what it is today through my films, commercials and short films. It started with Rites. Mask sponsored the film with 50 t-shirts. That’s all he had because he had no cash back then and I just ran with it and placed the logo everywhere.
FXF: What’s the story behind Sangre Nueva and when will we be able to check it out?
Razak: Sangre Nueva is a film about the impact of Mexican fighters in combat sports and it should be finished in around 6 weeks. It features Cain Velasquez, Miguel Torres and Gilbert Melendez. I also have another film called Underdogs and it’s the history of MMA from a Southern Cali spin. It’s pretty sick too.
FXF: Word has it you’ve trained and competed in MMA. Is fighting still a part of your lifestyle or a thing of the past?
Razak: I love to compete and train. I try to stay in shape by working out with my jits coaches Chance Wanless, Coach Chris Hauter, Danny Saurez, Marco Vinicious and Robert Drysdale whenever I have the time.
FXF: The MMA fashion industry is growing at a rapid rate. What are your thoughts on the industry in general and which brands do you think have made the most impact?
Razak: It is growing rapidly. I think the biggest thing is that you can’t go into this business just to make money – it’s about passion. If you have the passion for your brand then everything else will come together. Dethrone is making some waves. Silver Star is going amazing. Ecko is producing some great gear. I love Affliction too. And of course the godfather is always TapouT.
FXF: Do you have any personal preferences when it comes to MMA clothing brands?
Razak: Just the above mentioned.
FXF: Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life and career?
Razak: Bobby Razak has been the biggest influence. I pushed myself, I inspired myself, I made it happen. If you win or lose in life you can only look within your soul.
FXF: Finally, what’s next for Bobby Razak? Any new projects in the works?
Razak: 2010 is going crazy. I will keep you posted as things unfold. My Drysdale TapouT film comes out December 5th, that’s the extended cut of the commercial you may have seen on Spike. Also, I just directed the Mark Ecko “Legalize MMA” campaign which should be dropping in around three weeks. It’s a series of commercials and short films to help legalize MMA in New York state and Toronto.
To check out all of Bobby Razak’s films visit: bobbyrazakmovies.com