Derrick Webster Makes Directorial Debut with Pushed Back the Movie

Derrick Webster Pushed Back the Movie

The definition of a Renaissance Man is someone who has many talents or areas of knowledge. When it comes to Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster – a man with super middleweight boxing contender, singer, business owner, entrepreneur and actor already on his resume – the term fits perfectly. Anyone who knows him personally or professionally will co-sign on his ability to accomplish anything he sets his mind to doing.

Webster is currently working on his film directorial debut with Pushed Back the Movie, which he has been shooting in various locations throughout Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. With the creation of this project, Webster becomes the first known boxer of his generation to write, direct and fund his own movie. However, the film industry itself is nothing new to the Glassboro native. He first got his acting feet wet when he played the role of a boxer in the 2015 Rocky franchise reboot, Creed.

“When I was on the set of Creed, I actually helped them rewrite my scene because it was originally written for a right-handed fighter,” Webster recalled. “Since I am a left-handed fighter, I had to let them know if I do this, he is going to react like this and things along that nature. A lot of the guys on set were just excited to be a part of the movie, but I looked at everything from a different perspective. I was watching what director Ryan Coogler was doing, and I kept my eyes on other people who had prominent roles in the production of the movie. After Creed, I then had the opportunity to work on a film called Heartless with director Jermaine Quick, and I just felt that this was something I had to start doing myself.”

After finishing up Heartless, which is scheduled for release on December 5th, Webster committed to working on his new craft. Shortly thereafter, he envisioned a concept in his head that would become Pushed Back the Movie. As someone who is always looking to make positive contributions to his community, he also felt that the film would provide a perfect platform to help others around him.

“When I was deciding who would perform as the characters in my movie, I drew from people I knew who had been around the street life. I wanted to show them a way that they could take their experiences and apply it as an artform. I could have gone to another location to film this movie, but I wanted to utilize all of the talent around me.”

The approach by Webster turned out to be a rewarding one, as each of the actors quickly embraced the roles that they were performing.

“I have a crackhead in the film, a guy named Ozzy, and he is played by Eric Peterson. He plays this character so well that I honestly had to ask him if he had ever done drugs before,” Webster laughed. “He never touched a drug in his life, but he took the character seriously and studied him. When he steps onto a scene, no one can take their eyes off him. Eric had never acted before, but this is what you can get out of someone when you give them an opportunity.”

Webster said he wrote the script to have teachable moments throughout the film, and its overlying concept focuses on what it means to be Pushed Back.

“Any person can be pushed back to a point where they snap. Everybody has a breaking point. I wanted to create a movie that showed how the streets can destroy a family. Struggle is not exclusive to any one race, and every single race or style of life has been violated by the streets. No one is immune to its effects. With this movie, I wanted to bring together people of all races and lifestyles to show them we can all work together.”

Throughout his life, Webster has spent most of his days under the spotlight. However, being behind the camera on Pushed Back the Movie turned out to be both a comfortable and rewarding place for him.

“What I have started to notice with this film is I really enjoy being behind the scenes more than I enjoy being in the forefront. My whole life, I have always been under the lights, whether it be in boxing, entertainment or anything else. Now, the thing that is most enjoyable to me is to watch others grow. When God blesses you, that is not something you are supposed to keep to yourself. What you are supposed to do is share those blessings with other people. The experience of watching people get their first taste of the big screen and get excited for something new in their life – that is a truly amazing feeling.”

Without even being asked, Webster is quick to express the appreciation he has for the team that helped him make Pushed Back the Movie a reality.

“We have an actress in the movie – Randi Stewart from Oregon – and she is amazing on film. Everyone knows how I feel about my baby brother, Larry Fussell, but I am here to tell you he is doing an incredible job in his role as Cartier in the movie. I have Duces being played by my best friend, Abdul Justice. A friend named J.C. is playing the role of Sonny in the film. We have Shakil, one of the greatest rappers to come out of Camden, who plays Clutch and brings an entirely different energy to the movie. And the list goes on. I have so many incredible people on this project. We are also blessed to work with Luke Torres and NeVaughn Brown from NOK Films. They originally joined us just to do the production, but the two of them also acted in the movie because they liked the script so much. If it was not for these guys and their dedication, I honestly do not know where we would be. I cannot give enough credit to Luke and NeVaughn. One more person I definitely have to acknowledge is Marilu Torres, who is our incredible makeup artist. There are so many amazing people who are associated with this film, and I am just so grateful to be surrounded by such talented people.”

Production on Pushed Back the Movie is now entering its final stages, and Webster anticipates that the movie will premiere in early 2020. Additionally, he has already begun writing a script for his second feature film.

The term Renaissance Man was created for individuals like Derrick Webster. Whether he is performing in a boxing ring, presenting in a business boardroom or directing on the set of a movie, he will look like he was born to do it. As for what could be next for him, there really are no limits. One thing is for sure, though. When he puts his mind to something, he will find a way to be successful at it.

And you can take that to the bank.

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