Last year saw the release of a first poster for the new shortfilm, Blindsided, with actor and martial artist Eric Jacobus starring and fellow industry stunt professional Clayton Barber making his shortfilm directorial debut. As of Sunday, a post-dated announcement began making the rounds for the new action comedy short officially launching Jacobus Barber (JB) Productions, the latest milestone for both star and director since partnering on Jacobus’s shortfilm hits, Rope-A-Dope and its energizing sequel, Rope-A-Dope 2: Return Of The Martial Arts Mafia.
Filmed in Long Beach, California and storied and scripted by Jacobus and Barber, the latter who produces with David William No (The Matrix Relaoaded, Invincible, Jackie Chan’s Mr. Nice Guy, shortfilm Battle Of Wills) Blindsided is described a quirky action gem with stylistic 80’s influences and a strong focus on storytelling to accomodate Jacobus’s signature action. Jacobus takes on the role of Walter Cooke, a blind man and apple pie connoisseur on his way to buy milk and apples until he’s pitted against a local loanshark and his squad of thugs attempting to shake down the clerk. Jacobus is joined on screen by fellow industry stunt professional Peter Antico who plays Walter’s neighbor, along with actor Roger Yuan as the clerk and Nicholas Verdi as the villain next to a cast of talented and credited action actors.
Jacobus comes from nearly two decades of stunt performance and independent film excellence by way of his longstanding online indie film group, The Stunt People, and with feature film and short credits including MTV hit ninja comedy, Undercut, the skeleton budget action comedy hit, Contour (a.k.a. The Agent) and Stunt People/Action Kickback feature collaboration, Death Grip starring Power Rangers alum, actor and martial artist Johnny Yong Bosch (Broken Path, Extreme Heist).
“As fans of the Zatoichi series and Blind Fury with Rutger Hauer, we set out to tell the story of the blind swordsman using influences from Hong Kong, Japanese, Korean, and Indonesian cinema, all within the framework of a classic American film.” says Jacobus. “Rather than choreographing the short with a bias toward a particular style of action or certain moves we wanted to do, we let the story dictate the action design. The Walter character is a blind, grounded fighter armed with a blind cane and a hidden blade, fighting against three knife-wielding opponents. This gave us a rulebook for designing the choreography. The entire action team prepped the fight over multiple sessions and everyone chipped in.”
Barber, who coordinated action for Adam Wingard’s The Guest and William Kaufman’s hit action horror, Daylight’s End, recently earned notoriety for his work as fight coordinator on the highlight moments now seen in Ryan Coogler’s recent and highly celebrated Rocky spin-off, Creed starring Michael B. Jordan. Barber also contributed stuntwork toward Universal Pictures’s upcoming release of F. Gary Gray’s The Fate Of The Furious, and served as fight coordinator on Marvel’s Black Panther, reteaming with Coogler and Jordan for the Chadwick Boseman starrer.
“We created JB Productions as a new approach to indie action filmmaking, and the Rope A Dope series was our first effort in combining that high-energy, indie-style action design with great storytelling.” says Barber. “Having been in the producing world for years, I wanted to step into the director’s chair for the next project, and Eric wanted to get away from directing so he could focus on action design and performing. So Blindsided became the perfect collaboration for us, and we hired stunt performers to play the lead roles and even work behind the camera because we wanted to work with folks who knew action. That’s the brand people are buying into, and we’re always looking to build that brand by collaborating with talent both in America and overseas.”
will air on YouTube
on Wednesday, March 1. Check out some stills below!
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