Action fans may recall a conceptual featurette that was released pitching what is in the works for actor, martial artist and Floridian native Marrese Crump’s forthcoming production of Formless with actor, RZA. The project has since been in development for a number of years to date, now slightly prolonged further in part due to one of its earlier announced cast members, former Middleweight MMA champion Anderson Silva rebounding from a broken left leg during UFC 168 late last year, while Crump and the cast and crew focus on tentative obligations and potential future projects.
In the meantime, Crump’s electrifying pitch for Formless brings our attention to some of that very footage now seen in the latest cinematography reel from multifaceted action film professional, martial artist and fellow Floridian, Anesti Vega, whose works have landed him the attention of numerous amazing film professionals as of 2005, from the independent scene and getting his name circulated on Craigslist, to working in Thailand alongside action film headliner Panna Rittikrai.
From the age of twelve, Vega‘s history with martial arts becane rooted with a year of Tae Kwon Do classes at the age of twelve. That same passion never left Vega upon a chance meeting with Crump at the Florida high school they attended together as they were printing out fliers for a martial arts tournament. It was a friendship that would later materialize into something much more necessary and beneficial for Vega when it needed to be.
“I asked him about his martial arts training and he told me about ‘Warriors Dojo’, a training group that he just started with one of his teachers, Master Kim Jae…” Vega says. “…I showed up to the address he gave me and it was Master Kim Jae’s house and the training area was in his screened in garage, and I was only the second student in the group, and after one class, I was hooked.”.
Vega continued, “A month later, I became homeless and had no money and no place to live. I approached Marrese and told him about my situation, and he said I could continue training if I could design a website for the Warriors Dojo group and help promote. I continued to train with him until we graduated high school in 2000 and I left to join the Army. We had also trained privately in his backyard in Progress Village where we grew up, and even stayed up in the late hours of the night, having marathons of old Bruce Lee, kung fu and other martial arts movies. I came back to Florida often between deployments and trained with Marrese when I could until 2004 when I left the Army and came back home. By then, Warriors Dojo transitioned into a full academy business called 3R Self Defense Academy where I became an assistant instructor and continued my training with Marrese.”.
Vega‘s current aspirations behind the camera have continued to allow him even more opportunities as time rolls on, with his new base of operations in San Francisco. In addition to organizing and producing the Action Film Challenge and Zombie Film Challenge this late Spring and Summer, Vega is meeting other filmmakers, producers and creators to delve more into feature-length territory, as well as promos and music videos, and even contests for other aspiring purveyors in the world of film. “I love being a director and cinematographer because it aligns with my philosophy of doing great things in this amazing world and capturing and documenting other people doing awesome things as well. When I’m behind the camera shooting a promo video or a film scene, it’s an exciting feeling knowing that I just shot a clip that is going to make the audience go ‘whoooaaaa!!!’.”. He also added, “I do my best to live life to the fullest, to challenge myself with bigger and better adventures and capture as much of it as I can to share and inspire others. So as a filmmaker, I task myself with inspiring the audience with what I capture and there is no better position to do that than as a cinematographer. Whether it’s martial artists or freerunners for a movie, or surfers and skydivers for a promo or commercial, shooting such exciting things is just as rewarding as seeing and hearing the audience reaction when they see the end result!”.
With Crump’s ventures into film continuing onward, Vega also shared some important details as to the status Formless in its current stage. “There are a number of factors involved,” he says “…such as Marrese and RZA’s schedule being filled up with shooting The Man With The Iron Fists 2 in Thailand right now and Anderson Silva’s recuperation from the major injury he sustained in his last fight. The first draft of the story was written by me and the fights were written by Marrese and we combined it into a script in 2008. It is now in the hands of a well-known industry ‘script polisher’ who is way more talented at writing than I am. As martial artists, we understand the importance of timing so we are just waiting for the right time and all the right resources to come together for it to happen, but we don’t have all our eggs in one basket. Formless has been promoted as Marrese’s solo debut in the past, but there are a number of other projects in development that could happen first. We’ve planted a number of seeds in the industry for a number of projects and we are just looking to see which one produces fruit first.”.