Stunt professional Lee Whittaker turns filmmaker after years of earning his stripes on film and television through stuntwork, and even cutting his teeth at the helm for a time with the 2015 short film drama, Catching Fireflies. Aimee marks his feature debut, joining him alongside creative partner Mary Whittaker and co-writer Kara Myers for a period of development that would see the project nourished from its proof-of-concept stages a little over five years earlier, to its full-length delivery now brought to life with none other than Jamie M. Timmons in the title role.
I did something a little different this weekend while I was putting the Hit List together – at five reels, I decided to watch it all the way through and it was pretty refreshing since normally I watch mostly snippets in the course of browsing just to get a good feel of how it all plays out so I can work faster. I may change my approach there. ☺
Anyway, onward and forward we go for this week’s installment of The Hit List with the latest round of amazing stunt reels and various shortfilm projects, promotional or otherwise full in release. As always, the stunts come first because without the players and their committment, the Hit List wouldn’t exist. Stellar b-girl and exceptional stuntwoman Lee Chesley kicks the first playlist off to an energizing start followed by the high-flying feats of dayjob superhero, Ross Kohnstam. Pam Wellington has some fresh gems in her new reel as does the high-flying and flipping Chad Crumley who we’ll get to much later in the Hit List.
Peep it all below and more with solid stunt performance and training action by Amanda Cook, Adam Chase, Linda Kessler, James Ortiz, the Baton twirling stylings of avowed catwoman, Michelle C. Smith, Mason Sharrow, Ashley Short, Stephen White, Adam Carson, Brett Easton, traceur Nick Provost and tricking impressario Beren D’Amico. Enjoy!
The promotional assets come next and we’re first off to peep a new poster for an upcoming project, hailing from Finnish filmmaker and actor Ramin Sohrab who first made noise a few years back with a slick trailer conceptualizing action and drama for previous project, Malek. This time it’s the new thriller, Viulu which takes on its Finnish translation for the centerpiece here of our new tale focused on a man forced to fight his way through some salty villainy in order to get back his stolen violin and play it for his wife one last time.
There’s no release date as of yet but there are photos and more available on its recently-launched fanpage where you can also catch the official poster as seen below.
With trailers, the first in the three-part playlist beneath comes by way of SubOverHype, the super-talented movement troupe behind the first two installments of shortfilm series, Two Bellmen, hailing from luxury hotel franchise chain JW Marriot’s content creation shingle. Both shorts, directed by Daniel “Malakai” Cabrera, service the interests of showcasing the hotel chain’s illuminating qualities central to the story of two very different bellmen as they literally go through leaps and bounds to save the day for their residents.
Cabrera launched a new promo last week to announced Two Bellmen 3 installation which takes place in Seoul, Korea, and also stars Ki-Hong Lee and actress and singer Jessica Jung. It’s readied for a release this week while the promo starting the playlist highlights last year’s high-speed sequel set in Dubai is online.
The second trailer arrives from the amazing folks from U.K.-based Eastern Heroes whose reels you might have spotted in recent weeks. They’ve been making quite a splash with accumulating talents listing filmmaker Leif Johnston behind the lens and action actors Jean-Paul Ly of Jailbreak fame, and Tien Hoang who takes center stage for the new martial arts thriller, Resolve, which goes live on January 21.
Finishing things off on this end is the final blow from actor and multi-skilled martial artist and instructor Jon Alagoa who buzzed us late last year about a project long in production with a hopeful Spring release. The 3rd Eye is the name and with Alagoa joined by Shinji Ishigaki, Wai Ku Lam and Vitas LeBas for a story telling of two friends who, thirsty for the fight and ill-fated in joining a underworld crime organization for more opportunities, are violently betrayed by its leader, leaving one of them to seek vengeance.
Production has taken a few stumbles following a minor on-set injury and scheduling conflicts, but nonetheless remains with more updates ahead.
And finally, we meet filmmaker Lee Whitaker, whose 2015 debut fantasy short drama, Catching Fireflies, has already decorated him greatly in the festival circuit. Thus, with an eye for continued social awareness and an adherance toward focusing on real problems that plague American society, the new trailer for Aimee finally arrived this month following a successful crowdfunding effort launched at the bottom of last year.
Actress and stuntwoman Amanda Hall leads the story scripted by Whittaker and co-scribe Kara Myers which focuses on Jesisca, a Spec-Ops Marine homebound from Afghanistan, and the new war she’s forced to fight at home when the trail of her missing 13-year old sister puts her face-to-face with suburban America’s underworld auspices of underage sex trafficking.
You can learn more about the project at its official website with links to social media, contact info and more. For now, check out the playlist and the Vimeo player just beneath for all of your trailer content!
Time to wind down with a playlist packed with great samplers and morsels of action on film, and up first is Lovel Johnson Jr. working out some experimental fight choreography with a group of pupils for Johnson Jr.’s West Empire Productions label. Following that is our aforementioned team over at Eastern Heroes with three of their latest fight pieces as well, along with 3run‘s newest bit of swordplay by Sam Parham and Adam Bradshaw, some test fight action led by Califf Guzman with Suo Liu and fight choreographer and performer Jason Ng, and our earlier-promised mention of stunt player Chad Crumley as the invulnerable target of a group of thugs led by Felix King in Distinctive Light’s latest, Inhuman.
Jared Kirby continues on with a little rough and tumble action in Grab Bag, followed by Eunoia Creations with Brahim Achabbakhe front and center for Bangkok Bridge Fight, Lekir Stunt Action with Trapped performed by Hasibahrain and Izzaz Mohd Sani, a recent upload on the Dardrex channel of a tag-team audition piece for Frank Fernandez’s 2014 action drama project, Heart, a cool new montage of sword-and-shield fight choreography training by Balestra, and the latest upload of TeamBay action drama short, Addicted with Yasin Kamat and Vi-Dan Tran.
Rounding off the playlist is a sensational action short that comes just a few years since I greeted actor, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker Jordan Cann who himself is no stranger to martial arts on film. Like most, he’s a student committed to the craft and he is well on his way to prove it with the release of his forthcoming feature film debut, From Paris To Rome, while the business of creating exemplary action and storytelling in short form continues with the new musical/action drama hybrid, Reclamation, about two brothers who take on a notorious crimelord who has drained the town of its resources. Aaron Thompson and Mel Brian Patron also star.
Enjoy below or click here!
That’s it for this week, and if you want more, you can always take a gander at last week’s Hit List entries to satisfy your cravings. Sub to the channels for your support, and by all means, if you or someone you know has a kick ass stunt and action demo, trailer or other promo material, proof or shortfilm that you would like to see possibly entered in our weekly Hit List, hit us up at email@example.com!