Six years into pursuing stuntwork and cinematic action as a career goal, independent action director, actor, stuntman and Missourian native David “Dax” Bauer does some pretty amazing work nowadays to showcase his talents between YouTube platforms Thousand Pounds Action Company and Arnhem Productions. Film Combat Syndicate has also had the pleasure of showcasing some of his previous work, including coordinating the 2013 action comedy short, Reverse Mugging with industry stuntwoman and actress Tamiko Brownlee. “I like to see strategy in motion.”, he tells Film Combat Syndicate. “I like storytelling and character creation, and those things are more difficult when a split second hesitation can get you punched in the face. I love being able to see characters being brought to life through their movements and through their choices, and to see how they change and evolve during the course of a fight. I love watching these things happen in fight scenes, and I want to be involved in any way I can, whether it be in front or behind camera.”.
This week, Bauer continues some of his storytelling methodology exclusively on his own channel to showcase his latest test fight project featuring performances by Matt Young and first-timer Armand Rabanal, which he filmed last year with independent filmmaker Robert Angier. The project comes as a resulting friendship for Bauer that began four years ago with Young who adhered to his skills in tricking and classical martial arts, and also served as a teaching assistant at White Lotus martial arts academy in Reseda, California, prior to its following evolution in 2012 as Joining All Movement (JAM). Following that year, Bauer met Rabanal who also worked at JAM, in addition to composing music for the content now featured on the Arnhem YouTube channel.
The clip also comes as one of a few Arnhem projects Rabanal did last year, including Reverse Mugging, whereupon he impressed Bauer with his own skill set. “I found out that he had Wushu background, and so I started working with him on stunt-related stuff.” Bauer says of Rabanal. “He showed an instantaneous aptitude for taking reactions, so I immediately started putting him in Arnhem stuff.”.
Sadly before Bauer could continue collaborating with Rabanal any further, Rabanal ended up having to temporarily move back to his home in Oregon, which unfortunately also led to the test fight’s truncated ending. Nonetheless, the clip remains a noteworthy effort for Bauer who generously reached out to Film Combat Syndicate over the weekend to share the team’s efforts. “…These two busted their butts to learn the choreography and perform on the shoot.”, he says. “This is Armand’s first actual fight and Matt’s first finished one, so I would hate to have their work swept under the rug, especially after they worked as hard as they did.”.
As for Bauer, fans can look forward to as much as six or seven projects so far which are currently in post-production for the Arnhem channel, including video game homages to Legend of Zelda, Mega Man and Assassin’s Creed, tributes to the superhero genre, and a whole lot more, including a few of which Bauer is keeping strictly tight-lipped about. So if you happen to be an action fan and have an interest in Arnhem has to offer this year, then support the channel by subcribing here. In the meantime, head on over to Bauer’s YouTube channel in the following embed and check out Matt Young and Armand Rabanal in their last hoorah below.