THE HIT LIST: December 17, 2018
My weekend was mostly contemplative. I may try to explain this before the year is out as I’ve normally posted yearly thoughts around this time…
My weekend was mostly contemplative. I may try to explain this before the year is out as I’ve normally posted yearly thoughts around this time…
It looks like things are slowing down a little on the interwebs regarding shortfilms. I’ll do my best to scavenge for these gems as much as possible, though I am looking forward to taking another break (which probably won’t be one anyway since I’ll likely be using it to write ? …the cycle never ends).
The latter end of May through early June saw the emergence of a promo campaign for a project now shaping up be quite the festival favorite. The project in question hails actress Sonalii Castillo in her latest electrifying role in Mamba, a new revenge shortfilm thriller from actor and filmmaker Sam Puefua.
“Sonalii brings a level of authenticity to her character,” says Puefua who also co-stars as Sam, a former soldier who applies his skillset aptly as Kali’s right-hand man. “She’s a hard worker and very passionate about her role, and having created this character, there’s no one better than her to bring this character to life!”
Heralded as a cross between John Wick and Colombiana, Mamba is currently garnering acceptances and praise from multiple territories in North America and Europe with Castillo having recently won the Gold Award for Best Actress at the Independent Shorts Awards. The project also earned Honorable Mention as well as Best Thriller Short in June at the same festival, signaling a rather favorable start for Puefua in his film journey with Castillo since their pairing on 2014 short, Dahlias.
With Puefua, he got his start in acting at a very young age with an interest in musicals and stage plays, journeying with his mother and other siblings for shows like Les Miserable, Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera. His teenage years saw an evolution of that interest take shape by high school – albeit partly from necessity.
“Upon my senior year after football season, I needed another elective for second semester and drama was the only one left.” he says. “Ever since that class, the acting bug bit me and literally right after high school, I pursued my career in acting.”
D.O.P. Luke Dejoras, Brendon Huor and Sam Puefua on the set of MAMBA (2018)
Puefua’s career has flourished accordingly for well over a decade, from small ones to sizable supporting ones. My first dramatic impression of him was actually in a fantasy action concept piece for an independent film company in addition to seeing him in Prince Bagdasarian’s 2013 heist pic, Abstraction.
Seeing Puefua’s own ability to do perform stunts and action was what appealed to me in the course of my own coverage though, and so seeing him take on Mamba is pretty huge in my view. It leads me to believe a project like Mamba is in especially good hands – something I gather Castillo herself took note of way earlier as Puefua sought to take the helm for a change of pace.
“I always wanted to see what it was like to direct someone.” says Puefua about working on Dahlias. “That first project gave me some good experience and inspired me to jump in the directors chair again one day. Now, four years later, I’m on my solo directorial debut! I learned a lot from this film and I had a GREAT team to join me on it.”
Castillo, whose credits partly include NCIS: Los Angeles, Heroes and The Saint, shepherded the idea to Puefua in 2015. Her training for the role of Kali, a presumed-dead assassin seeking vengeance against the corporation that employed her, and the man who runs it (her brother), was another story to be told – one of the usual pain, sweat and rigorous training employed aptly by none other than Brendon Huor whose credentials in stunts and entertainment are demonstrably exceptional.
“The man is the real deal when it comes to action.” says Puefua. “I’ve known my bro for a long time now and we always talked about working on something together, and Mamba was that something.”
Brendon Huor and Sonalii Castillo on the set of MAMBA (2018)
The idea implemented was a straight-up, tactical approach with guns and knives – relatively akin to what audiences have enjoyed seeing thusfar in the John Wick movies and characteristic of rough and unflashy techniques. By Puefua’s own account, Huor knew exactly what to do without question.
“A few weeks after we met, Brendon started training Sonalii on how to handle a knife and gun properly and safely, conditioning her to look like she had years of training within a short period time and having her drill those motions over and over again.” says Puefua. “This is before she even started to learn the choreo and when the time came man was she sore! [laughs].”
He continued: “Just like the gun and knife training, he made her drill that choreography over and over and over until it was second nature. On set, he stayed hands-on with the action and made sure I had the takes. He didn’t merely just produce what I asked for with the action either. He made plenty sure I had the best version.”
Puefua also provided an ordered list of whos-who in the team members who contributed to the stunt work on hand and tasked with making Castillo look good on camera, crediting Joseph Oreste, Kosey Baskin, Subin Choi, Mark Poletti, Nathan People, Nick Krawiec, Kody Pham, Allen Quindiagan, Anthony Hoang, Castillo’s stunt double Kiera O’Connor, Sinilau Tauteoli, Ping Moli, Enele Tauteoli and Amy Sturdivant; A good handful of these stunt performers have already shared space in our weekly Hit List which is delightfully telling in part what fans who follow our posts can expect with a project like Mamba.
MAMBA (2018) crew and stunt performers with Superman Sam second from right.
“The action wouldn’t have been what it is without all my stunt team!” says Puefua who also shared his gratitude for Sound Guy, Vincent Dang who shared in on the stunt action as one of the villains in addition to director of photography, Luke Dejoras, with whom Puefua worked closely to get the best shots. “My stunt brothers and sisters not only brought their A-game to our lil’ film, but were constant professionals on and off-screen! I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Mamba had its share of hurdles like any other production, including location and screenplay issues, although they weren’t anything he couldn’t handle. It hasn’t daunted him from directing either given much as he enjoys it, but of course he has his preferences, suggesting acting was tanatmount to his spanning skillset, adding “…Acting is my first love and I have to continue to build and master that craft before I master another.”
Puefua’s next stop for Mamba, apart from festivals, is the hopeful funding of a feature film that may very well land Castillo a starring role apart from producing. On the acting front, Puefua also has another title scantly making the social media rounds with a few posters and a caption that reads “Who is Mr. Happy?”. I don’t know if that’s the title or a tagline for the project but I was stanchly excited for this project whose director, D. Miles, has largely been intangible for the past few years. Puefua couldn’t say much either but gave a little something to keep in mind.
“It’s a dark Superhero movie.” he says. “Think Batman meets The Punisher. ‘Protect the Innocent, Punish the Rest’ is what Mr. Happy lives by.”
Follow #MambaTheMovie and Sam’s progress through the official website.
It’s not a formula all indie filmmakers use, but it does prove to be a useful tool for developing rudimentary skills needed when trying to understand how to shoot action and what techniques to include in your choreography. It’s why guys filmmakers like Hung and Chan became the trendsetters they still are, and if you’re considering stepping into the fray with your own vision for action, you’d best do your homework, especially if you want me to write a good review. *wink*
…That is the question, and it’s a pretty simple one, although very, VERY little is being willfully said about it since its conception earlier on. For now though, what we can go by is the information currently on display at its official Facebook page, including key names and companies, a very slow feed of stills, and a description that goes a little something like this:
“THRONE” is the an epic, action-adventure film from Halvon Corps. Entertainment, PMV Entertainment (“JumpStart the Movie”), and the producers who brought you “Violence” and “Insecurity”!
“THRONE” has an insanely talented international cast and crew led by Aaron Toney (“Gaurdians of the Galaxy”), James Young (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), & Brendon Huor (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”). And it features the amazingly creative talents from EpicRival, Thousand Pounds Action Company, LBP Stunts Chicago, 87Eleven Action Design, EMC Monkeys, & Flow (just to name a few)!
Stay updated by connecting with us on social media! And when “THRONE” drops…
“…you’re gonna see some serious sh**!” ~Dr. Emmitt Brown
Click the photos for larger viewing:
If you follow my site and happen to be a devout fan of independent film and action cinema, you’ll likely recognize the names mentioned above, like Hollywood stuntman Aaron Toney, who is directing this project. And it makes sense that Toney is the one sitting in the director’s chair considering how much talent he sees and appreciates among professional performers, something he expressed in a special exclusive interview with our own Darren Bailey earlier this year. “I’ve seen nothing but good things come from people like The Stunt People, Thousand Pounds, EMC, Lazy Brown Productions…all these guys are top notch, …which is why I like working with all you guys.” he said. “You do some of your best work with independent, like-minded people.”
Needless to say, these like minds are keeping extra quiet about this little upcoming gem, and perhaps rightfully so, seeing as how awesome this project is already looking. So, indeed, no spoilers or clues just yet, but by all means, do the sensible thing and follow Project: THRONE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and watch this space for more news!
To watch the full interview from April, CLICK HERE!
I have had a great time promoting and discussing geniune martial artist and XMA purveyor, actor, stuntman and Thousand Pounds action director and performer Brendon Huor since launching my Facebook page in late 2012. He’s done (and continues to do) some truly amazing work with independent and mainstream filmmakers, performing in commercials, and even acting and coordinating stunt action in a number spectacular shortfilms, between his roots in Jackie Chan’s 2006 film, Rob-B-Hood, working the stage with Team Sidewipe and training and filming with LBP Stunts Chicago, to working with the folks at Thousand Pounds Action Company, Flow, Epic Rival, and folks like independent filmmaker and action auteur, Vlad Rimburg.
Yes, ninja turtles usually come green with assorted masks and shells, and we’ll get more of that in a few months. This week however, we’re getting an inspired take on the classic characters by way of independent filmmaker Chris Cowan in the form of a new action short simply titled TMNT Style, featuring performances by actors Brendon Huor, Xin Sarith Wuku, Jimmy Chhiu and Micah Karns, with a special guest appearance by actor and stuntman, Master Simon Rhee of Best Of The Best fame.
Jeremy Marinas takes out the trash in the new 87 Eleven shortfilm, Garbage Day
The guys over at Hollywood stunt training facility 87 Eleven Action Design have been a little more active on their official Facebook page, sharing photos and videos highlighting some of their work. One of those videos now includes the latest practice gig showcasing the feats of action actors and stunt professionals Jeremy Marinas and Brendon Huor in the new short, Garbage Day.
I have been keeping as much of an eye as possible in the past year and change between Huor‘s activity in the independent action scene, and Marinas‘s viral video presence as a high-profile tricking impressario-one in a small group of athletes who choreograph and peform stunts known as 3 Amigos. Marinas previously caught my attention with fellow team member Daniel Graham in the 2013 shortfilm, Death Before Dishonor a little over a year ago this month, and filmgoers can expect to see plenty more from Marinas and Huor in the months ahead, particularly in featured stunt performances doubling two of the main characters in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this August.
So, as you might have suspected, if you are into action and are just now tuning in, then consider Garbage Day time well spent.
Check it out below, and give 87 Eleven a Facebook ‘Like’ by CLICKING HERE.
Ben Jenkin and Solomon Brende demonstrate their freerunning skills with Atlas Cam equipment.
If you look at any fight scene from a film or an online test fight such as the ones I have hosted on this site, they all have their own flavor and vision as per their stunt coordinators and choreographers and directors. Such was the case for the latest online gem brought to you courtesy of Microdrones-pictures, a company best known for its high-flying style and vision of cinematography by way of stuntman and stunt coordinator Ferdi Fischer, whose latest experiment is now available online, simply called Atlas Cam Fight.
Assisted by fellow stuntman and cinematographer Daniel Leavitt, the new video’s main focus aisde from illustrating the action was to demonstrate just how Atlas works; Basically it’s a camera stabilizer that fits on the shoulder from the front to the back of its user. The result is what you see below, courtesy of director and fight choreographer James Young. And while this particular equipment isn’t used often in Hollywood, it makes one curious. Could this be the future of fight scene cinematography?
Check out the sampler below, featuring Brendon Huor, Travis Wong, Gui DaSilva and Mickey Facchinello, with Ben Jenkin and Solomon Brende. And to learn more about Microdrones-pictures, feel free to give their Facebook page a few minutes of your time.
A flurry of fists set the tone between Brendon Huor and James Young in their new test fight, dir. by Emmanuel Manzanares
Whatever happens, don’t ever take your eyes off of independent filmmaker and LBP Stunts Chicago founding member Emmanuel Manzanres. Because at the end of the day, Manzanares is a friggin machine when it comes to putting his direction and choreography skills to the test, working with innumerous professionals of the stunt field both in and outside his own team. I’ve covered his action gems more times than I can count on my blog as Manzanares has become more and more prolific over the years through the blogosphere with his contributions to the independent and mainstream action cinema world, and that coverage continues this week with his latest treat featuring performances by Brendon Huor and James Young.
The new test fight marks the latest collaboration between Huor and Young, both well and highly respected stuntmen and fight choreographers to date with respective credits including indie action faves such as Thousand Pounds Action Company’s Naruto Shippuden: Dreamer’s Fight, as well as last year’s Wonder Woman shortfilm nod, First Impressions, and the Zoë Bell action headliner, Raze. With any luck, this won’t be the last time we see these two together working on something that will blow our minds in due time. And on one programming note, if things go as planned, Film Combat Syndicate contributing film critic, Thousand Pounds co-founder and actor Darren Bailey may likely be able to share an inteview with Young joined by fellow stuntman/performer Aaron Toney upon the forthcoming release of their latest work on Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Time will tell if this will be possible though, particularly since peoples’ schedules are very tight, but keep it in mind nonetheless. In the meantime check out Huor and Young in the embed below where you may also subscribe to LBP Stunts Chicago for more awesome videos.
Fans of martial arts action cinema like myself and independent filmmaker Vlad Rimburg represent a majority of people eagerly awaiting the official March 28 release date of writer and director Gareth Evans’s new epic crime thriller, The Raid 2. However, on Tuesday evening, Rimburg took to his channel to offer an inspired look at actress Julie Estelle’s portrayal of the iconic character, Hammer Girl, in a new, brutal, bloody and spectacularly violent fan short by CZ12 co-star and action actress Caitlin Dechelle.
Rehearsed last week in the course of two days and filmed only several days ago, the Hammer Girl fan fight marks Rimburg‘s second project with Dechelle since a chance meeting in 2012 during a photo shoot with photographer and performer Tony Chu. That photo shoot eventually led to their first collaboration later that year for the two-part ensemble action piece, Part 2: Chapter A, and the two had been making an extensive effort to do it all again ever since. Fast forward through 2014, and this is where it gets all kinds of weird and exciting for me, because this is the first time I’m including myself in a report of this nature.
I won’t delve too much into the details as I welcome all of you to read more about how the project came to fruition in the description of the video. But from the bottom of my heart, I am deeply thankful to have such a wonderful extended circle of taleneted acquaintances and friends with like-minded goals. I consider myself very fortunate this week. I am humbled to be included in such a project, and thankful to have inspired such a fine group like this one seen here. They did all the work, and as fans of the action genre, we owe these people our boundless support!
Subscribe to Rimburg‘s channel in the embed below, and stay tuned to Film Combat Syndicate for more exciting content to come!
Martial artist, actor, producer and scribe Noah S. Felder is currently in the middle of a major project devoted to Star Wars fans and action cinema junkies over at his base of operations with Force Storm Entertainment. As such, with his newest crowdfunder just 24 days before its deadline, the excitement and anticipation continues build as the project has now begun showcasing new promotional artwork and concept photos to showcase a sample of how some of its characters will look, including actors Brendon Huor, actress Mickey Facchinello, actors Gui DaSilva, Jimmy Chhiu and Yoshua Sudarso, and actor, fight choreographer and director Vlad Rimburg.
Check out the gallery below, and if you are not yet familar with the project, click HERE to read the initial report, and then visit the official Indiegogo campaign page to learn how you can donate and benefit from your generousity.
If you have been tuning into Film Combat Syndicate, chances are you have had the good fortune of coming across some of the best independently made martial arts action short films and test fights to make our way in recent years and months. More importantly, action fans, particularly fans geared toward science fiction might have even caught The Stunt People’s own Eric Jacobus with his crowdpleasing Star Wars Go Pro lightsaber Vader Strikes project. Well, here and now in 2014, the trend continues with different players and a different vision as actor and martial artist Noah Fleder initiates the newest Indiegogo campaign for his own Star Wars fan-driven action channel, Force Storm Entertainment.
Fleder briefly spoke to Film Combat Syndicate late last year about his new project as things were still in development at the time. “I grew up as a HUGE Star Wars fan all starting with the ORIGINAL film (A New Hope) and I was hooked.” he says. “I started to get all of my friends from around my block as kids playing with lightsabers and nurf guns… and then I started to read the books and play the games. Now I feel like I have the friends and resources to make my own films within the Star Wars universe.” He then added, “Also I grew up backpacking, in the outdoors doing lots of martial arts as a child growing up, so that went hand in hand with my wild imagination as far as Star Wars goes.”.
As Fleder continues his journey into Force Storm Entertainment with the self-appointed task of writing, executive producing, co-coordinating and performing throughout, he won’t be alone, as he will be accompanied by some of the biggest and most impactful action performers to date, namely premier martial arts action aficionado and indepenent filmmaker Vlad Rimburg (pictured right). The two recently worked together on just a few projects last year, including producer Travis Wong’s original webseries The Hunt for the Flow YouTube channel, as well as Rimburg‘s Donnie Yen-inspired Special ID miniseries, and it’s easy to see why Fleder would choose such a great action choreographer like Rimburg in the first place. “His WILD imagination and creative process is why I love working with him.”, Fleder says of Rimburg. “His ability to capture the fighters skill on camera and develop great choreography is why I feel honored to have him apart of this project. I remember the first time I worked with him on The Hunt, he told me to think of a quick kick combination before Brendon Huor finished me in the fight. I asked him if I could do a double front kick to side kick combo in the air, and he didnt think I could do it. So he said ‘you get three shots…after that we move on.’ After my first successful attempt, he yelled ‘HELL YEA NOAH!! You can do it as many times as you want!!’”.
With filming to hopefully begin sometime this month, the ambitious new series will be aimed at illustrating varying storylines hosted with a number of fighting styles and philosophies emphasizing the use of The Force and lightsaber choreography as a whole, and will bring lead actress Mickey Facchinello on board along with Zero Gravity stunt impressario Tony Chu, and a reunion of several actors from The Hunt, including Brendon Huor, Yoshua Sudarso, Gui DaSilva and Jimmy Chhiu; That’s just for the first installment considering Fleder is hoping to do an entire series, which means future videos could very well include perfomers and actors from other teams around the country and possibly the world. But as with all things in film, this can only happen with your donation.
So if you want to see some more Jedi and Sith muscle in your martial arts entertainment and you believe in what Fleder and Rimburg have to offer, then head on over to the official Force Storm Entertainment Indiegogo page to view Fleder‘s campaign video, a list of who the selected performers listed so far with links to their respective work, and the perks with which you can benefit from your donation, and much more!
Also, be sure to LIKE the official Facebook fan page for Force Storm Entertainment as a further show of your support. And as always, may the force be with you!
Premier action choreography and screenfighting troupe LBP Stunts Chicago makes a triumphant brief return to the foray with three of its own in a brand new fight Kung Fu practice clip directed by LBP mainstay Emmanuel Manzanares, with performances by LBP members, actors and stunt professionals Brendon Huor and Mickey Facchinello. Both performers have extensive experience in acting and stuntwork, in addition to the two last recently appearing opposite each other in action filmmaker Vlad Rimburg’s Donnie Yen-inspired miniseries with Special ID Episode 1: The Mute.
The new clip also marks the first time Facchinello and Huor have worked with Manzanares since collaborating with Thousand Pounds Action Company action coordinator and fellow performer Vonzell Carter for a Samurai Champloo-inspired practice fight back in 2011. “It’s always fun to work with them.”, he says of Facchinello and Huor. “We all understand each other, so the process is easy. Plus both Brendon and Mickey work really hard at what they do, and it always shows in their performances.”.
I also got to talk a little bit with to Huor and Facchinello on Monday about getting back together after so long, addition to some of the respective qualities they view in each other’s performance. “It was cool!”, Huor writes. “I had just gotten back from Chicago and Mickey had been really wanting to do a fight with me. Just so happened that weekend was open for us, so it was a little hard to find the energy and motivation after traveling so much but I was glad that I did.” Huor was also very upbeat when I asked him about Facchinello‘s qualities as a screenfighter and what makes her such a great professional to work with. “She doesn’t panic in the moment, no matter how hard I’m swinging or kicking at her.”, he says. “And, she’s very knowledgeable about martial arts, so she is able to do the same move different ways, which is so important and helpful. Also, she has really good intensity and energy which makes it easy to be IN the scene with her.”.
I have written about Facchinello‘s work a few times between the blog and the page in the past year or so since I began Film Combat Syndicate, and I was always so eager to talk to her directly and get a dialogue going. So I was very pleased when I got to ask her a few questions in addition to redirecting the ones I asked Huor. To start things off, I asked Facchinello about what inspired her to step into the field of acting and stuntwork. “Well, there’s a lot.”, she says, before pointing out certain aspects like creative freedom and the general love of performance as two principal reasons behind her inspiration. In speaking for herself and Huor, she tells Film Combat Syndicate, “We both love being able to take a character, a style, an idea, etc.. And making it come to life as best we can. Sometimes we are time-crunched, or we come across things that make it more difficult. Like location issues, weather, etc. but it all just makes us better in the end I suppose.”.
On her answer regarding what makes Huor such a great partner to great with, Facchinello reciprocated with her own approval, despite not being able to work much with him. “…To be honest, not trying to ‘toot his horn’ or anything but he is probably one of the best performers all around (as a whole: being versatile), that I know.”, she writes. “He adapts and he learns quickly, not to mention he’s trained in a ton already. He’s a great teacher, he can act, etc.. Just very talented all around. He is one of my main role-models!”.
Look out for more on the way from Manzanares as he continues to put out more creativity in the year ahead. Furthermore, you can also expect to hear more from Manzanares as he and the cast and crew of the upcoming feature-length action comedy, Unlucky Stars, prepare a new crowdfunder for the film’s post production, film festival circulation and DVD printing in the year ahead. Theatergoers can also expect to see Facchinello’s credits in the upcoming releases of Jupiter Ascending (July 18) and 22 Jumpstreet (June 13). Meamwhile, you can also catch Huor and Manzanres in their upcoming stunt performances in director Neil Burger’s sci-fi thriller, Divergent (March 21).
To catch Huor‘s previous performance in the Vlad Rimburg-directed short, Dragon Lady, CLICK HERE. And for more information on LBP Stunts Chicago, click the appropriate tag below or visit their official website.
Here’s a fun fact for all you action fans and stunt performers out there who follow martial arts cinema and may even read my blog: Pay close attention to the name Vlad Rimburg from here on out, because he’s going to go places.
A veteran purveyor of independent action for well over a decade, Rimburg has developed an impressive resumè over the years as one of the foremost fight choreographers and directors that Hollywood needs to recognize. Hopefully that day will come sooner than we think, with Rimburg coming off of his busiest year in 2013 directing The Hunt series for the Flow YouTube channel, assembling two installments of his Donnie Yen-inspired Special ID miniseries with Mickey Fachinello, Tamiko Brownlee and Tony Chu, editing industry fight choreographer J.J. Perry’s reel which you can view by clicking here, and putting together several other test fight shortfilms between last year and now, including his latest online “Vlad-style” Kung Fu vs. Karate gem, Dragon Lady, featuring action performers, actress PeiPei Alena Yuan and actor Brendon Huor.
Rimburg spoke to Film Combat Syndicate about what drew him to the project late last year prior to filming, which took four days to shoot between three months due to availability issues for the actors. “After ‘The Hunt’ series was over for Flow, I wanted to continue making more videos. I was told that I should start thinking about casting a female lead…”, he says. “A song came on on my iPod with a Chinese based theme and suddenly I knew that I wanted to make something ‘kung fu-ish’. PeiPei had been coming to my kicking classes at JAM (Joining All Movement), and after much thought, I decided it was time to give her a chance.”. Adding a little more on how he thought the actors did, Rimburg writes, “I pushed [Yuan] really hard during filming, re-doing takes up to fifteen times. In the end, she did great and I’m super happy with the results. As for Brendon, well, he’s Brendon, a natural talent that can do ANYTHING.”.
The latter, of course, is true, especally for Huor who, no matter how many takes or how sore he gets, commits himself to working with Rimburg since getting started with a Crows Zero-inspired test fight short in 2010 titled, Part 1: Chapter A. “…I’ve always trusted him to pick the right take, or choose the right beats to choreograph.” he says. “As I’ve grown and matured over the many practice videos I’ve done on the last three years, Vlad has always been willing to help me where I have questions, and is very receptive to any ideas I might have. He trusts me to do what he sees in his mind, and I trust in his vision.”. Huor also expressed his excitement in going toe-to-toe with Yuan on camera again, telling Film Combat Syndicate, “PeiPei is a great performer and we’re friends off set, so it makes the atmosphere less stressful. Everyone knows everyone, and we’re all there with the same goal, to make whatever we’re working the best it can be at that time.”.
Yuan, a consumate martial artist, stuntwoman and breakdancer who I have written about before in previous articles, has been a fan of Rimburg‘s videos for several years now. And with Dragon Lady marking her first creative gig with the veteran action choreographer, the results have proven to be well worth the wait for what she solely describes as “a great experience”, among other things. “I am in LOVE with Vlad’s work!”, says Yuan. “He is very diligent, passionate and creative. He knows action so well and how he wants it shot. He’s pretty much an Asian dude in many ways. I was so glad he loves Kung Fu and Drunken style, and I’ve always wanted to be like a female Jackie Chan.”.
Yuan continued our chat by further expressing how comfortable she was with Rimburg as he allowed her to blend his ideas with a few of her b-girl moves to suit the whimsical fighting nature of her character. She also had plenty of complements to share for Huor, as she now commits herself to living up to Rimburg‘s standards based on Huor’s example. “Brendon is a dynamic and all-around stuntman and fighter…” Yuan writes. “He was always on point, sharp and learned the choreo quickly, and was very helpful and humble. And, was down to do any wreck while enjoying and laughing during the shoot, yet staying very professional. I learned a lot from watching him work, and his intensity and energy was always high; His last wreck, he laid out perfectly twice each time, no pads and no injuries. Vlad has warned me that I’d have to step up because Brendon is so good!”.
On a slightly more personal, emotional note, Yuan‘s lifelong pursuit in the performing arts leading up to her new project also brings a bit of reflection to what she has since deemed “a life-changing experience”. Her father, Philip, who also had a role in translating Yuan‘s caligraphy for her character’s wanted poster at the end of the shortfilm (illustrated by artist and indie action familiar Shaun Charney), suffered from a terminal illness while living in China last year, which brought Yuan by his bedside during his time of need before filming. In my chat with Yuan, she very expressive in her awareness of how her father might perceive her character regarding the brash tone and language. But nevertheless, there is still a noticeable presence of mutual love and respect between a loving father and a daughter who has come into her own as an artist. “I dedicate this shoot to my Dad and my strong mother who saved him.” she writes. “They are both so strong and I’m inspired by their hard work, determination and love for each other.”.
2014 is going to be a good year for action fans, especially for folks who follow Rimburg‘s work. And knowing what I know, I can tell you all with absolute certainty that with some of the biggest muscle heading our way, the best is yet to come, and Rimburg is JUST getting started!
Dragon Lady is now online and you can check it out in the embed below, in addition to some extra behind-the-scenes photos. And above all else, stay tuned to Film Combat Syndicate for more on Rimburg and his videos, as well as his upcoming appearance in the feature-length Hong Kong action comedy homage, Unlucky Stars.
For more information on PeiPei Alena Yuan, visit her official website.
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