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For the most part, it has been a busy week on my end and work, on top of certain technological impediments have kept me from being able to keep up with a lot of content. So when I decided to kick myself up real quick and head over to independent filmmaker Shaun Charney‘s YouTube platform at Dragon Phoenix Entertainment, I was delighted to see a new little gem he worked on with actress, stuntwoman and friend of Film Combat Syndicate, Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez.
In the video, we get to see a minute of some pretty cool Capoiera choreography, accompanied by a few extra minutes of Charney and Gonzalez just having fun like kids, and it’s a must-see for anyone who has ever had a childhood. I spoke to Charney on several subjects regarding the video, including his opinions on Capoiera and other martial arts styles for the screen, and believe me, it’s a subject he’s well suited for, with experience dating back to around 1997 having experimenting with well over 74 styles in the years since.
“The flashiness is the first obvious answer.”, Charney writes on what fascinates him about Capoiera as a screenfighting set piece. “The grace, balance, and control is the next. But I have a desire to try and show the combat side of Capoeira…the one that’s actually used for combat.”. He also added “To date, as far as I know, it hasn’t been seen in films since the flashy dancing aspect has always been the more ‘exciting’ one to film. And sadly, that has many people believing that’s what Capoeira is, and that it does not work in a real fight-I guess that means Capoeira stood true in its deception, having its opponents believe it’s a harmless dance! Haha”.
I’ve always enjoyed watching Charney perform in the past decade I have grown to appreciate online action. And furthermore, to top it all off, having become a fan since first seeing Gonzalez in several episodes of Robert Griffith’s webseries, The Adventures Of Super 7, which led me to my next inquiry about what he enjoys most about their collaborations. “I’ve known her for less than a year, but it has been a beautiful year, knowing her.”, he writes. “She is super fun to work with, and funny…lightening up the mood and atmosphere. She’s very pro, and knows the score, and is open and adaptable to changes, which certainly makes her very good to work with. And she’s HOT! Haha! But for me, the big plus is that she is able to be silly on set. Silly, but a professional at the right time!”.
Throughout his evolving career, Charney is as busy as busy can get-part of the reason why this piece took so long to share with you all. However, action fans can look forward to a lot more from Dragon Phoenix Entertainment as the years rolls on, as he hopes to produce more samurai and ninja-themed videos adhering toward more Eastern philosophical perspectives that reflect the martial spirit. Charney also shared other plans he hopes to initiate regarding his foray into artwork and literature, with compilations of some of his own artwork through the years.
He also hopes to explore all 74 of his favorite styles for the camera, which may boggle your mind as to how he is so familiar with so many systems. On the other hand though, Charney remains grounded about his experience. “I am a master of none,” he says “…but I am a fan and practitioner of each.”.
In my own shared opinion with Charney‘s, Capoiera isn’t something we see all the time in martial arts cinema. And so when we see it in its pure, raw form, it makes for great action cinema eye candy, especially when it is shot well and the performers are having fun. And clearly, particularly in the last two minutes, this was the case.
Thank you for reading this, and watch the video below where you may also subscribe to Charney‘s channel.
YOU CAN’T HEAR ME. YOU CAN’T SEE ME Proof of Concept Teaser Trailer from Andrew Suleiman on Vimeo.