Indie Spotlight: ESCALATION And EMBRACE THE VOID Feat. Jerry Quill

It’s been an amazing year so far being able to observe and write about so many independent performers apply their creativity for cinematic action. And this week, that passion most notably arrives in a cool little double-header with two new videos featuring up-and-coming actor and stuntman Jerry Quill.

The first of two new test fight installations includes the latest one from independent filmmaker Emmanuel Manzanares titled Escalation, with fellow LBP member Alexander Hashioka. The short is one of several pieces Quill has done with LBP since late last year, with Manzanares‘s choreography here experimenting with a flurry of non-martial arts-stylized exchanges to depict more of a realistic, brutal struggle.

It’s this kind of creativity which provides a continually fruitful and evolving playing field for Quill in fight choreography and stunt experimentation. And if you haven’t subscribed to LBP Stunts Chicago on Youtube, then you’re in for a treat, to say the least. So by all means, check out the video below and hit the subscribe button.

The second short titled, Embrace The Void, also stars rising action actresses Sharon Berezin and Sarah McCreanor, and comes as the result of inspiration Quill had one day while bored at work. In light of this inspiration, his friendship with Dragon Phoenix Entertainment’s own Shaun Charney earned him a pretty good opportunity to apply himself in a way he had not done before until now, in directing, as well as action design and writing. “I don’t write very often actually,” he says. “But, I decided to push myself to do it for this so I could have something more to shoot than just a fight scene.”.

He also added, “I’ve always had an interest in choreography but never directed before. I want to be able to produce and direct my own projects but didn’t know where to start. So I contacted Shaun for help and advice. He told me he would collaborate and help me put together a small project for learning purposes.”.

Quill also discussed his history with Berezin and how he came across discovering McCreanor, both who I have written about either once or twice in a few previous articles. “I had worked with Sharon several times before through a couple of Shaun’s other projects,” he writes. “We also meet up to train once and a while. She’s been helping me with basic acrobatics.” He continued, “I met Sarah briefly working on a music video. After seeing one of her dance reels, I asked her if she would be interested in doing a small fight scene so I could get some practice directing. Plus, because of Sarah’s dance background and flexibility gave me the chance to try a few different ideas with some of her moves.”.

As experimental as this particular project was, the project was also a test of time management and pressure. Thematically, the short was meant to be much longer and more metaphorical in its delivery, featuring McCreanor as the human emulation of “Death” testing the will of a “slave” played by Berezin. “I originally wanted to tell more of the story through the fight and choreography,” he says. “However due to poor planning on my part, we only had one day to shoot and we were fighting the sunlight and time. So I had to cut most of the choreography in order to finish.”.

Quill also writes, “I learned a lot about what I can do better next time. It was great working with both of them. Thankfully they were both super patient with me throughout this process. Plus, Shaun Charney helped me out A LOT with this project, so kudos to him!”.

It’s very interesting to see as many independent performers grow and improve in the past decade as I have, including within the past year spotting Quill in what would be going into his second year in such an occupation, performing in several pieces for Charney. And adding Berezin and McCreanor in the mix, I can only hope these folks will help keep me busy on this site for the years to come.

Check out Embrace The Void in the embed below, and to follow, you know what to do!

Photo: Tony Chu Photography