Review: GHOST SOURCE ZERO Hacks Into Your Inner Fanboy With Veritable Promise
The process of independent filmmaking is often extensive and hefty. Mark Cheng knows this for a fact, one he’s aptly adapted to in the years since his long-conceived 2012 G.I. Joe fan film, Operation: Red Retrieval – a project that would plant the seed to birth the aspiring filmmaker’s partnership with living franchise legend, Larry Hama. This union would come at a critical time for Cheng in the months since going viral with a proof-of-concept for his then-hopeful feature debut, Ghost Source Zero, on which the two would ultimately pen the script as well as executive produce.
THE HIT LIST: January 8, 2018
Frankly, I was getting used to being away for so long that I thought about foregoing The Hit List another week into the new year. Then I realized all these reels, practice fights and shorts that were emerging as I was collecting them were piling up on me and…well… I guess now its time to relieve myself some ?.
Top: Tanja Keller, Eric Watson, Sherry Rene, Tanguy Guinchard, Acei Martin
Bottom: Arman Ansari, Ryan Carr, Nathan Peoples, Samantha J. MacDonald, Stephen Koepfer
Alas, it’s 2018 on the evening of Monday, January 8 as of this post, thus, signaling the return of our aforementioned weekly column of said contents giving way to an audience for some of today’s top stunt performers and creatives.
First up is a prime offering of two Vimeo uploads by stunt professionals, actress Tanja Keller and stuntman Paul Varacchi. The stunt hits continue via YouTube playlist starting with Jackie Chan Stunt Team member and founder of his own stunt and film unit, actor and martial artist Andy Long who debuted last year in Vietnam with the action comedy, Luc Van Tien: Tuyet Dinh KungFu.
Stuntman and podcast host Ryan Carr continues this week’s full scale attack followed by reels courtesy of Sherry Rene, Jared Losano, John Nania, Acei Martin, Kent Lloyd, Jared Beaulieu, Taylor Castriota, Jonathan Mercedes, Bridgette Bentley, Stephen Koepfer, Lovel Johnson Jr. and Samantha MacDonald. Closing out the playlist are reels by Australia’s own Bluesanyu Films, Michael Yadvish’s New Jersey-based Yad-Fu Films, Art School Dropouts with a delightful, musical highlight reel of their previous year and Kamen Ramen Studios with an energizing wrap up of their own as well!
Actor and stuntman Aidan Pringle proved quite the hurdle in title form for the protagonist in Sean Kohnke’s 2017 action short, I’m Out Johnny. Not to be outdone by a one-and-done scenario though, Kohnke and writer/producer and cinematographer extraordinare Tanay Genco Ulgen have since already gotten the band back together for a second outing now titled I’m Out Johnny: Volume 2.0, for which he’s granted us a teaser brimming with Yakuza brutality to come.
Following that is an announcement teaser for upcoming action short, Omega Unit: The Last Option, from producing duo, actor and stuntman Jae Greene and director Mark Cheng who previously helped manifest Cheng’s featute debut, Ghost Source Zero. Also on deck is a trailer for Rising Tiger Films’s hotly anticipated Sony game adaptation shortfilm collaboration with Team Red’s Joseph Le for Shenmue: Yokozuka Blues, as well as a gripping teaser for Vanessa Wenzel’s Indiegogo-funded revenge drama, Auryon, from Prairie Kitten Productions, and Anthony Javier over in Winnipeg with a trailer for Kuya from
The Auryon poster is pretty fierce too!
And… at long last, we’ve reached the bottom of the hour with the first of this year’s weekly serving of stunt fights and shorts. FYI: I scrapped up a LOT of these between last month and now, and so I will be rolling them out as steady as I can with each week as the playlists accumulate. Quiet Flame Productions is the first to tune us in with a few seconds of fun from Chuck Johnson and a fellow by the name of Yutaka, followed by I AM WATER Stunts over in Texas with Robert Steven Brown and Benjamin Redic II trading a few blows of their own.
Rustic B. and Eric Shamm Watson keep the pace going with Assassin followed by a montage of fight practice clips hosted by LBP Stunts Chicago, and a pair of Kali-based packages first at Matt Philliben‘s YouTube channel, and second from Lauren Mary Kim’s fourth and newest entry this month in The Kali Diaries this time going head-to-head with Guro Marie Sia. Selwyn Huqueriza and Ed Mecate sharpen and heat things even further with a little knife action just before Spencer Mulligan cools it all off with a stormy new group piece featuring a cameo performance by that miserable bastard over the past week in the Northeastern U.S. known as Snowstorm Grayson.
Rapier Wit Studio is host this week to two practice fight clips out of Toronto before we pivot over to David Conk at Wolf Stunts for The Endangered with some elite performances by Eric Mbanda and Nik Pelekai, and then onto snow-covered scenery in Georgia for some more fight action by Lloyd Pitts and Ruben Maldonado. Following that is the continued work of someone who constantly continues to impress with his work, now adding Hand Over Fist to Bryan Sloyer’s stellar cinematic fight content with Kodaline providing the thematic, emotive musical backdrop.
Capping it all off is a slick, quality half-hour action comedy thriller from Team STAMA in the form of USB Protocol, a story centered on one man’s neck-deep troubles after finding himself in possession of sensitive material. Swiss action actor and stuntman Tanguy Guinchard leads the narrative for this one and you’re definitely going to want to dig into this bit of Swedish badassery.
Enjoy the hits!
Stay tuned for more where these hits came from and look for FCSyndicate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, SHARE the Hit List with friends who love great action and stuntwork, and if you’re a creative or performer with something up your sleeve that deserves an audience, contact us at email@example.com!
Top: Jared Losano, Bridgette Bentley, Lloyd Pitts, Taylor Castriota, Eric Mbanda
Bottom: Ruben Maldonado, Joseph V. Oreste, Lauren Mary Kim, Nik Pelekai, Sean Kohnke
Happy New Year everyone!
THE HIT LIST: December 4, 2017
Near topping off our initial playlist is an exciting shortfilm that I’ve actually been chasing since reporting on its crowdfunder since 2014. The new Zoë Bell/Heidi Monkeymaker headliner, No Touching, came out on the Crypt TV YouTube channel just in time for Halloween back in October after keeping folks in suspense and I couldn’t help but add this to this week’s Hit List finale, even if I am a few months late (And a much-deserved hat tip to Ms. Moneymaker for keeping me abreast of this lovely haunted house beat ’em up fest! ?)
THE HIT LIST: October 16, 2017
I’m going through a little sleep deprivation while I write this so I hope you all enjoy this latest installment of The Hit List until then. My weekend was definitely at least half-good and you can visit my weekend posts over at my Instagram to see what’s up.
As for here, we kick off the Hit List with the necessary appetizer of stunt and training reels from some of today’s top and up-and-coming in stunt performance. Ramping things up is a cool new highlight reel from this year’s events at Oia for the seven year-strong Red Bull Art Of Motion competiton.
Following that is a barrage of badass new stunt reels courtesy of Talyn Edelson, Darin Hicks, Krystle Martin, Ross Kohnstam, Gabriela Kostadinova, Cameron Brown, Angela Lynn, John Ternavis, Rissa Kilar, Cheech Vitale, Andi Norris and stunt coordinator Jae Greene.
I don’t have anything to promote in terms of teasers and trailers but I do have this amazing shortfilm by Shaun Charney. It’s the most serious action short you will ever see in all its indie action glory with Nicole Mae Martin, Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez and Sayaka Pereira front in center as three of the most serious screenfighters you will ever see in all your action movie fandom.
This action short is so seriously done by the ever-so seriously serious Charney that by just over three minutes in, you’ll be so caught up in the seriousness of it all that you will simply quit everything just as these people did, ensuing from a three-minute FMA battle royale into a six-minute blooper reel with three amazing girls being amazing. And girly. With sticks. Seriously. Watch.
Winding down the Hit List is a mix of some quick short action gems from around the web with stunt players Jesper Bergstroem and Livia Wistmar roughing it up for viewers followed by ScrewAttack’s newest Death Battle offering with iconic antagonists Vegeta and General Zod. Filmmaker Eskindir Tesfay strikes a chord for self-defense with former champion Jörg Gantert in Black Belt for Movie-Do. Jon Alagoa pays his tribute to live-action fandom with Yakuza Kiwami, inspired by PS4 remake of Sega IP, Ryū ga Gotoku (Like A Dragon) while Art School Dropouts sets forth their latest First-Episode push to attain the crowdfunding they need to finalize inspired webseries The Forgotten Kingdom: A Kung Fu LARP Story, and Ballistic Blade Entertainment wields its own fandom with their latest fantasy action short, New Shannara Chronicles.
Last and far from least is a quality pick from sibling directing duo Rajeev and Elan Dassani titled Seam, currently hosted on the CGBros YouTube channel. The setting itself is an immensely beautiful choice for a story host to the lives of a fugitive couple on the run for the run for their lives in a future where tenuous peace between man and machine all but tilts dangerously to its end.
Khaled al Ghwari and actress Rakeen Saad star with The Mummy and The Mummy Returns co-star Oded Fehr in this stunning little project that bodes with as much compelling, emotive fervor as it does with its ambitious offering to sci-fi action and romance.
Enjoy the hits!
If you want some more action, last week’s entries are still pretty feasible so feel free to check it out if you fancy it. Follow the channels and support these creatives and SHARE the Hit List with friends if you wish to see more genuine action and storytelling from hungry artists and entertainers. More importantly, if you or someone you know has a quality project or stunt reel that needs extra eyes, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to take a look at it ourselves!
THE HIT LIST: October 2, 2017
I find myself taking more weekends off these days. I’ll be doing more of this as it’ll give me more time for movies to enjoy. Some I’ll review, like this one, which was very good and you can find it now on Netflix.
COUNTDOWN TO ZERO: A Word With Stuntman/Coordinator Jae Greene!
Film Combat Syndicate: Thanks for taking the time to chat Jae! First off, tell us about who you are and your background in stunts and film?
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