|Tony Chu and Tamiko Brownlee square off in Special ID – Episode 2: Blood.|
Acclaimed independent action filmmaker and fight choreographer Vladislav Rimburg took to the web on Thursday to showcase the next episode of his Donnie Yen-inspired webseries, Special ID. Instead of the undercover cop plot that Hong Kong filmmaker Clarence Fok envisioned for his new feature film now screening at the New York Chinese Film Festival this week with Yen in attendance, Rimburg is basing his vision off of some slightly more vague narratives for each episode, continuing his efforts in early October with Thursday’s release of Special ID – Episode 2: Blood.
This week presents Rimburg‘s latest return to familiar ground with fellow independent film veteran, actor and stunt fighter Tony Chu since working on Chu’s cinematic bout in Right-Handed with Gui DaSilva and Tyler Williams. The ambitious new webseries also introduces the natural screenfighting prowess of actress and stuntwoman Tamiko Brownlee, who I previously featured in a post for her role in a charmingly comedic action short back in May titled Reverse Mugging.
I got to briefly talk to Chu and Brownlee about this latest collaboration, and for fans of independent action, Chu‘s revival within the online film community has been a long-awaited one since going on an extensive hiatus many years ago for personal reasons. Chu, who runs his own professional photo studio in California, spoke to Film Combat Syndicate about his time with the premiere stunt team that started it all, Zero Gravity, and where he stood now with the newfound motivation he gained since tentatively leaving the field prior to getting into photography. “To return from a long leave of absence in pursuit to better myself as a photographer, I am very proud to see all the new faces that weren’t around during the time when Zero Gravity was more active online.”, he says. “Some of these younger faces were inspired by Zero Gravity and the reasons why they now pursue stunts. And that’s very humbling to hear this after all these years.”.
On the subject of working Rimburg, Chu‘s appreciation, his excitenent and inspiration goes way deeper, having inspired the up-and-coming stunt coordinator for well over a decade, and ultimately recognizing him as one of the best, most undiscovered talents in his field. “I met Vlad a couple years ago on a indie film project and got to know him more and more since then.” he says. “I have nothing but respect for him, and I believe he is an amazing talent that has yet been given the chance to show what he can really do for a big budget movie. He has an incredible ability to make anyone look good fighting on screen, combined with a great sense for the audio that goes along with it, and MUCH more. In additional to all of his talents, he is probably one of the most down-to-Earth people I know, which makes it very easy for people to work with him.”
Chu also expressed his own admiration for Brownlee while on set. “She’s a sweetheart.” he writes. “She’s always smiling when we’re not filming, and a she carries such a great vibe.”.
“Vlad is amazing.”, Brownlee says of Rimburg. “He knows what he wants and knows our abilities. He pushes us hard because he knows we can do it….tough love. He’s got such a great eye for action and really knows his stuff. I loved working with him and I know we have some things down the road that we are going to be working on.” Brownlee also expressed her appreciation about working with Chu as he enters back into the fray. “Tony is so great! Who comes down on vacation work to fight me for three days? This guy! [laughter] “ she exclaims. “Uber-talented, not only in martial arts, gymnastics and tricking, but also photography. I had such a blast with him! He’s very good and was patient with me too…I really hope he gets more work doing stunts!”
Currently, Brownlee‘s upcoming credits include television appearances on Castle, Justified and The Originals with fellow actor Esteban Cueto (Undisputed 3: Redemption), in addition to her upcoming stunt appearance in director Michael Bay’s June 27, 2014 release, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, and a role on Robbie Corbett’s upcoming Parkour action short thriller, Jumpstart with lead actor Ben Jenkin.
Also, if you are anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles and would like your picture taken, contact Tony Chu
via his official website
, where you can also observe other pieces of his work.
Watch Special ID – Episode 2: Blood in the embed below, and be sure to subscribe to Rimburg‘s Youtube channel in the embed.
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.