Friday, May 08, 2015

Fists of Absinthe: Coming Late Summer

A still from the upcoming action comedy,
Fists of Absinthe (アブサンの拳)
So this past week, I wrapped on Fists of Absinthe, (アブサンの拳) an action comedy short film that looks to be my next big thing... When oddly enough, a month and a half ago, it didn't even exist as a thought... Well not exactly.

Since about last year, I've had an idea for a comedic intro to my webshow, How to Defeat Dudes, where I play a modern Black Samurai akin to Yasuke. (A character in Japanese history whom I have always yearned to play, but as yet have never had the chance to). In the skit, he is defending his sneakers against Samurai who want them for their lord. Aside from just thinking it would be funny, it would also give me a chance to do some swordplay-  something I have studied for several years now, and rarely (if ever) get a chance to use. I've also been yearning to do some kind of a futuristic Cyber Samurai thing for a while too, but up until this point, the opportunity for it was never quite there. 

Then, near the end of March, while filming the first few episodes of Martial Arts in Slow Motion at the Youtube Studio, one of the staff came in and let me know that they were building a Samurai period set for Youtube Partners whom they thought had the potential to create great content with it... And that they would be partnering with Toei studio as well for sets, costumes, props, etc. As I had recently started a new Youtube channel just for action film work and projects that I and my stunt team were working on, that was all I needed to hear. I applied for the program immediately, and was one of a few people to be accepted.

With only a month to do all of the pre-production, (writing and editing the script, putting together a cast and crew, scouting and securing locations, etc), I set out to create something awesome... And it snowballed into something epic. 

Having a production budget from Google, and support of Toei studios, I felt as though there should be no excuse for this being anything less than a 100% professional production, and as such I felt that the shoes that the story revolves around were important as well. 

As luck would have it, Adidas had just unveiled a new product line, and in particular their newest high end running shoe, the Ultra Boosts. Using a new kind of technology, the shoe offers a new level of impact absorption while also giving the wearer a feeling of "spring" with each movement. 

Given how much action would be in the film  (chase scenes, parkour, etc) I thought that this would be an excellent shoe of choice, and Adidas was kind of enough to supply pairs to the actors and stuntmen involved in all the action, as well as offer social media support.

 With that, everything simply snowballed. 

Completing make-up for the "future" fight sequence.

I contacted an American director whom I was a fan of, and with him he brought the DP, and post-production team. People and businesses started offering us their locations instead of my having to ask for them, etc, and before I knew it, I was at the helm of a major project. 

As great and amazing and awesome as all of this was however, it also made the project incredibly complex... At a time when my wife and I were gearing up for the delivery of our first child, (who was born the week before we started shooting) and as luck would have it, I had also just gotten cast to play a character in the biggest theatre show in the country at the same time. (地獄のオルフィアス)

Needless to say trying to handle all three of these things at the same time made this simply the hardest and most sleep deprived month I have ever had. 

Thankfully though, I had the best cast and crew that anyone could have ever asked for on this film, their work ethic was just phenomenal, and in the end, I think we made an excellent film. Having a cast and crew representing Japan, the States, and Canada, I feel honored and privileged to have been a part of it, and at the end I think we have something that people from both sides of the globe will really enjoy. As they say at Adidas, "Impossible is nothing." ;)


Brooke Higgins said...

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Ruth George said...

As great and amazing and awesome as all of this was however, it also made the project incredibly complex Meet and greet parking at Luton airport

Patricia Carter said...

The act is superb... The costumes is great. I am looking forward to it... concert tickets