by Alex Wen
WITH the normalization of combat sports videos (UFC, ONE FC, Showtime Boxing et al) and daft parkour/daredevil/vehicle stunts/porn (youtube, tiktok, twitch, onlyfans et al) as well as actual warfare/snuff videos out of Ukraine, Afghanistan, Mexican Cartels, audiences appetite for “good guy wins” Movie Do, Hollywood Fu, more-bigger-guns relatable action has skyrocketed. With it, the demand for more “believable suspended realism” is outgrowing our solar system.
OF all the brooding anti-hero movies, perhaps John Wick has become the staple by which many attempt (and fails) to imitate. What most filmmakers are unable to grasp is Keanu has been training in Wushu, firearms and bladed weapons since Matrix 1999. Of which 8 months prior to filming he (and Laurence Fishbourne, Carrie Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving) spent 8 hours daily in a dusty warehouse in Sun Valley CA training and memorizing choreography. Keanu hasn’t stopped, he still trains daily today.
Visually satiating action isn’t something achievable just by deploying today’s technologically advanced cameras/rigging/SFX/VFX. EVERY Marvel & DC superhero undergoes training for months prior to filming. Tom Cruise hasn’t stopped pushing the envelope with what insurance company Allianz is willing to bond him for ever since he got bit by the adrenaline bug in Mission Impossible 1996.
No, there is no shortcut to creating an actor who can stunt or a stuntman who can act at an audience satisfying level. Mediocrity is no longer remunerating, modernity demands rising above the static. More signal less noise ratio makes for the ability to suspend disbelief in order to compete for attention, to attract and motivate consumers. Action that satisfies takes an actor (and stunt performance/safety team) whose not only accomplished at their craft but WANTING and WILLING to DEDICATE to training. This the formula for realistic escapism, actualizable success.
PROJECT Initial: Highly polished action videos with viral firepower utilizing well-regarded actor. Publish weekly on multiple platforms for 6 months (with two months prior for initial training). Harnessing power of social media to create relatable protagonist(s) which incites a growing audience to theorize who and why he’s fighting, and how (and whether) he’s able to (realistically) kick ass. And more importantly, crave to witness the final boss fight.
PROJECT Objective: Feature film (series) about our protagonists kicking ass and fighting final boss(s).
ACTION REEL 1
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KCW™ technica M<-Trolley + Supertrack Reel