As many of you know, we’ve been extremely busy working on our latest feature film, Rise And Fail (formerly known as Death Grip). Here’s the teaser in case you’ve missed it:
As we up the ante with camera equipment, lighting gear, and talented crew members, we’re beginning to realize that making a full-length feature film isn’t cheap and find ourselves approaching the limits of the current funds from our own pockets. This means we’re going to need your help, and we’ve launched a campaign on IndieGOGO in the hopes that you’ll help make our dream into reality.
We’ve already begun filming and are determined to see this film through to completion, no matter how many days we have to starve to make it! So whatever support you can contribute will be greatly appreciated and will earn you our undying gratitude in return.
But that’s not all!
By backing this project, you will also have access to exclusive rewards including:
Limited edition signed copies of the Rise And Fail DVD
Your name in the film’s credits
Tickets to the movie premiere
and much more!
But most importantly, you’ll be helping us produce a revolutionary kind of indie film that goes beyond today’s action mold. So if you’d like to help us make this film happen, please support us at IndieGOGO.
Starring Johnny Yong Bosch, star of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” and “Broken Path”, as well as “Contour” director Eric Jacobus and Stunt People members Nathan Hoskins, Rebecca Ahn, Ray Carbonel, Chelsea Steffensen, Alvin Hsing, Shaun Finney, and Lucas Okuma
Back in 1999 when The Stunt People was just a website full of Hong Kong film reviews by one author (me), the internet was still basically a dirt mall. For action film fanatics / filmmakers, it was a frustrating time. Just as we were discovering that awesome Hong Kong cinema market, Youtube still hadn’t been invented, editing video required a $2,000+ machine (in 1999, 20 gigs of hard drive space cost $300), consumer videocameras sucked, consumer digital cameras sucked… basically it was very difficult to make a decent action film and put it online, and videos to fuel our inspirations were hard to come by. All we had for the longest time was the grace of the Project J site that hosted action clips from Jackie Chan films.
KWOON made independent action films with sound effects, stunts, kung fu, everything I wanted to do. I reviewed two of their films Mummy Dearest and Collection Agency, brutalized them a little bit (“These don’t compare to Jackie Chan”, etc.), and received an email from them saying, “Thanks for the reviews. The critiques were right on! We love hearing feedback!” Guys making action films with no egos – That’s who I wanted to be.
While making Undercut and Contour, we needed some assistance during our growth spurt, and Todd Roy of KWOON donated server space, helped us set up film screenings and appearances at conventions, acted in both of the projects, and was instrumental in our acquiring the rights to Contour after it was finished.
Ten years ago KWOON made the first action web series and they’ll always be remembered for it. And we’re all hoping for that Episode 1 to come out some day.
Comic Con Saturday, tons of people, Zombie chick, the best Power Girl we’ve ever seen, Iron Man, super flexible Bayonetta girl, Aion angel thingie, The Pope!, Michael Papajohn from Transformers 2 and Spiderman, Kitty as Sailor Moon (the blue one, and according to a nearby expert she isn’t supposed to use that staff), Thundercats, a Samurai, a Viking, and Ultimate Alliance starring Nathan Hoskins.
SP member JJ Johnson just posted up some photos of himself in Iraq alongside Tim Kahana, Ed’s younger brother. They’re currently serving as Marines in one of the most dangerous areas of the world. They even found time to do some advertising for us.
JJ and Tim, we wish you a safe tour and hope to see you soon!
Yeah… really ain’t easy getting amazing music for the budget I had. I think I spent around $725 on all of it. I’ve heard people grit their teeth on Andy’s end fight but I like it… the first half of it anyway. Would’ve gone with Anton Patzner if I could (Undercut), but I remember him being quite busy, and I don’t think I could’ve afforded him since he was touring and being famous. Undercut’s score was around $400 I think, and bargain doesn’t even begin to describe that price.
Drop Black Sky did the intro, bat fight, piano music, and dojo fight music. The guitarist worked at the warehouse and offered to make music. Those tracks were $500 total, which also got me the rights to the end credits music and a few other bits. Mark Degli Antoni, who’s on the pro level, did all the end fights plus the dream sequence. He didn’t want to charge me anything but it was taking forever to get a track out of him, so I dropped $150 off at his house. I think he banged everything out in a weekend, and at that point I thought to myself, “It’s 90% awesome, and I wanna release this movie, and I’m broke. I’ll take it.”
Then I also paid Jon Roche for some of his premade tracks. One of them is the traditional music when we break into the warehouse, which is one of my favorite tunes in the film. Also got some ambient and filler tracks, paid maybe $125 for all his music.
When paying a composer less than $300 a day to do work on your film score, they start to dislike you very quickly. Same goes for sound mixing. If you’re not constantly feeding their wallets, they have no incentive to improve anything. When you go in and say “Nah, it needs more work” it starts to disintegrate any friendship you guys may have had. On visit #3 for music tracks, I just kinda had to say “Uh, I’ll take it, in fact, gimme all the versions you ever made.” Then I’d go home and tweak it myself. I had to tweak the sound mixing quite a bit too after the fact.
Music and sound aren’t cheap, and if your feature film relies on music, allocate at least two grand for a good score, plus another thousand (two thousand for feature) for sound mixing, unless you can manage all of it yourself. For me, I know next time I’m going to rely much less on music. It’s a bad habit we develop from all those years of doing short films to our favorite tunes.
Here’s a clip from Contour featuring a fight between Andy Leung and me, which kicked off the discussion about which fight had the best music in Contour:
Check out the podcast. They mention us at 12:30 or so, and Vu from BcB recalls when he was invited to the Dogs showing, but despite what Blake told him (and because I hadn’t checked my email that day), had to pay for the ticket. Ack! Publicity nightmare! Also, Ed’s credited as being “out-of-this-world funny” with his comments.
The blog here on the front page may be a little wonky for a short time while we tinker with a newsletter plugin. When it’s done, users will be able to subscribe without even having a wordpress account.