After a 13-hour day syncing sound and putting the finishing touches on the final product, Death Grip is done. Here is the cover art for the DVD and Blu Ray that you can buy in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

DVD – Special edition with bonus features

Blu Ray – 1080p with a couple bonus features, but this one’s all about image quality

Key art by Joe Golling.

Now I’m off to the cave to finish behind the scenes. Johnny Yong Bosch’s interview just came in, and the damned making-of video The Life of Death Grip is already two hours long. But first, a full-night’s sleep.

The recent hit Haywire with Gina Carano is putting the spotlight on actors who do their own fighting and stunts, but there seems to be a viewpoint that audiences are somehow responsible for the diminished quality in our action genre. An article on the subject has this to say:

7. Audiences: Free your mind – Audiences themselves bear some of the responsibility for what they get to see. Don’t just demand the same actors in every action movie. Open your minds to performers from other realms too. That’s what real MMA fighter Gina Carano says. “I don’t want to take anything away from actors,” Carano said. “I don’t think just anybody can do it. I believe if you like watching an actor, a singer, a fighter, usually for me it’s because [of] a creative thing, an artful thing is coming out of them. I think if people start relaxing and letting people creatively express themselves more in different areas, I think we’re going to see more mixed martial artists, we’ll see more crossover. People have to be willing to let go of that in their head because an athlete is somebody that people get emotionally attached to for who they are and then you see them playing a character and that’s not them. As fans of the people we like to watch, we have to learn to let them go and let them creatively express themselves in whatever avenue they want to. I think that’s going to be a huge movement.”

There’s a word for this: elitism. Elitism in this form demands the audience suppress its human desire for entertainment, the desire that creates the action genre, so that it can respond to some higher calling. We could also define it by its historical term, “Puritanism”, only in its 21st Century form divorced from all theology yet still attached to an anti-masses mentality. Like a preacher who asks his congregation to absolve themselves of all earthly wants, film elites continually demand audiences take advice from cultural professionals like journalists and academics. In this case, it’s so the audience can make the right decisions about martial arts actors, even if these folks, talented as they are in the ring, are stiff as boards and will take on any script tossed their way. Open my mind, you say? Not if that stuff is going inside it.

Like I’ve said in my Action Kickback model, story comes first. Once we have that, then we worry about the genre, the “martial arts” part. Don’t put pressure on the audience just so you can be lazy and neglect that first step. If you just wanna do martial arts for a living, the ring is where to be.

Update: You can now purchase tickets for the premiere at http://tinyurl.com/DeathGripMoviePremiere for $10 each!

Make sure you join the Death Grip Theatrical Premiere Event Page on Facebook to get regular updates about the big release day coming up! Just to recap, the details of the premiere are:

Death Grip Theatrical Premiere
When:
Saturday June 30, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Where: Bal Theatre – 14808 E 14th St., San Leandro, CA 94578 (Google Maps)

Ticket information is coming soon. And it’s never too late to donate to the project. Remember, $30 gets you a DVD and special thanks on our website!

 

Back in 2003, I expanded The Stunt People to San Francisco, where I met Ed Kahana and Andy Leung. After doing small projects we went under the San Francisco State University parking garage for five school nights and shot Escapee. Originally a part of the Stunt Blade Alpha compilation, it got enough attention that I figured it could stand alone. Here it is.

  • 0:20 – We got into this room under our college because the door was left open by a custodian. We took advantage of it and went nuts.
  • 0:56 – Accidental kick to Yasu’s jaw.
  • 2:38 – Concussion
  • 4:34 – Stick hits Ed in face

You can also see Escapee on the Everyone Is Kung Fu Fighting Again DVD, which has been discontinued. They put Escapee on this DVD without our signing a contract, but whatever, maybe some people out there saw it. The whole DVD’s compilation can be viewed on YouTube here.

A couple of stoners and a tourist witness a deal about to go bad. When the reputed kingpin spots them, it is time for some ACTION & COMEDY!

Directed by Jose Montesinos and featuring Dennis Ruel, Andy Long, Vlad Rimburg, Troy Carbonel, Ray Carbonel, Shaun Finney, Ed Kahana, Ken Quitugua, Sari Sabella, and Giovannie Espiritu.

The Stunt People Wiki is back online in full force, ready for you to add your stunt crew, films, and any information applicable to the premiere indie-action wiki. Concerns about spam have been addressed, as we have implemented a new Captcha system as well as email confirmation (details below), and there’s now a detailed help section.

Users who already have usernames registered can re-register their email by logging in and going to “my preferences” and “confirm email address”.

The SP Wiki was resurrected thanks to Dario Susman, without whom Eric would still be scratching his head at the old Wiki wondering how to access the admin panel. Thanks Dario!