Hey everyone, Ed Kahana from the Stunt People here making a guest update!

Over two years ago, I began a project for a media class where we were to create a webisode series and produce at least one episode from it.  Of course, me being an indie martial arts action film guy, I came up with a webisode series featuring our The Stunt People and thus began “Ninja Gendai” (originally “9 to 5 Ninja”). What I produced for that class would become the second half of the first episode and was shot in 2006. There are at least 3-4 more episodes waiting in the wings that have already been shot.

In “Ninja Gendai”, ninja clans continue to exist in the present. Their descendants, ethnic ninjas, suffer like most third world minorities and some of them have begun immigrating to the United States.  These younger, ethnic Ninja-Americans use their ninja skills in the workforce to earn a living in modern times.

Episode One
While on a job for Ninjatel, Gunner gets a secret tip about some black market goods. In return, he must let the flamboyant criminal, Glimmer, escape.

On December 14, 2008 we were fortunate enough to work with Stu Maschwitz, co-founder of the San Francisco- and Los Angeles-based visual effects company The Orphanage. Stu got ahold of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera, a 21 megapixel beast that shoots 1080HD video at 30fps. Adam Phelps of Zero Gravity, and Stunt People members Pete Lee, Ed Kahana, Ray Carbonel, Dennis Ruel, Shaun Finney, and I got together with Stu to make an action video with it, and the image quality is absolutely incredible.

The Orphanage is known for its work for features such as The Host, Sin City, and Grindhouse. Stu’s also the author of The DV Rebel’s Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap, an amazing book on indie action filmmaking. Stu’s Blog is also loaded with great info about filmmaking.

Saturday December 6, 2008
Eric Jacobus and Ray Carbonel of The Stunt People performed stunts for Joe and Steve Greenberg’s action-comedy “Sexual Tension.” The action scene takes place in a drug hangout where the goons are all working in “booche,” a powder much like cocaine, except it’s green and causes its users to orgasm. Expect to see high-flying acrobatics and some hard falls from Jacobus and Carbonel.

The short was shot on the Red One camera, which produces images with up to 4000 vertical lines of resolution.

Tuesday Nov 25, 2008
I visited the guys up north to finish shooting some scenes for “The Tech,” Chelsea Steffensen’s new SP short. We hadn’t shot anything since March when we finished the end fight (photos below), so it was time we got back on it. First thing we did was get some dialog shots with Nathan on the phone, and we figured we’d just shoot the other end of the conversation (Gavin’s end) once we met up with Gavin the following night. We were shooting outside the downtown mall, and right when the take finished, a swat team member walked out the door right behind them carrying an automatic rifle. “Can I help you guys?” “Nn-no just doing a student film…” “Okay cool.” And he walked away….

Then we went over to a bar down the street. Jeremiah knew the owner, so we walked in and set up some lights to do a quick dialog where I annoy Nathan about backgammon and eat a whole apple core.

Back to Chelsea’s to do some dialog while Chelsea plays a crummy Playstation game (anyone remember Toshinden?), followed by him leaving and then arriving at his house, only to find his pink underwear not hanging on the line any longer.

Wednesday Nov 26, 2008
Met at Chelsea’s house and got dressed up as an old biker bum with long hair, a beard, and a handkerchief that read “CIA” on the front. We went out to the Civic (long-time viewers should be pretty familiar with this location, the brightest and easiest location in Redding) and started doing a comedic fight between me and Jeremiah. Apparently there was an “Elmo” show coming up that evening, so workers were getting the place all set up. We hooked up lights to some available outlets outside, and at one point Jeremiah even opened a door and told someone inside, “I’m gonna hook up some lights.” The guy didn’t even look at him, just asked, “What’s the wattage?” “250.” “Okay.” Guess they thought we were workers too… or they just didn’t care. We shot some of the scene and finished it just in case we couldn’t come back. I went home to eat.

Later that evening we had Gavin. First we went outside to do a funny stealth scene where he slows his breathing down, followed by the other end of Nathan’s phone conversation while Gavin’s in the bathroom. Went back out to the Civic and saw that the workers were breaking down the “Elmo” show, so we tried to shoot somewhere else, but they shut the lights off. We went back and the workers were gone, so we finished the fight between the biker bum and Jeremiah. Gavin jumps into the action and does something hilarious.

Finished up by shooting Nathan getting into the car but not being able to start it, which almost finishes off the movie. Should be done soon, TRT is 12-15 minutes.

Day 2 – Saturday – November 15, 2008
I started the day off by being dropped off at Micah’s place before any of them woke up. Showered, ate, and a bunch of folks arrived to shoot the big scenes for the day. We packed up and went over to a legal office building where Matt Sumner (from the restaurant fight in “Dogs of Chinatown”) and I had a comedic fight scene involving some decent stunts and a lot of powder… or ‘joint compound’ as the bucket described.

Manny and Shawn had their scenes with the girls and a few of the guys, including Brian Lee (Wei from “Dogs”), and they did some brutal Korean-style fighting upstairs.

End of the day, we all went to Andrew’s art studio and did a little more chaos fighting followed by some acting. Everyone went to Micah’s afterward and ate, and we called it a day.