The Stunt People GoPro In VADER STRIKES
Growing up, I had always heard of Star Wars, but I was never too heavily exposed to Star Wars as I was more into films starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal. As I got older though, and the more I got into movies, the more I came to understand the culture behind the franchise, especially with the Star Wars prequels that came out in the last 20 years. Around the time the prequels came out, I had a working VHS player and I finally got around to watching all six Star Wars films. To say the least, along with all the other millions of fans around the world, I also enjoyed these films. Specifically speaking, as any action, sci-fi or a Star Wars fan, as much as I enjoy this epic saga of political turmoil, love, tragedy and the extremes of internal conflict, I also love a good lightsaber battle.
The evolution of the internet has provided nearly limitless opportunities for Star Wars fans to invest their share and interest in the cultural unity embodying the fanfare for Star Wars. Virtually anywhere you go online, you will see shortfilm after shortfilm dedicated to promoting independently produced stories and action sequences showcasing a variety of one's own acting skills and martial arts prowess. I even had a friend back in college who also experimented with rotoscoping, as he was also a Star Wars fan (probably still is, lol). The first shortfilm I watched consistently and enjoyed was Duality by Crew Of Two many years ago. It goes to show the kind of quality that can come from doing something you love, especially if you love making movies.
Fast forward to 2013 where the era of independent action filmmaking lives on, and martial arts stuntman, actor and co-founder of The Stunt People, Eric Jacobus, continues to take his 12 years of action movie experience to a whole new level, with the short light saber action piece, Vader Strikes as a Jedi opposite Gary Ripper playing as Darth Vader. Watch:
At first glance, it reminded me of the first person Star Wars arcade game I have only played a few times at theme parks, which involved sitting at a console with a joystick you could operate as anything from an X-Wing Fighter to a lightsaber opposite Boba Fett or Darth Vader, which I loved. The use of the Go Pro camera, in its rising popularity , not only delivers that same innovative effect, but it also brings something different with creating shots for a film, or making shortfilms as a whole. The first-person idea itself isn't really new though, as it was used in other fighting games in the past, as well as on the big screen. But on film, we are now seeing it applied a little more often nowadays, particularly from people including Joey Min who I will be writing about soon. Really, the only difference here, is the technique by which filmmakers are now using to apply the first-person approach to making unique, authentic action sequences come to life. It is helping change the way independent action films are being approached, showing the potential these kinds of films have.
I spoke to Eric Jacobus earlier, who says we can expect some more experimental pieces from the SP crew that will utilize the same thing seen here in Vader Strikes...possibly with some close combat choreography featuring Tron-stylized discs battles. So, Tron fans, be ready. ;-)
Eric is also set to appear in the upcoming second season of Mortal Kombat Legacy, and is also slated to begin production on his new film with Action Pact Entertainment, Marine Core, which is shooting for a 2014 release. So stay tuned.