Growing up I used to watch a lot of action movies. Like, a lot. Films like Terminator 2 & Die Hard were the staple of my film diet. Which may explain why I usually have something action-orientated with stuff I’ve done in the past.
One of my favourite types of movies growing up were John Woo movies. Back in the 90s it blew my mind how high the body count got, how many explosions, how many shakespearian-esque tragic plots came to a head in the midst of a bullet barrage. This genre of movies was referred to as Heroic Bloodshed. John Woo arguably revolutionised it. And Chow Yun Fat was nearly always his main star. A man who looked cool no matter what he was doing.
They made easily the best Heroic Bloodshed films together of all time. Those films still hold up as masterpieces of hong kong action cinema.
So onto what I was making last saturday. I had always wanted to make a short film inspired by these kinds of movies. A film that has leather jackets, pistols, swords, psychopathic villains, henchmen, action and twisted moral codes. I wrote a script that revolved around a chess game between two hitmen, with the winner getting to keep his life, and the events that lead to them getting to that point.
Chess is something else I’m endlessly fascinated about. How no two games can be the same; how princes and paupers alike have played it over the centuries. How a game can have such a rich history yet still be played in a park somewhere on a tiny board.
It seemed like a nice chance to insert in another of my interests into these movies.
So saturday’s shoot went very successfully, I thought. It was more people than I’ve had to direct in a long while on a set. We had access to the building for two days but I decided to film everything in the space of one day due to some constraints. So considering we had two days of work to do in one, it went really well!
I even got to have a little action scene with the main character, Atakan Aydin. We choreographed a fierce little pipe fight in a very cramped bathroom.
I got to use the Gopro 2 for the first time. Very impressed by it, but feel so let down that I can’t watch the footage back on set. There were a fair number of shots where you could see crew or tripods or stuff in the way. It’s such a tiny camera that it’s completely deceptive in just how much of the scene it captures. We managed to do some very cool first person shots with it though, and one or two more imaginative shots.
All in all, it went really well. I’ve got a rough cut down, and after we add in a soundtrack and a colour grade I think the movie will be ready for the world to see. I’m very excited for you guys to see all the hard work we put in. Look out for En Passant; a heroic bloodshed action short film, coming soon!