The Contour-Killer

You may remember the last Action Kickback film written, directed and starring Rise And Fail‘s Eric Jacobus, Contour. And if you haven’t seen it yet, or even heard of it, you are missing out. It may seem a bit cheesy, but the action is first rate, and Eric himself has been quoted saying that Rise And Fail will be his first film to best the action in Contour – his “Contour-killer“. So make sure you check it out!

And if you are a Contour fan, you’ll be excited to hear that Contour’s leading man, Lawrence Young, now has his own blog! We sure missed Law’s rough-around-the-edges charm and I’m sure you did too. So now you can keep up on his current adventures, which have definitely taken a new direction.

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What is Action Kickback?

You may have seen us mention in various places that Rise And Fail is an Action Kickback film.

Well, what is Action Kickback?

is a revolutionary new action film model that emphasizes greater integration of fight choreographers and talented writers to the production team, producing a stronger amalgamation of no-nonsense, authentic action and solid storytelling that won’t soon be forgotten.

I mean, let’s be honest. We’ve all heard the criticism about action films: Action equals choppy shots and cheesy lines. As an action fan, you figure if you go in expecting little of the story, and sometimes even the action, you’ll still manage to come away reasonably satisfied.

The truth is, as the action genre grew in its success it developed into a model that, though profitable, left audiences hungry for better stories and a more cohesive action experience. We’re regularly sold on action films that claim to “bring us back to the old days”, only to be let down by more cheap, processed action that brings confusion, not thrills. While we witness the rising popularity of televised mixed martial arts like UFC and choreographed wrestling narratives from WWE, it’s clear that audiences are still demand character dramas with awesome fight scenes they can follow. So why hasn’t Hollywood caught on?

Just because something is believed to be routinely bad by today’s standards does not make it reason to avoid it – it’s reason to improve it! Enter Rise And Fail, Eric Jacobus’s second contribution to the Action Kickback movement.

To learn more about the Action Kickback movement and how you can be a part of it yourself, visit the new Action Kickback website.

Interview with Edward Kahana, Co-Producer

Now that our fearless leader, Rise And Fail’s writer, director & star Eric Jacobus, has started his own blog, we thought it only fair that he share his relevant revelations with our official movie blog as well! And so it is that we managed to snag this exclusive interview with Rise And Fail co-producer and supporting actor Edward Kahana, as he dissects Rise And Fail’s action style:

Since we essentially stole this material from Eric’s blog, we thought we’d let Eric tell you more about this in his own words:

Taking the best of the “Hong Kong way” and the “Korean way” of how action is shot and choreographed is something I’ve been stuck on for a while. Take a Hong Kong Shaw Brothers film like My Young Auntie. The choreography is complex, focusing more on martial art “ideas” than real moves. And it’s made shot-for-shot, since each angle has its own purpose. Fight scenes like this would fail miserably if shot for “coverage”. There’s so much subtlety, almost entirely so, that shooting for coverage would be a waste of time and basically break everything.

Then there’s the Korean film City of Violence, where the emphasis is on big moves, not subtlety. If I had a behind-the-scenes clip I’d put it here instead, but the DVD reveals that they shot this scene with long takes and cut them together. Like Ed says, it’s like a “play”. With a crowd of 50-something extras there aren’t many other options (just working with 15 in Rise And Fail was hard enough!), but the result is a frenetic pace that give off an effect of the heroes being overwhelmed. You’re not supposed to care what moves they do, they’re just in danger.

How best to utilize the two styles? How do you let the audience in on your martial art secrets like My Young Auntie while creating the high stakes drama of City of Violence?  Or is one style simply better than the other? I’ve always favored the Hong Kong style of shooting because it gets the audience’s head into the choreography rather than just their hearts, but with the more realistic ‘big’ moves from a Korean film you can still create a dangerous environment which can excite the viewer. Blending the two is what we’ve tried to do.

Hope that was inspiring and informative for you! Remember, if you dig our stuff, please pledge a donation to our Kickstarter Campaign. For just a $30 donation you get a DVD, and even bigger perks for higher pledges. But we only collect your donation if we meet our goal of $10,000! So please help us get there and finish this film, since we’ve still got a lot of bills to pay before it’s done.