Death Grip Sneak Peek – Knife Fight HD

Who’s excited for the approaching Theatrical Premiere and DVD/Blu-Ray release of Death Grip?

Well we certainly are!

We’re so excited, in fact, that we wanted to share some of our favorite moments from the movie with you all. So if you weren’t bursting with excitement before, you definitely will be after you watch this. In previewing Death Grip to early audiences (which is just fancy talk for our cast, crew and investors), we discovered that everyone’s favorite fight seemed to be the Knife Fight.

It’s an extremely technical and fast-paced fight featuring Eric Jacobus and Alvin Hsing that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through!

So give it a gander — and if you dig it, make sure you get your tickets to see it on the big screen at our Theatrical Premiere on June 30th.


What We Learned In Cannes

The journey home from Cannes was long, but it gave me some time to evaluate the whole trip. The most shocking realization was how little we knew about the European film industry simply because we live in the USA. Even attending the American Film Market didn’t prepare us for what Cannes was all about. The focus at AFM was on making a marketable independent film, while Cannes was about how to co-produce with other countries and get in tight with film fund managers, all to take advantage of government subsidies.

via Final Thoughts from An Action Filmmaker In Cannes – European Film Financing.

For our director, Eric Jacobus, to say that the Cannes Marche du Film was a “shocking realization” for us is a huge understatement. Not only did we gain new perspective on the international marketplace and how the rest of the world makes movies (which is almost entirely through co-productions), we also learned how much of a disadvantage we face being in the weird position of American independent filmmakers. Although our type was in abundance (as far as we could see), it was clear we were considered the underdogs, the outcasts, excluded from the in-crowd and forced to mainly only socialize (and collaborate) with ourselves.

But regardless of the discouraging discoveries on international co-production potential, and access to Europe’s extensive public funding, we still walked away with a strong confidence that what we are creating (cost-effective action films with quality story) is incredibly unique, and has an extremely momentous demand that no one else is really attempting to fill.

So now we are back and pumped to get Death Grip finished and out to all of you! We are nearly there, so in the meantime, make sure you get your tickets to our Theatrical Premiere event on June 30th. And enjoy these newly released behind-the-scenes videos:

Painting the “Lair” set, Benny Hill-style.

A stuntman is always a stuntman, even in his sleep.

Death Grip Status PLUS Some More BTS

Hey everyone, writer, director & editor Eric Jacobus here!

We’re in the final stretches of post-production and will have our DVDs and Blu-Rays ready soon, hopefully in time for the Premiere on June 30th.

In the meantime, here’s a status report on where I am with the post-production and packaging process:

Color: 98% – Finish on Friday.
Sound: 95% – Finish next week.
Music: Done!

Behind the scenes featurette: 40%. Finish by June 13th. This is taking the bulk of my time right now.
DVD and BD authoring: 10% (art only). Finish by June 15th.
Director’s Commentary: 0%. But this will only take a total of 4 hours. I’d like to do a more technical track with Rebecca while Drew is in town, as well as a track with my mom (won’t that be fun!) which should be done in 10 days or so. I promise it will be hilarious.
Other Special Features: 90%. We’ve got a lot of great stuff lined up for you. All I have left is to tweak the outtakes reel and export some deleted scenes. We’re also including the original Compound scene, since it’s got a lot of action that’s completely different from the final version. AND we’re even throwing in an extra fight scene with Johnny Yong Bosch that isn’t in the final film!

There’s a chance the Blu-Ray version will have fewer features since it’s going to be single-layer, but of course that comes with the upside of a more gorgeous print of Death Grip. So it’s just a question of whether you favor image quality over special features for that version. If you’re a special features junkie, the dual-layer DVD will be the better option. Or you can buy both!

I’ve been knee-deep in editing the Death Grip making-of video. Like the Tour of Contour video, I’ve opted for talking heads-style interviews with cutaways to behind-the-scenes video and film footage.

While shooting Death Grip, I had at least one extra video camera on hand – one that was much easier to use. We used a Flip Video camera, Flip HD, whoever’s DSLR we had that day, and even crappy cell phone cameras. Some days Alex Ng would do very intense behind-the-scenes shooting, but when he wasn’t there I would just entrust someone with the extra camera to shoot stuff. We’ve done all the talking heads interviews, including one with J.J. Perry, so what I’ve got is something like 40 hours of footage. So I’m basically editing another feature-length film!

The first edit is going to be long, probably on the order of 3 hours in length. But don’t worry. I’ll pare it down to an hour or so for the final DVD version. Then I’ll do some pop-up-video-style titles, overlay tons of behind the scenes and film footage, and package the thing up in time to get the DVD and BD authored, sent to press, and ready to sell by the June 30th premiere. The next month is going to be insane!

Maybe I’ll take an actual vacation after that.

So to keep you hungry, here are a couple BTS videos I exported last night while taking a break from editing. That’s right, I consider exporting and uploading videos a “break”.

Painting the “Lair”, Benny Hill-style.

A stuntman is always a stuntman, even in his sleep.

So stay tuned, we’ll have more updates soon!

Eric Jacobus Gives a Tour of Contour

As we put the final touches on the Death Grip movie, and prepare to release the DVD with our theatrical premiere, we are also preparing some fun extra features to add to the DVD. Among those will be an extensive behind-the-scenes on the making of Death Grip, including interviews with director Eric Jacobus, producer Rebecca Ahn, star Johnny Yong Bosch, and other key cast & crew, plus exclusive footage taken on the film set!

To whet your appetite for this special bonus tour of Death Grip, Eric wanted to share the similar making-of featurette from his previous feature film Contour (2006). Since the Contour DVD is being re-released as The Agent without any special features, we figured it’d be alright to show you this behind-the-scenes “Tour of Contour” for free!

This should give you a good idea of how much we plan to share with you on the equivalent exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Death Grip. And if you like this video, consider buying the original Contour DVD at the Stunt People online store!

Death Grip Official Trailer – Watch Now!

Well folks, we’ve finally done it –

We’ve released the Official Trailer for Death Grip!

…and man does it pack a punch!

If you liked the old trailer, just wait till you see this one – it totally kicks the old one’s ass. But be forewarned: This new trailer is exponentially more action-packed & awesome, and it might just blow your mind!

We are so damn proud of this trailer (which we cut together in one day btw), so we’re aiming really high for the view count on this one!

Please watch it, “like” it, comment on it…

and then SHARE IT – put it on your Facebook, Tweet it, Blog it (or just re-blog this post), email it, write it on a post-it and stick it to someone, anything!

And as always, a huge thanks to everyone who made this a reality.

The Value of Visual Fx

Our last post emphasized the value of having a really good, compelling musical score for your film. But what other elements are essential to a truly quality final picture?

Well if we’re talking about picture quality, then possibly the most important element to the audience’s suspension of disbelief is the visual effects.

Take this exclusive sneak peek into one of the key climax scenes in Death Grip (complete with freshly composed music):

Pretty gripping, huh?

Well without the visual effects added to that gun shot, you might not have been able to tell where Kenny was shot, or have missed the shot altogether – completely ruining that moment. But with the extra blood and dust effects, you can plainly see where our hero has been injured, and what wound he will have to overcome, as he faces the film’s ultimate villain (played by Johnny Yong Bosch).

Thanks to our visual effects artist, Shaun Finney, we have created a most suspenseful and captivating scene for our film – and one that I’m sure has you itching to see more!

What will happen to our hero Kenny? And can the villain Torch be stopped?

Find out soon, and stay tuned to see more exclusive sneak peeks into the deadly world of Death Grip!

How to Economize Your Film Shoot

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be fully prepared for each day of shooting before you arrive on set that day. We learned this the hard way on the set of Death Grip, particularly on the Museum shoot at the Petaluma Historical Museum.

Writer / Director Eric Jacobus discovered how much not having a well thought out shooting script can really slow things down on set. Director of Photography Drew Daniels and Eric managed to work around it together the first day of the two-day Museum shoot. But the second day, they came better prepared with a solid idea of which scenes to shoot in what order based on the area of the location and the setup each required. Armed with that, the day went much more smoothly than the day before, and we all left the set feeling much more satisfied with what we’d gotten done.

To further illustrate this point, here’s another exclusive behind-the-scenes video, shot and edited by Alex Ng, where Eric explains more about shot economizing and other important stuff we learned at the Petaluma Museum set.