Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ben Burton Interview

Ben Burton came to my attention with the great photos he took of actresses JuJu Chan and Sheena Chou for my interviews. Come to find out, Ben worked on Savage Dog in some of the action scenes and stand in scenes. Today I chat with Ben and get his thoughts on photography and his work on Savage Dog.

DMR: Chat about your childhood, and how you got interested in photography.

BB: I grew up in Harpersfield, Ohio, a rural area with lots of room to run around. My days were spent exploring the surrounding woods and galloping through vineyards atop my Arabian horse. My first interest in photography was from looking through old family photo albums, including some of my grandfather’s old photos. Something about it stood out to me—the idea that anyone could pick up a camera and do it. 

DMR: What was the first camera you shot professionally on?

BB: As far as professionally, I went straight for the 5D Mark III. I spent a few years on small independent sets and I always bugged the production people to let me play with their cameras. It was my way of shopping. After all the cameras I held, the 5D was my clear choice. 

DMR: Chat about transitioning from film to digital cameras, some of the challenges.

BB: I only ever shot on film recreationally, so I was always laid back and just doing my own thing. When I started shooting professionally and switched to my Canon there were no big challenges. At first it was a little overwhelming getting a hang of the 5D, but once I did, it was smooth sailing.

DMR: What are some tips you have learned when shooting still shots for movies?

BB: Since it is a movie set and there is a lot going on, the biggest thing is to be aware of your surroundings. Know when to go in for the shot, and know when to step back. Always know where the director of photography and camera operators are.

DMR: How do you change your approach when shooting action as opposed to the more dramatic shots in films?

BB: I love to shoot action: it’s exciting and always different. To make sure I’m ready to adapt to whatever the situation is, I almost always have my 24-70 mm lens on and I’m prepared to move fast. Actors and stunt performers move around a lot, so the faster I can move the better, which means I need a fast shutter speed. A fast shutter speed is the key to a lot of good action shots.

DMR: For dramatic scenes it’s slower paced and there is time to move around, so I usually stick with a fixed lens and use the freedom to move in order to enhance the light the best I can to benefit the photo
DMR: Chat a bit about working on “Savage Dog.” What were some of the highlights and perhaps unique challenges on the film?

BB: One big highlight was working with the great crew and actors. I had previously worked with the director, Jesse Johnson, and he asked that I be involved on this project. Meeting and working with Vladimir Kulich was a dream come true for me. “The 13th Warrior” has always been one of my favorite films, and to meet Buliwyf was very special. 

Working with a team of such professional people makes behind-the-scenes photography a wonderful experience. Scott Adkins is a great leading man and a true pleasure to photograph.

As for challenges, some of the interior sets were small and had lots of crew packed into a small space. At one point I was actually tucked inside an old jukebox and shooting through the front pane of glass! It had no backing, so I pulled it about a foot away from the wall and crawled in. 
We had a scene that was shot late at night with rain machines, so getting close enough to get good photos was tough. I remember holding a piece of plywood over my head with one hand and shooting with the other. The director, Jesse, actually stepped in and held the board for me on a few takes. Needless to say, both of us got wet feet!

DMR: What is your go-to camera when shooting on film sets now?

BB: The Canon 5D Mark III, of course.

DMR: Do you enjoy working on film sets as opposed to portrait or standard photography shoots?

BB: Honestly, I love it all. I’d say the advantage that normal photo shoots have over being on set is that they are a lot faster, whereas movie sets are an all-day affair. However, if you’re working with awesome people like the crew on “Savage Dog,” the long hours aren’t an issue. I like film sets because of how different they are. Every day on set presents new challenges and I always have to switch it up to get the right shot.

DMR: Do you have a favorite type of film to work on? Do you like the action films more?

BB: Action, action, action! Anything with swords, guns, stunts, and fights! 

DMR: I know you said you did some of the stunts and action on “Savage Dog.” What are some of the things you did on set?

BB: I did, and I feel very fortunate to have been involved in that way. That was one thing Jesse and I talked about before production. He said he’d find a way to put me in there and he stuck to his word. From being blown up, shot, and sliced, I think I died three or four times in this film. (This is, of course, spoiler-free because I wasn’t a principal character.) 

I body-doubled for Scott Adkins for a scene or two. That meant acting with Juju Chan, which was a great experience. I won’t give away more, but you can look forward to watching Scott take me down. Luke Lafontaine was Stunt Coordinator on the film and he really did an amazing job. 

DMR: What are some of the projects you have upcoming in 2017?

BB: For stunt work, I will be putting my fire-breathing talents to use for a post-apocalyptic project that starts filming in March. That’s all I have lined up for now. You may run into me on sets, taking behind-the-scenes photos. I have a few things in the works.There are one or two acting projects coming up, as well, which I’m very excited about, but I can’t say anything at this point.

DMR: Advice for beginning photographers?

BB: Go take pictures! The best way to learn is to practice. Talk to and get to know other photographers to grow your network. If you’re working on set, don’t be afraid to get in there and do your job. Some people are nervous to approach actors or crew for photos, but you’ve got to remember you are part of the crew and everyone knows you are there and that you have a job to do! Above all, always have a good attitude.

Thanks Ben for the insight, for more information connect to Ben on these following sites: 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Secret Life (2017) Movie Review - Short film (C) 2017 Danny Templegod

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. For the past few months I have been checking out the creativity of Inanna Sarkis and her cool and creative YouTube videos. All of Inanna's videos have a great combination of action and humor.

In 'Secret Life' Inanna leads a double life. Seemingly an innocent girl, she takes the hard road when her house is invades and she protects her lover, with double guns and well placed kicks and punches. Inanna is a sexy lady, but obviously she can hold her own in action scenes. Arnold Chon is a wiz at choreo and puts the lovely Inanna in several situations she has to fight her way out of.

Very respectable to create content, and not wait for offers to come your way. My wish is for Inanna to create or outsource a feature film. She can definitely hold her own in action and dialogue. Even if she produces yet does not direct, a feature film will allow Inanna a chance to push her creativity to new heights.

All images (C) 2017 by Inanna Sarkis

Overall 'Secret Life' is very cool rates an 8 out of 10 and the entire film can be watched on YouTube in 4K:


Follow and like Inanna Sarkis's social media:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/inanna/
 Instagram:  http://instagram.com/inanna
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/inanna

Definitely subscribe to Inanna's YouTUbe channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR4RidHeLYLLFIgM5XycBXw?spfreload=5

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Another Yeti A Love Story: Life On The Streets (2017) Movie Review

Above: IMDB poster

In the world of ultra low budget cinema, the key is outlandish humor, nudity, violence and mayhem. Yeti 2, which I will refer to has all of those elements, and is one of those scholckfests that is as enjoyable as it is crazy.

Part 2 has a baby Yeti, and falls into the Troma category of films, hard R rating, there is naked men, naked women, suggestive dialogue, and general madness. Even the synopsis on IMDB is bonkers: In this surreal and absurd revenge/action comedy, Adam, a single father of a yeti baby, is dragged into the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles when his child is kidnapped by an Evil Pimp. Now, with the help of his two new friends, a heroin-addicted yeti prostitute and a sexy stripper, he must fight the forces of evil to save his baby and the world.

I mean there is a man who goes by the name of Sex Piss. To make sure he is not confused with other characters his name is tattooed on his arm! According to IMDB, the budget on this flick was 30,000 so not too much ha! Director Adam Deyoe and Eric Gosselin do a good job of keeping the laughs and shocking things happening across the 77 minute film to warrant a watch. Again this is a film for those who are used to watching Troma films and ultra low budget stuff. Will it win any awards, probably not, yet it is a fun watch. Just remember, in this film, if you hit a stripper in the eye with a hot wing, you get a free calendar! Check the below photo! Sultry Marissa Merrill AKA Tinayney gets winged in the face!

Appropriately Another Yeti releases Valentines Day, and rates a 6.5 out of 10.

Check out the official Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/yetiagaylovestory2/?fref=ts

Horror Film Holy Terror Unleashes New Trailer!

​​​​​​​​​​​​The riveting first official teaser trailer for the new supernatural horror film HOLY TERROR was just released today. This film is in post production via Cineridge Entertainment from the award-winning team who previously brought us SAMURAI COP 2: DEADLY VENGEANCE.
Written and directed by Rich Mallery (SOCIOPATHIA) and executive-produced by Gregory Hatanaka (who helmed SAMURAI COP 2 from a script co-written by Mallery), HOLY TERROR stars MEATBALLS’ Kristine DeBell, Bruce Lee's GAME OF DEATH's Mel Novak, Lisa London  (H.O.T.S., PRIVATE RESORT), Kelly Reiter (The Z Virus), Jesse Hlubik (MAY, ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE), Nicole Olson, Scott Butler (WIENER DOG INTERNATIONALS), and Vida Ghaffari (THE MINDY PROJECT, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE).

Believing the strange disturbances in their home are their deceased son reaching out from the other side, Molly [Reiter] and Tom [Hlubik] ask a medium [London] to make contact. But instead of their child, the three accidentally invite a vengeful demon to cross over. After the demon violently possesses Molly’s younger sister [Olson], the couple enlists the help of a disgraced priest [Butler] and his mentor Sister Catherine [DeBell] to attempt a dangerous exorcism.

“There has been a resurgence of exorcism/possession-type movies, so it’s a little challenging to give audiences something they haven’t seen before. But we have a few tricks up our sleeve that are going to make HOLY TERROR stand apart from the crowd. Plus, we’re going for a real late-’70s/early-’80s feel. Films like THE CHANGELING, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and of course the original EXORCIST are huge influences on this project," said Mallery.

“I’m really excited to be partnering with Gregory Hatanaka again; this is the fourth film we’ve worked on together,” Mallery continues. “It’s a little strange this time around, since usually he’s directing and I’m the writer/AD, and this time I’m directing and he’s the DP, but we’re totally in sync when it comes to the vision, so we’re like a well-oiled machine. We’ve brought back a lot of the cast of SAMURAI COP 2—Jesse Hlubik, Lisa London, Mel Novak, Kristine DeBell and Nicole Olson—and although this is a completely different type of film, it’s great to have a lot of familiar faces who are used to the way Gregory and I work. We’re both slightly insane, so it’s amazing to be surrounded by people who support our vision.”
“As Rich and I are both rabid fans of 70s AIP and New World horror pics,” Hatanaka adds, “it was only a matter of time before we teamed up to do a film in that tradition. HOLY TERROR works on deep psychological levels, and has an otherworldly, TWILIGHT ZONE-ish kind of feel.”
Holy Terror will be premiering this April on Amazon Prime.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shadow (2017) Movie Review

Usually one minute and five seconds is barely enough time to even introduce a film. In the day and age of the five minute 'spoil all' trailers it is nice to see a film maker and actress collaborate on a sultry film noir that allows the viewer to imagine what transpires before and after.

'Shadow' is a stripped down yet seething blast of what could have been, a love scorned. Director Maksimililan Urikh has committed to making two short films a month, and 'Shadow' stands out due to the tremendous talents of Katrina Grey. Katrina, has a sultry voice and her tone of melancholy and a tinge of sarcasm and anger pierces through the film. Katrina is a real talent, a diamond, she has many projects on her slate foe 2017, it will be exciting. Ming Yen Chang steps in and provides some really cool sound and lighting on the project.

Overall 'Shadow' is a great film, full of style and imagery, a must watch, and should play well on the indie festival circuit. 'Shadow' rates an 8 out of 10.

The entire film is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smphFmrGdyU&

Follow the FilmLook YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtOjdjHVlcnmPtkNBRXP5eQ

Like Katrina Grey's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/katrinagreyofficial/?fref=ts