Thursday, August 9, 2018

Actor Bryan Byrne Interview (C) 2018 Dan's Movie Report (Danny Templegod) Exclusive!!!

Photo: Bryan on the set of 'Hollow Point' (click header text for 2000 Word Interview!)

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, once again another exclusive, on the only independent website to never share from other sites! Special thanks go to director Daniel Zirilli from 'Hollow Point' for letting me know about Bryan Byrne. As a current police officer, and former SWAT member he has a wealth of experience in real life action, thankful as hell to be the first on EARTH to interview and support someone hired to protect and serve as he unleashes his quest to dive head first into the acting realm! Bryan shares his thoughts on working with Steven Seagal on 'Cartels' and the cast and crew on 'Hollow Point'!!!

DMR: Being a police officer and former SWAT with extensive background, your bio says meeting Steven Seagal made you want to transition to acting, was this a decision made over careful thought or was it a light switch, boom, off into idea mode?

BB: I have devoted my adult life to my passion as being a police officer. I was very fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to travel the world with Steven and be exposed to the cinematic life. It was very intriguing to me and was in the back of my mind something that interested me tremendously. The first movie I was a part of “Cartels”, I was actually asked to help show the actors how to look SWAT. 

The extras that played SWAT guys had no experience in the field like I did. Most of them had never held a weapon. So I gave them a crash course on how to hold the weapon and move with a weapon. 

It was at that time when Mr. Waxman asked if I would be interested in being in the movie. Of course I jumped at the once and a lifetime chance. They said you look good on camera and I could work side by side with Steven. Well that was a no brainer and really planted the seed that this could be something I could get use to. 

 Above: To protect and serve in life, and to educate and create as well, honor in action.

DMR: Chat about adjusting from real weapons work and deal with the bad guys to working on film? What personal adjustments have you made?

BB: Dealing with real live active search warrants and blowing doors to make dynamic entries for a living is rough. Even the day to day dealing with the part of society that no one wants to think or hear about can be a challenge. The constant thought of “what if” crosses the mind. That mindset is what keeps you alive. 

It was very difficult for me to adjust my thought process of people are out to kill me to is this a good angle for the shot. I kept thinking I want to be tactical and move without exposing my self to the enemy when that is the angle that is best for the movie. 

So that in itself is a challenge. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to use a vast array of weaponry. I not only hold the title of a firearms instructor, but I’m also a armor for several different platforms. This could be a good and bad thing. 

Prop guns are in most cases are real guns that have been altered so that they cannot function like a real gun but you get the effect that they are real. This is a good thing for a guy like me cause when I watch movies I’m looking to see what’s being used. And a lot of guys who watch these types of movies are the same way. So it’s important to keep it as real as possible.

Above Photo: Bryan at the range, practicing, always honing his skills.

DMR: In my mind, with your training, sir you are the perfect consultant on modern day crime and action films, have you put yourself out and available to do that kind of work? Looking at credits for modern day blockbuster action films there is always a weapons specialist on staff.

BB: Yes I have thought about doing consulting on top of acting. I actually have things set in motion and am available at anytime and will travel anywhere. Spartan Blue Consulting was born. 

There is a movie with Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg “Pain & Gain”. The movie in the open shot which is dated to 1994 has a tactical vehicle roll in that wasn’t released until the early 2000’s and the weapons had gen3 optics that also had not been available until mid 2001. Small things but being in the business it sticks out like a sore thumb. 

DMR: Pain & Gain was shot near me in South Florida, you have a good eye, to catch these things. Incidentally, this was a passion project of Michael Bay and at 26 mil budget compared to 150 mil, yes many corners were cut. I know you want to push towards acting, what is your role on Daniel Zirilli's Hollow Point?

BB: My role in “Hollow Point” is a Ex Special Forces guy turn body guard for a drug lord. Not the typical job after that kind of admiral service to his country. 

DMR: Chat about your days on set of Hollow Point, did you pick up pointers from the other actors? I know you worked with Daniel as well on The Asian Connection.

BB: Apparently after walk on set Daniel and Adel (Producer) were approached by all the lead actors and they requested to have fight scenes with me. So of course being the brilliant minds that they are, adjusted things to make those requests a reality. Let me tell you, it was a blast!

Luke Goss from whom I had the pleasure of working with prior on the set of Cartels, had and idea to work off the former profession of my character and make it a realistic encounter as possible. You can’t get much better than that. The minds and the attention to detail that Luke and Daniel had to making this extra scene was awesome to be a part of. 

Being on set on its own is amazing. Upstairs I’m playing the role of a bad guy and fighting it out with Luke Goss. Then I’m sitting downstairs eating a granola bar and talking to Micheal Parè about being a cop. Pretty surreal, but again nice to be able to learn from legends and share with them the life of a real life police officer. 

Being on set with all these talented and amazing people is what makes making the trip from the Lil town in Minnesota well worth it. And let me tell you that’s not a easy trip. But for Daniel Zirilli, I would do it a million times over.

I mean when he has all those other actors that have experience, the size, the look, and I get that call in the middle of the night. Well you know I’ll do whatever it takes to get there when called.

Daniel Zirilli had this to say exclusively to Dan's Movie Report: "I met Byran Byrne in Thailand when I was directing Steve Seagal in The Asian Connection, he is just a great guy and gentle giant and I respect his service in Swat and as a Policeman. I put him in a brief fight with Seagal, then next he had a great fight with Mike Tyson in The China Salesman (I did not direct that) then I put him in a brief fight with Michael Pare, and a longer fight and action scene with Luke Goss in Hollow Point.... so..... I want him to have a hit list of action actors he fights! Seagal, Tyson, Pare, Goss.... who is next? Other directors/producers/actors out there... let's keep this good man fighting!"

DMR: Thanks for that gentlemen, it is a wonderful opportunity to work with Daniel Z, he gives dynamic opportunities to new talent, and accepts input from people he trusts all to make his films better. I know you still are an active police officer, have you caught the acting 'bug' hah so to speak, is this a possible career change for you or is it where life takes you?

BB: I am still an active police officer. I work full time at the White Earth Police Department and part time for the City of Perham Police Department. As far as catching the bug. I think the bug has been inside me for some time now. 

Especially after having the numerous TV shows that  have came out of on the job police duty, from the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office to film that I was fortunate to be a part of. To have the opportunity to work with Steven and be exposed to being on the set of full out action movies. Yes I have caught the bug and plan on running with it as far as I can. 

More than likely, no matter what happens with this new found passion or career I will still in some way continue to be a police officer. I enjoy being able to help my community and educate our youth on all of life’s topics. From riding a bike and obeying laws of the road, to the effects that drugs and alcohol can have on one's future and well being.

DMR: As a person with so much experience, when you watch modern day massive action films, do you analyze what s not believable, or are you more caught up in the moment? Do you have a film that sticks in your mind saying OK, now they did it close to reality of police work and tactical?

BB: Sometimes it is hard to sit down and watch a good action movie mainly because I stay active in the gym or at work. When I do I have a new found respect on what it took to make that flick. I don’t care what anyone says fake, fighting is the same if not worse than the real thing. 

Meaning it takes a lot to make that shot count and fight with out actually hitting the guy or gal you are fighting. It’s painful and taxing. The only different is that other guy isn’t trying to kill u and get away from you. I don’t care what anyone says being hurled across the room and smashing into a table or a wall hurts. 

But you can’t but help critic a movie especially if you do it in real life. Being a FBI Bomb Technician the movie Hurt Locker was on point. The expert consultants and the directors were on the same sheet. Which made it a really enjoyable movie to watch. And I have watched it probably a million times. Sanborn was bad ass!

DMR: That movie was amazing, and Kathy Bigalow for what she accomplished, obviously deserved the awards. Chat about some actors you look up to, and directors. Perhaps discuss some films you enjoy as influencing you on your career.

BB: Actors I look up to. Well the list is growing for sure. But guys like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart these two are a great pair. The Rock is the man, very talented and well rounded awesome guy. He can be funny and serious all in the same scene. Kevin seems to strike gold every time the camera turns on.

Luke Goss, Steven Seagal being able to work side by side these guys is amazing. Being able to learn from them, and see how they take the time to pay homage to the men and women of the military and the first responders and actually care and it’s not just lip service. Kinda cool to be honest. I could go on and on. 

What else can be said about Daniel Zirilli, he is a guy who can keep an open mind and shoot from the cuff to catch the perfect shot. He does it so effortlessly it makes learning and acting so fluid and like second nature.

Keoni Waxman is also right up there. Like Daniel, being able to orchestrate so many moving parts and wrap them all in to one to make a movie, to me is amazing.

Above: Bryan in 'The Asian Connection' From IMDB

DMR: The Rock is amazing, he gives chances and opportunities to new talent, and keeps a sense of sardonic humor. Chat about your long term goals say 5 to 10 years out, some ideas you may have about films.

BB: Where do I see my self in 5-10 years. hopefully doing what I’m doing. I love police work. Copping is my life, but being able act and be a part of the film making process is a new found passion that I could see myself doing for many years to come. 

DMR: Thank you again sir for this enlightening interview on your variety of skills and goals. For more information please check out Bryan's IMDB page and Twitter!


Follow Bryan on his newly minted Twitter account:

Monday, August 6, 2018

Australia Day (2017) Movie Review A Dan's Movie Report Exclusive

Above: Poster from IMDB page

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. I must admit, I know very little about Aussie Holiday traditions, but apparently Australia Day is a holiday which actually celebrates the apparent conquering of indigenous people and still divides the nation today. Australia is a huge place, yet with under 30 million total population it has so much land, yet much of it is very arid, the coasts, which are home to most of the population have huge numbers of people, and are a real melting pot of cultures, and thus, there are racial tensions.

Australia Day as a movie makes an attempt to put to light various racial groups and perceptions of them by the 'Blue Bloods' the English. There is use of slang and jargon, which will probably be unfamiliar to the majority of a U.S.A. Audience, yet it does mirror what is happening in the United States. Australia Day has intersecting stories like the U.S. Film's David Cronenburg's Crash, and of course the modern Traffic, yet, feels fresh as new cultural divides are explored, and lives of the characters are made more personal from screenplay writer Stephen M. Irwin.

Australia Day is not a movie inherently for the masses, yet should find a niche market in the west. Strong performances from legendary Aussie actor Bryan Brown who portrays a down on his luck farmer. His leading man influence guides the film and provides a solid focal point. Actress Jenny Wu, plays a Chinese national Lan Chang, who is running, and continues to run, and trust no one. Her performance is great and the fact that she speaks Chinese throughout and subtitles are used adds to it. Young actress Miah Madden goes all out hard as a teenager with a dark secret. A masterful nuanced performance that is far beyond her years. Other strong performances stand out, yet refuse to spill the beans, watch the film and formulate your own opinions.

I refuse to spoil this plot, it is on Itunes and YouTube Red, yet, I do wish at 1.5 hours more time was taken to set up the lives of the characters. We do learn about them, yes, but it is on the fly, that coupled with the copious subtitles in various languages, makes Australia Day a tough one to follow. The action is rife with some standard ideas, yet is varied enough to entertain, again, the rapid fire pace seems to detract from the message and story.

Director Kriv Stenders keeps the pace frantic, and yes it does work and needs to work. The actors are well coached and all have torrid expressions and realize the gravity of what they are doing. I am curious how much of his initial edit was left on the table to the final output of Australia Day. I see a film that is perhaps 10-15 minutes longer in there, yet by picking up the pace, the audience is thrust into the lives of the characters.

Australia Day is a hard film to rate, not a polished as the U.S. Film Traffic, which is one hour longer, and a 50mil budget. I liken it more to the the David Cronenburg 'Crash' based on the novel by J.G. Ballard, of course minus the NC-17 copious sex and violence, yet with appx. the same length and frantic pace. Australia Day should find it's specific western audience of erudite film fest attendees, and art house fans, Dan's Movie Report rates the film a 7 out of 10.