by Alex Wen
WITH the normalization of combat sports (UFC, ONE FC, Showtime Boxing etc) and daft parkour/daredevil/vehicle stunts/porn (youtube, tiktok, twitch, onlyfans etc) as well as actual warfare/snuff videos out of Ukraine, Afghanistan, Mexican Cartels; audience appetite for more-bigger-guns-MMA relatable escapism “good guy wins” has skyrocketed. With it, the demand for more “believable suspended realism” is outgrowing our solar system.
OF all the brooding anti-hero movies, perhaps John Wick has become the staple by which many attempt but fail to imitate. What majority of filmmakers are unable and unwilling to grasp is Keanu has been training in Wushu, firearms and bladed weapons since Matrix 1999. Of which 8 months prior to filming he (and Laurence Fishbourne, Carrie Anne Moss + Hugo Weaving) spent 8 hours per day in a dusty warehouse in Sun Valley CA training Movie Do, Hollywood Fu, and making choreography realistic. Keanu hasn’t stopped, he still trains daily today. EVERY Marvel & DC superhero undergoes training for months prior to filming. Tom Cruise has been adrenaline junky-ing up to what insurance company Allianz is willing to bond him for ever since Mission Impossible 1996.
There is no shortcut for an actor who can stunt or a stuntman who can act at an audience satisfying level. Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight, often it takes a lifetime. Mediocrity is no longer remunerating, the attention economy demands more signal less noise, must rise above the static to suspend disbelief in order to engage consumers. Action that satisfies takes an actor (and stunt performance/safety team) whose not only accomplished at their craft but WANTING and WILLING to DEDICATE to training. This is the formula for realistic escapism, actualizable success.
Satisfying and RELATABLE action-driven storytelling requires more than simply deploying today’s technologically advanced cameras/rigging/SFX/VFX to lens jacked physique and TikTok “action”. Cost is the combination of all elements, to capture the time that delivers a fun ride.
PROJECT Initial: Create highly polished videos with viral firepower featuring slick visuals with well-regarded actor. Publish weekly on multiple platforms for six months (with two months prior for initial training). Harnessing engagement of social media to create relatable scenarios with protagonist(s) that incite a growing audience to theorize who and why they are fighting, and how (whether) they are able to (realistically) kick ass. And more importantly, crave to witness the final boss fight.
PROJECT Objective: Feature film (series) about our protagonists kicking ass and final boss(s) fight.
ACTION REEL 1
ACTION REEL 5
KCW™ technica M<-Trolley + Supertrack Reel