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Archive for August, 2012

Trigger becomes “Billy Trigger”! Revised one-sheet!

August 23rd, 2012 No comments

As I told you, my action script TRIGGER is presently in pre-production. We’re at the location scouting and casting stage now. And for varied reasons TRIGGER has been renamed to BILLY TRIGGER (which is the lead character’s name) and with that comes a revised teaser poster. Check it out below!

Billy Trigger will be played by me. Berge Garabedian, Christian Viel and myself are producing. And Viel will be directing. LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE and here’s the film’s synopsis:

Irish mobster Billy Trigger has been the O’ Brien family’s number one enforcer for three years now. And for good reasons; he is cold, calculated and relentless and has never tackled a job he couldn’t finish. His life is trouble-free and solitary as it mainly consists of: loose women, doing the work and cashing in. That’s until Pops, the head of the organization, hands him his next assignment.Trigger is tasked to look over Pops young mistress, Catherine, while he’s away. Of course, nothing goes as planned and Trigger ends up on the wrong side of Pops esteem… What happens when the best in the business is pitted against the business? Place your bets!


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Matthew Bennett (Battlestar Galactica) joins the cast of “Billy Trigger”!

August 22nd, 2012 No comments

I am thrilled to announce that Matthew Bennett, best known as the humanoid Cylon “Number Five” aka Aaron Doral on the popular TV show Battlestar Galactica has joined the cast of BILLY TRIGGER. He will be playing the role of Bruno. We’re pleased to have him on board! More casting news shortly!

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Meeting Jean Claude Van Damme.

August 22nd, 2012 No comments

Growing up; there were four action stars that inspired me. In order: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. They are the reason I got into fitness, got into fighting (Boxing, then Tae Kwon Do and am now back to Boxing) and of course the film industry. I had lunch with Schwarzenegger early this year (when I covered the set of THE LAST STAND ) and that was an honor in itself.

But meeting JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME was an even bigger deal for me. Before I get into that; let me share with ya my brushes with Van Damme over the years.

-When WAKE OF DEATH was to be shot in Montreal, Canada; I was cast as a Russian henchman that was to get his ass whooped by Van Damme. Man was I excited! This was it! A dream come true! Fighting Van Damme onscreen. But alas, something went wrong, director Ringo Lam left the show and the production moved to Europe and wound up being directed by producer Philippe Martinez. To say I was bummed about that would be an understatement.

-One year at the Cannes film festival, my friend’s sister was interviewing Van Damme and he invited me to the event. Sure, it wasn’t acting in a film with the man, but better that than nothing I thought. Sadly, my cell phone company cut my line with no warning and no reason (fuck you Rogers) before I could get the location of the interview. So I missed out. Again.

-I was in a club in Cannes for Van Damme’s birthday party. I saw him here and saw him there and that was it. The most memorable thing from that night was: 60$ for a Rum and Coke. Ouch!

So when I learned that Van Damme was once again in Montreal to push The Expendables 2; I couldn’t pass it up. So with some help (Thanks Big B!), I nabbed a one on one interview with the guy. I had my questions ready (I know Van Damme’s career like the back of my hand) and was eager to finally shake the hand of one of the individuals who inspired me so much growing up. First thing Van Damme told me when I walked in was “You’re in good shape, are you a fighter?” I told him yes. He asked “MMA?” I said no and told him I had done Tae Kwon Do and was still boxing today – and that was that on that. Dude connected with me and off he went! I didn’t get to ask JC one of my questions as what was supposed to be a 6 minute interview, became an engrossing 40 minute conversation (much to dismay of the people waiting to see him after me). I loved every second of it. So yeah, it was pretty surreal for me and I came out of there happy as a pig in shit.

This meeting was perfect timing for me. Being that we are presently in pre-production for my action film BILLY TRIGGER (one that I wrote, will star in and am co producing), meeting Jean Claude Van Damme could not have happened at a better time. I now feel even more jazzed than I already was. So thank you Alliance and thank you Mr. Van Damme! One childhood dream – off the list. Off to the next one! You don’t get if you don’t try, try and keep trying, till you get… or die trying…:)

PS: Look for the conversation to go live on JoBlo.com.

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Dead Shadows to screen at ICON TLV International Sci Fi and Fantasy Film Festival!

August 21st, 2012 No comments

David Cholewa’s Dead Shadows (which I play the role of badass John in) will screen at the upcoming  in CON TLV International Sci Fi and Fantasy Film Festival in Israel.  Awesome news! Dead Shadows stars: Fabian Wolfrom, Blandine Marmigère,Rurik Sallé and myself. More news on date and time when I get some. Here’s the film’s synopsis, and the trailer below!

Dead Shadows tells the terrifying story of a young man, named Chris (Wolfrom), whose parents were brutally killed 11 years ago, on the same day that Halley’s comet could be seen from earth. Tonight, a new comet is appearing and everyone in his building are getting ready for a party to celebrate the event. There’s even an apocalypse theory going around. As the night falls, Chris discovers that people are starting to act strange – and it seems to somehow be connected to the comet. They are becoming disoriented and violent and it doesn’t take long before they begin to mutate into something far beyond this world. In a fight for survival, Chris tries to escape from his building with the help of a gun taunting tenant named John (Fallon) – but will they make it out alive?

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My action script Trigger enters pre-production! Teaser poster!

August 14th, 2012 No comments

Funny how shit goes. TRIGGER is an action script that I wrote in 2008, and I’ve been trying to get it off the ground ever since. Close call here, close call there, maybe shoot it here, maybe shoot it there, no dice. But last night, all the stars aligned and it locked and now we’re hitting the ground running. Yup TRIGGER has its financing in place and will be entering production this October. I will play the lead of Billy Trigger. Berge Garabedian, Christian Viel and myself are producing. And Viel will be directing the picture as well. See our TEASER POSTER BELOW, LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE and here’s the film’s synopsis:

Irish mobster Billy Trigger has been the O’ Brien family’s number one enforcer for three years now. And for good reasons; he is cold, calculated and relentless and has never tackled a job he couldn’t finish. His life is trouble-free and solitary as it mainly consists of: loose women, doing the work and cashing in. That’s until Pops, the head of the organization, hands him his next assignment.Trigger is tasked to look over Pops young mistress, Catherine, while he’s away. Of course, nothing goes as planned and Trigger ends up on the wrong side of Pops esteem… What happens when the best in the business is pitted against the business? Place your bets!

As the Joker said: “Here…we… go!” Expect more news sooner than later!

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American Muscle screenwriting/acting journal!

August 13th, 2012 No comments

When I was approached by the fine gents at Snowfort Pictures to pen an action driven revenge flick called AMERICAN MUSCLE; I jumped at the chance. Vengeance is a theme that always stimulates me (as seen in my low budget flick Deaden) and macho, low budget Cannon like films are my cup of blood on any day. My script opens with this quote: “Barbarianism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is the whim of circumstance. And barbarianism must ultimately triumph” ― Robert E. Howard. Don’t know if they’ll keep that in the film but that was pretty much the M.O. I ran with in terms of this particular screenplay.

Shacked up in a dingy apartment in Paris (on my off days while acting in Dead Shadows) and armed with countless bottles of wine, the Drive and Faster soundtracks and packs of Malboro Light, I dived into the world of AMERICAN MUSCLE and the result was definitely the most violent and sexually deviant thing I had ever written. And just like with every gig, be it acting or screenwriting, I learned a lot on this show and am a better man for it. Allow me to share. On a script level, I learned about writing by committee with this one. Now I’ve written for other people before. RECON 2022 and RECON 2023 are perfect examples of me writing to serve another’s vision. Thing was with those scripts, I was only serving one person’s vision. With AMERICAN MUSCLE it went down differently. And I am not saying this as a bad thing; it just did. The producers had a vision. So I tried to serve them while doing my own thing. Once they hired a director (Mr. Ravi Dhar ); he also had a vision, which was different from the original vision, more ethereal as opposed to the guttural vibe I was going for. So I tried to serve his take on it as well and succeeded and failed to varied degrees.

On set with cool cat Nick Principe (John).

Once on set; the actors had input and brought a lot of themselves to the roles and the dialogue while director Dhar was big on improvisation, so yeah a lot changed but… the essence was the same. So that was a first for me; although all films are a collaborative creative process; AMERICAN MUSCLE took that even further in terms of what I had experienced thus far, the nature of the show was one inviting, being open to and accepting the cast/crew creative input. So basically my script became a body that many added further flesh to. The result? Somehow; even though coming from different places and having different ideas, we all wound up on the same page; a group synergy if you will and for the most part this was one of the smoother shoots I’ve ever been on. Who knew? Props to producer Travis Stevens for promoting that kind of environment but also for having a firm grasp on it. With him at the helm, the ship sailed smoothly and got to its destination (shitty analogy I know but hey, all I got).

I also so got a kick out of seeing actors Nick Principe (of Laid to Rest fame), Robin Sydney and Todd Farmer (yes THAT Todd Farmer) bring the lead characters of John, Darling and Sam to life. Nick nailed the John Falcon I had in mind (which I kind based on Conan out of the Dark Horse comics) but made him more vulnerable, Robin Sydney brought added nuances to her role of Darling and funnily enough, when I wrote Sam, he would speak with a Southern accent in my head (or out-loud, yes I speak my dialogue out-loud when I write it sometimes, helps keep it real). So when they cast Todd Farmer, I was delighted to see that the dude had that twang in his speech. A pleasant coincidence. All that to say you spend endless hours cooped up in a room inventing characters and situations with only wine and smokes as your companions. And that in itself is rewarding. But another plus is when you get on set and see other artists take what you created, lift it off the page and put in the real (fake movie) world. It’s a fucking trip!

Todd Farmer and Robin Sydney in between takes.

Now when I was offered the script job, I negotiated a part for myself in the film. So yup, I play one of the main villains. His name is Tongues, he’s a mute, he kicks ass and f*ck dames. A simple man. You see what I did there? Wrote myself the funnest role. I had no line of dialogue, I nailed broads and threw down; a dream role if you will (in my world anyway). And for the most part that’s how it went down on set. To say I had a blast going mano et mano with Nick Principe would be an understatement. Funnily enough, I wrote lots of kicks for my character in the script, cause I wanted to showcase what I got onscreen. Never got the chance in other films. But when I met Nick Principe, the mofo stood at like 6 feet 7 tall and I had to crescent kick him in the face (I’m 6 feet tall). Did I pull it off? Yes. How? I basically stretched all day, leading up to our fight scene. Am looking forward in seeing the fist to cuff onscreen. Hope it came out good.

The threesome sex scene (with me and two chicks) didn’t wind up being as amusing as I thought it would be. I had done a sex scene before (in Deaden) and it had went smoothly. It was us “making love” though, slow and sensual. Here it was a wam-bam, all animal lust, no love, thank you Mam. It was me doggy-styling some lass, while she’s making out with another lass and although on paper it sounded like a hoot and a nanny; it wasn’t. Nope, simulating nailing some broad from behind when you have a sock over your dick, Todd Farmer looking at your balls flapping in the wind and two cameras up your ass is just not as thrilling as you think it would be. You learn something new everyday :) Finally I’m a very physical person and adore doing stunts, AMERICAN MUSCLE gave me my fill of that and then some. When not playing Tongues, I would often slip on a mask and play “cannon fodder” characters. Falls, getting my head bashed into walls, getting kneed in the stomach, whacked in the face = fun shite!

My character of Tongues, ready to negotiate...

Looking back at the AMERICAN MUSCLE experience I have a lot of fond memories. I mean we all lived in a house (which also acted as one of the sets) in the Joshua Tree desert together (which BTW became its own character in the film, the desert was a genius choice of location, it really added to the story and production value of the movie), so we all became a big family (as on most sets). We all worked together but we also partied together after a hard day/night of shooting. It kind of became a grown up summer camp. Good times! I met solid people too! Producers Michael Lurie and Jeffrey Giles were class acts all around, you could not ask for a better AD than Joshua Lou Friedman, second AD Buz Danger Wallick was always a blast to have around and I had fun busting makeup girl Laura Raczka virtual balls (affectionately of course). I also had this hill I would try to hike up and down everyday to keep in some kind of shape for the shoot. I loved that hill. I miss that hill. That hill and I were tight! Being on top, taking in the vast mountain scenery before me, watching the hawks coast the wind while ducking rattlesnakes was one of my favorite places to be. Moreover I found it fascinating that the world of the film started to seep into our reality the more the shoot clocked forward. Lets just say that “some” of the desert locals were, um, unique to say the least; and that made the experience all that more exciting… and weird.

AMERICAN MUSCLE is presently in Post Production and I’m jazzed to see the finished product. The feel it emanated on set was DEATH WISH if directed by DAVID LYNCH… yup, totally out there and taking into account the story, not what you’d expect from a film of this ilk! All in all AMERICAN MUSCLE was a wonderful experience. Fulfilling creatively, a blast to be part of, a learning experience and a thrilling adventure. Can’t wait for this puppy to come out!

On top of my hill...

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Date and time for Dead Shadows French premiere! I’ll be there!

August 2nd, 2012 No comments


And we got a date and a time! David Cholewa’s Dead Shadows French premiere will go down at the upcoming 2012 L’Etrange Festival on September 10 at 8:00PM in Paris, France. I can also confirm that I will be there in person to support the film and the talent behind it. I missed the Cannes market screening, I won’t miss this one!  Here’s the film’s synopsis, and the trailer below! Booya!

Dead Shadows tells the terrifying story of a young man, named Chris (Wolfrom), whose parents were brutally killed 11 years ago, on the same day that Halley’s comet could be seen from earth. Tonight, a new comet is appearing and everyone in his building are getting ready for a party to celebrate the event. There’s even an apocalypse theory going around. As the night falls, Chris discovers that people are starting to act strange – and it seems to somehow be connected to the comet. They are becoming disoriented and violent and it doesn’t take long before they begin to mutate into something far beyond this world. In a fight for survival, Chris tries to escape from his building with the help of a gun taunting tenant named John (Fallon) – but will they make it out alive?

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