The last two years of my life have been fairly simple in their complexity. Do all that I can for my directorial debut THE SHELTER to be successful, train hard, be in nature and spent countless hours in meetings, on the phone and online in the name of getting two films off the ground and getting on set. I love being on set, the battle, the challenge of overcoming obstacles, having to anticipate/think ahead and I adore the social/teamwork nature of it all. I feel alive on a set. The harder the shoot, the better. Hence, when fate (i.e. great man Paul Allica) gave me an opportunity to jump on board a medieval action/martial arts film in Australia called THE SIEGE (as Producer and Actor), I couldn’t pass it up.
It was a tough shoot and I relished every second of it. Shooting at Kryal Castle was a delight, living in a camper trailer for 3 weeks in the country a trip (even though I often froze my ass off at nights) and the people were for the most part wonderful. That’s one of the perks of my job – I get to travel the world and meet new folks and usually, I wind up coming back home with new friendships locked and that survive the test of time. Some of my best friends live in France, Spain, Los Angeles, Australia and I truly felt that I left Melbourne with a handful of new brothers on my side. Warriors that I genuinely want to work with again with. Blessed!
Moreover, it was a blast for me to watch legendary stunt coordinator, Jackie Chan stunt team member, and now action director Paul Andreovski (Rush Hour 2) direct the wam-bam with his talented stunt team. When I had the time, I would just stand on the sidelines and clock the man do his thing. I was soaking it all in, knowing damn well that it will serve me on HERETIC and EVA. And it should be said that being directed by the man in terms of a fight scene for 15 hours in full armor and with a bum knee (long story, who cares) was quite the honor. I couldn’t get enough! Again, Blessed!
Finally, somebody asked me after the shoot if I had learned something new. I thought about it, and other than now understanding why big Hollywood stars who act and produce on the same film wind up getting a CG makeover in Post (hard to look fresh for the camera when you’re hustling 24/7 on everything else with little sleep under your belt), I can’t say that I did. What I did get though was: this shoot acted as firm reminder of how much I do know about this biz at this stage in my life, how good I am at it and how much fucking punishment I can take and keep on trucking full steam ahead with a big smile on my face.
Just like any shoot, I built lots of good memories. Top of my head I’ll always remember getting back to my trailer at 6AM after a night shoot, sitting down, having a glass of whiskey, watching the stars and waiting for the sun to rise (a kangaroo came and said wassup on one of them mornings). Then there was the push-up challenges and eat carbs and get punched in the gut deal I had with actor/stuntman Marc Natoli. My best Ozzie mate Bryant making the trip from Sidney to Melbourne to come back me up was also a treat. Existential and spiritual discussions with Collin Allica. The arm wrestling matches (you know me guys, love that shit). Nailing down strategies and having no BS talks with Paul Allica. Stunt guys Sean Craig and John Et Le aka Little Nasty being initiated to Canadian Whiskey shots and paying the price. Man, Myth Siros Niaros (Assistant Stunt Coordinator) being a class act throughout the shoot and always having my back no matter what. Seeing Jousting live. Rolling on the ground with Dave Beamish in full armor for countless hours. Stimulating convos with Paul Andreovski… so many memories.
In closing, I would like to send out a big THANK YOU to star and producer PAUL ALLICA for seeking me out and including me in his adventure. He put his balls on the line and gave it all he had – I know how that is – much respect. And a big thank you to his family (Collin, Kathy and Julie) for welcoming me into their home with open arms. Finally, THANK YOU to everybody involved in this shoot (cast/crew) for being such great fucking people and staying driven and professional even when wthe going got real tough. It was rewarding to be in your company and be proud! You’ve all conquered one hell of a rough battle.
Find below, the synopsis, cast/crew info on THE SIEGE and some BTS pics of the experience. Expect to hear more about the flick soon. Having seen lots of the footage, am very excited about it! We got some great stuff in the can. I’ll keep you guys and dolls in the loop as always.
THE SIEGE takes the legend of Robin Hood in a new exciting direction; mixing adventure, high impact stunts, action, gore, comedy and even a touch of romance. It’s directed by Legendary stunt coordinator, Jackie Chan stunt team member, and now action director Paul Andreovski (Rush Hour 2) who is handling the insane action sequences with his talented stunt team. While Stu Stanton (Charlie Bonnet) is streamlining the dramatic scenes.
The film stars Paul Allica (Journey to China 3D, Tapado: Fight for Justice), myself as a baddie, Dave Beamish (Charlie’s Farm), Kahli Williams (Blood Hunt), David Macrae (A Night of Horror Volume 1), Peter Roordink (Elimination Game), Tom McCathie (Mutt) and dancer Keanu Gonzalez (Cats the Musical) in his first lead role.
Produced by Paul Allica at Alpha Rush Productions, Shaun McFadyen and John Fallon via Bruise Productions, THE SIEGE will wrap production early next year.
“It’s a time of chaos and tyranny. The once great country of England is splintering as its people struggle to pay for the Crusades. With the King away, the country is on the verge of revolution. The people need a hero. And one shall rise and fight to restore honor to his people. When his mother and sister are brutally murdered by the Sheriff of Nottingham, a young man named Robin Hood vows bloody revenge on the men responsible. But this is not a war he can win alone. Robin gathers a team of outcasts and mavericks, each of whom brings a unique & extreme fighting skill to the table. Together, they gradually tear down the Sheriff’s corrupt organization, with their most daring assault being a siege on his fortified castle.”by