Thursday, July 24, 2014

Naomi Karpati - Female Action Performer of the Year 2012

Naomi Karpati
Naomi  Karpati currently works at Sanctuary Cove Golf Club as a fitness expert and trains at Wise Force Chinese BoxingShe has recently established herself as a martial arts action star in Agent Provocateur/Elite; where she won Best Female Action Performer of the year at the Action on Film Festival  -2012 in Los Angeles.

What is the difference between Chinese boxing, boxing and kickboxing?

Chinese boxing is an umbrella term that refers to martial arts created in China. It teaches defensive skills like blocking, parries, grappling, footwork, joint locks and advanced training includes multiple attackers and weapons.

Can you tell us about your background in Chinese boxing?

I've started training at Wise Force Chinese Boxing when I came over to Australia in 2009 being the only girl at the start. Started with learning basic principles and landed thousands of punches and kicks before I could move to more advanced techniques and gained an understanding of other philosophies. 



Is there a different mentality in Europe towards martial arts than in Australia?

Definitely, just like there is a cultural difference. In Hungary, where I came from martial arts are not as popular as for example team sports are. In martial arts it is more karate, boxing and kickboxing that are popular rather than muay thai which is the most sought after discipline in Australia.

Was it always your desire to be an actor? What made you decide to act? 

I never had desires to become an actor. I sort of fell into it through martial arts and stunt training. My character motivated a script and it all started from there.

How did you get selected to play Alex in Agent Provocateur? 

My trainer James Richards at Wise Force Chinese boxing who is also a film maker had an inspiration for a character that he wanted me to portray so my skill set can be displayed on the big screen. 




Why do you feel Agent Provocateur stood out above all the other action films that year?

Because it had an interesting story line, a sense of reality attached to it and good action sequences in it. 

What is your normal training routine for a week?

Training 2 hours 4 times a week at Wise Force practicing combat skills and handling weapons. Cardio training including running, high intensity interval training 3 times a week. 

How much and what kind of training do you do with handguns?

In the preparation process of the film we started going into a bit deeper and I was taught how to move with the gun properly and how to aim at multiple targets. 

What projects are you working on that we can look forward to in the future?

Hopefully we will some more action and different skill sets brought on screen including some of my favorite knives. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

Learn and work hard in your art, whatever that may be, believe in yourself and keep moving forward. 

Find out more about Naomi at www.naomikarpati.com.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rustic B. Martial arts and Parkour expert. (Interview)

Rustic Bodomov
Rustic Bodomov has over a decade of experience in martial arts with training specialization in Judo, TKD, Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, and boxing. He also has 7 years of Parkour and freerunning experience. He's been featured on camera in films, television and commercials on numerous occasions. 

How did you get your first paid gig as a stunt person? 

I moved out to Los Angeles specifically to pursue stunt work. Before I moved out, I already had a little bit of screen fighting experience (gained from making videos with my friends), and several years worth of parkour videos I used to make..so I cut together a showreel for myself in order to market myself.

Right after I moved to Los Angeles, I started training at several gymnastics gyms in the area and asking around about where the stunt people trained. After meeting a couple of working stunt people, and making some friends, I was referred to do some tumbling on a music video as a favor for a friend. My first paid stunt job came as another referral after that music video, I was asked to be the main character for this video - https://vimeo.com/40581867

If one wants to break into action movies, do you think it's easier to start out as a stunt person and then become an actor or is it better to go straight into acting?

I don't have a straight answer to this one. Both paths are difficult for their own reasons, I would recommend for the aspiring action actor and/or stuntman to decide which direction you want to go for yourself, then take it. Becoming good at acting, just like stunts, takes hard work and time to get good at. If you want to be an action actor like Jackie Chan, starting with stunts will teach you set etiquette and how a film is run, as well as educate you on how to safely perform your own stunts.. but going directly into acting will start getting you established as a "name" which can be attached to sell a movie.



How many times on average does one have to do a stunt before the director is satisfied with it?

This varies from stunt to stunt, and director to director. If a stuntman is asked to do a high fall, or a similarly large stunt or wreck, everyone will be pushing for only one take. From personal experience, I've only been asked to do a "big" stunt for a maximum of 2-3 takes.

When you get into fight choreography, the amount of takes will start to rise because you have more factors involved (such as a moving camera person, several performers, varying energy levels), and you can start seeing upwards of 5-10 takes per shot. Jackie Chan is known for doing some of his "trick" stunts over 100 times to get it just right!

At what martial arts skill level would you recommend someone to make a showreel of themselves for marketing purposes?

If you are going to be pursuing a career in the action film industry, I'd recommend getting yourself some good looking footage soon. The sooner you have something you can use to get jobs for yourself, the better. If you don't have the ability to create something that accurately reflects your skill, I'd wait until you start working with other people and get enough good footage for a 1 min video (this is a good, short, sweet length for a reel).

Important Side Note!! Martial Arts skill level is not important when it comes to screen fighting skill, and they often times aren't even in the same boat. While Martial Arts will teach you proper body control, and will definitely help you make your Martial Arts style movement look great, you still want to train with some screen fighters in order to make yourself look good on camera. I come from a Martial Arts background, and I struggled for the longest time to be able to translate my skill level to film. (Martial Arts movements tend to be small and efficient, while good-looking screen fighting movements tent to be bigger, more showy, and sometimes aren't even proper technique.

What do you find is the best way to network in the martial arts community?

Honestly, I haven't really networked much with the Martial Arts community. I have made good friends with fellow Martial Artists in the stunt world, but my main networking happens within the stunt community in Los Angeles.

There are several ways to network in the stunt community. Several times a year, different groups of people host "stunt networking" events..and there are several awesome stuntmen who have great training equipment set up in their backyards, and let people come train with them. 

Personally, my favorite way of networking (and where most of my work stems from) is to become a real friend to the people I meet. I try and leave a good first impression while remaining honest to myself. People can usually tell when you're being sincere and open minded, and it will take you far in life. :)

No one teaches Parkour in our area. What's the best way to get started with it?

I also started learning Parkour when there were no gyms or instructors around! There are plenty of online resources for learning various parkour moves safely (I learned almost everything from YouTube), and you don't need to leave the ground (aka go on roofs) to learn how to do every type of movement!

My advice is, don't be afraid, get out there and start moving around and have fun! If you'd like a starting point, check out how to do a parkour roll 


What kind of diet do you have to keep up your strength and stamina?

I don't follow any set diet plan, but I do try and keep my food intake clean. This means that on a good week, I will stay away from any bread, fried or processed food. I don't drink soda. I try to eat as many green vegetables as I can, along with a good source of protein (chicken, beans, etc). Greek Yoghurt and Chick Peas are amazing too... I might be getting too particular here, but my basic nutritional philosophy is to stay away from anything processed, deep fried, or carbonated. It just feels so good to eat clean!

What projects are you currently working on that can we can look forward to in the future?

I'm currently helping produce my first feature film, called "Boone: The Bounty Hunter", which stars my friend John Hennigan (aka, WWE's Johnny Nitro).

Also, I just doubled one of the main actors on "SMOSH: The Movie" which comes out later this year/early next, and I'm waiting on a couple of VFX-heavy projects I starred in last year to be finished. My side project for the time being is my youtube channel.

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

You've probably heard this before, but it's true.. only you can do anything you set your mind to! I've learned time and again that the secret for creating success in anything you set out to do is to do it with a positive attitude and to really invest in yourself with hard work. What would the future, successful you be doing right now? Training? Writing? Filming? Be the person you see yourself being in the future, today! 

Thank you very much for your time, and for asking such great questions guys! :)



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Jeet Kune Do Expert, Actor and Stuntman - Kefi Abrikh

Kefi Abrikh - Actor and Stuntman
Kefi Abrikh is a french actor and stuntman. He is in expert in Jeet Kune Do and Freestyle Acrobatic Martial Arts. He's had a successful career in Europe and Japan. He's has also worked in international movie hits like Fast and Furious 6. 

What was the hardest part of fitting in with the Japanese stunt community?

My first difficulty was of course communication! Thankfully, I had studied Japanese for 2 years before I came to Japan. Nevertheless, I had to learn all the stunt vocabulary usually used on the set. Furthermore, I had to learn how to behave properly in the Japanese hierarchy. 

Which stunt in Resident Evil "The Nightmare Of Dante" was the hardest to pull off and how did you accomplish it?

There was a wire-work scene where Nero catches Dante's leg in the air and hits him violently to the ground. 



What was it like being on the set of Fast and Furious 6?

That was just amazing! It was very different from what I've done until now. When I was younger, playing in a US studio production was just unimaginable! I have very good memories of fighting with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. 

One of your many skills is Hong Kong Style Fighting. How does one recognize this style?

Hong Kong style fighting is very recognizable because it's a very acrobatic fighting style with a lot of innovative stunts using improvised weapons. Sequences of fighting scenes are very quick and often have violent stunts. Nevertheless, my favorite skill remains Japanese style action because I like to give life to characters that can only communicate with gestures. 

What's the best way for a martial artist to get into professional stunt work?

I would love to have the answer of that question! I think that getting into the professional stunt work is a combination of hard working and luck.  You need to keep on training very hard so that you are ready when the opportunity comes.



What trick took you the longest to learn? What changed mentally to accomplish it?

It took me very long time before I mastered the "540 kick". Nowadays, it's a very simple kick but it's very powerful. I just kept on rehearsing till I managed it. 

What projects are you working on that we can look forward to seeing in the future?

Kefi Abrikh
I am working on different projects right now. One of them is a french live action series inspired by a Japanese sentai series. 

If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?

This is a difficult question to answer! There are so many aspects of my life, that looking back now, could have been improved. But, each and every of my failures have led me where I am now. 

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?

If you want to succeed in something, just give your best. Even if you fail many times, keep on believing in youself. If you are motivated enough to continue, then you've found your real path.