One of the last things we did before packing it in for the holidays was go on a walk-thru of our standing sets. Of course, not all of them are quite yet standing (ie. the shuttle, parts of the space station) and those that are still have a ways to go, but our Art Department did a phenomenal job making it presentable for the tour. The bridge consoles were in, the corridors lit, and there was even some preliminary playback on the screens. It all looked, in a word, superfantastic. I snapped a bunch of pics – and have been doing so for weeks now, documenting the ship’s progress. I’ll hold off on posting them until we’re officially in production – but there are plenty of other behind-the-scene pics to show you in the meantime…
Those of you familiar with the Dark Matter know that the character known as FOUR (aka Ryo Tetsuda, aka Ryo Ishida, aka Slashy McStabberson) isn’t the gunslinging type. Oh, sure, he packs a sidearm, but his preferred weapon is the katana – sometimes two. Despite having no formal sword training experience prior to landing the role, under the guidance of our incredible Stunt Coordinator John Stead (more on him in the coming weeks!), actor Alex Mallari Jr. has transformed himself into a twin-blade wielding natural. Earlier this week, John showed us a video of Alex in training, running through the choreography for the first “training room discovery” scene – a jaw-dropping sequence that perfectly captured the moment as scripted:
“He stands frozen, eyes fixed straight ahead. Shuts his eyes. Beat. And suddenly launches into action: charging, turning, back-pedalling, leaping, ducking, as the blades whirl and sing around him, slicing through the air. He makes his way across the room in a remarkable display of swordsmanship, lightning quick reflexes controlling the deadly katanas in a blur of movement…”
It was unbelievable.
Check him out on twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexMallariJr
Over the course of series, Alex will use two different “production katanas”. The first is a super lightweight painted bamboo that, I’ve been told, is all the rage on Hong Kong action movie sets.
The second is the hero sword, forged of equally light aluminum -
Here it is c/o of our Props Master, Victoria Klein.
Our Production Designer, Ian Brock, designed the unique signature symbol that adorns the saya (scabbard) -
And the blade itself.
Paul checks the weight.
Anyway, we’re all done for the time being (except for the Art Department, Construction, the cast, and yours truly who will be doing another pass on all the scripts) and look ahead to our January 5th return. Yesterday, it was one final stroll through the sets and then we locked up for the holidays. Done and done.
Still, I can’t help but feel like I’ve forgotten something…