We are raising funds to pitch a television show called S.M.A.C.K. Unit to entertainment industry decision-makers! This money will allow us to finish a pilot presentation that will demonstrate our mastery of the story, comedy, concept, and action, as well as introduce the characters. We have assembled a cast and crew that is passionate about bringing this funny story with serious undertones to life.
How often do we all hear about corruption? The agents of S.M.A.C.K. Unit (Specialized Multi-Agency Counter Korruption) secretly handle high-profile cases when there is suspected corruption in the form of moles within other US government agencies. When an infamous international thief escapes from prison with the help of the FBI, murders some government agents, and steals a precious Mesopotamian antiquity, the S.M.A.C.K. Unit springs into action. Young agent Malia Bennett (Ajarae Coleman) is paired with her nemesis and most auspicious arrest, Cyrus Dashti (Shahaub Roudbari), a wild, charismatic kleptomanic who almost stole the same artifact a year ago. Together with the hilariously eclectic S.M.A.C.K. team (Brynn Thayer, Mark Gantt, Samantha Sloyan and Aaron Leddick), and with special appearances from other colorful characters played by Jorge Garcia, Ayhan Tongadur and Khalid Ghajji, this unlikely duo battle their mutual distaste for one another, opposing motivations, and an ever-building sexual tension, to expertly fight their way through the criminal underground, root out the mole, and capture the dangerous thief. But the corruption they discover runs much deeper than even they anticipated...
We have attached a diverse and experienced cast and crew to help bring the story of the S.M.A.C.K. Unit to life.
David Crabtree (PSYCH, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, NYPD BLUE) is the director and co-creator of S.M.A.C.K. Unit. David launched his career in the entertainment industry as an editor, and has cut over 100 hours of primetime television, including such hit shows as NYPD Blue, Las Vegas, and Psych, where he also served as Supervising Editor. David has also edited 17 pilots and numerous TV movies and feature films. In 2008, he made the leap to Director, and helmed several comedy shorts that were featured on the front page of FunnyorDie. In 2009, David produced and directed his first feature film titled “Broken Dreams”, which garnered a total of eight awards at film festivals, including “Best Feature Film." David segued into episodic television direction on Psych. His body of directing work on Psych includes the fan favorite Season 6 Finale “Santabarbaratown”, and the final season premiere, “S.E.I.Z.E. The Day”. David is currently also working as Editor on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
FIGHT DIRECTOR/STUNT CHOREOGRAPHER
Sunny Sun (Sun Nuo) (THE AVENGERS, THE EXPENDABLES, CONAN THE BARBARIAN) is the fight director and stunt choreographer of S.M.A.C.K. Unit. Sunny is a world class martial artist, stunt man, and choreographer. A former member of the Beijing Wushu team, and international martial arts champion, he moved to the US to pursue a career in film. As a stunt man, he joined the elite '87eleven' action design team and has performed and choreographed for Hollywood's top action films, ranging from 'The Last Airbender' and 'Conan the Barbarian' to 'The Expendables' and 'The Avengers'. Blending martial arts from around the globe with his unique sense of choreography and design, Sunny has made a name for himself as one of the industry's top stunt choreographers.
Shahaub Roudbari (BRAIN OF TERROR, LOSING HER, THE IRANIAN DREAM) is the lead actor and co-creator of S.M.A.C.K. Unit. Born in California and raised in Iran, Shahaub was exposed to rich and diverse cultures and experiences, which in turn shaped his passion for performance and storytelling. Shahaub trained in Martial Arts in China and competed on the US and Iranian National teams, winning an international Gold Medal. He went on to receive a BA at University of California Berkeley and an MFA from the Academy of Art. Shahaub continues to improve upon his skills and knowledge as a performer, writer and director by training at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and creating content for his popular You Tube channel, Shaby Videos. It is Shahaub's aim to utilize all of his passions to inspire and entertain people from every background.
Ajarae Coleman (SCANDAL, 2 BROKE GIRLS, PERCEPTION) is the lead actress and co-creator of S.M.A.C.K. Unit. Ajarae was raised in New Jersey where she attended the Peddie School, and then she went on to earn an honors degree in Biological Anthropology at Harvard University. Ajarae taught sixth grade in Compton as a Teach For America corps member and then worked in the field of operations management before leaving that career to pursue her dream as an actress. Since then, she has accumulated several independent film, network television and theater credits, including Scandal, Private Practice, Days of Our Lives, 2 Broke Girls, and a starring turn in Teresa Rebeck's play, Our House. Alongside her acting career, Ajarae has developed two successful businesses.
Ajarae Coleman is "Malia" the Mastermind
Lead actress and co-creator of S.M.A.C.K. Unit (see bio above).
Shahaub Roudbari is "Cyrus" the Thief
Lead actor and co-creator of S.M.A.C.K. Unit (see bio above).
Brynn Thayer is "McBride" the Chief
After teaching elementary school in Texas for three years, Brynn Thayer moved to New York and landed a job on the soap opera, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, where she was nominated for best supporting actress. After eight years on the soap, she decided to give the west coast a try. Brynn has worked on many television shows for the last 35 years and is remembered for her co-starring role on MATLOCK, playing Andy Griffith's daughter. Recent theatre credits include her one-woman show, THE EULOGY, (dir. Michael Learned) which she wrote as well as performed. The Los Angeles Times called it, "Sardonic, Funny and Accessible…Thayer's a singular talent in peak form." She followed that with Peter Lefcourt's highly acclaimed, LA RONDE DE LUNCH (dir.Terri Hanauer) and received the Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Comedy from Stage Scene LA. She appeared in the highly acclaimed Beverly Hills Playhouse production of RABBIT HOLE (dir. Allen Barton). Thayer’s semi-autobiographical short film, WORST DAY, which she wrote and then co directed with partner Shahaub Roudbari has been her passion for the last year, and is now on the film festival circuit. In SMACK Unit, Brynn plays Chief Madeline McBride, the (often disapproving and at other times amused) leader of our eclectic team.
Mark Gantt is "Ramirez" the Enigma
Mark Gantt is the co-creator and star of the multiple award-winning digital series/feature film, The Bannen Way, on Sony's Crackle.com. He's currently in post production on four projects as a producer/actor, including the sci-fi/horror film, The Night Visitor 2: Heather's Story. Mark is a regular on the Canadian series, Bluff. He recently shot 2nd Reign of Night in Barcelona, and Hidden in the Woods, opposite William Forsythe and Michael Biehn. Mark's TV and film credits include Major Crimes, Dexter, Alias, The Shield, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ocean’s Eleven and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. In S.M.A.C.K. Unit, Mark plays Special Agent Ramirez, the sexy and enigmatic head of field operations.
Aaron Leddick is "Jonah" the Hacker
Aaron Leddick is the quirky and naive SMACK Unit computer genius, Jonah Halpern.
Samantha Sloyan is "Priscilla" the Profiler
Samantha Sloyan (SCANDAL, CASTLE, RIZZOLI & ISLES) plays Priscilla, the SMACK Unit's intelligent, straight-laced and somewhat awkward resident profiler. In addition to the wonderful episodics Samantha has been a part of, she was been the recipient of LA Weekly and LADCC awards for her performance in The Buzzworks Theatre production of "Munched".
Jorge Garcia (LOST, ALCATRAZ, HAWAII FIVE-O) is "Edmonds"
Jorge Garcia first came to public attention with his performance as Hector Lopez on the television show BECKER and later for his portrayal of Hugo "Hurley" Reyes in the television series LOST. Garcia also performs as a stand-up comedian. He most recently starred in the FOX television series ALCATRAZ, as well as playing a minor character on ABC's ONCE UPON A TIME. Jorge is currently working on HAWAII FIVE-O. In SMACK Unit, Jorge plays Edmonds, a less-than-pleasant head of security operations who is duped by our mastermind thief, Cyrus.
A major element of what makes S.M.A.C.K. Unit special (and different from the shows on TV right now) is the unique, high quality, comedic action scenes! Check out some of our action content, and some artistic renderings of what we have left to shoot!
Cyrus Updates His Wardrobe
Watch our popular fight scene!
Behind The Scenes Footage - Fight Scene!
Watch the director, DP, stunt choreographer and crew work with the actors to create the magic of the fight scene.
Stunt Training Bootcamp
Fight director, Sunny Sun, and the SMACK stunt team train Ajarae, our lead actress, to execute her fight scenes.
Check out these renderings of the action scenes we plan to shoot, crafted by talented storyboard artist, Vince Wei!
We are not the only ones who are excited about S.M.A.C.K. Unit! Check out the coverage our project and Kickstarter campaign has received thus far.
- Article on Film Combat Syndicate
- Interview with Director/Co-Creator David Crabtree
- Interview with Actress/Co-Creator Ajarae Coleman
- Interview with Actor/Co-Creator Shahaub Roudbari
- Interview with Actor Mark Gantt
- Interview with Actress Samantha Sloyan
- Interview with Actor Aaron Leddick
Here's a quick video update from the #SMACKUnit creators with 5 days left in the campaign detailing what will be accomplished if the $14K funding goal is exceeded!
Thank you for your support! Please let us know if you have any questions, and interact with us on social media using our hashtag!
Risks and challenges
Our major challenge once the project is funded will be pitching it to potential producers and buyers. However, we have already received interest from name actors, agents, and producers who are interested in being a part of the project and assisting with the pitching process. Two members of our core team have experienced the process before, and have valuable experience. We are committed to seeing this show made. If setbacks arise, the creators will pool their personal resources to make this project happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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