We’ve all heard people say that a fight is won or lost in your mind, often before the first punch is even thrown. But, what really goes through a fighter’s mind when he’s tested? Professional mixed martial artists spend weeks, if not months, preparing for a fight – a fight that can often end in less than a minute. So many things hang in the balance: their livelihood, their health, and even their self-respect. No one wants to go down. Win or lose, a fighter wants to keep going until he can’t go anymore… and then maybe push a little further.
One More Round is a short film that explores what goes through a fighter’s mind when he’s pushed to the brink. When everything around him is screaming for him to step away, what drives him to continue? The film opens moments before the final round of a fight, where our protagonist, Jake, is seemingly at the end of his rope. Battered and bloodied, the fight looks all but lost. A cut above his eye may end the fight. Jake’s opponent, Alves, is fresh and ready to inflict more damage. Jake’s wife, Emma, watches from the crowd worried for the man she loves. Jake’s trainer, Wade, wants him to dig deep to get through one more round.
Although one of our primary goals is to shoot a thrilling cinematic round of mixed martial arts action, the story takes the approach of exploring the fight through Jake’s eyes. A fight without emotional significance, regardless of choreography and camera work, can feel empty and detached. Viewers need to connect with the protagonist. Feel his plight. Step into his shoes (or slip on his gloves, as is the case here) in order to follow his journey. We intend to bring viewers into the fight, and get them as close to living it without actually stepping into the cage.
Our plan is to shoot the film on a variety of cameras. The workhorse for the film will be the RED One. We intend to shoot the film using anamorphic lenses, allowing us to get a more cinematic feel and a shallower depth of field. The Weisscam high-speed camera will be used for the slow-motion shots that are called for in the piece. Capable of shooting upwards of 1,000 frames per second, this camera will give us the opportunity to get some amazing shots of the action. Finally, we intend to use the Canon 7D & 5D, equipped with Lensbaby lenses. These lenses allow us to play with varying focus points, enhancing the visual experience, and really putting you in the fighter’s mind.
So, what does the money go toward, you ask? The top item is rentals. Although we will be relying heavily on favors, we need financing to rent lights, grip equipment, a dolly, jib arm, etc. We also need the money to help us with post-production, including the all-important sound mix and color correction. Finally, although the cast and crew involved will be donating their time, we need to pay for locations, makeup and a variety of additional production necessities.
The money we’re asking is the minimum we have calculated to pull the film off. Anything extra we can raise will be pumped into the production, allowing us to do even more.
Why Donate to Our Project?
MMA isn’t something I just discovered last week. I have been following mixed martial arts since it first appeared in the US over 15 years ago. I started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1996, and have remained involved in the sport ever since.
With the explosion of mixed martial arts’ popularity these last few years, a handful of MMA films have been released, none of which fully explore what it’s like to be in the cage. With One More Round, we want to take the cinematic fight experience beyond fancy choreography, and make it an emotional journey that tells a compelling story.
My last short film, Numb, told the story of the emotional struggle that happens out of the cage, One More Round will tell the story of the emotional struggle that happens within it.
Finally - who are we?
ERWANN MARSHALL (Writer/Director). My bio is at the bottom right of the page!
AMANDA MARSHALL (Producer). Amanda is currently a producer at Ambush Entertainment where she has co-produced a number of films including THE RIVER WHY with Zach Gilford and Amber Heard, EVERY DAY starring Helen Hunt and Liev Schreiber, and SUPER with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page. Most recently she produced the indie drama ANSWERS TO NOTHING, starring Dane Cook and Elizabeth Mitchell. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1622973/
EDWARD DOTY (Producer/Choreographer/Editor). Edward had edited numerous television shows, including THE AMAZING RACE for CBS, FACT OR FAKED for SyFy, and THE FASHION SHOW for Bravo. Additionally, he produced and directed the MMA documentary LIFE IN THE CAGE. Most recently, he produced SHARK FIGHTS for Fuel TV. He holds a Black Sash in Jing Mu Kung Fu, has fought in the Team USA Shidokan Open, and is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. These skills have served him well as a fight choreographer on numerous short and feature films. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1395500/
DAVID MAHLMANN (Director of Photography). David has worked on numerous projects, including studio features, independent films, commercials, industrials and documentaries. This has given him the opportunity to work alongside such cinematographers as Peter Biziou, BSC, Bill Butler, ASC, Albert Maysles, ASC, Robert Primes, ASC, and Nancy Schreiber, ASC. He has operated on such projects as SIX FEET UNDER, HARD TIMES OF RJ BURGER, KNIGHT RIDER, GHOST WHISPERER and the Project Green Light feature STOLEN SUMMER. He has also photographed a number of award winning festival selected projects. Among them is the MMA-themed film NUMB, for which David was selected for the 2011 Emerging Cinematographer Award. David is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, and has been an active member of the Society of Camera Operators. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0537014/
SCOTTIE EPSTEIN (Jake - Lead). A black belt in jiu-jitsu under Eddie Bravo, Scott has been training martial arts for over a decade, and is undefeated in professional mixed martial arts bouts. Beyond his abilities in the cage, he has showcased his abilities on screen in a variety of films and television shows over the years. His performance in the short film NUMB earned him a best actor nomination at the 2010 Method Fest Film Festival. He can be currently seen playing Justin in NEVER BACK DOWN 2: THE BEATDOWN, directed by Michael Jai White, and later this year in SUGAR, directed by Rotimi Rainwater. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0258540/
- (45 days)