Measuring Up In Hollywood
Standing Head And Shoulders Above The Rest
“I run a small company that produces fun movies and I’m lucky to have a plethora of filmmaking and acting friends that come in all shapes and sizes.”— Bryan Brooks
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, December 29, 2022/ EINPresswire.com / -- In 1942 movie audiences were treated to a new concept that revolutionized filmmaking thereafter. This concept enabled the audience to experience an actor’s point of view, literally. Orson Wells, in his famed Citizen Kane, directed his crew to cut a hole in the floor so that the camera could be lowered down to knee level. This ‘looking up’ from the camera created a feel of intimidation for the viewer, as if the audience itself were so small they had to look way up at the subject. This made Orson Wells’ character seem larger than life. Conversely, raising the camera upward and focussing down made other subjects look smaller, more vulnerable, as if the audience were standing tall over the actors.
Another way to achieve the feeling of intimidation vulnerability is casting. Imagine if Rocky and Ivan Drago were to switch bodies. Would the audience root for the 6’6” Rocky to beat the 5’7” Ivan? Likely not. When telling stories, the protagonist needs to climb the mountain so-to-speak, to achieve the impossible. In 1982, Conan starred the already intimidating Arnold Schwarzenegger. Standing at 6’2” and hulking with muscles, Director John Milius was faced with a problem that camera angles couldn’t solve. How to make Arnold look smaller than his adversaries? The answer was to look far and wide for actors as physically fit and taller than Arnold, which proved to be no easy task. Even actors given small roles, playing guards or warriors, needed to be heavily built giants to create the feeling that Conan was fighting against impossible odds. Conan’s sequel went as far as hiring pro basketball hall-of-famer Wilt Chamberlain, standing at 7’1”, to play opposite Schwarzenegger.
2022 saw the release of a small budget independent film called WRECKER that has had success measuring up to higher budget films of the same genre. The film’s producer, director and lead actor is an amateur body builder who stands at 6’3”. In the film, Brooks faces off against numerous opponents and had to get inventive with cinematographer Brandon Hamilton to create the look and feel of Brooks being the smaller opponent. “I took off my shoes in one scene and gave the other actor Kiss Army boots I found at a thrift shop. The boots boosted him up 4” so he could stand at about 6’5”. That way I could look up at him during the fight. In another scene, I squared off against a big, muscly guy that was shorter than me. I had him stand on a cement block for his close-ups so he could scowl down at me.”
Charlie Woods, who plays the film’s main villain character, was the obvious choice for Brooks to cast due to his imposing 6’6” stature. Woods and Brooks’ final standoff at the climax of the film pits the two men against each other in a wild fight to the death, destroying the walls around them as well as each other. “The ending fight scene with Charlie was the easiest scene to film. I didn’t have to employ any camera tricks or take my shoes off, I just stood at my normal height and let him tower over me. I don’t have the luxury of being a big Hollywood studio that can cast whomever is needed. I run a small company that produces fun movies and I’m lucky to have a plethora of filmmaking and acting friends that come in all shapes and sizes.”
Bryan Brooks’ thriller/action film Wrecker is available on several viewing platforms. If you would like to help independent filmmakers like Bryan, please visit any of the links below and enjoy the hard work that went into the film’s creation.