A few years back, I worked on a couple of scenes for a Faith-based film made right here in Fresno, about a MMA fighter.
I’ve known Alan Autry (Actor/Producer/Director) since the late 1980’s, when he came into the martial arts school I was studying at, to learn how to do a fight scene for a movie. Alan and I became friends, as we weaved in and out of each other’s lives, bumping into one another when we least expected it.
My friend and manager, Carollyn DeVore, was the casting director for this film. It’s always a pleasure to work with Carollyn and the actors from her agency. “Victory By Submission” stars Brett Prieto as “Tommy”. Brett and I had worked on a film together several years back, I always felt he had sort of a “James Dean” quality about him.
Then, there’s Casey Olson, an actual MMA fighter, who has trained with Chuck Liddell. Casey plays “Crazy Dan” in the movie, Tommy’s nemesis.
I was a little skeptical about critiquing the movie, thinking I would not be able to give it a fair critique, since so many of my friends are in it, including myself. (Of course, my 2 best gal pals, who accompanied me to the movie, roared with laughter when my face appeared on the big screen!).
I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well the movie turned out. It actually grabbed me! Filmed locally here in Fresno, CA, I recognized so many of the location shots, and I thought it was as good as if it had been filmed elsewhere, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. There was nothing “corn ball” about it, in spite of how Fresno has been made fun of in movies.
Lee Majors is also in the film. I had the pleasure of meeting Lee a few years back at the Governor’s Ball (The dinner party after the Emmy Awards), which makes it even more special to have been in the same movie as he.
Eric Roberts, who stars in one of my all time favorite Martial Arts Movies, “Best of the Best” is also in this movie.
“Victory By Submission” is a movie for all ages, however, I feel I must warn about the fight scene between Tommy and Crazy Dan. It is so well choreographed, it looks all too real. One of my gal pals, a nurse, was horrified at the fight scene. She’s seen real blood before, but could hardly look at the screen when the actors had blood and bruises on their faces.
I loved this movie, and even bought a copy of the DVD, to watch over and over again.
I hope to see more movies like this in the not too distant future.