Director & Stunt Choreographer Micah Khan On The Action Genre [Indie Beat Podcast]

♫Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the new Indie Beat episode, I’m gonna listen ’til I can’t no more♫ On this episode we have on filmmaker, stunt coordinator, and former martial artist Micah Khan!

From a very young age, Khan loved action movies and found himself practicing various different forms of martial arts. A fairly debilitating injury caused him to reassess his commitment to the form and drew him to less physically dangerous outlets, dabbling in acting and stand-up comedy before ultimately taking the plunge into directing. He made a few comedy short films before deciding to zig and direct a simple, barebones action film.

Though “The Summit” has a lean set-up and only one line of dialogue, it still manages to pack quite the punch in a short amount of time. Khan spent a long stretch of time coordinating the battle between the movie’s only two characters, and what this dedication yielded was a fight sequence that’s honestly a lot more felt than most studio movies today. His talent was evident and the movie was proof that he could do a lot with very little. Check it out here.

Jumping off that, Khan went on to make a few more short films before doing “Safe House,” an almost “Haywire“-like action piece concerning a spy trying to stay alive after a failed mission. The filmmaker pushed things a lot further this go-around, evoking a stark atmosphere and building up the tension until (you guessed it) the fists start flying. What follows is another barebones, highly kinetic action sequence devoid of the unfortunate hallmarks often found in today’s mass action flicks — indistinguishable CGI blobs, unfollowable shakey cam — and instead relies on tight choreography and excellently paced editing. You can actually see the hits! The film went on to screen on Robert Rodriguez’s El Ray Network as part of the People’s Network Showcase. Watch the teaser and stay tuned to El Ray to catch it — rumor is they’ll be throwing it online at some point this year.

It’s rare that we get a filmmaker predominantly working in the action genre to come on the show so this episode will be a unique treat. Micah and I spoke about “Terminator 2,” writing action scenes, being broke, and the absent path to any sort of career in filmmaking. To keep up with the show, remember to like us on Facebook.

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