Your new movie Lunchtime
is Over - what
were your sources of inspiration when writing the script, and is any of this based on actual workplace experiences?
I’m sure the answer in a global sense is absolutely! Everyone who is
stuck working in that dry run for purgatory that we call the “corporate
world” will have wanted to bludgeon at least one of their coworkers. We
all know this happened somewhere, at some time… Possibly even as you
read these words. But, as far as in my own life goes, no. I never
lasted long enough in a corporate environment to hit DEFCON Kill! My
record for being respectable lasted about two weeks and ended with me
speaking philosophically about whether my manager conducted his home life
in a similar fashion to his office and if that resulted in the same levels
of efficiency. This speculation was not appreciated. I ended up
making a much better consultant type, I enjoyed being paid gobs of money
to officially not care.
talk about your co-writers Gilbert Feliciano, Thekla Hutyrova and Katie
O'Donovan for a bit, and what was your collaboration like?
Writing is such a funny word, it makes it sound like pencil was put to
paper, thoughts were thought out and in the end we had something that
resembled a script. It didn’t work that way here.
Gilbert was the first person on board as my producing partner and
costar. Thekla was suggested by the man who trains us to do the stunt
coordinator job. Thekla then brought in Katie as her partner and
backup since Thekla is an in-demand stunt woman and there was the
possibility that Thekla might book work. Katie is also an in-demand stunt
woman but between the two it was covered.
Our collaboration was one of tossing ideas around, putting pieces
together and then seeing if it all came out to funny in the end. It
started with a discussion about what the short was going to be, some of
the comedic set pieces I wanted and then Thekla and Katie would go away
and a few days later they would have choreography built around it, with
other comedic moments and transitions they’ve come up with added. We’d
then work through what they came up with and then in the rehearsal things
would evolve. It was almost like repeating an improv to come up with your
script. Gilbert would add a set piece here, Thekla would see a forklift
and insist we have to use it. I’d want an homage to Civil War, Katie
would want to do a spin fling of a book to hit someone and out of this a
story came together.
In this, it should be noted that Ted Endres the DP also played a part
as it was his idea that the short be completely and always alive with
movement and that shaped how the story played out as well.
is next to no dialogue in Lunchtime
is Over - was this a conscious decision from the get-go or did it
just develop like that over time?
The lack of talking was a very definitive choice. I had a very
practical reason as well as an artistic one to not have actual words.
Let’s start with what we were doing was stupidly ambitious. We
decided to shoot something that would normally take four or five full days
with a decent sized crew in just two 12 hour days with a crew of seven very
tired and abused people. That is no time with all that action going on, we
are lucky we had any footage at all. So, from that standpoint, we really
didn’t have time to worry about capturing sound. Even if we tried, I’m
guessing most of it would be unusable, but then we really wouldn’t have
had a chance to get enough footage to make a complete project. I
knew this from the moment we said “Let’s make a movie!” I really
didn’t have much choice so I turned that weakness into a strength by
making the whole short into something comedic, a little Buster Keaton [Buster
Keaton bio - click here] to
go with your Streets of Rage. Lets be honest here, the action and the body
language are telling you everything you need to know about what’s going
on. Would dialog really have added anything to it? Plus it makes the one
line really special. I’m happy to have had the chance to do a modern
take on a silent comedy.
is Over features quite a bit of action - so do talk about the
fight scenes in your movie for a bit, and how were they achieved, how much
preparation was necessary to get them on film?
The action sequences were the brain children of Thekla and Katie.
Originally, we just had the idea of we are going to do a fight scene,
ideally highlighting the skills of the performers involved. However, this
is great if all you want is footage, if you want someone to actually watch
and enjoy your movie, it needs to appeal more broadly than that. So,
I hit upon the idea of making it a comedy about the office and the
conflict between middle management and the warehouse workers, just about
everyone could relate to that. With that idea in place, our
choreographers began putting together a string of fight events that we
could follow from group to group, you might have read a little more about
this a few paragraphs above this one. As ideas were added, they would be
brought in and placed into the flow of the fight. Some of the set pieces
were later additions, such as the Jackie Chan Rush Hour tribute or the pen
We had a three-week run-up to the shoot and due to scheduling
conflicts, we only managed six rehearsals, of those, there was just one
rehearsal where everyone was present to work the whole thing from start to
finish. We never had the chance to practice on location before we
shot. It was the night before our first day of production that Katie and
Ted were figuring out where all the action was going to happen in the
warehouse. I think they might have managed four hours of sleep
before starting their shoot day.
Another thing I would like to say about the preparation for the action
was that Thekla and Katie did a wonderful job of taking the character
descriptions I laid out and adapted the action to fit each individual
performer. Everyone has something distinctive in their movements that
tells you who they are and what they do.
is Over was almost exclusively shot in a warehouse - so do talk
about that location for a bit, and what was it like filming there?
You’ve seen that location before, except last time you saw it I was
trying to break in :) The company is called Eternity Flooring and I used
to work for them doing IT. The owner, who for some reason is very
entertained by my filmmaking and against all logic and reason was very
receptive to “Hey, can I fight all over your place?” He said
yes. It’s a warehouse that is jam-packed with flooring product, has a nice office area and is completely
closed on the weekend so nothing was in our way. Doron, either out of
generosity or just to get me to stop talking, was even willing to allow me
to use one of the forklifts, as this was a big desire for Thekla who said
something along the lines of: “I’d even consider it my payment for
doing this.” Since her boyfriend is a professional stunt driver, I was
able to sell the idea as safe.
Shooting at Eternity was helpful because it required next to no set
dressing, few props nor any additional cost to make it look like a
legitimate place of business. I don’t know about you but you can always
tell that in a lot of fighting shorts, they take place in an abandoned
warehouse that has a dirty yet sterile look to it because someone either
rented, or broke into an empty building that is currently on the rental
market. But, by Doron allowing us to use his place of business, it gave Lunchtime
is Over a much more expensive and lived in feel to it.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
This was my first attempt to direct so I surrounded myself with people
I could completely trust. I’ve worked with my DP Ted Endres for several
years now and the guy who was my 2nd AD is Manuel Gutierrez, one of my
longest standing professional relationships. I knew they had my back and
would keep me on track. The stunt action on set was under the supervision
of Katie O’Donovan, which she had well in hand at all times so I was
able to focus on the emotional performances and the comedy. I come out of
comedy so I had a clear vision of how I wanted the humor to play out.
Since I’ve worked with a few great directors, I’d seen what good
directing is so I tried to emulate how they would guide me. It was
important to speak to my actors about the intentions that their character
would need to carry them from comedic bit to bit. We were moving fast and
since I was also performing in it, I would only have a moment before we
rolled to explain what I wanted and then I’d have to perform and then
run to the monitor to see if we got what we needed. It didn’t
leave a lot of time for reflection.
You also appear in front of the camera in Lunchtime
is Over - so what can you tell us about your character, and have
you written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?
Here’s the character description I wrote for myself:
“Bruce - Supervisor: A summer job that was supposed to help pay the bills to help bolster a
career as a touring musician had turned into a way of life. The warehouse
supervisor has been in his warehouse for as long as there has been a
company. Laid back but effective, he knows his warehouse and his job
completely and isn't receptive to criticism. He treats his employees like
I always intended to be part of the performance ensemble of this
project, even before I had fully formed the premise and story. We
knew we were going to make something, but there was no idea at first
beyond kicking each other’s asses. Once we had the idea of the war of
the White collar versus the Blue, I knew I was going to be the
warehouse supervisor facing off against Bill the CFO. I also wanted to have my combat style to be a that of a
hard hitting brawler, more bone crushing than finesse. I’m more agile
than I look and I can do a few things people my size normally don’t do.
The real set piece of my fight choreography was built around me taking a
flip directly onto the unpadded concrete floor. Was that smart? No, it was
not. Was it cool to pull off? YES, yes it was.
talk about the rest of the cast, and why exactly these people?
With the exception of the CEO at the end, who you might remember as the
HEAD head of the office hydra from Under the Doghouse, everyone in the
short came out of Mike Chat’s XMA Action Stunt Class. These are the people I have trained with for most of the past year so
when I wanted to film something that I could use to show off my skills, I
wanted to bring in the people who had grown to be my friends in class to
perform with me. I had a good idea of what they could do, knew them to be
reliable and I could trust them. Trust was the most important part.
Bill Ferris (CFO) is someone I’ve filmed a few fights with and we just look
like we naturally want to wail on each other until one rises no more.
Jeff Karr (Accountant) is someone who has also worked with me on my flips
and dive rolls outside of class.
Marine Madesclaire (HR) is an amazingly diligent and talented performer who just
needed a platform to show her badassery off.
Gabriel Fiorindo Bellotti (CSR) works hard, first to arrive and last to leave.
Talin Chat (New Guy), as young as he is, is a very experienced and
professional performer but I wanted to show him as the comedic actor I
know he’s a natural at.
Reuben J. Lee (Materials) was the person I originated the idea of shooting
something with and he works hard at being a professional.
Graham Hooper (forklift) was brought in by his girlfriend Thekla since he is a
stunt driver and we wanted to do that gag with the forklift. He saw those
glasses I bought for him and he knew exactly what I wanted from his
Finally Gilbert Feliciano is talented, hungry and ambitious, he wanted to
produce something good and was willing to work his ass off both in front
of and behind the camera to make this project the best it could be.
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The shoot was a very tight schedule so it had a bit of a tense feel
while still being a friendly set. We had promised that we weren’t doing
more than 12 hour days, mostly for the safety of the performers but also
because people were working this shoot as a favor. The crew was
ultra-professional, and our camera team were straight up rock stars. All
and all, the shoot went far smoother than it had any right to go, it
helped that the cast were classmates and friends, the camera crew had all
worked together before and the people who started as our PAs stepped up
and took ownership of other duties. It was a great time, I just wish
I could remember some of it.
$64-question of course, where can Lunchtime
is Over be seen?
You can find it on YouTube here: youtu.be/DmlFS2lS7ho
Go watch it and then leave me a like and comment on the video with your
thoughts, or praise… either one works for me. Also, enjoy our exploitation trailer that we cooked up for it:
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of Lunchtime
So far, everyone who has seen it has loved it. It’s fun, it’s silly
but never at the expense of the action. It’s a love letter to Jackie
Chan… written in blood!
Any future projects you'd like to
It’s not out yet, but here is the trailer for Dark Specter 2:
As a bonus bit of silliness, enjoy my dog playing Rocky: youtu.be/Np7ufKc6Xnw
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
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is Over doesn’t have a website beyond its YouTube page
but you can find more of me:
My “deeply in need of a revamp” website: www.brucenachsin.com
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Thanks for the interview!