Urban Action Showcase is an event to showcase action and martial arts to the world. The events are presented by Action Scene Combat (ASC) Productions, a production company which was founded in 2000 by Demetrius Angelo. Demetrius worked on movies and tv shows, not only as a fight choreographer, but also as an actor and director. Some of them include S.E.A.L.S Domestic Warfare (TV series), 3 X Harder: My Man’s and ‘Em and more. Demetrius also has a great background in Martial Arts, studying in styles such as Western Boxing, Chinese Boxing, Kobudo and many more.
Past events have brought many stars which include Michael jai White (Blood And Bone), Robert Samuels (Dont Give A Damn), Kelly Hu (Martial Law), Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Ron Van Clief and many more great stars. Urban Action also brings you workshops to get involved with, this includes Distribution, Marketing, Finance, Fight Choreography, Stunts and much more.
November 8th 2014, Urban Action Showcase are doing a live event which will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 80’s Cult Classic The Last Dragon. This will be at the NY Hilton Midtown & AMC Theaters Times Sqr. NYC! Also at the event will be mega star Scott Adkins (Expendables 2, Ninja) Daniel Bernhardt (Bloodsport 2,3,4) and Cynthia Rothrock (Righting Wrongs, Yes madam), who will sign autographs and Teach Master Classes in Screen Fighting. – SO DO NOT MISS THIS GREAT EVENT AND TO SEE YOUR ICONS LIVE.
The Urban Action Showcase is a multi-day Independent Action Film Festival, Showcase, Action Script/Comic BOOK Competition, and Urban Action Expo premiering minority filmmakers specifically in the Action Film Genre. Action is the genre of choice of Fans and Studios alike when it comes to Summer Blockbusters not to mention 9 out of the top 10 highest grossing films to date all have Action at its core! The Danger, Thrill, and Excitement of the Action genre keeps us all at the edge of our seats from the small screen to the big screen and it would seem that the Action genre has it all accept for one very important factor, Diversity. Without equal opportunity and diversity any positive message can be misconstrued. By focusing on the thrill and excitement of the Action genre and recognizing the need for integration the Urban Action Showcase sets itself apart from other film festivals as the only one of its kind!
The Urban Action Showcase will continue to grow both meeting and exceeding expectations with the help of our partnering sponsors and Indie Action fans across the nation. The Urban Action Showcase Indie Action Film Festival welcomes film and television Animation and Live Action Short and Feature narratives in various aspects of the Action genre.
I would like to personally thank Demetrius Angelo for taking time to do this interview and also like to thank Robert Samuels for setting it up. I hope you all enjoy the interview and you get yourself to some of these great events.
Interview With Demetrius Angelo
1. Hi Demetrius , first id like to thank you for taking time to do this Interview for Asian Movie Pulse. Many people will know who you are, but for those who don’t, tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in Martial Arts and Action?
I am the son of a Washington D.C Police Officer/Detective/Federal Agent. I was born in D.C in the Late 60’s I grew up playing a lot of Sports with my Dad (American Football, Boxing, Baseball, Basket Ball) at age 7 I saw Bruce Lee on TV I remember I started Jumping on the bed as it was the main attraction in your parents room and I told my father that I wanted to “do that” So he signed be up at the local Martial Arts (Karate) school and my 1st Style was Tang So Do. I did it for a year but loved Football so much I wanted to stop to go back to play. At age 10 my parents got Divorced and my mom saw that I needed some type of outlet so it so happened by downstairs neighbor was going to a martial arts school and they had Black Gi’s I thought that was so cool. So my true journey began with the American Asian Combat System which included: Okinawan Shorin Ryu Karate, American Free Style Karate, Western Boxing, Chinese Boxing, Arnis, Jujitsu, Kobudo (Weapons Training).
2.The Urban Action Showcase is making lots of big noise at the moment, take us back to when you first came up with the idea and why you felt so passionate to bring it to the world?
I came up with the idea about 9 years ago when my film partner and I were discussing the lack of festivals that accepted Action for one and then Action that represented Minorities as the Lead characters. I’ve been fortunate to have been a consultant at HBO for 15 years and have been able to produce many internal projects related to minorities and film. HBO supports a lot of Minority based film festivals so I had an excellent mentoring platform to learn from. I hooked up with my Martial Arts brother LaMard J Wingster in 03 forming ASC Troopers Touch Entertainment (http://www.asctrooperstouchent.com/) We started collaborating to produce our own Action based film and TV content which reflected our image and placed Minorities as Heroes and lead characters in film.
I finally made the decision to create the Urban Action Showcase after producing several action based short and feature content and figured if I need a platform for what I was doing so would some one else. Fortunately about 5 years ago our Cinemax brand became a content developing brand so I thought to my self whom perhaps the Cinemax brand would want to support such a platform as does it’s sister channel HBO for the non Action minority film community. So being blessed to have several relationships I was able to begin developing the Urban Action Showcase and after 3 years of constant pursuit I was able to convince Cinemax to give us a chance and in 2013 we launched!
3.You have had many great stars already attend your events, such as Michael jai White, Kelly Hu, Ron Van Clief and lots more. How did you find getting these stars to your event and was it a challenge to do so?
In all honesty the Action World is Very Very Tight and many are a part of the Martial Arts Community which again is Very Very Tight! I personally know a lot of very well known and accomplished Martial Artist who have connections with a lot of these people. One of my sponsors and Mentors Alan Goldberg who runs The Martial Arts Hall of Honors Martial Arts Mega Weekend (http://hohmega.com/) in Atlantic City NJ helped me get Michael Jai White for instance.
Michael convinced Kelly Hu as they were on the set of Arrow together so as you can see it’s much of a chain reaction. I called up Fred “The Hammer” Williamson I knew if I was going to do this I needed to go to the root of all Minority Action in the U.S and that is Fred “The Hammer” Williamson who is the Father of Black Action as far as I am concerned. He has done everything from Westerns (Adios Amigos, Joshua) to Sci-Fi (1990 Bronx Warriors, Warriors of the Lost World) Federal Agent films like (That Man Bolt and Black Cobra) and of course Blaxploitation classics like (Three The Hard Way, Hell Up in Harlem, Buck Town) and Horror (From Dusk To Dawn).
This man is a true Pioneer of the Action genre who Wrote, Direct, Produced and is the only man in those days when a Black Man could barely make it to the end of a picture, to have in his Hollywood contract that stated.1. He could not die, 2. He wins all of his Fights, 3. He gets the girl if he wants her! So I was fortunate that “The Hammer” called me back and said yes I’ll be apart of this and support you. Now when building a foundation the root of the matter is very important which brings us to Grand Master Ron Van Clief “The Black Dragon” The first Black American to ever do Kung Fu Films in Hong Kong. I am thankful that my relation ship with Grand Master started in the late 80’s early 90’s and of course he was very happy to help and get me other support as well. So basically the Domino affect took place, the Minority Action Community as a whole all felt we needed this platform so I must say Help and Support is the attitude I have experienced through out the process. In fact that is how I met you, my good brother Robert aka Bobby Samuels Hong Kong Action and Stunt star introduced us and we met at last years event do to the Magnificent Chain Reaction of support.
4.The November 8th event this year has Scott Adkins as a judge, how did that come about and what else can you tell us about this amazing event?
Scott Adkins is first our Urban Action Showcase Urban Fists of Legends Decade Award recipient along with Daniel Bernhardt, Hong Kong Action Stars; Cynthia Rothrock, Bobby Samules, Vincent Lyn and Michael Woods. I am very fortunate to have The Action Elite (http://theactionelite.com/) as a sponsor who made the connections for Scott Adkins and Daniel Bernhardt. Scott and Daniel respectively will both be conducting Screen Fighting/Fight Choreography Master Classes at this years event. http://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/
The Urban Action Showcase and Expo (UASE); Indie’s only All Action Showcase, Film Festival, Script /Comic Book Competition and Urban Action Expo dedicated to celebrating Diversity and honoring the Past, Present and Future minority achievements with in the Action genre. With the initiative of social responsibility and diversity the UASE endeavors to Recognize, Promote, Facilitate, and Encourage the participation of poly-ethnic minority Filmmakers, Actors and Industry Professionals specifically in the Action Film Genre. The UASE recognizes minority Professionals by honoring excellence in various aspects of Action Filmmaking, Acting and Artistry.
We promote minority professionals through various media outlets, facilitate distribution opportunities, and encourage new interest through the building of strong networking communities, panels, Workshops, and key sponsorship participation. The UASE inevitably inspires minority interest in the art of Action Filmmaking and Action Acting through the protocols of information, education, facilitation and exposure. We are the only Festival and Expo dedicated to the minority interest in the multi-faceted Action genre which includes; Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Supernatural!
This year we have the pleasure to honor Richard Roundtree (Shaft) , Scott Adkins, Daniel Bernhardt, Cynthia Rothrock, Fred Williamson, Ron Van Clief, Hong Kong Action stars Bobby Samuels, Vincent Lyn, Michael Woods, Action Director Isaac Florentine as well as celebrate the 30th anniversary of Berry Gordy’s 80’s Cult Classic “The Last Dragon”. We currently have Taimak, Ron Van Clief, Lisa Loving Dalton, Michael Chin, Glen Eaton, Janet Bloem and Kirk Taylor. We hope to bring in other cast members as well as honor some of Hollywood’s greats like: Pam Grier, Michelle Rodriguez, Danny Trejo, Wesley Snipes and Anthony Mackie.
We have several Workshops/Master Classes ranging from Film Finance and Distribution to Stunts and Screen Fighting. We have a full film festival featuring content ranging from Studio Showcase Films to No Budget Student Festival Films. We believe all talent should have a chance to shine. The Action genre is the Block Buster genre and most Expensive to make so I know how it is to make Action films with a Low to No budget and many of them turn out to be excellent films.
We have added a contest with the help of Martial Arts Tournament circuit star Willie “The Bam” Johnson called the Urban Action Showcase Call 2 Action Martial Arts Action and Talent Competition (http://urbanactionshowcase.showbizsender.com/i6g9g4). This is an event that complements our UAS protocols of Information, Education, Facilitation and Exposure as it allows Martial Artist to:
1. Attend a Branding Seminar called From The Ring To the Screen taught by Master Willie “The Bam” Johnson on how to brand yourself and use your unique skills for the Film and Television.
2. Provide the Tools need to get started in the Film business which are: Head Shot, Action Shot, 1 min Action Reel, and a promotional platform for Agents and Casting Directors to find you. example: http://call2actionmaat.weebly.com/maat.html We are in the process of updating to a much larger platform but this is an example.
3. Provide a platform to compete to win an Action role in an partnered Film/TV series.This will be judged by Action Greats: Cynthia Rothrock, Scott Adkins, Daniel Bernhardt, Ron Van Clief, Michael DePasquale Jr. Grand Master Robert Crosson, Oso Tayari Casel, Vincent Lyn, Michael Woods, Isaac Florentine, Fred Williamson and more!
Right now We have Fred Williamson’s Po Boy Productions, ASC Troopers Touch Entertainment, and Blue Phoenix Entertainment on board as the Studios producing Action Content that the winners have the opportunity to have scenes in.
We have an Action Expo which gives everyone involved in the Action film genre a platform to showcase their goods and services. For instance we have the Independent Comic Book Community present as well as Filmmakers, Production Companies, Editors, Stunt and Martial Arts schools, Acting Schools, Casting Directors, Agents, and more! This is where all of the Workshops and Master Classes are held and where you will find all of your celebrity Guests for Autographs and Action Photos!
We also are fortunate to have many panels such as the Urban Fists of Legends Panel and the Hong Kong Action Panel all Moderated by renowned Director/Producer and Martial Artist Warrington Hudlin. His expertise and unique brand really engages the audience and made all of the difference doing last year’s panels and we are doing all we can to have him back again with us in November. Warrington presents monthly Martial Arts Action film screenings usally followed by a Q&A with the Stars here in NYC called Fist and Sword Martial Arts Films at the Museum of the Moving Image where he is the Trustee and Curator. http://www.movingimage.us/films/2014/01/02/detail/fist-and-sword-2014/
And of course We can forget that we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Last Dragon by screening the film on the Big Screen again and having a Q&A with the Cast and Fans. This will come with commemorative T-Shirts Posters and Memorabilia http://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/p/tld30th.html
5.You have been involved in the business for over 30 years now. From the start of your career till present day, what are you most proud off?
I have no pride but I am truly thankful for the grace of God upon my life to be able to pursue my dreams in Action Film/TV. I have always wanted to be a part of this industry of Dreams and Heroes and I am humbled to do just that. I hope that we will continue to support the industry through our film making and have the Industry support the UASE as we continue to celebrate Diversity and Honor the of the Past, Present and Future minority achievements in the Action genre.
6.As a film maker and Artist, what do you feel has been the most challenging projects that you have worked on so far?
LoL by far creating and executing the Urban Action Showcase and Expo is an Up Hill Battle to say the least it has been the Hardest single thing of my life because one it’s new and two the costs are very great.. I have experienced great physical and financial sacrifices in order to bring this to past but what child doesn’t take ones all to be birthed.
7.Other than the upcoming show on November 8th in New York, what else do you have planned for The Urban Action Showcase?
Yes we have been cross promoting with various events all year long. We started in January with Alan Goldberg’s Hall of Honors, In March we were at the Comic Book Market Place comic con in NYC, In June we were at Eternal Con Long Island Comic Con. We also supported the NY Asian Film Festival which took place in NYC the end of June to mid July. Taimak personaly has been traveling to Comic Cons all over the country promoting the Last Dragon 30th Anniversary Celebration, he will be at San Diego Comic Con at the end of July. August 1st and 2nd We will be going to D.C to Dennis Browns US Capital Classics (http://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/p/tld30th.html) to have the 2nd Call 2 Action Martial Arts Action Talent Competition of the year with celbrity judges: Taimak, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Hong Kong Action star Bobby Samuels. In September we will have a segment in the Urban World Film Festival and in October we will be at NY Comic Con! It’s a not stop train as you can see to bring the awareness of the UASE to the public.
8.In terms of Action and Martial Art movies, how do you find the genre now compared to how it was in the 80’s and 90’s and do you feel it has improved over the years or declined?
The Action Genre has always been exciting to me. I believe that we are growing as an industry especially because we No Longer have to wait for Hollywood to give us a chance we have plenty of Great independent action from around the world like game changers such as Ong Bak, Raid and Raid 2, and Ip Man 1.
9.Do you have any dream projects that you would like to share with us?
Believe it or not I have always been a fan of The Last Dragon, perhaps I can slip into the sequel? I just want to continue to grow as a Producer and Filmmaker and change those whom I’m supposed to affect in this life and I’ll be happy.
10.Lastly, do you have a message for your fans around the world and also to the readers of Asian Movie Pulse?
Yes first Thank you for supporting our efforts to celebrate Diversity and Honor the Past, Present and Future minority achievements in the Action genre which include Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Supernatural.
You can be a part of the Action and our efforts to celebrate the Action Elite that celebrate us and bring us Heroes that reflect our image which is so important by of course Attending the UASE in November or Donating and being part of the Wall of Fame. http://www.urbanactionshowcase.com/p/our-sponsors.html
Friend us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/UrbanActionShowcase
Share the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1480905418789237/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/UrbanActionFest
Thank you Justyn!
Enjoy this interview with Demetrius and also check out a few more pictures below this.