From Eric Lim and Stephen Reedy, the creative team behind the emotional anti-suicide PSA The Forge, is a goofy and violent revenge flick. Moving so fast that it verges on non-sensical, it is described by the duo as a “PCP vs. PTSD proof of concept”, that is “based on patterns and payoffs instead of traditionally beloved story structures”. Blending psychedelic visual effects, with playful video-game inspired touches, it is a stunningly original visual experience — we liken it to Freddie Wong crossed with Quentin Tarantino.
Of course, Tarantino famously will let scenes breathe and play with “stretching the rubber band”. Reedy and team have no patience for that here, employing a decidedly ADHD approach. That isn’t to suggest that it is any way haphazard though, the digital vfx are complemented by, and often blended with, quite interesting and detailed practical effects that surely took a lot of coordination and development. The film’s producer, Eric Lim, mentioned to us that the shoot was 5 days — a quite deliberate schedule, which allowed stunt choreographer Vlad Rimburg adequate time for the (quite strong) fight scenes.
Dropped into the middle of the action however, it is easy to be a bit disoriented. The expository catchup blazes by quickly, and protagonists and antagonists emerge and recede with little introduction. Reedy mentioned an admiration for the Crank series of films, and the comparison helps highlight how important the audience familiarity and charisma of a star like Jason Statham is often to these kinds of genre films.
Overall the level of visual sophistication and scale of the production is quite impressive however, and proves that this team is ready for bigger challenges. Lim is developing a feature version of this concept, and Reedy is likewise working on two martial-arts features that capture a similar balls-to-the-wall tone. Despite, or maybe because of the cheekily extreme violence, the aesthetic I reckon has appeal to the YouTube generation. Calling all producers — check in with these guys.