Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some Screenshots and official word on trailer

We've been talking about it and you may have seen the new flyers with the official website listed, by the way, and we likely told you that the trailer will be released on New Year's Eve.

So, for anyone who didn't get the flyer and speak with us, here is the official word on the trailer. It will be released 12/31/09 by 6pm EST. So be sure to check it out.

Meanwhile I've put my hands on a few still frames from the movie.

Conrad "HeadROC" Clifton as Rippa in Battle

A beat battle featuring Dres Tha BeatNik, Errol Sadler and Joshua Tanksley

Onira Tares as Monique in Battle

So please be sure to log into the official site, again, on New Year's Eve and check out the trailer for the movie.


Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Beatmakers is Back!!!!!

Watch the Documentary that created the New Feature Film "Battle"

Congrats to Michael Senior

Congrats goes out to Michael Senior, he just wrapped on Stomp the Yard 2, Michael also played Blackout in the movie "Battle"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cast Spotlight - Chris Burns!


With razor sharp focus and fierce tenacity, Chris has played various roles on stage from Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire to Cpl. Dawson in Aaron Sorkin' s A Few Good Men To the Dauphin Charles VII in George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan.

Recently, he played Max Arthur in The Lena Baker Story starring alongside Tachina Arnold and Michael Rooker. Chris also had the re-occurring role of Brad on the first original television series for BET "Somebodies", as well as being a series regular for the Cartoon Network Superdeluxe sketch comedy series Fark TV.

A true chameleon, Chris has not only acted in well over eighty film and television programs, he also has multiple credits as a Co-Writer, Assistant Director, and Producer. In 2006 Chris had the distinct pleasure of having not one, but three projects at Park City during the Sundance Film Festival.

His latest film projects include a lead role in Kely McClung’s action film Kerberos as well as a lead role as Jay in Reel One Entertainment’s Battle.

Chris rehearses scene at WREK

Chris Burns' wife Miracole also plays a role in "Battle" as the Beatmaker Lady-O

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Battle in the Newz!!!!

Joshua Tanksley and Laron Austin

Laron Austin To Direct 'Battle'
Monday, August 17th, 2009

Laron Austin is directing the indie pic "Battle" for Atlanta-based Reel One Entertainment. Starring Chris Burns, Onira Tares and Conrad "HeadRoc" Clifton, the film is the tale of an unknown hip-hop producer, played by Clifton, who enters a Beat Battle competition.

Martin Kelley and Eddie Singleton have written the screenplay and are producing along with Kenno Rixson and Bennie Swint. Exec producer is Cassius Weathersby.

Read more:

Movie » Battle

» Comments
Joshua Tanksley
Oct 8th 2009 10:38PM I really think that this is gonna be a great urban film. I had a lot of fun working with the cast' crew and producers on this project. I first started out on the set as an extra for a few days and was given a featured role "Technician". It was a lot of fun playin the role. Can't wait to see it. Should be out in 2010.

Laron Austin to Stage Beat Battle for Reel One Entertainment

Laron Austin to Stage Beat Battle for Reel One Entertainment

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Friday, November 13, 2009

An Initial Poster

Well we've got an initial poster now.

We're working like crazy in post-production and hope to have a trailer to share this holiday season...but for now we've got an initial poster.

Stay tuned as we're working on a MixTape that will be "hot" and available to all Hip-Hop and Battle Fans soon.

Thanks to Ant & Mo from 268 for their work on the poster.

Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Monday, November 2, 2009

Do you remember?

Well, this is really it now.

We spent the last 48 hours fighting the elements to get a lot of 2nd Unit and B-Roll footage we needed to complete we re-wrapped Production with Onira and HeadRoc and immediately started feeling nostalgic for past days on the shoot. It was sad and yet satisfying at the same time.

This of course beats complete relief to be done with something, I think.

So in that spirit let me take a moment to remember some of the shoot already.

Do you remember when we met Kevin Raser delivering pizzas to eyedrum while we were doing a final location scout for the shoot? And he said he wanted to help out on the shoot? He was great, he did everything from boom op duties to extra duties to manning the fog machines and fanning them with the flags. Very good young man and willing to get it done on the set. I highly recommend him to all the filmakers in the ATL.

Do you remember when we lost our Starbucks sponsorship after we pitched a movie tie-in featuring Chris Burns as Jay? I mean how could this tagline go wrong? "Well, it's not Red Bull and Vodka but it'll have to do..." We sure thought it was a winner. Guess we shoulda pitched HeadRoc and his expensive Frappachino habit instead :)

Do you remember Conrad "HeadRoc" Clifton attempting NOT to be upset when he heard that we forgot to order his Tofu dish for lunch and that he'd have to go with the salad? Well, I thought he played it off well at the time but photo evidence here suggests he was a little miffed.

Do you remember the heated exchange between direcor Laron Austin and producer Bennie Swint on location at WREK? No? Well, you're right, that never happened. But...

...there were fireworks on the set that day. I really can't go into it at this time...but check out the scene (in the movie of course) that we shot there.

But seriously, one of the best memories involved DRES tha BeatNik and the best extras I've worked with creating the genuine Hip-Hop vibe for Battle. Thank you all for helping us create the excitement of Beat Battles.

Anyway, I just wanted to post some more pictures and thank everyone again for all the hard work that they put in on the movie. We'll be sweating and grinding in post to make sure your efforts are rewarded with a great movie.

Take care and I'll be back to blog some more soon.

Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback...various pictures from Battle

Did you miss me?

Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. There will be more blogging going on.

In the meantime, enjoy these pictures from the shoot.

Alicia Honore plays Keisha in Battle in a scene outside Never Enough Thyme Cafe

Arvell Poe (R) plays Quasar in Battle and looks to Director Laron Austin for advice on NOT being a dope Hip-Hop producer.

Chris Burns, Samantha Worthen and Conrad "HeadRoc" Clifton on the set as FVSU

I wouldn't want to work for Christopher Thomas (L) (well at least not in a kitchen environment)...would you? Just ask HeadRoc (R).

He makes a menacing boss if you ask me. It's like Rocky IV "I must break you...and then make many, many bad B-movies :)" (Dolph that is, not CT)

"You talkin' to me?" DJ Dainja actually did spin records live on the set before mangling the blocking of a complicated scene :)

And then recovering like a champ to deliver some classic lines (so says the co-writer).

Onira Tares, Errol Sadler and HeadRoc on the scene at Lenny's Bar along with some Paranormal Activity happening behind them.

As always, I urge you to stay tuned to the blog as there will be more revelations soon.


Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martini Day!!! It's a wrap at Solar Sounds Studio

No, it's not a drinking holiday on the set (well, for our Gaffer Dan Slemons it is because of his crafty side deal that keeps his beer locker stocked during production) it's the Martini Day because it's the last day of Principal Photography.

Last day of prinicpal photography is always a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, everyone is excited to have completed the project. A lot of hard work goes into translating script to screen, so it feels great to have accomplished getting it all into the can. However, most of the time on a good set, there's the little feeling of melancholy that you won't be spending time with the little family that gets created on each production (at least not for a while)...and that's exactly how it felt Sunday when we were going through our last day of full crew production on "Battle".

We started off confused...again. As Chris wasn't sure which wardrobe he had worn in the scene that immediately follows the scene were were supposed to shoot. He had brought all the wardrobe choices...except the one we thought it was. So he rushed back to get that shirt only to find out that he had brought the correct clothes after all. It was the red shirt (not the RED shirt you see above...he takes things to figuratively sometimes).

The trick to a last day (at least my theory) is to make it an easy day (my first feature the last day was the toughest and I felt bad that I wasn't able to smile and hug everyone as they wrapped because we were so stressed to "make the day") so everyone can enjoy themselves. So we scheduled 2 scenes that are vital but still...2 scenes for a crew whose shown the ability to get 10 pages a day in the can when necessary? But of course, never is a day on an indie film ever easy.

However, with great actors like E. Roger Mitchell, Chris Burns, Conrad "HeadRoc" Clifton, and Candace Mabry on the set, any setbacks can be overcome through their excellent work. And they all did great.

So, we got back on track and overcame the little issues and our Martini scene was on Deck.

For the scene we had once again the talents of Rapper Trimm and James E. Brown II on the set playing Dirty Dollar$ and Big Man respectively and our generous host Talib Shabazz got to do a cameo as well.

Talib Shabazz was kind enough to allow us to shoot at his great recording studio Solar Sounds Studio.

For those unaware, Talib being part of "Battle" is very significant because he is an Icon on the Atlanta Hip-Hop scene. He co-hosted WRAS’ Rhythm & Vibes Show (‘91-’94) which was one of the most important Hip-Hop shows in college radio at that time. He went on to also host V-103’s Thunderstorm Mixshow (‘95-’96), WRFG’s Ruff, Rugged, & Raw among others. Talib also opened the first Street Marketing company in Atlanta, Keep It Street Marketing & Promotions and is one of the founders of Ear Wax Records & CD’s (which was the record store we had written into the script).

Above all, he's one of the great people in the ATL hip-hop community.

Now that we've wrapped principal photography, that doesn't make this blog obsolete...we're in post and there are tons of pictures that I still want to share so please be sure to stay tuned.

Thanks for following along thus far and thanks to all the cast, crew and location partners who've allow us to get "Battle" into the can. It's been great!


Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fort Valley State University partners with Battle

One of the toughest aspects of making independent films on extremely low budgets is finding locations.

Not just finding locations but finding locations that will accommodate your crew for long enough to effectively film the scenes you need to film.

Unless you have a film that takes place in one place (a la "Clerks") then finding locations that you can shoot at becomes a daunting task for most independent filmmakers. And Battle was no exception to this rule.

The script for Battle has several scenes that take place on a college campus since the main character happens to be studying music at College.

Well, after looking long and hard, we found a school who was sympathetic to our challenges as well as enthusiastic about our message in this movie.

That school was Fort Valley State University.

We scouted Fort Valley State a few weeks ago and met with the Director of Campus Facilities Mr. Donald Moore and he really liked what we were trying to say with our film and wanted to be a part of that.

So, we set a date and planned the shoot which put one of the last pieces of the puzzle of our schedule into place. We could now finally schedule our final shoot day at Solar Sounds Studio as well.

Fort Valley State University is located about 2 hours south of Atlanta, GA so we got an early start to the day (about 7am) in order to drive to FVSU to make our call time of 9:30AM

I drove myself and lead actors Conrad "HeadRoc" Clifton, Onira Tares', and director Laron Austin while producers Eddie Singleton and Bennie Swint followed me as well as Behind the Scenes director Ian Williams. Along the way, Assistant Director Dave Watkins passed us and apparently everyone else did too because when we arrived, Samantha Worthen, Co-Producer Kenno Rixson and Assistant Camera Bashiri, and even Chris Burns were waiting for us in the parking lot of the athletic complex which would serve as our base of operations for the day.

Shortly after our arrival Mr. Donald Moore opened the doors and we loaded in and began setting up the Digital Download station and the office for the first set of scenes.

Samantha Worthen (below) plays Mrs. Whitmore, the director of Financial Aid in the first few scenes that also have HeadRoc's character, RIPPA, trying to get back in school after struggling financially.

Organizing to shoot outside on Campus

After we got the financial aid scenes in the can we needed to shoot a few scenes with our main characters on Campus, so we decided to shoot some of these scenes outside in order to incorporate the lovely campus into the fabric of the movie.

We first shot with Onira and Chris near the school's mascot statue, a wildcat.

Then we needed to break for lunch and Mr. Moore showed us around campus as we made a company move to the FVSU Cafeteria.

Afterwards, we shot another scene outside the Founders Building (which was the first building ever on the historic campus) and fought the nippy wind...well, the actors fought it, I had my jacket on :)

And then we shot some establishing shots with Headroc on campus and went back to shoot another interior.

This time we wanted it to take place in the student athletic complex, so we set up the scene there.

And then we wrapped the day, shooting nearly 10 pages of the script (that's a good chunk kiddies) at the fabulous Fort Valley State University.

Needless to say, we want to express our sincere gratitude to the University and especially Mr. Donald Moore for their generous contribution to the film.

thank you,

Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Laron, Bashiri and Kenno at the Digital download station at FVSU

The tour continues

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rough housing on the set

If you've ever been on a set with one Chris Burns you know that the scene witnessed above is not atypical.

Burns decided to attack producer Eddie Singleton because we were carrying Cheezits instead of the usual Goldfish crackers on the Craft Services table.

An obvious oversight on our part but this smacks of over-reaction on Mr. Burns part.

Eddie obviously thought so too.

(legal department's note...the picture above is a make-up effect and not a true injury)

Thanks to the cool Samantha Worthen for coming down to play a supporting role and not minding the drive down to Fort Valley State University. And thanks to her for supplying these pictures.

HeadRoc and Samantha Worthen on the set at Fort Valley State University

More updates soon and pics from the last weekend of principle photography.

Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Battle crew member's own movie set for release 11/3

We've got lots of updates coming soon...

...but I wanted to take a moment to congratulate our excellent Assistant Director, Dave Watkins, on the upcoming release of his movie Stragglers which he directed, produced, and even stars in.

It's a horror flick with lots of if it's not your cup of tea you can just add it to your Netflix queue and push it back just before it ships but the add will help our man Dave.

So please put it in your queue and tell your friends too.

Two other Battle cast members also star in the film, Chris Burns and Michael D Friedman.

Do it sooner rather than later as it will be better if it's in demand before the actual release date which is Nov. 3rd.

Stragglers on Netflix

You can now queue up Stragglers on Netflix! Its releasing on DVD November 3rd.


Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

AD Dave Watkins wonders "how a big time feature film director gets roped into working with 'these guys'?"

Sarah Anne Cooper and Muta'Ali Muhammad show some "Papparazzi Love" in Battle

HeadRoc Makes a beat versus Miracole Burns (had to sneak in a Battle pic)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hurry up and WAIT!

Dan Slemons and Laron Austin outside Never Enough Tyme Diner

Yes, we're still in production. Only two days of principle photography to go and we can't wait to get those days in the can.

What are we waiting for?

Well, lots and lots of things.

You never really appreciate the logistical challenge of any project until you're in the middle of it.

We've got several challenges to finalize but we feel we're close to getting those completed. We'll have an update soon.

We've got a new system to configure which will make editing a lot less of a time consuming endeavor as we've upgraded the system to make it 8 times more powerful than before which hopefully means that post-production can go at least twice as fast as we'd expected initially.

There's also human logistics. We are working around a lot of schedules because we're not Warner Brothers and cannot lock everyone down for 3 months straight. So we're being as flexible as possible with Cast and Crew and they're reciprocating for us as well. It's truly been easy up to this point. I can say that with all sincerity.

And of course, one of the most daunting tasks can be locations.

We had to search far and wide for one of the key locations for the whole movie and we believe we found it. The aesthetics of the location are perfect and the people helping us facilitate the shoot have been tremendously supportive. We'll reveal all in a future post but needless to say that we think it will be worth the wait for us in the end.

So, bear with us because once we get things solidified, the pace picks up fast and furious again and before you know it we'll be full-tilt into post production on "Battle"

So please stay tuned...

Martin Kelley
Producer, "Battle"