TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG!
The official COMMAND
PERFORMANCE website is online!
you'll find the latest infos and news regarding this special
DOLPH LUNDGREN project.
pictures, interviews, and videos will be posted along the way
along with informations about Dolph Lundgren's process as a director.
is taking place over the course of 5 weeks in Sofia, Bulgaria,
and will end up shooting in Moscow, Russia. Main locations in
Sofia include the Boyana Film Studios and the National Palace
of Culture, where the concert has been shot (on August 26th-27th).
The picture has been lensed for three weeks, and today starts
a two weeks full night shoot.
- If you
haven't already, check out the exclusive teaser trailer that was shot
before filming started with Dolph rocking the drums with C.M.F.
(real band D2)!
- The movie already
promises to be rock n' roll, hardcore and sexy, not mentioning
a Dolph Lundgren at his coolest!
A WRAP IN SOFIA / STORYBOARDS
production is wrapping in Sofia and moving to Moscow to shoot
exteriors early next week.
are samples of storyboards that helped Dolph Lundgren to pitch
the concept and make a visual presentation of the movie once
a script was first penned.
soon is an in-depth interview with Steve Latshaw talking about
co-writing the screenplay with Dolph!
- INTERVIEW WITH WRITER STEVE LATSHAW
For great insights about the "Command" genesis, read
our exclusive interview with screenwriter
who talks in great lengths about the writing process with Dolph:
photography for "Command Performance" has wrapped! Now will start the long months
of post-production. Editor Peter Hollywood has already started
to edit the film during filming, in order to have a rough cut
assembly soon and to start working closely with Dolph Lundgren.
- - The
Russian band "Piligrim", who performs in "Command",
posted a few photos and clips from the set
on their website, check them out!
- You can
find pictures from the set on D2
and Melissa Smith's MySpace pages!
comes the first promo pic!
- INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCTION DESIGNER
CARLOS DA SILVA
designer Carlos Da Silva discusses collaborating on the project
and the challenges of a production such as "Command Performance".
RISES AND JOE HITS HARD
- Pop star
Venus rises to take Moscow by storm!
- And Joe
hits as hard on his drumkit as he does on his opponents! (new
characters stills here)
tuned for the beginning of our set visit with reports and behind
the scenes videos...
THE SCENES MONTAGE
- The post-production
progresses surely, Dolph is excited at the prospect to get a
rough cut in a couple of weeks.
take a look at our behind the scenes preview!
player will show in this paragraph
montage will be followed by individual clips accompanying more
detailed reports about the production.
WITH THE BAND D2
band D2 is playing Dolph Lundgren's band in "Command Performance".
Read our interview!
- And new
pics from "Venus" and "CMF" performances
THE SET REPORT, Opening
(by Jérémie Damoiseau)
24th, 2008, 5 p.m., NDK - Main stage. Just off
the plane from Paris to Sofia on a hot Sunday afternoon, I'm
driven to NDK (Naroden Dvorets na Kulturata), the National Palace
of Culture. This is my second time in Bulgaria after I first
visited Dolph Lundgren on the set of his previous vehicle DIRECT
CONTACT earlier this year. Principal photography on Dolph Lundgren's
COMMAND PERFORMANCE has taken place for two weeks already. Shooting
took place for the most part at the Boyana Studios (now owned
by Nu Image) but it's now moving to Sofia's NDK (an imposing
convention center built in 1981).
is not a shooting day, but the art department is stetting up
the stage while key crew members (director Dolph, producer Les
Weldon, assistant directors Mark Roper (also 2nd unit director)
and Petya Evtimova, production designer Carlos Da Silva and cinematographer
Marc Windon) are working out last minute details for the big
week coming up that include the concert scenes. Discussion soon
end and wrap it up for everyone to go home and notably for Dolph
to chill a little more than usual, and possibly catching up on
watching the dailies.
the hotel, I'm immersing myself in Steve Latshaw's and Dolph
Lundgren's writing, reading the screenplay (latest draft) from
the first page to the last. Later on the restaurant patio, I
would find Dolph's close friend and retired karate instructor
Barry Evans sitting along with the editor Peter Hollywood. They
praise the work of director of photography Marc Windon, as being
unusually bald and admire the young Australian's dedication and
preparation (quoting his binder with all his visual references
from various films). Then arrives actor Clement von Franckenstein
(Ambassador Bradley) showing me off pictures of his death scene
on his digital camera... (to be continued)
editing is very close from completion ("picture lock")
with minor adjustements to be done, plus main titles design and
a few inserts.
Peter Hollywood ("The Adventures of Baron Munchausen")
has been working intensively at the Pinewood Studios in London.
Hollywood has worked efficiently because he started cutting each
scene on location, rather than just putting together a rough
assembly, like it's usually done. He's an old-school editor,
formely trained in flatbed editing, so he cuts movies in the
same frame of mind (thinking through before cutting) even though
he's working on Final Cut Pro.
winning Swedish composer Adam Nordén ("The Defender", "Zozo",
"Wolf") is starting work on the music score for the
next four weeks.
- CGI Visual
Effects (by Worldwide FX) and Sound Design work are to be completed
within the next couple of months.
THE SET" REPORT Part 1
25th, 2008, 7.30 a.m., Day 13 of 30 shooting days scheduled for
Crew call is 11.00am, but a rehearsal is planned for Melissa
(Venus) dance routine and D2/Dolph (C.M.F.)'s performances, adding up
to a long/busy shooting schedule ahead. The concert scenes are
not going to be filmed until the following day, but rehearsal
and final checks and decisions need to be done, to lock some
of the stage rise, lighting and staging for the stunt show.
a modest crew is getting their job done, a relaxed Dolph
in shorts is sitting down the stage, contemplating the scene
and anticipating what's coming up for the day about to start.
director Mariana Stanisheva goes up to the Swedish actor/director
and discusses a few things. Not long after, young sexy actress/singer
Melissa Smith arrives and greets her director/co-star. Sound
and playback are being checked, Melissa's Bulgarian dancers are
starting to warm up and rehearse while Melissa's in wardrobe
putting on her minimalist costume.
an acclaimed and prolific Bulgarian music video director, has
been hired to help out and manage the "live" part of
the show (like a real "live" broadcast concert). His
own crew (Global Films) is setting things up, while 'Magy' is
concerting with Dolph and producer Les Weldon...
THE SET" REPORT Part 2
25th, 2008, 8.30 a.m., Stunt Concert Rehearsal.
Melissa comes back from the dressing room, she and her dancers
prance through the suggestive song Lost In Love (fresh
from Smith's upcoming album debut) choreographed for the picture.
They go through the motions, while lighting is adjusted and discussed
under Dolph Lundgren's directions.
than an hour later, it's up to popular Bulgarian D2 to set
up, giving Dolph just the time to jam on a pair of percussions
from the band. And it's time for the real deal: Dolph takes off
his shirt, not to beat people up but to hit the drums! And oh
boy, we can see the action star is having a blast has when he's
drumming (even though this is just a rehearsal) and how much
he enjoys being here.
real life drummer, playing since he was a kid, Dolph Lundgren
has been training and taking advice with D2's drummer Yavor Alexandrov
for the last couple of months. Dolph and his band mates from
D2 will rehearse each of their two songs twice. The first song
is entitled 6, eponymous from D2's album title, the
second song was made especially for the picture and is called
- - Check
out Fox News coverage on "Command Performance", Dolph
Lundgren interviewed here
THE SET" REPORT Part 3
25th, 2008, 10.30/11.00am
CORRIDOR-LEVEL 3 - NIGHT
Meanwhile, in the facility's basement, South African-born first
assistant director (1st A.D.)/second unit director Mark Roper
is lining up an action shot of actress Shelly Varod (playing
TV reporter Ali Connor) running down an underground corridor.
Young Australian cinematographer Marc Windon is composing a stylized
lighting which is somewhat reminiscent of eighties movies such
as The Terminator, while remaining realistic and gritty.
This scene will only take a couple of set-ups with minimal takes,
just giving star/director Dolph Lundgren the time to go through
wardrobe change and make-up for the next scenes.
STAIRWELL-LEVEL 3 - NIGHT
are transition scenes between Joe (Dolph Lundgren), Venus (Melissa
Smith) and Mikhail (Zachary Baharov) walking up and running
through the facility, trying to figure out the next best move. Although the characters
interact with a few lines, shooting these scenes pretty much
consist of blocking the actors and the camera moves in a confined
space. Its not as quick and simple as it seems. It includes
several scenes and will require a few takes of each scene for
safety, including coverage and minor art department adjustments
(Bulgarian signs to be replaced by Russian), all before lunch
time at 3pm.
THE SET" REPORT Part 4
25th, 2008, 4pm
ARENA ACCESS HALLWAYS - NIGHT
is starting with an unscheduled pickup shot of a scene already
filmed the week before. British editor Peter Hollywood (who stared
assembling and cutting the picture at the Nu Boyana Studios) noticed in the dailies
that the scene needed more coverage, notably a couple of close-up
shots on Dolph Lundgrens face. A re-shoot is all the more
needed that this is a pivotal and very emotional scene. Acting-wise,
it could be the money shot that makes the audience
buy it (Joes journey and character arc). The scene involves
Joe and his new team mate, F.S.B. agent Mikhail Kapista (Zachary
and Joe breaks through personal issues that held him back. The
catharsis will enable him to get over it and change his attitude
is not a scene where Dolph can just switch his acting on automatic
and go on instinct. He needs to get into the moment and be emotionally
available and reactive. Besides his usual body stretches, Lundgren
actor paces around and psyches himself. In order to pump up the
adrenaline, the giant actor goes through a series of vocal and
physical exercises, pounding his chest, shouting and cursing
with the same tone he has in Universal Soldier. Impressive,
contagiously exciting and moving. This means business: we're
in for a promising performance.
everything's ready, cameras start rolling. The scene takes place
in a narrow hallway of the NDK building, the crew is minimal
but for some reason, unusually chatty and noisy. Production assistants
are posted at key entrances to cue for quiet, but yet cant
seem to obtain it, take after take. The usually ever calm and
posed Dolph is getting irritated and frustrated but it yet seems
to feed is performance well for this particular scene. Finally
the scene will be wrapped but it was a tense moment like it happens
sometimes on a film set, as if the world was hanging in the balance...
THE SET" REPORT Part 5
25th, 2008, 5.30pm
CORRIDOR-LEVEL 3 - NIGHT
to the basement, a group of a dozen extras is gathered. In the
couple of scenes about to be filmed, exhausted and wounded hostages
are led through the corridor by FSB agent Mikhail.
They stumble upon the Russian Special Forces Alpha Team
breaking through the arena. The special forces are led by Captain
Simenov played by Slavi Slavov, a Kyokushin karate and
Mixed Martial Arts fighter who is now Dolph Lundgren's training
and sparring partner. Dolph/Joe is not on camera in these scenes,
so it allows him to focus all the more on his directorial duties.
Alpha Team kicks in
the small crowd is 12 year-old Ida Lundgren, making her screen
debuts in her father's film as President Petrov's
eldest daughter Anna. Anna, her sister and Venus
(Melissa Smith) have to help each other going through this traumatic
experience. It's obvious that, like the sisters bonding with
their idol in the film, Ida Lundgren and her friend Robin Dobson
(playing Anna's sister) have become real close with Melissa during
the production. Ironically Ida is taller than Melissa though
a decade older.
Smith doesn't only play a version of herself as pop star Venus,
and she isn't just running scared for her life. One of the last
scenes here involves Melissa taking action herself shooting off
one of the mercs with panache and rage. The mercenary, played
by Dolph's pal James Chalke, will not only endure a painful death
but to be covered with good amounts of sticky blood make-up!
most people don't expect, and much like guns recoil, blood squibs
popping out can not only be surprising but hurt. Shelly Varod
(daughter of producer/CEO of Nu Image Bulgaria David Varod) will
experience it, wearing a blood squib for the first time.
BOILER ROOM NIGHT
Last but not least are additional close-up shots to be picked
up of Dolph/Joe delivering a punchline with a washed-up face
and dripping blood from a hand-to hand fight (to the death of
course!) that was filmed a few days earlier. The shooting space
has nothing of a glamorous film studio since it's an actual steamy
and dirty boiler room from NDK Palace of Culture. So there's
barely enough space for the camera crew, the assistant directors,
make-up artists and the script supervisor.
you know it it's around 11pm and it's a wrap for the day! This
was the first day to be reported, the next two days to be covered
tackle the pick of the production: filming the CONCERT...
- The song
"Breakdown" (featured on the promo) composed by the
band D2 for COMMAND PERFORMANCE, now has a music video! It was
shot during principal photography of the movie. On February 10th,
Dolph Lundgren joined his D2 band mates at "The Club"
in Sofia, for a special showcase of the video. Check it out HERE !
REPORT (part 6)
26th, 2008, 10.30 a.m., Day 14 of 30.
Crew Call Sheet
MAIN STAGE-ARENA NIGHT
starts the pick of the shoot that everyone has been anticipating.
And a very unusual setting for a Dolph Lundgren picture: a pop music concert!
With all the logistics involved and the wide scope of the of
the scene, the most anxious must be the producers, worried about
pulling it off and on schedule, notably with a young director
of photography who hasn't done anything of this scale before.
Six-hundred extras, five 35mm cameras, four bands, two crews,
two HD cameras in one arena for a performance shot over the course
of two days.
the morning, last touches are being done/put on the stage. And
while producer Les Weldon consults with second unit/concert director
cinematographer Marc Windon is briefing his camera/lightning
crew about the set-ups and adjustments to make.
of extras are being lead inside. The extras are wearing all wearing
Venus and C.M.F. T-shirts, the two main
attractions of the charity concert taking place in the film.
An extra assistant director/extra wrangler has been brought in
to manage and direct them. In Bulgarian, the extras are explained
how they're expected to react, cheer and applaud. Like on a sitcom
taping, the audience made of extras is getting warmed up for
the show so they can really get into it, just as
fans of these bands would be.
there you go! When C.M.F. (a.k.a. D2 and Dolph Lundgren) enter up the
stage and start playing their song Breakdown, the
crowd is going ecstatic and ready to take Sofia by storm! It's
the morning but it pretty much feels the middle of the night.
It might be a staged concert but it doesn't feel like it, and
it's such a treat to see Dolph Lundgren live pounding on those
drums! Bare-chested in leather pants, tattooed left and right
and sporting slick shades, Dolph looks like such a rock star
and a badass. And he's having such a blast at each take (during
which they'll perform the song entirely each time).
- EXLUSIVE MELISSA SMITH INTERVIEW! (part
- The singer/actress,
who appeared in shows such as Making The Band and The
Search for The Next Pussicat Doll, was born to play pop princess
Venus, and brings a young, fresh and sexy energy to COMMAND PERFORMANCE.
out more about Melissa who shares her thoughts about her career,
working with Dolph, action and of course giving her "Command
Performance" for the movie concert.
is available in the "Soul By The Pound" compilation
and at the iTunes
forget to read to our other exclusive Cast & Crew interviews
REPORT (part 7)
26th, 2008, 13.30 a.m.
MAIN STAGE-ARENA NIGHT
the wide shots on C.M.F., we're moving on to something a little
more quiet. Aside from the main attractions (warm-up rock band
C.M.F. and pop idol Venus), Dolph Lundgren had invited two more
bands (Irson Kudikova and Piligrim) to appear and perform, to give
the concert a more scope, and to have authentic Russians in the
movie by the same token.
singer/model Irson Kudikova's career was launched in the Russian
version of American Idol a few years back . In the
summer 2006, blond, tall and beautiful Irson had invited Dolph
Lundgren to guest-star in one of her music videos(Kosmosa, for which
some pretty torrid scenes were filmed). Though Irson's visit
had been arranged through Moscow-based producer Bob Van Ronkel, Kudikova almost didn't make it
to Bulgaria, because her visa was on hold at the Bulgarian embassy
in Paris while she was staying in the South of France. And that's
where I actually came in to the rescue to get her papers and
ship them to Irson so she could fly to Sofia in time!
Irson had finally arrived and the shoot was moving on to film
her performance. Her song September Rain, is slow
romantic ballad that implied a totally different style from CMF
or Venus and significant changes in the lighting and camera moves.
We had to wait for the stage to be cleared, the lights to be
adjusted and the main camera to be mounted on a Dolly for tighter
shots. A big crane was also being put together by several grips.
number is nothing like the raging energy from C.M.F. earlier.
The glittery dress and waving blond hair, the pink/purple/blue,
warmer lighting, together with the smooth circular camera moves
of the Steadicam, the Dolly and the crane combined made Irson's
performance a very glamorous show. Numerous takes were shot.
REPORT (part 8)
PRESIDENT BOX NIGHT (Scenes #35,49,54)
Irson's in the can, Dolph goes up to the president box
(located with a view on the arena) to block and rehearse the
president's (the impressive Hristo Shopov from The Passion
of The Christ) entourage: his daughters, the US ambassador,
and the security agents.
is when we have to see the president's daughters reaction to
Venus's dance routine. Dolph talks the girls through goes over
there to block and rehearse the actors which include his own
rehearses with his daughter Ida
MAIN STAGE-ARENA - NIGHT (Scenes #47,48,50,53,55,59,63,70)
Venus. The highlight of the show. Everything had to look youthful,
MTV style, from the crane and dolly moves to the low angles and
sparkling lighting changes. The Bulgarian crowd of extra went
nuts about the sexy American pop star and her provocative moves.