September 1, 2008
The official COMMAND PERFORMANCE website is online!
Here you'll find the latest infos and news regarding this special DOLPH LUNDGREN project. Exclusive pictures, interviews, and videos will be posted along the way along with informations about Dolph Lundgren's process as a director.
Filming 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!
September 11, 2008
The production is wrapping in Sofia and moving to Moscow to shoot exteriors early next week.
Below 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.
Coming soon is an in-depth interview with Steve Latshaw talking about co-writing the screenplay with Dolph!
September 21, 2008
- For great insights about the "Command" genesis, read our exclusive interview with screenwriter Steve Latshaw, who talks in great lengths about the writing process with Dolph:
- Principal 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!
September 29, 2008
Here comes the first promo pic!
October 7, 2008
Production designer Carlos Da Silva discusses collaborating on the project and the challenges of a production such as "Command Performance".
October 14, 2008
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)
Stay tuned for the beginning of our set visit with reports and behind the scenes videos...
November 3, 2008
The post-production progresses surely, Dolph is excited at the prospect to get a rough cut in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, take a look at our behind the scenes preview!
The player will show in this paragraph
This montage will be followed by individual clips accompanying more detailed reports about the production.
November 19, 2008
Popular band D2 is playing Dolph Lundgren's band in "Command Performance". Read our interview!
And new pics from "Venus" and "CMF" performances are revealed
(by Jérémie Damoiseau)
November 26, 2008
August 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).
Today 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.
At 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)
December 2, 2008
Picture editing is very close from completion ("picture lock") with minor adjustements to be done, plus main titles design and a few inserts.
Editor 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.
Award 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.
December 12, 2008
August 25th, 2008, 7.30 a.m., Day 13 of 30 shooting days scheduled for principal photography. Stunt Concert Rehearsal. Crew call is 11.00am, but a rehearsal is planned for Melissa Smith's (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.
While a modest crew is getting their job done, a relaxed Dolph Lundgren in shorts is sitting down the stage, contemplating the scene and anticipating what's coming up for the day about to start.
Casting 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.
Magardich Halvadjian, 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...

Dolph Lundgren with Magy Halvadjian

Dolph Lundgren
to be continued...
December 17, 2008
August 25th, 2008, 8.30 a.m., Stunt Concert Rehearsal.
When 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.

Melissa Smith ("Venus") rehearsing "Lost in Love"

Dolph Lundgren watching the rehearsal

More 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.
D2 lead singer with Dolph before rehearsal
Dolph blasting the drums

A 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 “Breakdown”.
- Check out Fox News coverage on "Command Performance", Dolph Lundgren interviewed here
December 27, 2008
August 25th, 2008, 10.30/11.00am
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.

These 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. It’s 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.

Lining-up the shot

"You sure you know how to use this?"

"We go one way, you the other"

Blocking the next shot
January 5, 2009
August 25th, 2008, 4pm
Afternoon 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 Lundgren’s 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 (Joe’s journey and character arc). The scene involves Joe and his new team mate, F.S.B. agent Mikhail Kapista (Zachary Baharov) and Joe breaks through personal issues that held him back. The catharsis will enable him to get over it and change his attitude afterwards.
This 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.
Once 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 can’t 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...
Joe and Mikhail
February 6, 2009
August 25th, 2008, 5.30pm
Back 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.
The Alpha Team kicks in
Among 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.

Melissa 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!
What 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.
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.
Before 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...
February 13, 2009
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 !
April 12, 2009
August 26th, 2008, 10.30 a.m., Day 14 of 30.
Cast & Crew Call Sheet
Today 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.
In the morning, last touches are being done/put on the stage. And while producer Les Weldon consults with second unit/concert director Magy Halvadjian, cinematographer Marc Windon is briefing his camera/lightning crew about the set-ups and adjustments to make.
Waves 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.
And 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).
CMF rocks!
April 24, 2009
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.
Find 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.
Melissa's song "Lost In Love" is available in the "Soul By The Pound" compilation and at the iTunes Store.
Don't forget to read to our other exclusive Cast & Crew interviews HERE!
May 2, 2009
August 26th, 2008, 13.30 a.m.
After 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.
Russian 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!
So 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.
Irson's 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.



May 11, 2009
August 26th, 2008
INT. PRESIDENT BOX – NIGHT (Scenes #35,49,54)
Once 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.
This 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 daughter Ida.
Dolph rehearses with his daughter Ida
July 8, 2009
August 26th, 2008
INT. MAIN STAGE-ARENA - NIGHT (Scenes #47,48,50,53,55,59,63,70)
Enters 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.
Marc Windown operating
a Dolly shot
July 13, 2009
August 26th, 2008
By mid-end afternoon, it's up to filming medium shots and close-ups on Dolph and his band in the movie, CMF.

Dolph comments on additional coverage
EXT. CONCERT ARENA – NIGHT (Scenes #23, 27, 29)
It's this time between “magic hour” and sunset so the night has not fallen yet. Huge lights have been arose towards the arena, which has been decorated with Venus marquees and posters. Extras have been gathered around the arena, waiting behind barriers just like a crowd of fans. Extras posing as journalists with prop cameras and boom mics are waiting next to the entrance. Dolph is called to check the set up and blocking, the 1st assistant director Mark Roper (also director of Nu Image's City of Fear, Marines, Operation Delta Force 3 & 4) and director of photography Marc Windon are expecting him to line up the shots.

Dolph gets on the set

Blocking the president's arrival
The scene to be covered is the arrival of the presidential motorcade, followed by the red carpet treatment for President Petrov (Hristo Shopov) and his daughters escorted by his entourage of security agents. A second unit camera in the nearby building facing the arena is also posted to get an over the shoulder shot of a sniper spotting the arena (like an establishing shot). It takes some time to block the actors coming out of limousine and get their mark and make their entrance. Same for the arrival of the presidential and security cars which takes some time to get the timing right.

Discussing his character with the editor and fight choreographer

Talking Irson trough the scene
When this has been shot we have an appearance of Russian singer and guest star Irson Kudikova being interviewed by reporter Ali Connor (Shelly Varod). It takes Dolph a few rehearsals with both actresses to get it right.
By the time all this is done it's 11-12pm and time to wrap for another grueling shooting day.
COMMAND PERFORMANCE receives World Premiere!
July 17, 2009
COMMAND PERFORMANCE will be screened at the closing night of the Ischia Global Film & Music Festival (Italy) on July 18th, 2009!
COMMAND PERFORMANCE is lined-up for a DVD release in North America from First Look Pictures on November 3, 2009!
The movie runs about 100 mins and has just been rated R for "strong bloody violence throughout, and language" by the MPAA.
July 27, 2009

August 27th, 2008, 8 a.m., Nu Boyana Studio editing room
The editor, Peter Hollywood (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), has been flown to Bulgaria to start assembly and edit the picture as it's being filmed. He starts putting the scenes together as soon as the rough dailies are coming back and delivered processed from the lab (on this picture, two days after the footage has been filmed). Hollywood also spots eventual "pick up" shots, additional coverage like close-ups of a scene that's been filmed, from a storytelling point of view. He also discusses assembling the picture and pace.

August 26, 2009
The North American DVD & BLU-RAY release from First Look Studios will include:
- Interviews With Dolph Lundgren
- Behind-The-Scenes Fight Footage
- Widescreen 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
- 5.1 Digital Sound,
- 1080p High-Definition (Blu-ray),
- Spanish subtitles
- Previews
It will be available on NOVEMBER 3!
Pre-order it now on AMAZON!
October 8th, 2009
Dolph Lundgren completed a trip to Dallas and military base Fort Hood, Texas to kick off the COMMAND PERFORMANCE sales and PR tour!
He attended a change of command ceremony, did gave interviews and met with Blockbuster executives. Dolph really enjoyed meeting the soldiers in Texas and he felt honored to spend time with them and sign autographs; he has a great respect for them.
Up and coming director of photopraphy Marc Windon gave a very insightful interview to Australian Cinematographer magazine. Windon talks in great depths about his work on COMMAND PERFORMANCE and collaborating with Dolph for the first time. Read on HERE!
MOVIEWEB EXCLUSIVE: Dolph Lundgren Gives One Hell of a Command Performance!
October 29th, 2009
"Dolph Lundgren has directed, maybe not the best film of the year, but certainly one of the coolest, strangest, funniest fuck-em-up hostage thrillers seen in (at least) the last five years."
Read this awesome interview with Dolph himself!
October 30th, 2009
Play the COMMAND PERFORMANCE Trivia Game, challenge your friends, & win!

COMMAND PERFORMANCE, comes out on DVD & Blu-ray in the USA on November 3rd.
Help spread the word and win a trip to L.A. for a private workout with Dolph!
How do you win? Easy — you just:
1. Watch the COMMAND PERFORMANCE trailer.
2. Play the Trivia Game and score as high as you can.
3. Win extra points by challenging your friends to play!

The fan with the most points by December 3rd wins a private workout with Dolph. And there are cool 2nd- and 3rd-place prizes, too.
Go on — give it a shot!
1st Prize: Workout with Dolph Lundgren (1 winner)
A two-hour private training session with Dolph Lundgren in Los Angeles, CA. Includes:
Roundtrip coach airfare to Los Angeles, CA, for one person from any major airport within the Continental USA.
Two-night stay for one person at a selected hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

2nd Prize: Signed COMMAND PERFORMANCE DVD (3 winners)
3rd Prize: Signed Dolph Lundgren Poster (5 winners)
November 4th, 2009
Dolph joined the Blood Bullets & Broads: The Arrow in the Head Podcast to discuss in great depths about his directing career, COMMAND PERFORMANCE and his upcoming flicks UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 3, ICARUS and the most anticipated THE EXPENDABLES!
November 5th, 2009
Ain't Cool News critic Quint reports on the day he spent with Dolph Lundgren promoting COMMAND PERFORMANCE at the military base of Fort Hood, Texas.
Read HERE.
November 6th, 2009
Dolph Lundgren was a guest on G4's "ATTACK OF THE SHOW" and sat down with Kevin Pereira to talk about directing COMMAND PERFORMANCE, THE EXPENDABLES, how to block a punch and more!
Watch the video
Behind The Scenes Interview
Behind the scenes pics
November 8th, 2009
Dolph caught up with Greg Gutfeld's on Fox News' "RED EYE" to discuss COMMAND PERFORMANCE!
Watch the video
November 22nd, 2009
Watch this awesome interview with Dolph "Up Close with Carrie Keagan" on NGTV!
November 23nd, 2009
- in Sweden on November 25th (Warner Home Video)
- in France on December 1st (rental, Seven Sept), retail January 12th 2010
- in Germany on January 19th (rental Kinowelt), retail March 4th 2010

© 2009 Cat Burglar Productions, Inc. All rights reserved.

website concept, design, blog and interviews by Jeremie Damoiseau

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