I studied fencing with the very prominent swordsman Tim Weske in Burank prior to my years of sojourn doing reality show productio in Las Vegas. Tim is one of the most sought-after fencing instructors and choreographers in a film industry begging for good sword-play.
Having returned to L.A., I decided to take the opportnity to do a series of shoots based on fencers. Naturally, I returned to my old training grounds, Tim Weske's Sword Play Fencing Studios. There I did an afternoon free-form shoot with instructors Benjamin Campbell and Sam Signorelli, as well as one of their star students, Jiyoon Shin. You can see some of those images on studiomenage.com, my art website.
While I was at it, I got the chance to survey Tim's current Stage Combat class, and took a set of candid photos of what goes on there. It's more than just practice a thrust and parry. Students at Sword Play get excellent fencing training, but they also get schooled on the importance of a drama and story within a fight sequence. They learn how to engage an audience in the human drama that plays out in the action, so that someone connects with the player, gets involved in the story. Students here will write a script, choreograph a scene, do the stunts and act. It's great fun, but it's also what theatre and hollywood is actually about. No wonder that Sword Play Studios attracts and turns out so many talented actors among its award-winning group of sports fencers.