Tuesday, February 19, 2013
They grunt as they knock and kick each other to the floor in the big fight scene. The cage floor makes a pounding sound as the two martial arts fighters – “Tony Napoli” (Paul Watts) and “James Miller” (Adrian Westendorff) – hop and bounce around.
The fight appears realistic, but at the end of the scenes the stars are merely sore.
Director of photography Matthew Suchodolski holds a camera on his shoulder inside the fight cage and moves in close to the action. There are some close calls with the camera and the actors as they complete the wild, raging action.
Jan. 7 was the last day of filming for Aldo Napoli's movie “Broken.” The scene takes place at Charleston Krav Maga, a mixed martial arts studio near Wappoo Road and Sam Rittenburg Boulevard in West Ashley.
Watts, a Summerville native, is starring as the main character. Watts said Tony has just been divorced, has a terrible job, a bad boss and has pent up inspiration to do something great. He finds meaning in martial arts.
One night Tony is working as a bar bouncer and throws out a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter after he gets too drunk and is picking on a girl, Watts said. Tony meets “Anna” (Courtney Pierce) at the bar, but she turns out to be a drug addict. Tony eventually gets her into rehab.
Watts has had some basic martial arts classes but trained rigorously for this role.
“I've been training solid for the past four to five months with real MMA fighters,” Watts said. “It's Aldo's first film. It's going extremely well.
“He's been a huge supporter. He knows what's going on. The crew has been hilarious. I can't stop laughing when these guys are around.”
Parts of the script coincide with his personal life, Watts added. “I've had to quit smoking,” he said.
This is not the first time Watts has been in front of the camera. About a year ago he was working on “Hipster Holocaust” in Wilmington, in which he plays a villain.
“I had to eat a real pig's eye,” he recalled. “I had to scream and run after victims.”
He's also acted in “Closet Case” and “Garage Band,” which were filmed in Chapel Hill.
“I've been doing this on and off for a long time,” he said. “This is the first time I've gotten real serious about it.”