Hey friends!

Welcome back to the blog. As many of you will have seen on my socials, I have teamed up with Sam Seeley - the co-founder of the SUNRAY series, alongside Names Nicco and fpsmagda to exec produce 'OKAMI' - a drama with tactical integrity via Kickstarter. Alongside exec producing OKAMI, I'll also be starring in it as 'Nova' - the pack leader of the Luna Group (a group of all female operators).

Let's chat about OKAMI first of all and find out what it's all about. Well, OKAMI is a drama unlike anything else. The story follows Ajani, a former counter-terrorism firearms officer. After a transfer to an undercover Met Police unit, AJ must use his skills as an agent handler to deliver results, all whilst remaining within his perception of the fine line of the law. But how do you act with integrity, when that line isn't quite as straight as it once was? When the line is contoured and bent by the same governments and organisations tasked to ensure that line remains linear. 

Moments after a highly traumatic incident; the death of one of his undercover operatives, the story tracks Ajani's decline into darkness, as he tries to understand the world and people around him.

In this world of elevated corruption, AJ has to realise that in his darkest moments, in order to do any good, he must become the worst version of himself; to submit to the shadow. Guided by the dark spirit, Ajani discovers more than the path of righteousness, but a legacy. A legacy of which he is obligated to fulfil; A suit of armour, a katana, a destiny.

The inspiration for OKAMI initially came from the story of Yasuke. The mystery behind the life of the first Black Samurai had always fascinated Director Sam Seeley. How he was accepted into the Japanese/Samurai culture and bravely went on to rise the Samurai ranks serving under the formidable Oda Nobunaga. This was the basis of his idea, that Yasuke, after serving Nobunaga ventured throughout the land, looking for landscapes of great unbalanced energy; good vs evil, a deliverer of justice.

The Katana and elements of the armour travel through time and are adapted/modified to the environment in which they are found. They are destined to a chosen few each century, who then must carry the weight of that century's title. For every Samurai that wields the Katana and the armour, the tools grow in power. A progressive element, with the new user not knowing the wealth of the powers inherited, let alone the one they will eventually contribute. 

Much like Yasuke, Ajani is a lone wolf in a foreign land. He must find his pack or be forced to fight alone. 

OKAMI's USP is the crew and the pre-production process. All of the primary cast will be trained by former British Special Forces and British Royal Marine Commandos. This means real-life hand-to-hand combat, weapon drills, tactics and gun-fu action based on real-life warfighting and police operations. They recently had the pleasure, with the thanks of their international network, to take some of the Okami cast and crew to the USA to undertake a 5-day intensive tactical operator and trauma medical programme. The programme consisted of Day 1 - firearm handling and safety through a very steep learning curve to Day 5 - Confined shooting, breaking contact from cars, moving in pairs, Kali knife defence and offence, treating and managing catastrophic bleeding and much, much more.

Even though OKAMI is a fantasy action - an adventure with Samurai, Yakuza, Eastern Bloc Mobsters and Corrupt Counter Terror police; the foundations of all the 'Tactical' elements have to be correct. The chemistry has to be right, The cast will not only have to look and move like operators, but they also have to think like them too.

The conventional routes of filmmaking come with some real legacy limitations. Third-party financing always requires a greater return on the part of the investor, something that is simply not possible with online films like these, which we want to distribute to as many people as possible. Kickstarter will not only provide us with the ability to make these films as true to our vision as possible with NO COMPROMISE but also allows backers to take part in the process of making these films. No studio or investor means no blocking. We can make Okami as dark and as violent as we wish. 

The money raised in this campaign will go towards all areas of making OKAMI including time. The funds we receive from this Kickstarter will enable us to add more days to the shoot, which means we can film more setups and spend more time enlivening each scene with as much coverage, character, and attention to detail as possible.

Cast & Crew - A successful campaign will help us bring on the highly-skilled cast & crew we need. Additionally, although we normally edit our own work, we’d like to bring on an Editor to support and work alongside us.
Equipment - Investing in hiring the right kit for each scene without compromise.
Locations - The funds we raise will help us invest in the best possible locations. Hourly rates for some locations can run high, making it prohibitive to film there or meaning we have to limit our time and shots.
Music - Licensing of some songs to use in the film alongside our score. We would also like to commission an exclusive OKAMI soundtrack from a collaboration of local artists.

We will be producing an exclusive series of behind-the-scenes videos for those who back the requisite reward tiers. This will be a complete look into how we as independent filmmakers handle pre-production, shooting, and post-production. This will show the whole procedure from elements of the writing room to pre-production, production and then post-production.

Our goal with this content is to provide both viewers and prospective filmmakers alike with as much insight as we can into how movies are really made. This will include production diaries from both crew and cast as well as videos breaking down in detail our process and choices throughout production.

We would like OKAMI to cover a full spectrum of colours, subject to the environment of the scene. We want it dark, dirty and dusty with lots of grain. The world of OKAMI is far from sanitary and the cinematography has to convey that.

Having studied film, media and drama from a young age Sam took the next natural step and joined the Royal Marines aged 19 (pretty sure he got lost on the way to film school). Deploying to Afghanistan, he found himself in an alien place, in a land of extremes. This inspired him to pick the camera back up and hasn't put it down since.

After specialising as a Recce Operator Sam continued to grow his military knowledge and was privileged to experience some truly amazing events; that money could never buy. Leaving the Marines and reintegrating himself into the ‘norm’ he, like many others, began to struggle with his mental health, on the cusp of losing everything, he took pen to paper, pouring out his thoughts. A means of therapy to vocalise the demons niggling within, writing saved him. It gave him an outlet and enabled Sam to cross paths and collaborate with some of the best people he has ever known. He craves and pursues tales of hardship, by adapting his own experiences and those of his comrades, friends and any victim of circumstance; he create their stories.

Vince Knight has worked internationally as a Director of Photography on productions spanning from feature films and commercials to fashion films and music videos. With a number of awards from leading cinematography societies including the Guild of Television Camera Professionals and the Golden Eye International Festival of Cameramen, Vince's work has screened at over 30 film festivals worldwide including SCI-FI-LONDON and Raindance. His career has seen him work on projects alongside names such as Daisy Ridley (Star Wars), Kevin Smith (Clerks), Lewis Hamilton (F1 World Champion), Dean Cain (Superman), Vinnie Jones (Snatch), Luke Goss (Blade II), Winnie Harlow (Supermodel, ANTM), Stan Lee (Marvel), Danny Trejo (Machete), Gina Carano (Haywire, The Mandalorian), Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now), Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy), Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man).

With a background in car commercials and motorsports, Vince is the Managing Director of the International Motor Film Awards, the leading awarding body for the automotive film and television industry with a jury of Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA-winning professionals. Vince is also a university guest lecturer and a member of the jury for the Royal Navy Photographic Awards for the Ministry of Defence.

Jamie Clark, the founder of No Excuse Films, a TV Police Advisor, Producer, Author & Filmmaker is a proud father and husband who was born and raised on the South Coast of England. As a former UK Police Officer, Jamie was one of the youngest officers in the country to qualify and become authorised as a Police Firearms Officer.

Having qualified as an Armed Response Officer and Level 1 Advanced Tactical Pursuit Driver, Jamie went on to qualify as a UK Police Specialist Firearms Officer, achieving the coveted status of ‘Police SFO’. During his service, Jamie received specialist training and experience within specialist areas such as National Dynamic Entry and Intervention, Conflict Management, National Method of Entry and Glass Entry, Exposure to EMOE, Personal Defence, SFIC/Mobile Armed Support to Surveillance, Foot and Mobile Surveillance, Covert Investigations, Counter Assault and Ambush Team and Advanced Trauma Care. Following his Police service, Jamie has gone on to build a number of multi-award-winning successful businesses. As a Risk Reduction and Security Consultant, Jamie provides Risk Consultancy, Covert Intelligence and Protective Services through his businesses to global brands and clients in countries around the world. In 2018, Jamie founded No Excuse Films, an Independent UK-based production company specialising in the creation of raw, gripping and thought-provoking documentaries, content and reality TV. Expanding the No Excuse Brand Further in 2020, Jamie created the No Excuse Podcast, and No Excuse Events and announced the creation of his first book, 'OSCAR ZULU' through No Excuse Media.

With demand growing, and as a proven and trusted Police TV Advisor, Jamie has continued to provide TV consultancy, specialist advice and creative input for a number of current shows and future productions; consulting and contributing both on and off-screen for new shows such as Channel 5’s ‘Armed and Deadly’, 5Spike TV’s ‘Under Attack’, Sky One's 'The Heist' and ITV1's 'Caught on Camera'.

Check out the Kickstarter here

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