Although my focus is to depict this group as a rag-tag team of failing superheroes who are unrefined in their craft, I still wanted Phoenix Black to have some mega cool elements to his costume. So in my infinite wisdom -- Hey, don't laugh! -- I decided to keep Phoenix's first mask because Justin Salzman (who also plays The Mugger and Jake in the series) did such a great job cutting it into a bird shape years ago. Everything else I wanted to change though. For instance, I bought a motorcross jacket to serve as Phoenix's armor, and I also added motorcycle gloves, shin guards, and dark colored sweatpants to balance things off. When you -- as the audience -- look at “#SuperheroesWithSwag”, especially this episode, “Introducing Phoenix Black”, I'm sure you will see the difference in costume design nigh on straight away.
sweatpants were a better option than the black jeans, was because when we filmed this episode years back, I fell while practicing my front-hand spring, splitting my pants in the process. The fall was extremely embarrassing because not only did I split my pants, but on top of that, I unearthed an enormous dust cloud as soon as I hit the ground. The split was so great that my entire left leg was exposed for the rest of the day, yet thankfully, Tizom Pope, one of my friends and my production assistant, managed to stitch the leg back together again in order to finish the shoot, Ha!
I initially envisioned the scene to open with Steve Stylez, a fellow performer, showcasing his incredible break-dancing skills, before the scene then quickly transitioned into an action-sequence. Which it did, in part, thanks to Sussan Cordero, the director of episodes two to six, who also did a great job of finding locations for all of these scenes, including the one chosen for this episode. The only draw back with this sequence, however, was that we ended up having to cut around the bystanders who stood inside of the camera frame, gawking at the festivities. But, if you look fairly closely, you can still see a few people standing on their back porch, in spite of our editing efforts.
Unsung Heroes, but Sussan being the creative person that she is, had the great idea to film vignettes instead. From there, I wrote vignettes for each of the characters, so the audience would have the chance to see each character's charming qualities and arduous obstacles. In this case, viewers could see that Phoenix Black tries to be the archetype of a superhero, despite being limited by his own powers and resolve.
We were helped with the fight choreography by my neighbor who is an Egyptian MMA fighter named Ramadan. Accidentally I punched him square in the face while working on the fight but fortunately he didn't even flinch. Either I hit like a seven year old girl with the flu or he's just immune to injury at this point, Ha!
Overall, the scene came out looking great and it established the fact that Phoenix Black's powers only work with music playing, which was the main objective. There are some things I would NOW change but it was a learning experience and ultimately set the tone for all the material which takes place in the past. Here, check out episode two and tell me what you think of it...
This article was brought to you by the actor, singer, and all round man about town, Devin Peacock, and remember, if you wish to continue this conversation about Unsung Heroes, please use the hashtag #SuperheroesWithSwag, especially via his twitter, facebook, and instagram pages.