Benjamin Combes Interview
Question N°1: Can you please introduce yourself to those that may be new to your works?
Hi there, I’m Benjamin Combes, a French Indie Film Maker. I work in the videogames industry as a Video Editor since 8 Years, and worked for brands like Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy or more recently Mario.
I began shooting short films on my free time at 15, then 5 years ago we began a partnership with Machinima.com to create Fan Films, based on Video Games. It was the era when began Freddie Wong, Corridor Digital, or people like Nukazooka. We did shorts about Minecraft, Half-Life, even Alien Isolation!
2 years ago I started my Dream project, an 80’s over the top 45 minutes Action Comedy, tribute to my favorite 80’s Action Hero movies.
Question N°2: What are your cinematic influences? What kind of movies do you watch in your spare time?
So as you may know, my favorite movies are American 1980’s Action Hero / vigilante / martial arts Movies. My cinematic influences are the american action cinema in general, and I love movies about the army or war movies.
As a french Film Maker, Luc Besson is also one of my favorite film Director for his pre-2000’s “philosophical action“ action filmography.
I absolutely watch all kind of movies on my spare time, it’s very rare for me to have a day without watching at least 1 movie. I also love the asian / hong kong / indonesian cinema. Maybe the one kind of movies I don’t like would be Horror Movies.
Question N°3: What is your favourite movie era? The 80s or 90s? Or Anything else?
Born in the 80’s! → Commando, Predator, Rambo, American Ninja, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Mad Max 2, terminator… I could do a very long list like that :p 90’s to mid 90’s were also a very good era.
Question N°4: Who is your favourite movie director of all time?
Really impossible to say as my 2 favorites movies of all time are Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. But If I would pick the director who did the most movies I loved, that would be someone like James Cameron, John Mc Tiernan, Ridley Scott or Paul Verhoeven. I think I feel pretty close from Verhoeven style of dark humor and very fleshy violence.
Question N°5: With enough money and possibilities what would be your dream actor to work with?
So hard to say 😀 As you may know, my favorites actors were Arnold, Sly and JCVD. After the bodybuilders era, I also loved Nic Cage, Kurt Russel and Keanu Reeves from The Rock / Speed Era.
Today, for Action / Comedy related stuff, I love Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Tom Hardy and the non-ageing Tom Cruise.
Question N°6: What is your earworm at the moment? What have you listening to on repeat recently?
Nothing in particular, there are so much thing to listen, I love 60’s/70’s psyche /vietnam rock, Synthwave, Movies OST, videogames OST… Just saw Carpenter Brut in Live for his new album and that was one of the best show I ever see !
Question N°7: What inspired you for the Idea for COMMANDO NINJA? How came this project and idea to life?
I’ve been inspired since the last 30 years of my life by 80’s Action Hero movies wich are a big reference from my childhood. The project came to life from short-films to short-films, 7 years ago I began to have that idea of making my tribute to the 80’s, shot some tests with friends, but didn’t have the skills yet. Then Drive, Far Cry Blood Dragon, Kung Fury and Turbo Kid dropped, the 80’s comeback era was here, I met Eric Carlesi, our Main Actor, and listen to Ogre awesome soundtracks. Everything was here to start the movie!
Question N°8: Some funny and crazy stories about shooting the trailer?
We didn’t shoot the trailer, but the movie, for the last 2 years on our free time. On 2 years we had a lot of crazy stories… I really don’t know wich one to pick… we set fire to a forest xD.
Question N°9: The movie is nearly 100% funded and im sure when we will release the interview its about to finish one of the stretch goals, where you prepared for this much love for your movie? How were the reactions about the campaign? I saw several pages from around the globe shared it and showed their interest?
Well, I did the Kickstarter because I thought it would work. But in the meantime, I really thought it wouldn’t, that it would be hard to make it viral, to spread it around the world. I was afraid people to say we surfed on Kung Fury success or stuff like that. So it has been such a blast to receive all those messages of love for the movie, really a blast!!
Question N°10: What are your favourite Movie flicks and why? Any Video Games you are obsessed with?
Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. Don’t know why but I’m obsessed about Vietnam Era. For me Apocalypse Now is so deep, it’s more than a movie, it’s the perfect example that a movie shouldn’t be shot in a studio, but on real location, with a team really immersed in an environment (Mad Max Fury Road is a good example too)
Full Metal Jacket is for me a perfection of writing, directing and acting.
Video Games take a huge part of my life, first these are my job, then I play a LOT !! I’m currently obsessed by PubG, but my favorite videogame of all time is the Half-Life saga because it was the first game for me wich really tried to immerse you in a universe and a story, like a movie.
Question N°11: What is the next step for you after the release of COMMANDO NINJA? A new movie? Or other projects youre involved in?
My next step will be to move from France to Canada to pursue my career in the videogames industry. On the personnal side, I’ll work on the Commando Ninja prequel as a Comic Book, and the Commando Ninja sequel as my first videogame, with former Ubisoft team mates. I always wanted to create a Cross Media story !! There are a lot of movie I would like to make in the future, but I’ll stay to short films, 5/10 minutes !
Of course, if Commando Ninja become a huge success and people want another one, we will work on that !!
Thank you very much for that interview