An Evening with Project Child
Written by. Tim Groff
Edited by. A.D. Marrero (Acidic Aaron)
Last week, I had the pleasure to join the cast, crew, fans, and family members of the Project Child series for the premiere of their new series Project Child: Origin. While this unique fantasy/action web series was not the teams’ first experience with storytelling or making a television styled series, there was definitely an air of giddiness upon meeting many of the creators.
The event, located at Hollywood’s Adult’s Only Luxury Bar, started with red carpet walk featuring celebrities, former Playboy playmates, media, and an overall aura of excitement. Knowing very little about the series, I immediately met with the series creator and lead actor, Robin Deeter, to understand the exact tone of not only this event but this project he was marketing. Mr. Deeter was quick to explain that Project Child originally began its life as book series that he wrote while working in finance. For inspiration, he took influence from a quick, flashy anime style action with demonic and angelic themes. He spoke emotionally about this fantasized religious imagery coming from the passing of his mother due to cancer, and the meaning of what’s considered goodness.
With these themes in mind, he penned his book, keeping in mind the series tagline ‘We fall only to rise’ and after the success, he decided to explore the story in a more visual-based medium. Deeter then pointed out Damian King, the series’ writer, producer, director, stunt choreographer, as well as playing the character Ikol. With such an intense workload, the first question I asked him was “How are you able to keep focused while working on so many ends of this series?” At this point, it was clear how much of a passion project this series was for not only Deeter but a group of many professionals tied to his story. King explained how fun it was working with Deeter on transitioning his book into a visual medium and mixing anime based storytelling with some of the ingenuity of modern Hollywood. King also talked about his past experience with martial arts and weapons training with firearms as well as bladed weapons that helped the series have a realistic action sense but with the fluidity and prowess expected out of a modern action series. He also expressed the joy of working with Robbie Corbett, another stunt choreographer, who specialized in hand to hand combat and brought in his own passion of parkour into the series. The two described the action as a fun mix between an anime and John Wick while still maintaining a style that could not be found anywhere else.
Out of all the personalities I was able to meet that night; my favorite had to be Caden Douglas. Douglas played the demonic villain Azir and surprisingly admitted that this was his first fantasy role ever. The self-described “closet nerd” cheerfully bragged about how entertaining it was to play the big evil demon and what a pleasure it was working with a team so invested in this passion project while still having a good time. The only downside of playing a fantasy character to him was sitting in the makeup chair for up to six hours at a time, yet he made it clear that he would be happy to do it all over again.
After meeting with these wonderful personalities, we were shown the teaser for Project Child: Origin, which is actually a prequel to their first series Project Child: Initiations. While some of the visual effects weren’t the best and the voice acting could have been better, the action is what really carries the series, and it was marvelous. With perfect musical accompaniment, the well choreographed and executed martial arts were immersive and detailed. Using just enough shaky cam to let the audience connect with the chaos of the fight, but not too much where the athleticism of the actors was hidden. It made me remember how much fun it was to watch action movies like The Raid.
Intrigued, my first priority was to watch the first episode to see how the full episode held up. To give my reaction to it as simply as possible, I appreciate it for what it is and absolutely admire it. Meeting with the creators and actors and understanding what a fun passion project this was, really gave sincerity to the series. While it suffers from many elements that can be expected from a smaller budgeted series, it strongly succeeds on the action elements and editing that I can’t really compare to much else in live action. So upon watching the first episode, I would happily recommend this series to any fan of the action genre and can’t wait to see what else comes out of this team. Be sure to check out Project Child: Origin.