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Just as the situation was looking hopeless, the Canadian distributor of the first movie found success with an unrelated cult TV show, enabling it to put up the funds for the RECON sequel. With the money in place, pre-production moved into high gear.
Casting involved auditions for new characters as well as enticing the surviving members of the original movie back into their armour. “Actors we knew could act from our previous movies were cast on the spot without auditions,” recalls Christian. “Anderson Bradshaw is back as Sergeant Sharp along with the statuesque android Kara, played by the equally statuesque Valeria Wiseman, as well as hot-shot pilot Fooks, played by the lovely Gillian Leigh.”
Heidi Hawkins, whose part had been minimal in the original, found her character much expanded for the sequel. Marco ‘Sollthar’ von Moos was cast without an audition based on his acting in his own productions, flying out from Switzerland for the intensive location shoot.
The RECON series comes with its own special acting requirements, as Christian details: “We look for people with good looks that can also pull off the heavy physical action convincingly. Not being afraid of bombs blowing up near you is definitely a bonus!”
Perhaps the biggest shift is in transferring the action from the original’s generic industrial areas to a stunning, snow-covered quarry in the wintry wilds of Canada. “We considered shooting in Iceland for a while,” Christian remembers, “we started thinking about it very early, almost a year ahead of shooting.”
With the final location pinned down to something more local, the Movie Seals production unit had to do a lot of planning. “The logistics were incredible,” says Christian. “The quarry was an hour away from the city. We had to carry around 15-20 people there daily, leaving before dawn.”
The early starts made best use of the limited winter daylight, resulting in a tired cast and crew but superb footage. “We got to shoot in really nifty places,” enthuses Christian, “some of them never seen on screen before, mainly due to us being a very small crew compared to normal films.”
Following the rest of the production values to the next level, RECON2022’s digital effects are much more advanced than those in the original. Christian is again creating many of the effects himself, with several “pretty big names” in the CG world also contributing shots. “I can’t wait to see the final results,” he says. Needless to say, we can’t wait either.
Next up for Movie Seals Productions is touring film festivals with Painkiller while completing post-production on RECON2022, which is scheduled for early 2007 completion.
In the meantime you can check out the full production diary, exclusive behind-the-scenes clips and some of Anderson Bradshaw’s fantastic concept art over at the new RECON website. There’s lots of fascinating material there for both fans of the series and filmmakers in general, so be sure to check it out.
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