Filming “The Legacy of Dog”: Martial Artists on the Hill

David Van Tassell has been working on the martial arts film, The Legacy of Dog, for a year and a half, and it has morphed into his senior capstone.

All of the actors involved have martial arts backgrounds which they display for the camera, including kicks, choke holds, and weapons. The fight scenes display some very slick moves, including a 360º spinning kick.

The actors for the film include David Van Tassell, Nick McCourt, Ryan Brown, Dylan Hintz, and Zack Kach. Brian Boltz, one of the associate producers, and Will Haddad, cameraman, make up the rest of the movie crew. Van Tassell and Brown are the other associate producers.

“As my first time on a film set, I learned to appreciate the time and energy put into every shot and scene,” Boltz explained.

The Legacy of Dog begins with a young man named Henry (McCourt), whose grandfather was just killed. Henry discovers a piece of cloth with an unknown symbol which leads him to Bellicus City, and ultimately to Munich (Hintz). Joining Henry is his friend Darius (Van Tassell), and aiding Munich is his right-hand man, Grey (Brown).

“We gave our sweat, blood and time to Legacy of Dog and I loved every minute of it,” stated Brown.

Kach plays a thug in the film, drawing on his background in Hap Ki Do. Boxing, Judo, and Escrima stick fighting are used by both Brown and Van Tassell to produce explosive fight scenes. Hintz, who trains at the Self Mastery Systems school in Rockville, MD, is skilled in Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi. These various martial arts styles intertwine to display the characters’ training and ability.

A large portion of the movie was filmed right on McDaniel campus. The climactic last major fight scene of the movie is held in Little Baker.

“I think it’s definitely an ambitious project. It’s also very out of the box for a student filmmaker. I think the fact that [Van Tassell’s] trying to make it a bigger film is what’s going to make it successful,” said Hintz, who has worked with choreography in previous films.

“I’m having the time of my life,” Van Tassell said while watching the others practice fight scenes in the wrestling room of Gill Gym.

The viewing of the result of their hard work on The Legacy of Dog took place on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Auditorium.