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Writer/Director Claudia Myers on working with Tito Ortiz in new movie ‘Above The Shadows’

SB Nation logo SB Nation 7/18/2019 Eddie Mercado
Replay Video
Meike Katrin Stein, Tito Ortiz are posing for a picture © June M. Williams

Check out Bloody Elbow’s exclusive interview with Writer/Director Claudia Myers who selected Tito Ortiz to star in her new MMA/fantasy movie called Above The Shadows, alongside Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, and Jim Gaffigan. The film’s premier is Friday, July 19.

We recently shared with you that there is a new independent film dropping Friday, July 19, called Above The Shadows, and it stars UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, Megan Fox, Olivia Thirlby, Alan Ritchson, Jim Gaffigan, as well as many others. The former UFC light heavyweight champion Ortiz plays the character ‘Attila Matte,’ the rival of MMA fighter ‘Shayne,’ played by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ Alan Ritchson.

Today, we bring you an exclusive interview with the film’s Writer & Director, Claudia Myers, and creator of Fort Bliss and Kettle of Fish.

Our own Eddie Mercado sat down with Myers this week to ask her a bit about ‘Above The Shadows’ and her research process for the MMA side of the movie. She discussed why she chose former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz to play a part, and described what it was like working with the MMA legend on set. Myers even gives Ortiz a 1-10 rating on his acting abilities. Naturally, the film’s director weighed in and made a quick prediction for Ortiz’s next scheduled bout with former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio in the Combate Americas promotion. You can watch the full interview in the video player above or on our SBN MMA YouTube channel...

  • 1:50 - Where did the inspiration come to write kind of an MMA comeback story?
  • 4:35 - What were some of your research topics and methods for the MMA side of the story?
  • 6:38 - What was your first fight like while researching, watching a fight in a cage?
  • 8:06 - Where did the idea to get the legendary Tito Ortiz involved in the film come from?
  • 11:19 - How would you rate Tito’s acting skills?
  • 11:42 - What would you say is the biggest thing he brought to the table?
  • 13:32 - Will you be watching Tito’s upcoming Combate Americas fight with former WWE star, Alberto Del Rio this fall?
  • 13:47 - Do you have a prediction of how you see that one turning out? How will he win?
  • 14:16 - What is premiere week going to look like for you?
  • 14:43 - What’s going on next for you? New projects?
  • 15:52 - Do you have any sponsors or special people to give a shout out to?
  • 18:20 - What are your social media connections so people can follow more about the film?

Ortiz will be joining director, Claudia Myers, for a Q & A this Friday, July 19, at the Arena Cinelounge Hollywood in Los Angeles, California at 9:30pm. Tickets for this are available on the Arena Cinelounge Hollywood’s website.

About the movie Above The Shadows:

The story involves a young girl as our protagonist, played by Olivia Thirlby, who becomes invisible after the death of her mother and over time comes to meet a disgraced MMA Fighter, who happens to be the only person who can see her after years of solitude. In an effort to right a wrong, the leading lady reignites the career of our retired MMA fighter in the hopes it may make her visible again. Hence the great tagline for the film, “FIGHT TO BE SEEN”. Along the way, we see former UFC light heavyweight champion Ortiz playing the character ‘Attila Matte,’ the rival of the featured MMA fighter ‘Shayne,’ played by Titans & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Alan Ritchson.

Ortiz admits to the parallels between the character he plays and his own personal life. This isn’t the first time that “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” has appeared on the big screen. He has also been involved with such works as Cradle 2 the Grave, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, and Silencer, alongside fellow UFC legend, Chuck Liddell.

The film opens in theaters + VOD on 7/19/19. iTunes link: https://apple.co/2ZGZ1bh

Check out the official movie trailer for Above the Shadows:

Replay Video
a close up of a sign: Above the Shadows locations - TITO ORTIZ MOVIE © HIPZEE PRODUCTION COMPANY Above the Shadows locations - TITO ORTIZ MOVIE
‘Above The Shadows’ Theatre Release Locations - Tito Ortiz Movie

ABOVE THE SHADOWS (Movie Credits):

Production Company: HIPZEE

In association: MYRIAD PICTURES

In association: BOUNDARY STONE FILMS

In association: BONDIT MEDIA CAPITAL

Cast:

  • OLIVIA THIRLBY
  • ALAN RITCHSON
  • JIM GAFFIGAN
  • MARIA DIZZIA
  • TITO ORTIZ
  • DAVID JOHANSEN
  • MEGAN FOX

Casting by: SIG DE MIGUEL and STEPHEN VINCENT

Music by: KAKI KING

Costume Designer: SAMANTHA HAWKINS

Editor: KATHRYN J. SCHUBERT

Production Designer: TIMOTHY WHIDBEE

Director of Photography: ERIC ROBBINS

Associate Producers: SIG DE MIGUEL and STEPHEN VINCENT

Executive Producers:

  • KIRK D’AMICO
  • AUDREY DELANEY
  • KEVIN FORESTER
  • MATTHEW HELDERMAN
  • LUKE TAYLOR
  • PATRICK DEPETERS
  • PETE CONLIN
  • JONATHAN HOFFMAN
  • STEVE MCCONDICHIE

Produced by:

  • MARK SCHACKNIES
  • TARA SICKMEIER, p.g.a.
  • ROB BAUNOCH III, p.g.a.
  • KHRIS BAXTER

Written and Directed by: CLAUDIA MYERS

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