Jeremy M. Inman has worked on dozens of films by The Asylumalong with other prominent production companies. He recently completed Avengers Grimm which he wrote and directed.
When Rumpelstiltskin destroys the Magic Mirror and escapes to the modern world, the four princesses of Once Upon a Time—Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel—are sucked through the portal too. Well-trained and endowed with magical powers, they must fight Rumpelstiltskin and his army of thralls before he enslaves everyone on earth.
After Jeremy’s “Five Quick Questions,” check out the review.
Five Quick Questions with Jeremy M. Inman – Avengers Grimm
First off, can you share a little about your film background along with why and how you got into filmmaking?
JEREMY: I had an interest in filmmaking from an early age and I grew up reading comic books and playing video games, two mediums that I think really influenced me visually. I took acting courses at the community center in my hometown of Fremont, CA and founded the film club at my high school where I regularly (and successfully!) lobbied to shoot videos in lieu of written assignments.
It wasn’t until college that I considered it as a possible career choice. I studied film at San Jose State University where I wrote and directed my first feature, Super Hero Party Clown, which premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival and was distributed by Cinema Libre Studio. Afterward I moved to LA and started working as a freelance editor for companies like Beats by Dre, but always with my eye toward getting back on set and seeking out opportunities to direct again. Eventually my post production knowledge helped me land a gig as a downloader for The Asylum and I was eager to get back on set again.
Some have worked many years with The Asylum prior to getting a directing and writing opportunity with them. How you got involved with Avengers Grimm?
JEREMY: I started with The Asylum as a digital imaging technician, downloading footage on over a dozen movies like Sharknado and Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark, lots of sharks. It was my job to watch literally every frame of every take to check for errors. I saw it as an opportunity to get paid to study a masterclass on low budget filmmaking.
On Hansel & Gretel some of the crew and I made a short about the craft services on an Asylum set and we screened it for the rest of crew on the last day. Anthony Ferrante was the director and he liked it enough to ask the Asylum to put it on the DVD. Sometime after that, I started to DIT for Grimm’s line producer and my good friend, Dylan Vox, who hired me for Asylum shows in Bulgaria and Morocco. We flew to Morocco to shoot Hercules Reborn and I wound up cast as Tymek, a supporting role. I like to think it’s because my audition blew the execs away, but it’s more likely because I spoke more english than the other Tymeks they were looking at (less ADR).
I had a small office where my computer could access the internet and send dailies back to The Asylum offices, but it was often far from set. On days when I was acting, I would report early for makeup and then spend my day riding to and from set on a mountain bike, wearing full period wardrobe and carrying hard drives, memory cards and a sword. That year I spent my birthday eating goat in the Sahara desert (which was much better than the whole fish I ate for Thanksgiving in Bulgaria). When we got back I jumped in to help with some of the editing on Hercules.
Eventually I was given an opportunity to write some story treatments and I was eager to display my creative chops. After that they offered me writing duties on Avengers Grimm. I’m a lifelong comic book reader and a make-mine-Marvel kinda guy, so they had me at “Avengers.”
Check out his short video about craft services on The Asylum set, it’s worth a watch!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUU2l4SUc4Y
Avengers Grimm has multiple stories occurring at the samethat eventually come together. WithAvengers Grimm beingsuch a complex film, how did you manage to meet the two week?
JEREMY: Two words: dream team. Half of the crew are people who I’ve been working with for years on other Asylum shows. We’ve been in the trenches together. When you have to move so quickly it really helps to know that you can rely on your fellow crew, not only to forge ahead on target, but to give meaningful artistic input along the way.
The same goes with the cast; you have to rely on them to embody the role in a very short amount of time and there’s a lot of mutual trust involved. The first time I saw Kimo Leopoldo in full makeup and wardrobe was on day three of the shoot and all I could think was “Yep. That’s The Wolf.” Casper Van Dien brought so much to the role of Rumpelstiltskin that wasn’t on the page beforehand. He really does his homework. I wanted him for Rumpy from my earliest conversations with the execs. He plays such a perverted Prince Charming and it’s just great. And wait until you see Lou Ferrigno as Iron John.
Then there’s the princesses. These ladies work long hours in uncomfortable conditions (and outfits!) and still manage to kick a ton of ass often with stunts, costume changes, effects makeup, and page after page of dialogue to get through before lunch.
It really felt like everyone on the cast and crew was invested in the story; on set there was a tangible sense that we were collectively struggling to go that extra mile to meet the demands of the script, which is complex and has a lot of moving parts.
I was lucky to have a post team that was similarly invested. I don’t know what I would have done without Ana Florit, who is an editor that is simultaneously crazy fast AND really zeroed in on the story, which is the perfect combination for our schedule. Sound, music, VFX and color all have to move just as quickly yet each department brings a lot of added value that I think really shows in the finished movie.
Four popular story princesses and Rumpelstiltskin brought into the modern world. That opens a vast amount of creativity which may be difficult to harness into a script. Can you describe how it was writing the script?
JEREMY: Choosing which Grimm characters to include on the team was tough. I went through many iterations of the lineup before landing on the final roster. I’ve been reading comic books for as long as I can remember so I know the importance of a good group dynamic when it comes to a superhero team. And not just a mix of interesting standalone characters, but a way for them to interact with one another that is meaningful, dramatic, funny, tragic, purposeful. Not only do I get to work with characters that have been a part of the human collective consciousness from as far back as the 1800s, but I get to recast them as superheros and villains!
I had the most fun reasoning out the girls’ personalities based on their individual fairy tales, and especially writing the little interactions between them. Red is very much not a princess, and definitely has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to royalty. Rapunzel is stoic and regal but without all the platitudes, a result of having been locked away in a tower alone, training herself to escape. Snow White is an ice queen with an appropriately frigid demeanor after the opening of the movie. Sleeping Beauty is certainly the princess-y-est of the princesses, which came out of the passive nature of her magical ability to put lowly commoners to sleep with a dismissive wave of her hand. Cinderella was fun to write because she has something to prove. She married into royalty whereas the others were born into it, so she feels a kinship with Red mixed with a simultaneous desire to prove herself to the other princesses, while also honoring her bond to the “commoners” of the world.
I had the same fun with the villains. I didn’t want an impish Rumpelstiltskin cowering in sewers and speaking in riddles, I wanted someone who was maybe just one step away from royalty, so I made him a crooked politician with a great smile and a genuine, if twisted, charm. I always wanted The Wolf to be an impartial force of nature. To me it makes his nemesis relationship with Red all the better if her revenge mission truly means nothing to him. I took the most liberties with Iron John, and his particular character arc became one of the most fun to write. He is my favorite kind of tragic villain, a victim of circumstance who makes a bad call, a villain you can feel for.
The same thing that was exciting to me was also the biggest challenge: I’ve got five of the most infamous heroines ever and I need to do justice to all of them, and give them all not only something to do, but a reason to do it!
What other current projects are you working on or are wrapping up?
JEREMY: I’m developing a couple of my own original ideas and seeking representation as a director. I hope to write and direct another one for The Asylum soon. Ultimately I would love to continue working in the superhero realm. I went from a movie about a guy pretending to be a superhero, to a movie about princesses that become actual superheroes, so maybe on the next one I’ll have to hang up the capes and costumes for a bit.
Hopefully not for long!
THANK YOU JEREMY!!!
AVENGERS GRIMM – REVIEW
Avengers Grimm is one of the best action princess movie of the year. It begins during a fierce war happening between good and evil in the kingdom. The evil Rumpelstiltskin needs an unwilling Snow White to open up a portal leading to the real world. His plan is to use his powers in the real world to take it over. Snow White has no option due to his threats and she opens the portal. When she tries to stop Rumpelstiltskin, he drags her with him through the portal. Wolf and Red who have their own personal battle going on also go through the portal. Once the other princesses, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty, find out what happened they have to go find Snow White and kill Rumpelstiltskin in order to end the war and stop his plan for world domination.
In the first ten minutes of the film the entire story is set up very well and all the characters that are critical to the story are introduced. The visual effects, acting, conflict, and watching the princesses kick some serious ass, will have your engaged in the film and all the way till the last second. The cinematography stands out above the rest and Jeremy had nothing but praise for his Cinematographer John Defazio. Jeremy shared that when he demanded specific shots that John always accomplished it and numerous times improved the shot.
Regarding the cast, Jeremy was very fortunate to work with the exquisite princesses that made up Team Unicorn, Rileah Vanderbilt (Rapunzel), Milynn Sarley (Cinderella), Lauren Parkinson (Snow White), Marah Fairclough (Sleeping Beauty), Elizabeth Peterson (Red)and Casper Van Dien did an outstanding job as Rumpelstiltskin. They all brought a more exciting fairytale character to life and personally I’d say much better than the ones we knew when growing up. An additional character that significantly increases the entertainment value is Iron John that was played the one and only Lou Ferrigno. Who at one point revisits his Hulk days and wears body paint.
When Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty find Snow White in the real world, Snow White has already adapted to modern life and styles. Snow White has to get the princesses accustomed to the current times so they blend in. Meanwhile, Rumpelstiltskin’s plan of taking over the world is in full swing and he already has the police force under his control.
The movie does an excellent job at maintaining and increasing the conflict. There are well placed roadblocks in the story as Rumpelstiltskin consistently ramps things up and conjures up bigger and more dangerous creatures to stop the princesses. That results in thrilling battles that the princesses endure. When they get within striking distance to take out Rumpelstiltskin, the action intensifies and there are well-choreographed fight scenes that alone make the film worth watching.
All the fights scenes took a lot of time and careful preparation. Jeremy shared that during preproduction, him and stunt choreographer Daniel Hernandez had discussions about how each character fights including stance, style and attitude. Then Daniel along with his team built a lot of depth into the action during the filming. Daniel and them are a highly regarded stunt coordinating team and have worked on numerous films, one recently being John Wick which stars Keanu Reeves. During the climatic fights Daniel brought in stuntwoman Heidi Moneymaker (who doubled for Scarlet Johansson in The Avengers) and Heidi’s expertise resulted in some incredible fight scenes.
Throughout all the fights, action, drama, and fun scenes, the emotions are enhanced by the score which was composed by Chris Ridenhour. Jeremy commented that Chris nailed the tone through every moment, which kept the movie moving along at a brisk pace.
Just as the movie began during wartime in the kingdom, now there is a war on the streets in the real world. To stop Rumpelstiltskin, each princess has to take on their own battle and if any of them fail, Rumpelstiltskin will dominate both worlds. Defeating him will include personal sacrifices.
The movie flies by because from start to finish the princesses, evil creatures, thugs, and power hungry Rumpelstiltskin will keep you engaged and highly entertained. With so much going on, Avengers Grimm can be re-watched multiple times and you may catch details you missed the first time around. The only possibility to make the fans happier would be a sequel.
Be sure to check out Avengers Grimm and a special thanks to Jeremy!!!