Season 2 of MORTAL KOMBAT: LEGACY Debuts Sept 26
Mortal Kombat has been a solid fixture in popular culture since the first video game hit arcades in 1992. Various reboots, remakes and sequels have kept the franchise a cultural staple in the years which have followed. In 2013, director and choreographer Kevin Tancharoen was tapped to helm the first season of the upcoming web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. After a wildly successful first season, Tancharoen was brought back to helm a second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, now slated to hit the internet September 26.
During a conversation with director, writer and producer Kevin Tancharoen, this writer was given an insight into not only the shooting of the first season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, details on the upcoming season two, as well as the talented, up and coming filmmaker’s views on the explosion of digital content in the entertainment industry.
The smaller and more intimate — though more hectic– nature of Mortal Kombat: Legacy greatly contributed to its success on a number of levels, according to Tancharoen. The mood around the project, starting with the crew and going all the way up to actors like Michael Jai White, Jeri Ryan and Tahmoh Penikett, saw everyone legitimately excited about their involvement in the “do-it-yourself nature” of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. As a viewer watching the first season, it is incredibly clear to this writer that everyone taking part in the project was really excited to tackle the narrative, at hand.
Digital content like Mortal Kombat: Legacy operates on a much smaller budget and shorter shooting schedule. Tancharoen revealed that the upcoming second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy was shot on an almost break-neck, thirteen day shooting schedule. By comparison, a network television series will take a number of months to shoot their full episode schedule.
Despite the small and intimate, “do-it-yourself” nature of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Tancharoen achieves a visual scale and polish which is difficult to capture, especially working with a small budget and a short shooting schedule. The impressive visual quality of the series allows audiences to loose themselves in the well-crafted, highly structured narrative. Tancharoen credits preparation among the crew, especially in the pre-production phase, to achieving this visual styling. Coming to Mortal Kombat: Legacy from a lengthy musical background, the director brings the importance of story-boarding, structure and blocking to filming the web series. In the complicated and well-structured action sequence, it is almost impossible to tell you’re watching a quickly shot web series. The intense preparation of the cast and crew gives Mortal Kombat: Legacy a very big-budget feel to the small-scale project.
Asking Tancharoen about his thoughts regarding the development of web series as a medium, he expresses excitement about how the expansion of digital content will effect the television industry in coming years. The experimental nature of digital media will likely open the door for more cutting edge content, often taking more creative risks. The increased freedom of the shorter schedules and cheaper budgets will hopefully allow for more independent film and television content to gain a popular foothold outside of more mainstream network and studio sources.
The second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy will be released on September 26 through the Machinima YouTube channel. Haven’t checked out the series? Those familiar with the Mortal Kombat video games should definitely watch the first season. Fans of Asian cinema should look into the series as well; Kevin Tancharoen studied a number of Chinese and Taiwanese action films in order to prepare for shooting. He specifically mentioned viewing the films of Donny Yen extensively. Tancharoen’s research is apparent in the calm, steady nature of his action sequences, rather than the manic, “hand-held craziness” more common in western action films. Can’t wait for the second season? Episodes of the first season are also available for viewers to check out. Will you be tuning in for the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy?