The Making of Operation: Red Retrieval


Film director, Mark Cheng, shot Operation: Red Retrieval with a Canon 7D and two lenses over the span of 6 non-consecutive days. The project cost roughly $3000. A third of this went to sound, the rest went to creating costumes, paying for train fare, rentals, and buying food for the cast and crew.


The actors in Operation: Red Retrieval were cast out of New York City and Syracuse. Through the course of the production, G.I. Joe cosplay enthusiasts also joined the cast for cameos coming in from New York, Philadelphia and as far as Maryland.


The costumes came from numerous places- purchased in parts online from Army/Navy surplus stores, borrowed from wardrobe rental agencies, commissioned and/or borrowed from G.I. Joe cosplayers. Notably, the trademark visor Snake Eyes wears was custom made by some guy I found on the internet on some prop message board.


Via the internet, I networked with and recruited The Fearless Hyenas, a stunt team that all met on the set of M Night Shamalan's Last Airbender movie. I also met and enlisted the help of Joey Min, who helped choreograph action scenes in The Machine Girl and performed stunts in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Joey was introduced to me by Jon Truei, a friend of mine and also an extremely talented and enthusiastic filmmaker, fight choreographer, and film student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Together they all formed the Snake Eyes stunt team and Cobra guard. Throughout the shoot, I also enlisted the help of other filmmakers and production assistants from New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia. (my cast/crew list is definitive)

Editing and digital effects were all done by Cheng in Final Cut and Adobe After Effects. All post-production was completed on a macbook pro. (more in visual effects)

Guns and Gear

A lot of action filmmakers start out using airsoft guns which i think are really cool, but i don't own any or know anyone who does. Additionally, I've partnered with The Specialists ltd, a production/prop house in New York City that services most large productions on the East Coast.