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HUDSON -- An independent filmmaker is hoping his run on El Rey Network's "The People's Network Showcase: Action Edition" will be the break needed to launch his career to the next step on the road to stardom.
"The People's Network Showcase" is a series of specials featuring hand-picked short films and exclusive interviews with independent filmmakers from around the world, according to the network.
"This quarter's special features eight high-octane action shorts and will be hosted by wrestling champion and star of El Rey Network's wrestling series 'Lucha Underground' Rey Mysterio," according to a network press release.
Mysterio, who comes from a long line of professional wrestlers, called the showcase a "pipeline."
"The idea behind these showcases is to provide a pipeline to get them noticed," Mysterio said of the filmmakers.
The short films are handpicked by network representatives to air, Mysterio added.
One of the filmmakers highlighted was Keith Collins II, who has lived in Hudson for about 10 years. A little over three years ago he began writing "Lions & Wolves," a short film which premiered March 31 on El Rey Network and will run through April.
Additional air dates scheduled are: April 15 at 8 p.m., April 18 at 6 p.m., April 30 at 4 a.m., May 2 a 6 p.m. and May 20 at 6 p.m.
"We are so excited to be featuring independent filmmaker Keith Colins II, who hails from Hudson," according to an El Rey spokesperson.
Collins called his film an action suspense piece. It took about eight hours to complete and 40 hours of post production work. The project's total budget was $75, Collins said.
"It's about a woman who is apparently kidnapped," Collins said. "They are pretty much trying to see if she will make it out of this unscathed. The idea just blossomed at it seems to do pretty good with viewers."
Collins' idea also was born from a thought about victims. Collins has been kicking around the idea that what if a kidnap victim was more evil that the kidnappers. That brief idea was woven into the film.
Collins had been attempting to cast a man as the main character. However there were difficulties finding the correct person. So one day Collins turned to his casting director Porche Robinson and asked is she would play the part.
"I looked at her and said 'you can play it,'" Collins said.
Robinson agreed, and the filmmaker began training the new star of his film.
"It was probably one of the best decisions I ever made," Collins said. "I definitely enjoyed doing it that way. After changing the gender I just wanted to show a strong female character -- it worked out really great."
Collins hopes to keep strong female characters in his productions.
"There is nothing wrong with a strong hero for them," Collins said.
This is not the first film by Collins, 35, who graduated from Bedford High School in 1999. Collins has been writing and working on other people's films as a stunt and fight choreographer for about nine years, he added.
"One project around Cleveland that seems to be pretty big is called 'Trace' a Dr. Who fan series," Collins said. "I was the fight choreographer in that and actually acted in that one as Commander Collins."
Collins has wanted to be a filmmaker since he was about 10 years old.
"And from about 11 years old on I started making fight scenes with my friends," Collins said. "We were all into Karate and Kung Fu so we would make fight scenes and film them."
The filmmaker continued his craft at Kent State University while studying for a degree in education.
According to Collins, if folks check out the film "there will be a big surprise."
Collins' next project will be filled with cyborgs and ninjas, he said.
"I want to see how far out there I can go in Sci-Fi," Collins said, while chuckling.
El Rey Network was founded by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, who wrote "El Mariachi," and "From Dusk Till Dawn." When Rodriguez founded the network he wanted to provide a place that showcased the work of up and coming filmmakers and creatives from around the world.