Black belt duo team up to produce teen martial arts films


Former Ninja Turtle star Ernie Reyes Jr. of Smasher Entertainment and international sales executive Art Birzneck of Birch Tree Entertainment, announced at the American Film Market, that they have teamed up to produce a slate of youth-oriented martial arts films targeted at the teen and twenty-something set.

Karate Cops, the first film in the slate, was co-written by 2010 Page International Screenwriting Award silver medalist Cody Yarbrough and Reyes. Principal photography on Karate Cops is scheduled to commence in April 2011. Other projects on tap, include Cheer Ninjas and Teen Samurai.

“With our extensive connections and combined experience in the production and distribution of martial arts films, Birch Tree and Smasher are uniquely positioned to fill a void in what we believe is an under-serviced youth action film market”, said Birch Tree president Art Birzneck, continuing “It also doesn’t hurt that we are both black belts.”

“We are re-inventing the classic martial arts hits of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and making them relevant to young people today. I was fortunate to be part of The Last Dragon and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise and we are going to bring back that energy and excitement,” said Smasher president Ernie Reyes Jr.

Smasher will take the lead in all creative and production aspects, with Birch Tree handling the business and distribution aspects of the venture. Strategic partnerships are also part of the production plan. Media Network Services and Straight Up Technologies will be providing video collaboration solutions for the production of Karate Cops. In addition to utilizing video collaboration technologies during the production of Karate Cops, a case study will be written on the behind the scenes integration of next generation technologies during the filmmaking process.

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