I originally had the opportunity to correspond with Tim Storms due to his appearance in Robert Chapin’s “The Hunted.” To my delight it seems Mr. Storms has been involved in many projects which would fall under the umbrella to what I think of when I hear the words “Fan” “Boy”; Comic Books and Science Fiction. Tim Storms comes from a small town in Minnesota where his theatrical family appeared together in several performances. At the age of four he had begun to train in gymnastics moving into the martial arts at age twelve. In addition to his entertainment tenure he has also been a circus performer, professional juggler, unicyclist, tight-rope, acrobat, among other things. Well armed with a degree in classical and musical theatre from Mankato State University in Minnesota Tim went on to do hundreds of plays, as an actor, director, fight and dance choreographer. In 1991 he moved to Los Angeles to work in movies, but also continued his theatre career supporting himself by teaching gymnastics and martial arts, which he continues to do to this day teaching both for about 25 years.
ROBIN HOOD, MEN IN TIGHTS was Mr. Storms’ first “big” movie playing one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men alongside the likes of Carey Elwes and Patrick Stewart. It was on the set of that film where he also met the incredible Bob Chapin, creator of The Hunted.
Tim’s martial arts movie career really kicked into high gear when he trained the actors for gymnastics on a little film called THE MATRIX. Tim was teaching gymnastics to the stars, though that career was on hiatus after the gym burned down. He turned focus on his stunt career. There he met a man named Dan Bradley, who hired Tim for the movie SWORDFISH. Dan liked Tim’s work so much he hired him for seven or eight films since most recently training stunt people and actors for SPIDERMAN 3.
FAN FILM FOLLIES (through Christopher Moshier): You’ve had a lot of martial arts training. The 1990’s was all about Soccer Moms and now the new millennia is all Martial Arts. There are Martial Arts Studios (schools) all over the place. What do you attest to this new “trend” if anything?
TIM STORMS: I have black belts in Taekwondo and Wu-shu kung-fu, and have studied many other styles. I think the martial arts trends definitely follow the movie industry. Whatever style is popular in film, you’ll see people flocking to those schools. The flashy kung-fu style really got a boost after THE MATRIX.
FFF: Is that you in “Chicks with Sticks?” When I had first had seen that title I had to double take as I have heard other titles with a similar name, “Chicks with (rhymes with sticks!). I found “sticks” on IFILMS and the ladder on sites that would make your eyes explode.
TS: Yes, I am in CHICKS WITH STICKS. And no, it’s not a porno. I was the stunt coordinator on a short the director was making, and I acted in another scene he shot. I really was surprised when he listed it on IFILMS and IMDB. There are plenty of other projects I’d rather be known for.
FFF: OK! Cleared from memory! You were in the Star Trek series Enterprise. I’m a big Star Trek geek! How cool was it to work with the Enterprise cast and what is involved in being an extra in Enterprise or any other series or film?
TS: I loved working on ENTERPRISE however I was not what you would consider an extra. I worked on several episodes, including the pilot, as a stunt actor. I played a Suliban warrior several times, and a Vulcan Commando in KIR’SHARA. I had a big fight with Scott Bakula, Jolene Blalok and Diana Inosanto. I’ve always loved STAR TREK, too, so putting on the ears was a huge thrill. As for extra work, I’ve only worked as an extra on one show, ROBIN HOOD.
FFF: If I may be so bold what kind of pay (a ball park estimate) does one get to be an extra?
TS: It paid about $100 a day. As a stunt person, you make a minimum of $680 a day, usually more.
FFF: It frustrates me at times as a writer to bring that craft to the next level. Just like writers actors are plentiful. Does it frustrate you as an actor to stop being the secondary character and get a bigger part in film or are you content with the opportunities you have been presented to you so far in your career?
TS: Yes, the acting world does frustrate me somewhat. As I said, I don’t do extra work, but the majority of roles (though fun and exciting) I’ve played in films, have been stunt or fighting roles. To my credit, I get those roles because I’m a good actor, but they are not the big character/dialogue roles I am used to in the theatre. My next big career goal is to do more straight acting roles, which is tough for me, because I love to do stunts and fighting. I am also trying to focus on writing and directing.
FFF: I was checking out Real Kick and the opening promo trailer was amazing. Very cool stuff. I was not a big “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” lover. I like wire work, but just like CGI I think in some films it is taken too far to make what I am watching out of reality.
TS: Yes, I agree, wire-work has a great place in film, if done sparingly, and correctly. As for REEL KICK, I still train them on a weekly basis. We have a lot of great new projects already in the can, and will be on the site soon. We have all been working so much lately, that we haven’t been able to put them up. We are always working on several projects at a time, from features to TV to Indie films.
FFF: Spider-Man 3. I know you signed your life away so to reveal anything would be imminent death, but what can you tell us about the new movie?
TS: Well, yes, to reveal too much would mean certain death, but I will say the action in #3 will be even bigger than #2. From what I can tell, they are focusing more on Peter Parker than Spidey in this one. Dan Bradley and his crew are working hard already, coming up with some incredible stuff. I’m not sure yet what stunts or roles I will be playing, but I’m looking forward to it.
FFF: You were also involved in Spider-Man 2.
TS: In #2, I trained Tobey and several stunt doubles. I also played the Chainsaw Doctor in the hospital scene. Doc Ock wakes up, and kills all the doctors and nurses in the room. His tentacles pick me up and wipe up the room with me, but I survive long enough to try to fight him with a chainsaw. Valiant, but he kills me, too!
FFF: And you were able to work with the great Alfred Molina.
TS: So thrilling to work with Alfred. He is a great guy, and a great actor. It’s fun to be able to say he beat the crap out of me, then killed me.
FFF: You also worked with John Travolta in Swordfish? No matter what role he plays he always seems to be having the greatest of times.
TS: John was also fantastic to work with. I didn’t even know he was the star of SWORDFISH until he walked on set and I was doing a scene with him. It was Halloween night. He is an inquisitive man. Always asking questions. He, Hugh Jackman and I sat around singing “GREASED LIGHTNING” from GREASE. Very surreal.
FFF: It must be so much fun being on set. I am envious.
TS: Yes, I lead a blessed life. And, though it is much harder work than most people would ever imagine, I get to basically play make-believe every day. I have worked with the biggest stars in the world, and as a teacher, have trained many more. I like to think of myself as the guy who is famous to only the celebrities. I also like to think of myself as the guy just on the edge of hitting it big. Now if I can only spread that idea far enough.
FFF: You met Robert Chapin on the set of Robin Hood: Men in Tights and eventually appeared in an episode of his online series The Hunted. Are series or films like The Hunted becoming a legitimate outlet for entertainers such as yourself?
TS: Robert has been one of my martial arts students, and trains with my team regularly. Yes, we definitely talk about online film as a promotion tool. It’s nice to have a venue that’s much more accessible than the rather closed film biz. But it also allows anybody to make movies, so it can be difficult to sort through the plethora of garbage to find the good stuff.
FFF: Your favorite movie is Star Wars! OK! I now know you are a good guy! What makes Star Wars your favorite film?
TS: STAR WARS came out at the perfect time in my life, when I was 12. I saw it 33 times in the theater, and about a hundred more on video. To me, it was the perfect blend of all things great about film, at least to a young boy. Sword fights, robots, space, hot chicks, and I was obsessed with Darth Vader. Even at that age, I realized the most interesting characters in film are the villains. I memorized every line, and dressed the part every Halloween.
FFF: What’s on tap for your future?
TS: Well, as I’ve said, I am really focused on my acting/directing/writing career, but will continue to (hopefully) still have some fun stunt roles in action movies! I just got done playing a fun role in a low-budget film version of Shakespeare’s RICHARD III, with David Carradine. No idea when that comes out, but it was a blast.