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Bret Silverberg Chip Perro on Samurai Season Two

September 1, 2008
Would you have guessed the creator, writer and director of “High Heel Samurai” was anything but a karate master or MMA champion? Probably not, but as it turns out, this 24- year-old Harvard grad is one part karate, and about 10 parts Tarantino.

Chip Perro’s background took him from being a humanities major in college to starting an indie film company in Natick. He currently stakes his claim with several writing and directing credits and most recently wrapped up work on season two of his avant-garde “Kill Bill” meets Party of Five Internet drama: High Heel Samurai.

The show exhibits both grit and sass, with one never overpowering the other. But you wouldn’t quite get that image from the title. Or would you?

“It’s interesting, when I usually tell people the title, I think it has sort of a guilty pleasure type sound to it,” says Perro. “I usually say it’s an action-drama. It’s not even that action-y. You’re just seeing their day to day lives.”

Only the characters’ day-to-day lives of which Perro speaks largely revolve around a fight club, which the four lead girls spend copious amounts of time trying to keep hush-hush.

It’s somewhat of a revolution when compared to the standard, campy Kung Fu and Karate flicks and series’ of the 1970s.

“People always compare it to certain things,” says Perro. “’Sex and the City,’ ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ I think it’s kind of different. The characters live fairly regular lives but they do these other things that make them different.”

Perro has done something different since age 6, when he first studied the art of Karate. He took a few directing courses in college, despite the demands of his humanities major at the Cambridge Ivy. His desire to work in film is even reflected through the character he plays in his own series, as noted by his line, “Harvard’s a bore,” uttered to two undercover cops who inquire about his studies.

Character drama is Perro’s calling card, and it’s represented well throughout season one of High Heel Samurai. Why shouldn’t it be, Perro writes the lines and calls the shots on set.

“I like elements of both,” says Perro of his dual roles as director and writer. “I really do like telling the story, but it’s great being on set to see the story come to life. There’s more excitement in that portion of it.”

In season two, scenes have been filmed in more public spots than in the suburban homes and back alleys depicted in season one. Harvard Square was used as a locale for one shot, for example, but difference in location is not where the comparisons to the first season end.

“I would say season two is probably a little darker,” says Perro. “Characters start making some mistakes. They are a close-knit group. In season two, there are a few problems that develop that divide the group a little bit.”

Let’s hope it’s nothing a little underground martial arts tournament can’t fix.

Season two of High Heel Samurai launches Sept. 3.

 Copyright © 2008  F. R. Perro Inc.