Production recently kicked off on The Oath: A Batman Fan Film, and we had a chance to sit down with actor Chris Konke to talk about those cold, late-night shoots in Gotham City, his favorite Caped Crusader, and more! Chris has worked on shows like House of Cards and Homeland, and we’re delighted to have him aboard!
Before we get started with Chris, The Oath is now funding on Indiegogo! An original story set in the world of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), take a trip back to the Burtonverse with us and thanks for your help!
WELCOME CHRIS! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INTO ACTING.
I’m a Georgia native who moved to Northern Virginia in 2010 to work for the government. After Netflix became popular, I got the idea to look into being an extra on a show and looked into what was available locally. Sure enough, House of Cards needed extras and I managed to have a split-second appearance in an episode. After that, I was able to get a few more background gigs and I met (director) Johnny K. at one of them. He eventually gave me my first speaking role in the short film, Red Eagle-1 and since then, acting has taken off a bit. Now I have had several speaking roles and even had my first voiceover work this year. I never saw myself as an actor growing up, but am sure glad I got into this when I did!
FILMING ON THE OATH RECENTLY KICKED OFF WITH SOME VERY LONG NIGHT SHOOTS, ALL OUTSIDE. WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE LIKE ON SET?
I am a bit of a weather-checking OCD type, so I packed for both warm and cold weather. It was 72° on day 1 when we had our first cast & crew meeting on set, and by the time we wrapped days later, it was in the 30s. It was an interesting experience going from warm to cold like that in a short period of time. Johnny and I actually met while filming a Showtime series where they had us wearing polo shirts in November (pretending like it was July) so I like to think I was ready for the temperatures on set this time.
Overall, the shoot went as I expected. Johnny was well prepared and stuck to his shooting schedule despite a little rain that came late one night. The whole film was shot very smoothly and the process was fun for all of us.
THE OATH IS SET ONE WEEK BEFORE TIM BURTON’S BATMAN (1989), AND YOU PLAY GOTHAM CITY POLICE OFFICER JOEY BARNES. HOW DID YOU PREPARE?
I had actually played a lawyer representing two cops in a prior film and was also fitted for a DC police uniform for a role in a political show that filmed in Washington, DC in fall 2021. They didn’t end up using me, but it was interesting being fitted for two police uniforms between that show and The Oath.
To prepare, I went back and watched Batman (1989) carefully, and Johnny provided me with some background info on my character. This really helped me shape how Officer Barnes would interact with his partner, Sergeant Frank Kelly, played by Jerry Morgan. I practiced my lines every night (ok, I missed a few) once Johnny gave me the script! Repetition is really my secret for preparation.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH THIS CAST AND CREW?
Working with the cast and crew was amazing. I knew a few of the people on set from either social events or helping with other films, but I met several new faces. This team has great chemistry and we all bonded together during filming. I would work with all of them again in a heartbeat. Seeing Guillermo in the batsuit for the first time was incredible. That was probably my most memorable moment.
There were some funny bloopers, like (actor) Jerry Morgan getting frustrated in our first scene together when one particular line kept escaping him. I also recall several people throwing the batarang around, nearly hitting folks and failing miserably to get it to wrap around things. That made me laugh a lot.
ARE YOU A BATMAN FAN?
I am! I will say I am more of a Marvel guy than DC, but there is a place in my heart for Batman. I grew up seeing the Adam West version on TV and vividly recall the first time I saw Batman (1989) as a kid. It was very dark and scared me a bit, but it was such a great movie and really set the tone for the films going forward. I had the Batmobile toy from that film as well as the action figures and comics. I also recall enjoying Batman Returns as well (younger me didn’t listen to movie critics or care what they thought about it). I have kept up with each Batman film since and enjoyed each one and its unique portrayal of Bruce Wayne and Batman.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CAPED CRUSADER?
I would say the 1989 Tim Burton portrayal. That movie really took Batman from kind of a lighthearted, campy “wham/pow” character to someone that you thought might drop a bad guy from a roof (see the opening sequence of the 1989 film). The acting was incredible and I think Michael Keaton surprised everyone. I think that was my favorite version of the Batman costume as well. I loved the Batmobile and the overall look of Gotham City in the “Burtonverse,” as they call it.
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
I starred in my first full-length film recently called America Gone Viral. It will be out sometime in 2022 and I am excited to see how it turns out. I’m in Red Eagle-1, and I was also recently featured in a German film called Rabiye that should be out shortly as well. I had the unique experience of being cast in a web series and it is also currently being prepared for release. Acting has kept me busy this year!
A huge thanks to Chris for his time and talent on this project! The Oath: A Batman Fan Film will be released in 2022 on YouTube. This non-profit project is now funding on Indiegogo, and thanks for your support!
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** Batman and all related marks, logos, and characters are solely owned by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment. This non-profit fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with DC Comics or Warner Bros. Entertainment.**