Cameras are now rolling on The Oath: A Batman Fan Film and we sat down with Georgia-based actor Oz Keenum to get his take on shooting night exteriors in Gotham City, his favorite Caped Crusader, and more! A U.S. Navy veteran, Oz comes to us from his work on the feature films Recollection and Sledgehammer, as well as shows such as Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird, and we’ve loved having him aboard!
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 we appreciate your support!
Welcome Oz! Tell us about yourself and how you became involved in the movie business?
I’m originally from northern New England where I was in every play during my first eight years of school. I gave up drama classes early in high school due to ridiculous teenage insecurities and I went into the U.S. Navy to find a trade. After four years with the Seabees, and with continued work in construction and retail for the next 20 years, I decided I was done with that and started pursuing Therapeutic Art Life Coaching and acting.
I’m now in my third year of working in local TV and movie productions and hope to combine my coaching work with film production in a way that helps people work through PTSDs.
“The Oath: A Batman Fan Film” recently kicked off production with consecutive night shoots in near-freezing temperatures. How was your experience on set?
The cold really doesn’t bother me too much having spent my first 18 years up north. I didn’t have a scene during our first night of shooting so I helped as a PA (production assistant) and had control over my warmth. The second night wasn’t that cold. The third night of shooting was definitely cooler than the previous so I prepared with long johns under my wardrobe because I knew I had to lay on the ground for at least 30 minutes for my final scene. For me, being in a scene where I’m not in control of my comfort while shooting is just something I have to deal with to get that shot. It’s always worth it.
You played the role of mobster Jimmy Atlas. How did you prepare?
First, I looked up any mention of Jimmy Atlas, or “Jimmy the Angel,” but couldn’t find any. Once I learned that he is an original character; an equal to Jack Napier (played by Jack Nicholson in Batman) with the goal to someday take over the empire of crime-boss Carl Grissom (played by Jack Palance in Batman); I knew what tone to go with. I had seen Batman (1989) many times but I watched it three more times before filming to get “the feel’ of what was expected of me in terms of performance.
Working with the cast and crew was an absolute delight. Having worked with a few people in previous productions gave me the comfortable feel of being there. Meeting the new faces and energies of those that knew most everyone already left me with confidence that this production was going to be productive, efficient, professional, and fun.
My memorable moment for sure was when I walked into Batman’s backfist and actually got hit in the face and sound picked it up on the mics. I didn’t break character and just went with it.
Are you a Batman fan?
Growing up, I wasn’t into the comics or collecting, but when Tim Burton released his film I took to it mostly because of the cast members. I fell in love with the cinematography and how each character brought something interesting to the moment.
During my Navy days I had a roommate that was a super-fan of the franchise and we got more into it together. Back in the mid-90s, I actually remarked, “I’d LOVE to be in a Batman film.”
Who is your favorite Batman?
It has to be Michael Keaton. He was my first introduction to ANY series or franchise, even though I’m old enough to have gotten into it during the Adam West days. I guess I’m a modern guy with less attraction to sets that looked cheesy. It couldn’t keep my attention back then, especially when I was the most inept comic book story kid I knew.
What other projects are you working on?
Currently I have a Chick-fil-A commercial coming up as well as a featured role on a new series on FX about the FBI. I’m constantly looking for opportunities to grow in the Atlanta area where I now live, but I’m not opposed to coming back to Virginia for more quality roles like Jimmy Atlas.
Thanks to Oz 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.**