'Mark Grist Battles the World' - Episode 1, The Philippines

This week we got to release one of the most intense projects I've ever worked on. Last November I began shooting a pilot episode for a documentary with Rumpus and Red Bull TV called 'Mark Grist Battles the World'. The first episode was set in The Philippines, which meant flying over and taking part in a few battles whilst learning about Philippino culture and Flip Top, the world's largest rap battle league. It culminated in a battle with Loonie, one of the most viewed rap battlers in the world.

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There were so many cool moments over the fortnight- including bumping into my old Uni mate (and band mate) Jonesy at the airport.

 Hardly aged a bit!

Hardly aged a bit!

From the moment we landed we got stuck into a pretty gruelling filming schedule. The image below is from my first battle whilst out near Manila - against a guy called Pistolero. We bumped into him in a ghetto called Tondo and had a bit of an English/Tagalog mixed language battle for the kids/guys around us.

The second battle was against Protege in a record store next door to Fliptop's headquarters. I rate Protege's writing so highly and he really smashed his performance. The event was popping and it was cool to get to go drinking with him later on in the week too.

 Protege and Bagnall post-battle.

Protege and Bagnall post-battle.

The final battle (and the focus of the episode)  was a promo battle against Fliptop's post popular emcee, Loonie. Loonie is huge out there. He's also the most viewed active rap battler in the entire world. The battle was full on - and you can see the whole thing here. If you click on the image of me and Loonie below then you can see a bunch of other stuff that we got up to whilst out there.

So, what now? It's certainly been the most ambitious project I've worked on. The production values are so high too, and it's really cool to work with such talented people (and with an actual budget!) on something. Everyone worked so hard and we're all dead excited to see what it looks like.

 What a team!

What a team!

Anyway, the episode is up online along with loads of bonus content - and it looks amazing. I'm so proud of it and everyone that worked to make it happen. You can check it all out here.