Martial art is a form of expression, an expression from your inner self to your hands and legs.
In Hong Kong, particularly, we craft this art for decades. The action choreographer actually is the action director. He takes over and he choreographs with - by himself or with his team, and place the camera where he feels cinematic effect to bring out that choreography.
Look at every action movie in Hollywood. Every leading man from Spider-Man to Batman to James Bond, 'Bourne Identity', every one of them possesses martial arts skills.
I think a lot of people don't realize that martial arts are just an expression like anything else. It's just that most people are not trained to punch or kick, but you can walk or run or dance, which is also part of expression.
I always tell younger filmmakers, it's not just about the acting or the art itself. It's about how big of an audience watches your film.
A lot of people don't realize, when you are acting in a martial arts film, you're not just performing martial arts. You're not just performing martial arts. You're actually acting as much as any other actor.
I just like to choose projects that will allow me as an artist to make my art.
Whether I'm acting or making it, at the end of the day it's telling the story; action, drama. You want the audience to feel it - the story, the action, the scene, or a particular shot. I just keep working on crafting my art, on how to make action movies.
I try to update my arsenal constantly. Learning different martial arts since childhood. To understand what's out there. To really be in tune.
A lot of Chinese martial arts films were based on Chinese martial arts novels. And these novels created a world of putting history, calligraphy, and martial arts into one.
It takes years of building that experience as a filmmaker, as well as physically. You have to have a high level understanding of martial arts.
The main reason I like UFC is not just the martial arts aspect, but it's about one person against the other person. It's about being able to test yourself with the truth.
There is also a strong following among the urbanites on the East Coast when it comes to martial arts films.
I guess I'm pretty lucky because in childhood I studied so many martial arts styles and I never stopped researching them, my body is very adjustable and I can turn into different expressions with my body.
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