After months of hard but enjoyable work our Kung Fu FAQ: Movie Kung Fu meets Reality is now completed! I hope fellow martial artists can relate to these questions– I know I am always asked these questions.
How Did It All Start? It started with an idea and 2 guys who had the desire to make it happen. It’s funny how easy that sounds, but in reality there are so many steps along the way where people can back out or shelf their ideas. I met up with Vivian Ye of the One Foundation and was introduced to Van Yang who was working on something for the One Foundation. After dinner we were all relaxing at Van’s studio when Vivian with a huge grin on her face suddenly asked me “Hey Alfred, since you practice wushu– if I suddenly punched you, could you block it?!” I looked at her– flabbergasted… this was not the first time she had asked me such a question. She was also not the first person to ask me such a question. I suddenly blurted out an idea.. “Wouldn’t it be funny if we filmed a series of answers to these frequently asked wushu questions?” Van immediately added to the discussion and we kept coming up with jokes and scenarios where a martial artist ran into extraordinary circumstances and was expected to be the wushu hero seen in the movies. See.. this is where this project could have ended.. with a few laughs and a fun night at Van’s studio. I was curious if Van meant what he said when he said he was “down” to shoot this. I went home and wrote a series of martial arts FAQ questions and strung the situations together into a short story. I sent it to Van and he immediately started up a “basecamp”. This meant business. Anyways, I won’t bore you with the details, but we started showing people the script and people loved it so a lot of friends jumped aboard. This was my first time producing a project in China so it was pretty exciting!
I want to thank everyone that came out to help. This was completely a project for fun, to see what we could do, and to see if we could bring a funny idea to life.
Special thanks to Wang Zhenwei from the Beijing Wushu Team and of Karate Kid 2010, (starring Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith) fame for starring as our gang leader. Thanks to Meihan, super China national all around wushu champion, who was a great sport with the fight scenes and who brought her skilled stunt friends to assist. Thanks to Jun Trinh on so many levels; Jun is a celebrity chef with his own show and restaurant, and here he is getting chased down an alley way and getting kicked in the chest.. on top of that he (along with family friend Tavey) let us use 4Corners as our first and major shooting location (The Vietnamese sandwiches we had the first day on set were amazing!).
Also big thanks to producer Joanna Wong who was a constant source of positive radiant qi as well as a source for our day 2 shooting location. Thanks to Anne Trinh who is the perfect blend of cool and awesome as a person and as hair and make up artist that made us look good! Thanks to Jeremy Yung and my classmates from Beijing Film Academy that came over to support and add to our cast! Thanks to Zhu Ning our second editor and Zhou Le who totally pulled through on our one major special effect! Everyone involved was awesome!
Of course, it goes without saying, but must be said still… biggest thanks to our director and editor Van the man Yang. He is already a director of huge brand name companies and commercials (see his work at www.flowcs.com). Van is such a great guy to work with and really brilliant behind the camera… once again thanks Van!
Without further ado, here is the film:
If you are wondering– we used a 5D and a 7D. We shot for 2 days and we did a half day for pick ups. Writing took one night with a few days for revisions (script was translated into both English and Chinese). Editing took the longest because we were both working on other full time projects. Hope you all enjoyed!
and for Chinese audiences, here is the version with Chinese subtitles and is not blocked by the Great Firewall.
Youku video link: Kung Fu FAQ