Hong Kong Cinemagic
Version française English version
 Capsule Reviews   English Board   Facebook  
 Movie Studios
 Your Settings

HKCine Search
Switch to Google Search
>> Help

 Film directors

 Drama & Opera

 Shaw Brothers
 Film Industry
 Cultural & Societal

 DVD Tests
 HK Cinema Books
 Where to buy?

 OST & Music
 PDF & E-books
 VIP Guestbook

 Site Map
 Editos Archives
 Site History
 Visitor guestbook
 HKCinemagic 2

Statistics :
11630 Movies
19215 People
1448 Studios
29 Articles
73 Interviews
12 DVD Reviews
32452 Screenshots
3722 Videos
Interview Antony Szeto on Wushu
Interview Antony Szeto Page 1
Author(s) : Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 8/11/2008
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Dennis Chan Kwok San
Jackie Chan
Sammo Hung Kam Bo
Colette Koo Ka Ling
Jet Li
Liu Feng Chao
Antony Szeto Wing Wa
Wang Wen Jie
Movies :
< Previous
Interview conducted by Arnaud Lanuque, on Nov 07, 2008.
Many Thanks to Antony Szeto.

Photos courtesy Beijing Dadi Century Limited and Hippopotamus Films

Jackie Chan’s latest production, Wushu, is a newcomer directorial debut. Antony Szeto has all the necessary qualities to make a feature film that glorifies a new generation of martial artists. A Graduate in communication and media, Szeto has a strong experience in wushu --he is a member of the Australia national team. Following the release of the movie in Chinese theatres on Oct 28, 2008, the director discusses below his film with Arnaud Lanuque.

Antony Szeto (middle) with Wang Wenjie and Liu Fengchao


HKCinemagic: How did you get involved in the making of Wushu?
Antony Szeto: I came up with the concept of Wushu about 4 years ago, and wrote the first story about it then. I then teamed up with Colette Koo, who produced the film, to find investors for it.
HKCinemagic: What was Jackie Chan's exact involvement in the making of the film?
Antony Szeto: Jackie Chan was just one of the investors, and the Executive Producer for the film.

Jackie Chan : the executive producer of Wushu
HKCinemagic: How did you share the directorial duties with Dennis Chan?
Antony Szeto: Dennis Chan came on board during start of filming. He helped with the rewrite of the scripts, and with the tight time schedule and new scripts coming to me on a day to day basis, he helped in directing sections that were obviously familiar to him. This was especially so with the 10 year old children part of the film where he directed the children in a majority of the segment.
HKCinemagic: Your direction style is very modern. Was it done to compensate the “old mainland” atmosphere of the main story?
Antony Szeto: I like to engage the audience as much as I can, and so I use any tools available to me to create that result. The audience today are very savvy film watchers, and so I must do more to entertain and surprise them. However, I try to bring the action itself a sense of reality, which I feel returns to what people had enjoyed in the past with Jackie Chan and Jet Li films.
HKCinemagic: Were you worried about handling so many characters for the story of Wushu? How did you overcome this difficulty?
Antony Szeto: Yes, I felt that there was a danger of a lack of focus. But in the end this is a story about a group of students and their growing up, and obviously the message of being responsible for your own choice of your road in life is not lost on the audience. On filming, the main reason I needed Dennis's help was that we wanted to cover all of the characters in as much detail as possible. There was almost enough footage of the children at 10 years old to make a whole film for themselves! I worked on much of the modern scenes of the film, on top of me choreographing and filming all the fight scenes which when done properly is extremely time consuming. We then left the final decision of which characters to focus on in the editing room, where we knew we had enough footage to cover any one of them.

HKCinemagic: The fight scenes involving the kidnapper gang can be quite violent. Was your intention to have very different styles between the Wu Shu demonstrations and the real street fights?
Antony Szeto: I absolutely wanted to separate the safety of school life from the dangers lurking around life outside of school. The film managed to show what wushu as a demonstrative sport, and sanda as a contact sport, were about. What I then wanted to explore was the skills that these kids had in the context of reality. Of course in the end this is a film and so entertainment is paramount, and there needed to be a sense of internal logic to the characters. Hence it took the teacher to defeat his ex turn-bad student, and the fighting was much more aggressive as a result. I think the audience would not have been satisfied otherwise.
HKCinemagic: Who in your casting is more likely to become the next action star?
Antony Szeto: I think both Wang Wen Jie and Liu Feng Chao have as much chance as one another to become the next action star. They are both highly skilled, are talented actors, and both have the right attitudes needed to make it in this crazy industry.
HKCinemagic: Wushu is the first step for a all new generation of martial artists. But in the final fight of the film, it’s Sammo Hung, symbol of the “old generation”, who take care of the main bad guy. Why this choice?
Antony Szeto : There was no symbolism of generation differences, or wushu versus traditional martial arts training, intended here. I go back to the last part of my answer to question 6. With Sammo as a member of the cast, it would have been the most dissatisfying experience to the audience member if he didn't fight. Now, we toyed with the idea of the children beating the villain out-right, but it always seemed to lose the character logic. Therefore, to set up scenarios where the villain was defeated by the students, internal logic dictated that it would have to be by some means of Act of God, trickery, or accident, all of which we felt would leave the audience dissatisfied. In the end, we chose good beating evil through the teacher teaching his wayward student a final lesson. It’s certainly corny when I put it that way, but we didn’t preach that point in the film.
Page :  1   Top
Previous :

 Advertise with Google AdSense   Submit a review   Contact   FAQ   Terms of use   Disclaimer   Error Report  
copyright ©1998-2013 hkcinemagic.com