This is a brief excerpt from a transcription I made of Director Antoine Faqua’s commentary for his movie, The Replacement Killers, which starred Chow Yun Fat. In this excerpt he discusses the approach of Asian film makers to film making.
I think there is a lot of opportunity for Asian film makers and other nationalities since The Replacement Killers came out. The interesting thing about the Asian film makers, specifically, and Chow Yun Fat, is that there’s a certain amount of ‘We’re in this together.’ They make these films on shoe string budgets and they get coverage that blows everybody’s mind. And they do it all together, even the actors. Like, Chow Yun Fat used to come to me and he would do the slate or he would hold the tape measure and, you know, he understood because he was so involved technically. He understood the camera. We used to take bets saying ‘There’s no way he’s going to spin and hit this mark and be right on the money’, like in the nightclub in the beginning, and he would do it every single time, every single time, because he understood the frame rate. He understood what the camera was doing and that comes from their way of film making. He knows what’s going on because they all grab rigs and all pull. They all push dollys, they all… now we have Unions here and you don’t want everybody doing that. But at the same time you do want that sort of energy. You want that, sort of, ‘let’s find a creative way of making it work. OK, we don’t have 100 million dollars. How do you make that work?’ Or if you do have a 100 million dollars Like John Woo or someone like that, Mission Impossible, look how much more you can get out of it if you give them the room and freedom to do what they’re used to doing. So I think that if we, and it seems that we have, embraced some of their technique and their way of going about film making we might find a happy balance. We might discover, and I think we are discovering some here, some creative things they’re doing, the Asian film makers.