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Old 12-27-2002, 10:17 PM   #1
Continuity Of Movement
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Default Continuity Of Movement

Greetings All,

Wishing all a festival, and safe, celebration period.

As to the topic at hand, do any of the filmmakers present on this forum film their action pieces utilizing HK's continuity of movement method (long, continuous, linked takes to produce extended fight sequences)?

If so, and hopefully this is so (only my personal like of course), what are your thoughts?
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Old 12-28-2002, 08:12 AM   #2
Yi Long
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Well...I haven't started any movies yet, but often I come up with long combinations of fight-moves which would all flow into 1 nice take/shot/whatever.
When I start doing this type of film, If I ever get the opportunity, I'll most likely try to use lots of clear, wideshots of the action with as little unnecessary takes as possible.
I also like the action to move from one point to the next, so th fight begins at a certain location, and during the fight it moves to another location; let's say classroom fight moves down the hall, down the stairs, into cafeteria or whatever.
Along the way you can use the doors, other students, stairs, chairs, tables, teachers whatever. The locations is suitable for close infighting like wing chun in the classroom, jumping techniques (off tables and walls) and just all around kicking combos (like in the hallways).
I would avoid close-ups while throing punches...waiting for thelittle pauses and poses duing teh fight to use those. (probably using a slightly tilted and moving camera to get a nice effect)
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Old 12-30-2002, 05:57 PM   #3
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Default Excellent

Greetings, Yi Long,

Thank you for responding to my post. You've posted an excellent, and interesting, response!

Most of the Hollywood crew, except for those with some HK, Japan Action Club, Yasuaki Kurata Int'l., or S.A.S. (Seoul Action School, in Korea) experience, have little to no idea what makes for excellent, thrilling MA action choreography. The lack the MA experience to no what camera angles, film speeds and movements are needed to create jaw dropping MA action pieces. Likewise, they do not see that martial content and martially graceful movements are not diametrically opposed concepts. Further, whenever they attempt to put their ideas of what appears to them to be spectacular, it is usually the use of "flashy," irrelevant acrobatic moves with no martial content. Their lack of MA knowledge also causes them to delete the more subtle movements in MAs, such as the subtle wrist movements in hand strikes, the sophisticated adhering, parrying/blocking, trapping and checking found in MAs, advanced offensive and defensive movements/techniques, such as using strikes to block strikes, and blocks as blows (as well as using kicking techniques, etc., offensively and defensively). There are a miriad of anti-grabbing methods, as seen in films such as Shaolin vs. Lama, for example, that just go unused in the action of those too inexperienced to handle this aspect of MA filmmaking.

I am hoping that I can continue Old School action as done by Sammo in his wonder "Prodical Son!"

Anyway, that's my rant...;)

Let's continue the dialoque!:D
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Old 01-01-2003, 03:46 AM   #4
Yi Long
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Default Re: Excellent

I Totally agree with ya on that.
In alot of american martial arts TV shows or movies, for example the mortal kombat tv series, there were alot of 'ninja's' jumping and flipping about...which indeed looks cool...but is absolutely RIDICULOUS when it's used on the wrong times. You saw weird jumping spinkicks connecting where in real fights, or at least in a fight with even a mediocre martial artist, WOULD NEVER CONNECT...because when u see a guy (or 'Ninja') jumping 8ft up in the air while doing a 720 degrees spin, extending a leg midway through, you ussually take a step backwards. But noooo...not the martial artists in Mortal Kombat...they just stand there in a fighting stance, waiting to do a 'I've been hit!!!'-reaction and spin-fall.
I KNOW the movement in itself is quite beautifull and difficult, but it should be fitted in the fightscene at a better point.
Like you, I like the combinations between 2 characters, with blocking and kicking techniques etc on top form, the most spectacular. I like the first fight in Fist of Legend for example because Jet takes the attacking japanese students out extremely fast and quickly with really nice stop-block-hit movements.
I would love doing a fightscene like that, using block-hit! at multiple opponents coming at ya very fast...I think I would look into some Hapkido, Wing Chun and other styles who focus on fast blocks and take-outs like that.
To bad i'm here in Holland without any film-study or anything and where no martial arts stuff is ever being made :(
I did hear from Ron Smoorenburg there is now more interest in martial arts in a new TV series so I might audition for a part in that someday. Also a popular director is supposedly going to do a martial arts movie.
I think I will join some casting-agencies when my right leg has recoverd from a slight muscle-injury (tried to do the cartwheel without hands without warming up and after about 6 months orso since I last practiced something similar.)

saddly I have only a pan&scan&Dub videotape of shaolin vs lama so I only watched it once and couldnt realy focus much on what was going on. Plus my VCR is now turned to complete crap so i doubt i will ever see it again unless it comes to DVD in correct specs ;)
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Old 01-17-2003, 01:35 AM   #5
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Default Continuity

The continuity of shots is so important in MA movies and I can't believe some people just skip over it. Some recent MA movies that I've seen, both independent and big-studio big-producer flicks, forget Eisenstein's theory of film, or never heard it.

From what I remember: When two shots that hold some value individually are added together, the result can sometimes be greater than the added values of the shots.

He was talking about montange and making shots meaningful, like showing a political leader and then splicing in a shot of a pig. But I think the rule works perfectly for MA scenes. Film two shots that work off each other and you end up with two shots that have more meaning. Movies that just throw shots together of single moves and acrobatic maneuvers without concerning the following shots are devoid of meaning, and the shots themselves hold the only value in the movie. The action in the trailers ends up being just as important.
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Old 01-17-2003, 02:01 AM   #6
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Default Heck yes, Now you're talkin'

I don't think you could ever be too old school. Hehe not for me anyway.

I would also like to add one thing since Yi Long is saying some agreeable stuff.

Basic film technique requires a "LINE" of action. For example two people sitting a table having a conversation. There is a definate line of action that YOU DO NOT CROSS according to conventional filming during the conversation.

HOWEVER, in fight scenes this is simply not the case. Crossing the line is perfectly acceptable and it breaks the mold.
I'm little touchy about that, since some dude posted on
www.triggerstreet.com a bad review of our "Mummy fight" vid. Now opinions are ok, it's just that the Knucklehead sited "Crossing the line as one of his reasons during the fight. He needs to study more. No i'm not bitter...sniff. hahah lol

But getting back to the topic i'm very much in favor of doing what you described. I wish Hollywood would see it our way.

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Old 01-17-2003, 06:25 AM   #7
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Default Crossing the line

Crossing the line has always been a problem for me, though. I didn't always notice it, but recently I have watched Shaw bros. movies and seen it quite a bit. Obviously Lau knew what he was doing in My Young Auntie, though. Seems like one can cross the line if there's a VERY distinguishable attack occuring, not a regular punch.

Heh, some movies go OVERBOARD in avoiding crossing the line, though. Take The Loot. Norman Tsui is on the left, Ko in the middle, Chiang on the right, all fighting. Then it switches angles to a shot that looks like it's 180 degrees on the opposite side, but Tsui is STILL on the left and Chiang's STILL on the right! Not that this looks great, but I think it's easier to follow the action that way.

Corey Yuen (and the Sammo group) in Dragons Forever made it pretty clear that they didn't intend to cross. Some shots dolly around the a standoff just to set the fighters at opposite sides of the screen. Kinda cool. That's how we like to do action anyways.

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