Talks & Interviews — January 20, 2018 at 3:22 pm

“The Martial Arts Kid” producer: “The Karate Kid” was a tad too unrealistic (Exclusive)

james-e-wilson

By Tim Tal

Below is a BZFilm interview with the producer of “The Martial Arts Kid” and “Paying Mr. McGetty”, James Wilson

How did you get first involved with “The Martial Arts Kid” as a producer?

I was motivated by all the martial arts movies I’ve seen having a plots of revenge for the “hero” as its main theme, and the ones that were different like “The Karate Kid” being just a tad too unrealistic. Miyagi steals the movie to me, but he is not exactly the type of person you would let you son or daughter train under…

I mean, a hermit that likes to drink and has problems of his own he hasn’t resolved. He needed the kid perhaps more than the Kid needed him. Having characters like Aunt Cindy and Uncle Glen was important because being husband/wife and respected members of the community is what instructors are usually like. They don’t catch flies without chopsticks but their lessons are grounded in reality and are useful.

My partner was Cheryl Wheeler Sanders herself a famous Kickboxer. Later martial arts Masters Dr Robert Goldman and Maurice Elmalem joined so with Don & Cynthia we all wanted some realism and the bullying to be taken more seriously.

According to news reports online, The Martial Arts Kid” was made partially with funds from a crowdfunding campaign. How was the feedback on this strategy? What was the final budget for the film?

We had a goal of $150,000 so that we could shoot on location in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We raised $173,500 and got a great group of people to join us in supporting the movie. It was stressful but terrific in the outcome. The budget was much more but we will keep that to ourselves.

As far as I know, you are going to produce the sequel to “The Martial Arts Kid”. What should the fans expect in terms of story and action?

We are Producing the sequel. This time it is a little more darker with a great deal more danger… after all Chuck Zito as Frank Whitlaw is the villain. Its not going to be about a teenage bullies this go around. There will also be characters that are going to make some major changes in this movie.

“The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback” will be partly funded through an IndieGoGo campaign. How much of the budget you plan to raise via the platform?

We are using Indiegogo to once again allow us to shoot on location, but this time we are hoping with the fan base we built from the first one to raise even more and that will enable us to do some very special things we have planned if the budget can be increased this way.

*** Special thanks to David J. Moore for setting up the interview

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