Articles & Notes, Talks & Interviews — June 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Roger Yuan: “Man of Tai Chi” footage shot during filming of “47 Ronin” (exclusive)

Keanu Reeves is currently in production of his kung-fu movie, called “Man of Tai Chi”, he’s not only playing a villain in the film, but directing it as well.

According to earlier news reports, Reeves plans to give fans of martial arts movies something unique and memorable.

Before the production was launched, Reeves used to say the film is going to have lots of fights, about 40-45 percent of the film will be filled with them.

If Reeves-the director sticks to the idea, we just might get ourselves a solid martial arts film, since I recently stumbled upon an interesting video footage that shows Reeves experimenting with the “bot & dolly” camera system for his “proof of concept” for the film. Check out the video below:

The concept video above shows a fight scene and how Reeves will be utilizing the Bot & Dolly’s advanced looking, robotically controlled camera system to take viewers in, up and around the flying hands and feet.

Man of Tai Chi plans to set itself apart from the kung-fu noise by utilizing a camera system called Bot & Dolly, “the world’s most advanced Robotic motion control camera system,” allowing Keanu Reeves to go both above and around people during a hand-to-hand scene.

“The ambition for me was just trying to get what I’ve seen done before, which they’ve done with CGI, putting the camera where you could not get, but wanting to have the flesh-and-blood elements there,” Reeves says in the video, and it looks like he’s really determined to to use the technique in the film.

Now, those two fighting in the video you see are Vincent Wang and Roger Yuan. Yuan has been in the movie industry for a long time, doing both stunts, fight choreography and acting. BZFilm contacted Yuan to ask him more about the video.

“The video was shot during filming of 47 Ronin film, which I was a fight trainer on,” Yuan told BZFilm. “I am not working on Man of Tai Chi, as I stayed in London to work on Skyfall”.

In case you did not know, “Skyfall” is the latest James Bond movie. As for “47 Ronin”, Keanu Reeves starring in that one too, along with Ron Yuan.

“At the time, this footage was something Keanu asked myself and Vincent Wang, the traditional uniformed fighter, to choreograph/perform, as a test of the camera system for use on Man of Tai Chi,” Yuan recalls.

“The camera set up and test shoot were in London at Shepperton Studios, during a weekend while 47 Ronin was still filming,” he added.

Well, it is sad of course that Yuan, who is a great fighter, is not working on Man of Tai Chi. As much as I love the technique itself, wouldn’t hurt to have some experienced, known martial artists there, who know how to do fight scenes.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing guys like Simon Rhee, James Lew, Ron Yuan, or Darren Shahlavi in there. Ah well, Keanu knows better. We shall wait and see how good is “Man of Tai Chi”.

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