Sunday, 2 August 2015

Today I Learnt that Jackie Chan Isn't Just a Good Performer, He's Also a Masterclass Director and Editor.

I say, blame Paul Greengrass. He wanted to bring authenticity to action movies, so he shot the action sequences in the Bourne Trilogy with a shaky handheld camera. Fast forward to some 10 years and now all Hollywood directors can do is ape his style. At least, Greengrass brought a sense of continuity to his action. So even when his average shot length was just around 2 seconds, you knew which performer was kicking which one. Most directors just go for rapid-fire cuts and it's total chaos. You can't find out what's happening let alone enjoy the action.

And in comes Jackie Chan. His each stunt rehearsed over countless takes. His each shot measured to maximise the impact and the payoff. Watch as how Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting explains the craft behind Jackie Chan's movies and shows how his ability to do his stunts himself and shooting them as per a proper editing rhythm makes his movies far more superior. And more enjoyable. Before this video essay, I always respected Jackie as a performer. And now I learnt that the man shoots and directs his movies too. Impressive, innit?

PS: Tony stresses on Jackie's action comedy 'style'. I think comedy is fine the way it is. Shoot in mid-length, give actors some space to breathe and you are done. I think Jackie's action style is what the world needs to learn from.
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