April 7: Jackie Day — Celebrate Jackie Chan’s birthday!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a freelance ghostwriter of personal memoirs and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn
Jackie Chan’s My Stunts straight-to-video documentary takes us inside the world of Jackie Chan’s stunt and fight choreography. The follow-up to My Story (1998), the film begins by taking the viewer on a nostalgic tour of some of Chan’s most famous action scenes. It visits the locations of Police Story (1985) and reminisces on the amazingly dangerous stunts in that film. We also shown the inside of the lab where Chan and his celebrated stunt team come up with ideas for fight sequences. Chan’s enthusiasm for his work at this stage in career really shines through. It’s clear that his work is his whole life. Chan takes us step by step through pole fighting and wire techniques with great enthusiasm and precision. They illustrate his perfectionist ways to even greater effect in the behind-the-scenes clips from Who Am I? (1998) where we get to see a little bit of “Assy” Chan.
During the filming of a rooftop fight, Chan becomes frustrated with the performance of a fighter who is not a movie actor but a real martial artist. After several failed takes, Chan finally replaces him with one of his own team members to get the desired result. It’s a very interesting peek at what it must be like to work with Chan. The best part happens when Chan trusts the work to several members of his team. It’s clear the members of his stunt team are greatly responsible for his longevity in film and Chan lets them take the credit they deserve.
It’s a very educational and entertaining documentary and fans of Kung Fu films in general will certainly come away with a greater respect for all the people who do this kind of work.
It’s on YouTube for free here: