FOO Action

Well I was approached by the BBC initially to teach jkd to an actor Eddie shin, a few guys had written a story and had done some comic books a few years ago. The BBC had picked this up and decided to make a pilot of the show to see how it goes, anyway I was introduced to this actor who was a Korean American and had done a few things on the TV in the states, ER as well as few other less well known shows. Eddie was an okay guy to teach, very nice and respectful, he was a very fast learner and picked it up very quick. I was assisted by one of my students to teach him the moves, Susan tang worked with Eddie on moving punching and kicking.

After teaching Eddie for about 5 days or so, one of the other production members came to the school to see me. He had done the mummy, the last samurai and other very well known films. This guy was the fight choreographer, he was very interested in me showing him jkd because the actor Eddie was supposed to be a cop that was a jkd guy. Well I showed this guy some moves and I think he was wanting to see if it would work on the screen, I kind of thought to my self, bloody Bruce lee made it look pretty good, I can’t see how it’s not going to look good anyway!
We were asked to come see the producer of the show and my son and I went along to the BBC to see him, he asked us if we would like to play a few parts in the show. Well I don't think he really needed to ask us, sure we would do it. We ended up playing about 5 or so parts, we don't have all the photos of everything we played, but swat guys were our favourite, we played F guys, forensic cops, aliens, and cold stream guards well my son played that part. Everyday going to work for 12 hours a day doing something like this is great but after a few days you begin to hate it, oh I forgot we played stunt men as well, we did some of the stunts falling, jumping, running and climbing stuff. Getting back to the show, yes 12 hrs it gets to the point of not being funny, but it’s probably like that for everybody who gets the chance to do this line of work. Also a few of my students were also asked to play some parts in the show, Susan played a cop with me and one of my other students Will he also played a cop and Jim Boyd a Canadian student of mine was also in the show, Jim was lucky he played three guys like us. The way I am talking you would think we’re the only folk in the show well we weren't ha ha, Carl weathers the guy from the rocky film was in the show as the chief of police, well he really is a big bit of a man, in the flesh, also Jamie something or another was Eddies sidekick in it sorry but I cannot remember her surname, and one of the guys that's in the Scottish TV show chewing the fat, he plays a guy who owns a store who’s character is called Naveed, he was a news reporter.
Okay lets look at the story and see how this all goes together, initially I was shown the comic at the BBC. I thought it looked very good, well drawn and a funny story a bit like DR WHO, okay well maybe not as good as that, the thing with comic books is they don't always go well when you make TV shows of them, that was my thoughts, can they take this stuff and make it convincing enough, well I will fill you in on that later. The story is about these aliens coming to earth to kill the royal family, okay guys it’s supposed to be for kids in fact they put the show on at the wrong time, when they eventually did air it all the kids were asleep. The story wasn't that great, some of the folk in it were okay, my thoughts were well maybe the martial arts will pull it through because we had got this guy Eddie pretty good in a short time, well convincing enough to pull it off on the telly. So we did the stunts, ran around in the pouring rain in the middle of the night, ,jumped off walls with gas masks on which by the way I was thinking i hope that blue thing i can see is the crash matt! lucky it was because on this shot we did very late on at night in the dark jumping off a 12 foot wall the thing is these old gas masks steam up that much that you cant see a bloody thing, I just felt he top of the wall and jumped and oh we were carrying guns the weren't prop guns, real deactivated ones and heavy bad enough standing around holding them let alone jumping from something, well that's even harder but we lived to tell the tale. I remember saying to the stunt guy who was checking the safety side of things eh Dave I think you need to move that over a bit he said eh Tommy you nearly missed it if I move it over your hitting the grass well I jumped and couldn't see a thing like jumping out of a plane in the middle of the night, frightening. We did a fight scene in a church in Paisley purely because it looks very much like Westminster abbey, that was fun the only bit that wasn't fun was falling onto 12 century stone floors man there solid well its ok if you have the gear padding, sure I had padding, the padding being the muscles on my leg! After about 6 or 7 takes the stunt guy comes up to me and said there’s an elbow pad Tommy I kind of laughed, elbow pad is he taking the piss or something my whole right side is slamming onto this solid floor from at least 5 feet from the ground and an elbow pads only going to keep my elbow warm not protect it from anything. I did it and the next day getting out of my bed was a shock I awoke to the biggest bruise I have ever saw on my right side, it looked as though I had been hit by a car and now it was beginning to hurt like hell, I was so glad that there was a day off and we didn't need to work the next day.
Getting back to the comic book thing in my opinion it didn't work as good as it looked and when they did show it 6 months later I was very much disappointed because they didn't use anything I taught the actor, he was more like Jacky Chan than Bruce Lee even though they wanted him done up like Bruce in game of death. The fighting was what everybody was looking forward to and I thought even though it might be crap the thing that may keep it from being a flop was the martial arts, sadly that didn't happen and it was not a great story and really the BBC should have put it on at 4.30 for the kids because it was very much filmed in that type of style. The show had so many very well know folk working on it on the production side of things, in fact the camera guy had worked on DR WHO but I guess that's not enough. Well it was shown on the TV and had mixed reviews allot of folk were disappointed because the martial arts were not good, my thoughts also but there you go I was only employed to teach the guy and even though I tried to tell them about stuff well I guess that's not what they employed me to do. The show got the green light for a series and the director called me to ask if I would be interested in doing it, I told him yes but they should have made the martial arts far better and not done this kind of Jackie Chan stuff, he did listen to me and said okay Tommy lets see when it happens, then I heard it had been cancelled. Really I was not surprised.
All in all we had such a great time learned so much watching how it all goes together, met some really nice folk and yes met some bloody folk who loved themselves for what reason I have no idea. Sadly it didn't go that well converting comic to TV one of these things I don't think anybody can answer, so all I can say here is FOOOOOOO, glad that articles done.