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"KUNG FOOLS?" (ASIAN INFLUENCES ON MODERN MEDIA)
Avalon Film & Television School Final Film Project
Director, Producer, Editor, Writer, Researcher
2003

My final film project for the Avalon Film & Television School was a
documentary on the impact of Asian cinema, television, Anime,
comics, and games into Western media - especially feature films
of the time. I focused a lot on showcasing the sorts of things that
were common, talking to people involved with game playing and
Anime watching, and also talking to a Victoria University Film
lecturer who specialised mostly in Hong Kong Kung-Fu cinema,
Aaron Magnan-Park.

The idea was marked by a couple of major releases in 2003,
specially the two Matrix sequels and the first "volume" of Kill Bill,
both which took heavy influences from a variety of Asian media.
The shoot was supplimented by material I had shot at the
Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo that year, as well as shoots at
local stores and with people I knew who were into collecting a
variety of releated material. I made graphic titles for the edit, which
most of the people on my course did not, as well as made use of
another student, Peter King, to provide my voice over from a script
I wrote. Team mates Chris Popperwell and Tee Wells were my
production crew, taking turns shooting and providing sound for my
video, and provided the exact material I had in my head originally.

Issues were mostly of scope, the concept is so massive and can be
looked at from so many angles that I struggled to find a consistant
narrative. Aaron especially was so wonderful, I could have made an
entire documentary around everything he gave me as answers, they
went well beyond anything I could have expected. Video content was
hard to get copies from in those days, ripping or recording scenes
from DVD was hard and I resulted to a copy embedded version of
many materials which meant the video for some items was
unwatchable. My graphics too were a great idea, but I made them
without being in mind of the screen safe ratios at the time, meaning
certain aspects were cut off in standard 4:3 monitor displays. I also
chose occassional weird camera angles to be creatively different,
but they are often more distracting than interesting.

On the postive side however was my intent to break it into chapters
that could focus on each subject, making sure I gave each item used
a name and a production credit, and a great mixture of music that
including movie and TV soundtracks, Anime theme songs, and pop
and rock hits (including the expected Kung Fu fighting and Ash's
Kung Fu which name checks a bunch of Hong Kong legends among
others) that was well mixed. I was given great marks overall, as a
final project I was very happy with it, and my time spend especially in
the edit paid off well with a unique editing style unlike any other
production from the course.

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