Exclusive Interview with Filmmaker Herman Yau and Screenwriter Erica Li

Filmmaker Herman Yau and Screenwriter Erica Li

By William Kustiono

On Monday, July 1st 2013, Filmmaker Herman Yau and Screenwriter Erica Li held a special interview session at The Kitano Hotel NYC. In this interview, Herman and Erica discussed about their latest film, Ip Man: The Final Fight. The movie tells of Ip Man’s journey to Hong Kong to seek a better living condition. He teaches Wing Chun and gains disciples over the course of time. This movie also shows the audience about Ip Man’s later life in Hong Kong, his continuing relationship with the singer Jenny after his wife passed away, his father-son bond with Ip Chun, and his thought on Bruce Lee, who would become his notable student.

During the interview, Erica mentioned that Ip Man: The Final Fight is her second collaboration movie with Herman. Both of them gathered the information for the movie from the elder son of Ip Man, Ip Chun. In this conversation with Ip Chun, they learned every detail about Ip Man. These details are the complete history of Ip Man, the posture of Ip Man while he is sitting in the chair, the way Ip Man speaks to the guests, friends, and students, and the most important thing, Ip Man’s behavior. Herman and Erica managed to record every detail and integrate everything into the movie script.

Herman and Erica successfully created their Ip Man based on the conversation with Ip Chun. They discussed that in the movie, every character plays a significant role in the movie. The movie is not entirely focused on the Ip Man, but also the other characters who contributed to Ip Man’s journey are also shown. These characters such as the singer, Jenny, and his apprentices play a bigger role in the movie. Herman and Erica further commented that Ip Man: The Final Fight is different from the past Ip Man movies, in particularly the movies starred Donnie Yen. Herman wants to create a different Ip Man that shows more subtle feelings and kind. This movie’s Ip Man is not going to show only fighting scene with bad guys and Ip Man continuous punching, but Ip Man’s compassionate and sympathy towards the opponent. This new Ip Man is portrayed as a hero according to Herman.

In this movie, Anthony Wong is casted as Ip Man because he is an excellent martial artist. Herman explained that Anthony has more than 20 years experience, his body is in good shape to performing martial arts. Prior to the Ip Man: The Final Fight casting he was training Wing Chun. Herman also commented they decided to select Anthony because he performed in the romance movie in the past. Erica said that it has been a long time since Anthony casted in a romance movie and we wanted to see him again in this movie. He is a perfect actor to represent Ip Man’s romantic side.

At the end of the interview, Herman and Erica gave us an exclusive on their next upcoming movie, it will be about Wong Fei Hung. He is a martial artist, physician and revolutionary folk hero. At this time, they are still researching about the movie and working on the script. This movie will start shooting on November this year.

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