|Filmmaking & martial artist - David Minh Tam Nguyen|
It’s not every day I find myself surrounded by people smacking each other around in fridge fight scenes, or trekking around unused drainage systems to recreate classic Jackie Chan scenes. But then again, it’s not every day that I spend crewing and filming with Maria Tran – the contagiously energetic Western Sydney Filmmaker who’s got her eyes set on completing her ambitious, constantly evolving film project, ‘Quest for Jackie Chan!’.
|Click here for the behind-the-scenes link|
She utilises trusted friends around her for the technicalities, so she herself can focus on her zany ideas and shifting duties as director/producer/actor and interviewer. Being a young director and filmmaker myself, I can tell you that she’s got her plate full.
The recent full day shoot on the 25th of March proved all sorts of fun. It’s been a while since I’ve met such a nice bunch: the always wonderful production manager Thuy Ng, the solid camera operator Guido Gonzalez, the wacky assistant choreographer James Nguyen, and the massive and friendly Kevin Tran. Maria just seems to have a knack for surrounding herself with the friendliest of people diverse in talent.
As well as sound recording and being a lion dancer (not particularly foreign, being a performer at Dong Tam Association), I was also in charge of capturing behind the scenes footage and interviews to edit later in a promotional video and it was a fun, quick piece to put together.
It’s flattering that Maria immediately trusts my filming and editing skill set, both things which I thoroughly enjoy and take pride in. I’ve got somewhat of a good reputation in the online and Australian martial arts tricking community for my YouTube video works and I’m now focused on elevating my name equally as a short film and narrative filmmaker.
This is the fourth time working with Maria - three times with me being on her shoots, and one where she was featured in my recent documentary ‘Vietnamese Voices’. In fact, it was Maria who encouraged me to make the short documentary which earned me a Vietnamese Community Film Festival prize so I’m very thankful for her push. It also partly spurred me to then also enter last year’s ‘48hr Film Project’ competition, (short: 'Hangman') where I happily won the ‘Best Emerging Director’ award.
All in all, it was an awesome shoot and I’d easily say that no other project shares the same laid back and welcoming vibe set by the adventurous Maria Tran. So whenever Maria needs an aspiring, storytelling, martial arts tricking, film-obsessed crew member for her 'Quest for Jackie Chan!' – she’ll know exactly who to call.
|Maria Tran getting excited about something on set. Not sure what it was though. It could have been the rat, black cat and ducks that we spotted at the sewerage place|
|Jaytee Newen & David Minh Tam Nguyen in preparation for the "Young Master"Shoot|
|Cheers! We love water!|
|Quest for Jackie Chan! Adrian Chino Castro showing the team what he captured on Justin Gong's gear|
|Thuy Ng (Production Manager) complaining about how short she was to Dat Huynh (interview subject). How professional :)|
|Dat Nguyen, Maria Tran and Thuy Ng|
|The thugs from "Rumble In the Bronx" played by Kevin Ares Tran and Jaytee Newen|
|Maria Tran in deep concentration while directing the action. Meanwhile, Guido Gonzalez (DOP/ Camera Operator) is also in deep thought.|