i’ve been getting a rather large number of questions / requests for information about seeing jet li this week so i thought i’d put up this little f.a.q. of sorts to make things a bit easier on me. actually, it’s not so much an f.a.q. as just a little blurb about the experience of meeting him and seeing them making a movie. needless to say, i can’t divulge any sensitive details about it, but you should still get an idea of what happened.
so, it was tuesday, july 20, and patrick and i had flown in from san francisco to vancouver where jet was shooting romeo must die, his new action movie from warner brothers. we got to the set where the movie was being filmed (and no, you can’t have the address) and met with a few warner brothers people about some jet li site stuff. (in case you didn’t know, i’m one of the people working on the official jet li web site. if you haven’t seen it yet definitely check it out!)
after that meeting we made our way over to the movie lot. first up was lunch. well .. lunch for them. unfortunately patrick and i had just eaten so i couldn’t partake of the incredibly huge spread of food they had there. do people working on movies eat like that all the time? i think it’s time to become a boom mike operator! instead of eating we just sat there chatting with some of the rmd people about random web stuff.
after that we were taken to jet’s trailer, but he wasn’t there, so then we went and met with the executive producer of the movie. he was a really nice guy — very laid back. we discussed some web stuff (i’m sure being vague here, aren’t i?) and then we took off to jet’s trailer again. he wasn’t there yet, so we waited outside talking with a rmd publicist until he got back from his appointment.
then, when he was there we were brought inside. he was sitting at the table in the trailer and shook our hands. then we all sat down at the table and went over stuff for the jet li site. the main thing i noticed is that he has very bright eyes. almost like they’re super-reflective or something. also, his english was quite good, which is a question a lot of people have been asking me about. there were some other stunt / choreography people in the trailer too, but they were all basically conked out sleeping on the couch and chairs. that was actually pretty funny.
after the meeting we went over to the building where they were filming a scene from the movie. on the way we met up with russell wong, who didn’t seem to remember either pat or i from previous meetings a few years ago (when the beijing team was in town). i can understand why he wouldn’t remember me, since it was only for a dinner that we were near each other, but patrick actually did translating for him in las vegas so perhaps he seemed a bit more familiar. anyway, we talked to him about some web stuff for a while, and looked at some pictures he had taken of various stars of the movie (aaliyah, jet, etc.).
after seeing russell we went in to the set itself. this place was incredible. they basically re-created the back part of a building and the landscape in this place. the attention to detail was amazing. kudos to the staff who put that stuff together.
we watched them set up for the next shot, which had some pyrotechnics in it, and then watched as they ran through a couple rehearsal shots and then filmed that part of the scene. i have to say that movie making is incredibly tedious. at least the little part i saw. they basically set up for the scene for anywhere from one hour to several hours (or half a day), and then you do your 10 – 30 seconds of the scene, before moving the cameras and everything around to shoot another part of the scene. no wonder it takes so many months to shoot a movie. it’s ridiculously tedious, and after a couple time of watching them go through this, pat and i were ready to leave.
one cool thing was watching jet acting out part of a scene. now when i watch that part of the movie i’ll be able to know that i was actually in the very same room as him watching him do that. oh, another thing was that jet’s and russell’s stunt doubles are (at least from behind) really, scarily, similar to jet and russell. from behind it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. the faces are a bit different though.
hmm .. let’s see .. what else? oh .. well .. as far as vancouver goes, i recommend the spaghetti factory in gas town and i don’t recommend you go see lake placid. not a good movie at all. i guess when the movie finally comes out i’ll let you all know what part i got to watch them film, but until then i’d rather not spoil any of it for all of you.
so, that’s pretty much the experience. sorry for being a bit vague, but that’s not something that i can really help.
oh, and be sure to visit the official jet li web site! =) (and i should also make a plug for raffi, who got to meet jet last year in l.a. you can view his article at his page.