Director TRAN QUOC BAO
Producers JOSEPH K. LEE & STEVEN TRIGSTAD
Director Comments (Oct 2004)
I was a bit spent from finishing Carmen's Virtue and wasn't ready to shoot
another film, but I didn't want a summer to go to waste either. This fight
was an experiment in choreography between one and a whole lot of people.
I'd love to do a fight with an even larger group, but at the no-budget
level it's difficult to find even one skilled person. Part of the cast was
Infinite Quest and a few had already worked on Carmen, but we spent about
a month and a half auditioning and training the other martial artists and
actors from around the Seattle area.
I really like the way King Hu sets up the fight scenes in his films,
particularly in Come Drink with Me. It's a very static style that
builds tension even while ostensibly little happens. I tried to play with
that a bit in Hamlin, but I think to really get the full effect you'd
need a good screenplay and character establishment. Don't be
surprised if you see me exploring this technique in a future film. Corey
Yuen Kwai's Transporter was also a source of reference, both for
the high level of intensity and outstanding camerawork.
We finished shooting in about 7 hours using the Panasonic DVX100. A lot of
people saw the fight because they were interested in what the camera could
do. It must be said that I can take no credit for Hamlin, the camera does
it all. The 24 frames per second feature is well-known, but it also does
handheld, panning, and dollying all on it's own. It even saved Adam when
he choked on a peanut during lunch. In all seriousness, the DVX freed up a lot of
photographic restrictions that DV cameras usually have, the snap zoom is
probably the most noticeable effect. But alas, this camera was only a rental, I wish
I had 3,000 dollars lying around to really play with it.
For those who wonder about the title, Hamlin is the name of the park that
we shot in.