It has been
30 years since Bruce Lee flashed across the silver screen, dramatically
displaying the lethal art of Chinese Gung Fu, and it has taken that
long to bring the REAL art of Gung Fu back to the silver screen.
Dr. Z, actor, producer, director
and the Grandstudent of the late Bruce Lee does not resort to the run
of the mill camera tricks which are widely used in today's martial arts
movies. He doesn't have to.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Z's introduction to Gung Fu began at
the age of five when his grandfather took him to the park to practice
Tai Chi Chuan every night after dinner. Later on during his
teenage years, Z took up several styles of Chinese Gung Fu before leaving
for America to persue a college education. While earning
two Doctorate degrees, Dr. Z studied Jeet Kune Do, the art created by the
late Bruce Lee, and was honored with teaching status in 1989. Among
his classmates was the late Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee.
Dr. Z worked on a number of martial arts films while simultaneously establishing
a highly successful practice as the sports doctor and acupuncturist
for many Hollywood stars, directors, and stuntmen. However, once he
became more serious about his film career, he lost most of his Hollywood
clients, who now perceived him as a rival. The cut-throat
world of film production in Hollywood turned out to be a far more challenging
arena for the doctor to succeed in than he had anticipated. Dr. Z,
however, viewed this not as a hurdle, but as an opportunity to expand
into the San Francisco Bay Area, where indie films are more welcome
than in Los Angeles. Dr. Z started hosting radio and television shows
in San Francisco and quickly established himself as the Gung Fu
doctor who takes it to the screen. The unique character
of being a doctor, martial arts master, and film producer earned him
admiration and recognition among high school kids, college students,
martial arts enthusiasts, and health professionals.
"Chasing the Dragon",
which will be released on DVD December 2005. simultaneously with Dr. Z's other films
"American Hwang Fei Hung"® and "Combat Mortal" . Shot in
the San Francisco Bay Area by Dr. Z while he maintained his medical practice
in Los Angeles, "Chasing the Dragon" is not
about drugs or opium, says Dr. Z. Instead, it tells the
story of an individual's relentless struggle to make a film in Hollywood
and deliver it to the silver screen and his encounters with many of
the darker aspects of film making.
"Actually, the dragon is the symbol of authority in Chinese culture.
It signifies power, success, optimum health, and ultimate immortality.
This film is my effort to redefine the entire term and connotation in
honor of my Grandmaster, the late Bruce Lee", says Dr. Z.
martial arts choreography in the film demonstrates the authentic techniques
of Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do. No fake camera angles, wires,
cheap trickery, or break-away props were used in the action scenes. Real
glass, lamp shades, and light bulbs were used. "Only
authentic stunts. We do it for real and the audience knows and
appreciates it", says Dr. Z.
"Chasing the Dragon" is part of Dr. Z's mission
to carry on his Grandmaster's quest of showcasing true Chinese martial
arts to the Western world. "Even though, Bruce Lee's
efforts have opened up martial arts to the world, there have been too
many imitators of the Grandmaster in the media whose sole purpose is
monetary gain. Today, even when the image of the chop chop coolies has
faded, there are still a lot of meaningless roles played by Asians on
the screen. My Grandmaster used to say: in the United States, the true
image of the Orientals should be shown." This film is
also Dr. Z's effort to redefine the Chinese role on the silver screen,
maybe not in Hollywood, but for sure in San Francisco!
Dr. Z is also the creator of "American Hwang Fei Hung"®. Hwang
Fei Hung is the beloved and legendary healer and martial artist in Chinese
culture. With "American Hwang Fei Hung"®. Dr. Z carries on this tradition in the modern world and offers a wide array
of health services, products, and ancilliary merchandise.
- No breakaway
props were used during the filming of "Chasing the Dragon".
Bottles, glasses, and lampshades were shattered,
tables and bookshelves were broken for real.
- All martial
arts techniques and choreography were performed authentically with
no fake camera angles or phony antics.
- This marks
the first time a follower of the late Bruce Lee stars in and directs
a major motion picture to be shown in American cinemas.
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