Exclusive Interview: Directing a New Breed of Action- A Conversation with INSIGHT Helmer Livi Zheng!
By: david j. moore
Combining slight supernatural elements with the martial arts, the new action film Insight (out March 12th from Gravitas Ventures) pairs up and coming martial arts action star Ken Zheng with his sister Livi Zheng, who directs the film from a script she worked on with Ken. Both Ken and Livi are martial artists themselves and previously collaborated on the independent action film Brush With Danger (2015), and their latest effort appears to be a fun and exciting film for fans of the genre and beyond.
Several summers ago, freelance film journalist david j. moore was invited to the Los Angeles set of Insight, and he observed director Livi Zheng calling the shots and working closely with her brother, who is also one of the film’s fight choreographers. During lunch break, Livi sat down with david to discuss the action of the film, and working with her brother, whom she hopes has the fighting spirit to become a verifiable action star breakout with Insight.
1) How cool is it to be making action adventure movies with your brother?
2) Talk about your brother a little bit. What makes him different than anybody else in terms of his screen presence and his personality? How does that translate to the screen?
3) Talk a little bit about the bad guys in the film. I know what the story is a little bit. Say something about the relationship between the good guy and bad guy.
4) You’re a martial artist yourself. How are you using your martial arts knowledge as a director? How do you see directing something like this differently than a non-martial artist would? You’re seeing this process with different eyes.
5) It sounds like you should be the action star!
6) I’m just throwing it out there! Tell me a little bit about Insight.
7) I had a conversation about UFC and how it’s changed how we see martial arts. When you watch a UFC fight, it’s all one take. It’s basically one master shot, not lots of cut up takes and different angles. It’s one long take. Are you guys doing that? I’ve been watching the filming today during that chase scene where Ken fights a bunch of guys at once, and you’re doing master takes, not cutting it up to shreds.
8) What is it like for you to watch a fight scene in a movie where it’s all broken up into little bits and pieces? Is that weird for you as a martial artist?
9) Does Ken have the fighting spirit?
10) I hope this movie is a great success for you both, and I hope you can do more of them together.
Insight is now playing in select cinemas and VOD courtesy of Gravitas Ventures