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Statistics :
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Interview with Derek Yee
Shaw Brothers period 1/1 - Page 1
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin
Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 6/1/2005
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
David Chiang Da Wei
Chu Yuan
Paul Chung Shing Yuen
Derek Yee Tung Sing
Movies :
One Nite In Mongkok
Viva Erotica
Companies :
Shaw Brothers
Lexic :
Hung Gar
Wing Chun
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Page 2 : One Night in Mongkok : origins

During one of this sunny HK afternoon, we went to Kwun Tong to meet with one of the most gifted HK filmmakers, Derek Yee. Smiling, charming, always smoking cigarettes (which have made his voice suave), Yee took his time to answer our questions on the Shaw Brothers, One Night In Mongkok, Viva Erotica and Chinese cinema.

Shaw Brothers Period

HKCinemagic : How did you join the Shaw Brothers? What kind of martial arts have you learnt during these years working in action movies (Wing Chun, Hung Gar…)?
Derek Yee : It's very well known that I have a few family members in the movie business, like two brothers (Paul Chung et David Chiang). My parents wanted to send me to Canada to study, but at that time I had a girlfriend in HK and didn't really want to leave her. That's why I didn't go. So it was quite natural to join the Shaw Brothers, as I had family members working there.

I didn't really take martial art training when I joined the Shaw Brothers, at that time, in the 1970's, the swords play movies were very popular. I learnt only after joining them.

I didn't receive particular training for these martial arts during my time with Shaw Brothers; they gave me training to use swords and other gadgets, which originated from the Peking Opera. Among all of them the sword is the easiest one to use and it also looks very good on screen. That's why I did a lot of movies using swords.

[For example] in the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, is the most classic things to expect from Peking Opera. This is the art of swordsmanship from Peking Opera.

Derek Yee and Ti Lung in SB' movie The Hidden Power of the Dragon Sabre
HKCinemagic : Many SB pictures are released in France, that's why I am asking this question.
Derek Yee : Shaw Brothers was not different from the major studios in Hollywood , they had their own systems. During those years I was working for Chor Yuen and gain some experiences, which later on founded the basis for my work as a director. I didn't officially received any specific training from Chor Yuen, I watched him a lot when he trained the younger actors. From my observation I gained some knowledge with communicating with actors. Because I was actor once myself, I know very well when an actor will feel fear or not feel confident enough, so I know how to bring the best out of an actor.
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Page 2 : One Night in Mongkok : origins

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