KFMG Podcast S06 Episode 68: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins / Tran Quoc Bao

Posted in Podcasts by - May 03, 2021
KFMG Podcast S06 Episode 68: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins / Tran Quoc Bao

“Nothing was traditional about this… we just had to make it by hook or by crook. We’re proud of every piece we did – we gave it our full dedication and focus, and we hope the work speaks for itself.” Tran Quoc Bao, director of The Paper Tigers

It has taken 10 years to get The Paper Tigers onto our screens – a slow and at times painful process full of ups and downs for its director, writer and producer, Tran Quoc Bao. The film – which finally lands in cinemas and on digital platforms in North America on 7 May 2021, courtesy of Well Go USA – is a heart-warming and funny take on the kung fu genre, centring on three former childhood training buddies who reunite in middle age to investigate the sudden death of their old kung fu master. As Bao would soon discover, talent, passion and dedication to the cause will only get you so far in Hollywood. Finding the finance for independent productions is hard enough, but made all the more difficult for kung fu films with people of colour in the lead roles. Bao and his fellow producers refused to compromise or ‘whitewash’ their story, eventually turning to Kickstarter to raise the money themselves. Filming would eventually take place in his home town of Seattle over a number of years, featuring a cast of leading actors from minority backgrounds: Helstrom and True Detective star, Alain Uy; Ron Yuan – a veteran of martial arts cinema; and Mykel Shannon Jenkins, well-known in action circles for his role as Turbo in Undisputed III: Redemption. Alain, Ron and Mykel speak of the sacrifices Bao and his fellow producers had to make to get the film over the line, and how they responded in kind; each bringing their own wealth of experience as filmmakers to support the project, and helping to realise a unique and personal story about friendship, responsibility, honour, and kung fu.

Follow The Paper Tigers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Learn more about Tran Quoc Bao via his website, pov-films.comIMDb and Vimeo – you can also follow Bao on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Read more about Alain Uy on IMDb and follow Alain on Twitter and Instagram. Read more about Ron Yuan on IMDb and follow Ron on Twitter and Instagram. Read more about Mykel Shannon Jenkins on IMDb and follow Mykel on Twitter and Instagram.

The three tigers: Hing (Ron Yuan), Danny (Alain Uy) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins)

The Paper Tigers director, writer and producer, Tran Quoc Bao

The Paper Tigers action director Ken Quitugua with Mykel Shannon Jenkins and Matthew Page

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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