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Movies & TV / Columns

Jino Kang Talks w/411 About His Kid Fury Short Film Series

October 6, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Jino Kang

The 411 Interview: Jino Kang

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Jino Kang is a real deal martial artist (he’s a seventh degree black belt in Hapkido and has been teaching Hapkido in San Francisco for decades), actor, writer, and director who has made three feature films to date ( Blade Warrior, Fist 2 Fist, and Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice). Kang has also started up a short film series called Kid Fury, which has had two installments so far ( Kid Fury and Kid Fury: The Phantom Witch). In this interview, Kang talks with this writer about what it takes to make a Kid Fury episode, his plans for the series, and more.

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Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you come up with the Kid Fury story?

Jino Kang: I was approached by producer/photographer Dave Fong who wanted to get into film and he asked me to write and come up with a story. So, I just sat down in front of a computer and typed away. The Kid Fury was born. I love creating things out of thin air.

BK: Did you always intend to tell the Kid Fury story episodically or is that something you figured out later on while playing with the idea?

JK: It was supposed to be a one-off story but after we finished the short, the story kept flowing in my head. I believe I have at least up to four episodes.

BK: You’ve made two episodes so far. How long did it take to make each one?

JK: Each episode took about three months from shooting to editing. The actual shoot was about 4-6 days.

BK: How is making a Kid Fury episode different from making one of your feature films? How is it the same?

JK: It’s quite different. In a feature film, there’s a crew of 10-20 and a cast of 10-50. On a short, there are 3-5 crew and 5-10 cast members. A very high intensity and tension with feature films. No room for errors. But for a short, you have to wear many hats. It’s an ultra-limited budget, if any. In a feature film for instance, in Weapon of Choice, it was a 30 day shoot and the daily budget was up to $10,000.00 per day. In a short, it was just food money.

BK: Your fight choreography is, as usual, awesome and exciting. Is coming up with a fight for a short film different than coming up with a fight for a feature? How aware do you need to be of the short’s potential running time when creating the fight?

JK: Thank you! I try to be creative as possible for the choreography. Not much different for both short and feature as far as strategy goes but since there is no budget for a short we don’t break anything.

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BK: How did you “discover” your Kid Fury star Timothy Mah?

JK: Fortunately, Timothy is my student in Hapkido and he has been taking lessons for over 10 years, since he was six years old. I knew he had the look and skills to make it happen. He has that star quality.

BK: The second episode, The Phantom Witch, is a little more “out there” in terms of fantasy elements. Are those elements something you plan on exploring more in future Kid Fury episodes?

JK: Ha, yes. I love the fantasy, supernatural stuff and I wanted to work that in to the film. I have some wild ideas once the box has been found and all the elements that I want to develop. We’ll see where it goes.

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BK: How did you develop your villain character, Master Huang?

JK: Master Huang is an amalgam of people that I’ve witnessed and known. To name a few “Beat” Takeshi (whom I love) for his non-flinching tough characters that he plays. The smooth operator Chow Yun Fat style and my mother’s biting sarcasm. My mother’s sardonic words used to hurt when I was little but as I grew older (after teen-hood) I found it funny and used to mimic her expressions and memorize her style.

BK: The first Kid Fury was in both color and black and white and had a “slick” look to it. The Phantom Witch is a little more frenetic and rough around the edges. Is that something you always planned on doing with each episode?

JK: No, not really. It just came out that way. I prefer slick. Frenetic is okay if the scene calls for it. However I thought “rough” was okay too. We were losing daylight and it would have been very hard to come back to each location for any reshoots. No excuses. I’ll shoot better next time. 🙂

BK: How can people see Kid Fury: The Phantom Witch?

JK: We should be done with the festival circuit by the end of this year (2018). We should be able to put it online after that.

BK: When will we see the next episode?

JK: I believe we’ll have something early next year. My sometimes writing partner Christine Lam wrote the next episode. Looking forward to shooting this one with all female killers.

BK: And what is your ultimate plan with Kid Fury?

JK: Sometimes, I think about a full feature but in the meantime, I’m just enjoying the process and having fun. No plans yet.

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A very special thanks to Jino Kang for agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for helping set it up.

Check out the Kid Fury Facebook page here

Check out the first episode of Kid Fury here

Check out Jino Kang’s website here.

All images courtesy of Jino Kang.

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