Watch: Learn Nine Principles of Action Comedy from Jackie Chan
by Ethan Anderton
December 29, 2014
While American audiences mostly know Jackie Chan from his stint in movies like Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon and their sequels, the martial artist is a master of action comedy with huge hits overseas in the Asian marketplace. He's an action icon as revered as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone in the United States. And while audiences in the United States have limited experience with Chan, they can still learn a lot from his work. Tony Zhou (who has analyzed the work of Edgar Wright and also Martin Scorsese previously) takes a closer look at Chan's mastery of meshing action and comedy for exciting entertainment. Watch it!
Here's Nine Principles of Action Comedy by way of Jackie Chan (via Every Frame a Painting):
For those who want it broken down simply, here's what Tony Zhou tweeted:
And if you want an easy reference: the 9 Principles of Action Comedy (via Jackie Chan) pic.twitter.com/IeajeoAjlw
— Tony Zhou (@tonyszhou) December 3, 2014
When you look at this collection of footage, it's easy to see why Chan an expert in this arena. In addition to doing his own stunts, he knows how to frame scenes so that the action is the star. How he shoots these scenes is just as important as the action within them. The wide angles, extended takes and unbelievable choreography that actually utilizes the environment all come together to make for great action. This is an area where American action films are failing, as fight sequences are overpowered by pecial effects, chopped up with too much editing. It's much better when you can actually see what's happening on the screen.