Interviews \ Chaplin Chang

DW Forum - Greetings Chaplin it is certainly a pleasure to have you here.

Chaplin Chang - Thankyou DM it is good to be here.

DW Forum - What kind of situations made Lee nervous?

Chaplin Chang - I didn't see him nervous. That is, if he did, he didn't show it. But when he is angry, that's another story!

DW Forum - Towards the end, what was the Lee and Chow friendship like?

Chaplin Chang - I think they tried to tolerate each other for the sake of making money -- Lee wanted money so he can be a producer someday while Chow, more money for producing more bigger pictures for more money!

DW Forum - How much truth is there to the story Bruce was going to kill Bob Wall after his hand was cut in their fight scene together . Also how much credit do you think Bruce should get for directing 'Enter', apart from the fight scenes how much say did Bruce have in the filming. And one last thing is there a scene/shot from Enter etc you was sorry never made the final print.

Chaplin Chang - According to Bob Clouse, after Bob Wall cut Bruce's right hand, Bruce said that by one strike he can kill him (Wall). Even for fight scenes, Bruce did discuss or give suggestions to Clouse but not directing.

DW Forum - did you ever witness bruce being challenged on the set of enter the dragon,if so what happened? Did bruce ever get challenged on the set of way of the dragon?

Chaplin Chang - No, I didn't witness Bruce been challenged on the sets of ETD or Way of the Dragon. However, I did hear about challenged fights both on and off the sets.

DW Forum - Who have you most enjoyed working with in the movie business?

Chaplin Chang - To be honest, working on films to me is just a job to earn a living. I did enjoy working with Robert Clouse. In fact, we worked on three films together: ETD, Golden Needles and Amsterdam Kill. But most challenging and rewarding was working as the first local AD (five althogether) with Richard Brookes on Lord Jim.

DW Forum - Some questions on Game. could you tell us how much time did you spend on "GOD" film set (where was it)? What was the last scene for the movie? Chi Hon Jae level? What kind of things were you disscussing with Bruce regarding "GOD" (I mean choreography, script, angles positioning etc.) and how was it like? Was Bruce an open person?

Chaplin Chang - The limited involvement I had with GOD were:A. Visited the pagoda set with R. Chow and F. Weintraub and Bruce introduced Jebbad (? spelling).B. Assisted in interviewing the cast for Bruce's looked-alike.Sorry, cannot answer you the questions because I was working on other things when shooting the film.

DW Forum - Do you know why does the Italian Boss & his henchmen in 'Way of the Dragon' speak in English and not Italian?

Chaplin Chang - Those scenes were shot in HK and The Boss (Jon Benn)and his henchmen were all English speaking Caucasians living here. More importantly, it was shot as a commercial film with English version aiming for English speaking (or understanding) market, not like those more artistic films (mainly for exhibitions) nowadays.

DW Forum - Did Lee plan to film a sequel to 'Way of the Dragon' and his character of 'Tang Lung'?

Chaplin Chang - Bruce didn't mention to me about a sequance. But I do know that he liked the name very much that he wanted to use it in the Game of Death.

DW Forum - Is it true that Lee had a challenge fight at the home of a police official that was arranged by Dun Sung around 1972?

Chaplin Chang - I was not aware of the challenge fight.

DW Forum - Did Lee film any alternative fight scenes for 'Enter the Dragon' that were never used or released? Do you know what Bruce was filming in the mirror room for the extra week or so that he spent in there? (anything to with his 'Game of Death' project?)

Chaplin Chang - Since I was the manager of King Hu Film Production on loan to the filming of Enter the Dragon, I returned to the company as soon as the principal photography was done. Therefore I didn't work on those shootings Bruce did after director Robert Clouse and the American crew left HK. However, I know that Bruce did shoot in the mirrow room on himself and with Shih Kin. Then there was the fight with Sammo which was edited to the beginning part of the film although certain version does not include this scene. I am sure you can easily see the deteriorated health of Bruce in it.

DW Forum - Ive heard quite a few stories about the extra who Bruce busted up on the ETD set. One story was that he drew a circle on the ground and gave the kid 3 shots to knock him out of it, he couldn't so Bruce took one shot and not only knocked him out of the circle but knocked a mouthful of teeth out as well. The other story I've heard was the kid was sat on the wall and was mouthing off at him, so Bruce called him down and they sparred for a while, after a while the kid got kicked in the face and lost some teeth. Did you witness this fight or know what exactly happened, what was Bruce like to watch fighting in actual off screen combat?

Chaplin Chang - Stories of fights springs up from time to time and added pepper and salt each time they were talked about. May be because of that I don't like fights, I was too busy working having no time for gossiping and then I went to Repulse Bay Hotel for lunch while Bruce insisted staying on the set eating box-lunch. I neither witness nor heard about fights.It was only after his death that I heard about one challenged fight Bruce had to take on. This story I believe because the guy was known although I don't remember his name now. He repeatedly challenged Bruce even went through media which forced Bruce to accept. The guy was a master in his own right, yet he lasted only a few seconds. He was injured and Bruce gave him quite an amount of money for him to go to Japan to treat so people in HK wouldn't see him in bad shape.

DW Forum - Just a very quick query on whether you have plans to publish any books on your experiences working in Hong Kong cinema?

Chaplin Chang - Yes, I do want but do not have a proper plan yet because I know that my English is not good enough.

DW Forum - What is the most enduring memory you have of bruce during your time together on the film set.

Chaplin Chang - The most enduring memory is the incident of Bob Wall cut Bruce's hand.

DW Forum - Did you ever see Bruce perform any unusual feats of strength and agility?

Chaplin Chang - Yes, on and off the set.

DW Forum - What was the funniest thing Bruce ever did, did he ever play any jokes on you or did you see any one being joked on?

Chaplin Chang - Have you seen page 60 of The Making of ETD? There Bruce was pick-pocketing a camera assitant and smiling. FYI: The guy in white cap was me before growing my beard and the one in dark cap was deceased CHIK Yiu Cheong, 2nd AD.

DW Forum - Did you ever see Bruce get angry, like getting REALLY angry, trashing the sets and screaming etc?

Chaplin Chang - Yes, not just once or twice. Screaming yes but have never seen or heard about him trashing the sets.

DW Forum - Did Lee plan for Nora Miao to be used in 'Game of Death'?

Chaplin Chang - I learnt afterward that he wanted to have Betty Ting Pei in GOD.

DW Forum - Did he relate the basic story for you or say whether this film would contain a lot of his own martial art philosophy?

Chaplin Chang - Again, at least, not to me.

DW Forum - What was Robert Clouse like in both Enter the Dragon and G.O.D? It has been said that Bruce and Robert did not get on well with each other on the Enter set.

Chaplin Chang - Robert Clouse was a gentle, tolerate and patient person who worked well with Bruce. Since they were able to communicate with each other, I usually politely walked aside and watched around the area, I saw them discusseing but not arguing or quarreling. FYI: It was Bruce who wanted Bob to direct ETD after he saw Bob's film Black Belt Jones.

DW Forum - Did Clouse treat the american actors well and the martial artists not very well?

Chaplin Chang - I didn't see that Bob Clouse treated American actors better than others. In fact, he knew there was language and culture difference so he tried to be more polite to the Chinese actors, martial artists and crew.

DW Forum - Do you think making G.O.D 78 was a mistake? Looking back now was Robert Clouse the best person to direct it. Especially the fight scenes ? Some people have said the fight scenes directed by clouse were very bad. If Game of death were remade today using digital technology and special effects - do you think this would be a good idea?

Chaplin Chang - No comment, I neither worked on GOD nor seen the picture.

DW Forum - Could you please tell me how many hours of footage "Behind" the scenes you shot for ETD and in your own honest opinion do you think it is really destroyed by WB, as after Lee's death no one in their right mind would destroy such valuable film. Also do you know anything about the BBC interview on the set of ETD? We even see a few clips in docs, there is more. What is your view?

Chaplin Chang - I worked as an Assistant Director on ETD. Henry Wong, a nice and honest cameraman, was recommended by me to shoot the 'Behind the scene' footage. He returned the stack cans of 16mm exposed footage but was told to cut and edit 12 minutes which was all they needed. 12 minutes was only a fraction of the hours of footage he shot. Nevertheless, He did as he was told and again returned all the exposed films as an honest man because the negatives were supplied by the production. The producers threw those away -- who would have thought that Bruce would be gone!?Honest man Henry would have being a millionaire if he kept those they didn't want. Right after Bruce's death, Golden Harvest phoned and wanted to buy those films from him.I was not aware of the BBC interview.

DW Forum - Did you ever see Bruce Lee working hard on his Game of Death script whilst working on the sets of 'Way of the Dragon' and 'Enter the Dragon'?

Chaplin Chang - No.

DW Forum - Why is there a picture of a pagoda on the outside sign of the Chinese restaurant in 'Way of the Dragon' (is it a clue for his next film)?

Chaplin Chang - Pagoda sign is common in things Chinese, I don't think it was intentionally put in for that purpose.

DW Forum - Just a quick question regarding some of the 'units' working with Lee, in regards to the film "GAME OF DEATH". What is your knowledge of Mr. Lam Ching Ying's role in its original production? Was he used as an extra (outside the Temple), was he used as an Assistant fighting choreographer, was he considered for something else within the film? What was both he and Sammo Hung working on in Korea, before Lee called them to Hong Kong to assist in "ENTER THE DRAGON"?

Chaplin Chang - As I have mentioned somewhere that I wasn't involved in the filming of the Game of Death and I have not seen the film thus do not know what did Lam do there. As far as I know, he was in Bruce's Big Boss and Fist of Fury.

DW Forum - Thanks so much for sharing some time with us Chaplin.

Chaplin Chang - Always a pleasure.