DW Forum - What made you watch your first Bruce Lee movie andwhat was your reactions to it?
Chris Ducker - The first Bruce movie I watched was ENTER. It was thesummer holidays, I was about 12 at the time. Iremember wanting to do what I saw Bruce doing in thefilm - like most people! The one thing that reallystood out for me was his speed, that was the realattraction to Bruce for me. He was just so damn fast,at everything!
DW Forum - Which of lee's films is your favourite and why?
Chris Ducker - That's a hard question to answer. If I was to betotally honest, it would have to be ENTER. I must ofseen that movie well over 100 times. The overall movieis just great to watch, the characters, the look andfeel of the production, the awesome music score, thestory, everything! It was, as we all know a realpioneering piece of film-making, and still today isseen as the greatest overall martial arts movie of alltime. There has to be a reason for that. Some people Ihave spoken to over the years say its because ofBruce, I will agree - it wouldn't of been nowhere nearas good without Bruce's involvement, but it's theoverall film that has stood the test of time, and youhave to appreciate that, as well as the fantastic kungfu display Bruce gave the world! Saying that - I loveWAY too, very much - "The Dragon whips his tail.",what a great line!
DW Forum - During the 96-2000 period what would say were yourmost memorable moments?
Chris Ducker - Everything. I loved every minute of it. But if I hadto pick out say. three most memorable moments theywould be (in no particular order):
A) The first copy of the HKS magazine beingprofessionally designed by one of the most talentedmen in the business, Andy Prior (who I believe isdoing a little film work himself now.), and seeing itprinted in all its Full-Size, Semi-Colour glory - man,was I proud that day. It was great.
B) The numerous trips to Hong Kong, meeting all of theactors and other talented people such as directors,producers, stunt workers, editors, you name it, theywere all great trips, and extremely memorable.
C) The events that we put on in the UK. We did moviesshows, fan get-togethers, and live appearances. Theshows that really stand out in my memory were theAnthony Wong, Simon Yam and Jet Li events, all of themhold very, very special places in my heart. All ofthem.
DW Forum - Would you care to share any good lee stories thatyou learned from your time with Bey Logan?
Chris Ducker - Bey would talk and talk, he was a great guy to hangaround with. First up, in Hong Kong he knewpractically everyone. I mean it, no matter where Iwent with the guy, we would always bump into some one!Donnie Yen in a restaurant, John Benn (I love that guy- we spent some good time together on his boat aroundHong Kong harbour!) at the Bruce Lee Café, Roy Horan -another dinner-date, countless stars on theAnti-Piracy March, etc. Its hard to really look backat all the times we chatted, but one thing is clear inmy mind. Bey Logan LOVES Bruce Lee and kung fu movies.Even in his current situation of working on manydifferent projects, I know that will never change.He's one of the biggest and most knowledgeable Brucefans ive ever met.
DW Forum - What did you learn from your trips to Hong Kong?
Chris Ducker - Not enough! Ive been to Hong Kong like 8-9 times.Whenever I was there I was always rushing from oneplace to another for meetings and interviews, etc. Onething remains clear in my mind however, its busy -people are always on the move. My views on Hong Kongare that it's an extremely over-populated place, theChinese people are mostly quite friendly, but the taxidrivers are potentially the rudest people on theplanet! The food is awesome, the cinema's are freezingcold (very high air-con), the markets are great fun,the women are beautiful and the MTR (like subway) isby far the best 'train' service I have ever had thechance to ride on.
DW Forum - What was it like meeting someone such as Jet Li andwhat was Li's admiration towards Bruce Lee like?
Chris Ducker - Spending time with Jet was fantastic. You see, Ihavent really practiced all that much in martial arts.Im more of a film buff than a fighter - that's forsure! My view on Bruce is that I love watching hisfilms - and I do follow some of Bruce's philosophiesand believe that he was a great thinker, and thoughtprovoker. I always enjoy Jet's films tremendously, andI can tell you when I first met Jet in 1996, it was afleeting meeting, just a hand shake, a chance for aphoto, and a few pleasantries, which were limited dueto the fact that his English wasn't fantastic at thattime. The second meeting we had however was far moreenjoyable. I interviewed him on ROMEO in the morning,for our video cameras and magazine, and joked around alittle after. Then in the afternoon we had prepared anexclusive screening of the film at the Warner Bros HQ,plus a Q&A and signing session with his official fanclub, which I was running at the time. The fans lovedit. It was a great day.
DW Forum - Could you please give us a background story aboutthe shop you opened?
Chris Ducker - Oh my god! I forgot about that in my 'memorablemoments'!!! Yeah, the shop was great fun too. Myselfand Stuart, who at that point was very much myright-hand man in the whole HKS thing, wanted to gothat one step further in giving the fans a forum, aplace to meet up and not only get the latestvideos/dvds and other stuff, but also get to knoweachother more, etc, etc. It was open for about ayear, and eventually we had to close down to workcommitments - it was a labor of love for both of us atthe time. But we had people from all over the UKvisit, and even some European readers came over andchecked it out too, which just showed us at the timethat we were really starting to be seen as an'authority' in the UK, which was great!
DW Forum - Please tell us more about the documentary youplanned to make, what did it entail exactly?
Chris Ducker - The documentary was not a plan, it actually happened!It was a full length 90 minute 'behind the lens' lookat Hong Kong cinema and some of its major players, aswell as the stars of the future. We had interviewswith Daniel Wu and Stephen Fung, who had just finishedGEN X COPS, Simon Yam, Moon Lee, Elaine Lui, AnthonyWong, who had just won BEST ACTOR for the second timein his career with BEAST COPS, Darren Shahlavi, JudePoyer, Bey Logan, directors Johnny To and Teddy Chenand Donnie Yen, to name a few. Plus a load ofbehind-the-scenes footage from Yuen Woo Ping's TAI CHI2 and Media Asia's PURPLE STORM. It was a big, fullyloaded Hong Kong movie fans' dream! We even had MoonLee performing ballet for our cameras and Anthony Wongsinging on his apartment bed - now THAT'S exclusivestuff!!! Sadly, it never got the clearances we neededon certain clips to be able to release it, and wasshelved. I have to be honest - I was totally gutted atthe time - im sure it would of sold very well. we diddo a screening at a fan event and people loved it - wewere just unable to sell it - thinking back at thattime again im even more gutted now!!!
DW Forum - Who has been the most exciting lee related personyou met?
Chris Ducker - Lets see, Ive met Shannon, his daughter. She wasfantastic, spoke very highly of both Brandon andBruce, and I really enjoyed the time I spent with her.Actually, Stuart was lucky enough to bag a very niceinterview with her a couple of years after Ioriginally met her, and we printed it in the firstever issue of our A5 fanzine, complete with colourphotos too. She was a beautiful women then, I seeshe's gained a little weight since, but still lovely.The only other person that I have spent any 'real'time with that was directly 'related' or 'linked' inany way with Bruce would be his student and friendTaky Kimura. I listened with opened-ears at his talesof his time with Bruce. He spoke so emotionally abouthis friend that I swear, im man enough to admit, atone point I actually had a lump in my though rightthere, in front of the man!
DW Forum - What is the rarest footage you have ever seen, youmentioned you obtained some good stuff for yourdocumentary?
Chris Ducker - Of course Ive seen the Longstreet stuff, the BackyardStuff, the TV Stuff, The Burton Interview, and allthat old, but not rare anymore stuff. The rarestfootage I have seen related to Bruce isnt actually allthat rare anymore aswell! It's the GAME footage. Irecently spoke to 'gungfucious' on the forum aboutthis. There were rumors flying around that I spenttime at Bey's place one night in Hong Kong, and thathe put on the GAME footage - this was years before itwas released - and apparently I didn't watch it! Letsset the record straight before I get a ton of privatemessages saying "Call yourself a Bruce Lee fan.." -Yes, I was at Bey's, yes, he did put the footage on,and yes I did watch it - well half of it. His sonRyan, took an amazing likening to me that night, evenBey's wife, Ponnie was shocked by it - so I got to seeBruce in a yellow track suit, with Dan Inosanto,holding a log, in between Ryan's Wong Fei Hungimpressions (which were remarkable I must say.), andgeneral 'ghost faces' I was doing to make him laugh.All that, plus the occasional chat up line thrown toPonnie, just because she is beautiful, and generallyscrewing around with Bey, left me with a weak memoryof the whole event!!! Luckily I did see the footage ona another trip out to Hong Kong later on that year -so all was not lost.
DW Forum - How did you get involved with coming up with aBruce Lee magazine?
Chris Ducker - I remember when I first set up the BRUCE LEE SOCIETY.I originally got friendly with a guy called StuartCutler, he was writing the "Action from the East"column for COMBAT magazine at the time. We used to gettogether and talk movies, work out a little andgenerally have a lot of fun based on our mutual loveof martial arts movies. He introduced me to PaulClifton who was the editor of the magazine, as a bigBruce Lee fan, and Paul pretty much talked me intodoing a Bruce Lee Column on a monthly basis. It was aperfect time to start something off for the fans,which I did (BLS), and obviously I had the chance tovoice my opinions and plug the BLS as much as I wantedto. However, it wasn't long (maybe about 6-7 months)before I was initially contacted by Bey Logan, who atthe time was with Media Asia in Hong Kong, suggestingthat I call Andrew Staton, who im sure everyonevisiting this site knows (if you don't - where haveyou been? Andrew runs the longest standing Bruce andBrandon Lee appreciation club called the Bruce &Brandon Lee Association.), to talk about 'coming over'to IMPACT in some way. I met up with Andrew inHuddersfield at the magazines' offices, along with thepublisher of the magazine, Roy Jessop, and that day wedecided that I would still be involved with the BBLAin some capacity, but that I would spear-head and setup the HONG KONG SUPERSTARS to get up to speed withthe ever-growing fan base of Hong Kong movies in theUK at the time. It was an easy transition to make, Iloved the movies, and obviously from a workstand-point it would give me more ground to cover andmore topics to write about. So the HKS was born.
DW Forum - What kind of impact do you think Bruce Lee had onmartial arts in general?
Chris Ducker - An invaluable one. The biggest and most important oneby any other martial arts figure in history. His imageIS kung fu. Period.
DW Forum - Whats the most interesting fact about Bruce youknow that most fans wouldnt?
Chris Ducker - Everything I thought I knew that fans didn't, becauseof my connections, etc back in the 'good old days',are now public knowledge, so, the answer to thatunfortunately is a resounding nothing! Quite sadreally - Id love to have 'one up' on you guys - but Idon't! hehe.
DW Forum - What do you think Bruce would be doing as faroccupation goes if he was still alive today?
Chris Ducker - Well, its obviously that he would still be practicingmartial arts - but saying that, martial arts was nevera 'occupation' to him - it was a way of life. I guessits safe to say that he would still be involved withfilm still in some way - starring, I doubt it - butdirecting, for sure. Id also like to think that hewould of gone back to teaching as well, he was adynamite teacher, from what Ive seen and heard of, soI think it would have been cool to see him 'spreadinghis word' in that way, as well as through his films.
DW Forum - Thanks for answerings our questions, we appreciate your time :)
Chris Ducker - I had a blast, its nice to see the scene is stillalive and 'kicking' - thanks for the chance to 'catchup' on fond memories... And good luck in the futurefor the site.