Martial arts movies hold a place in many people’s hearts. Whether one grows up watching Chinese string martial art movies with the crazy moves mid-air, the realistic Bruce Lee fight scene, Jackie Chan doing crazy stunts with anything he can grab onto or anything in between.
What is it about martial arts that intrigue people to watch them performed in film? Is it the feats they can accomplish? Is it the quickness and crisp moves that can take down an opponent? Perhaps it can be as simple as enjoyment and as complex as the desire to want to do the moves for personal reasons. Whatever the reasons, martial arts movies bring in new actors and actresses who want to showcase their abilities as the real deal and have their movies tell the viewer a great story. One such actress who has been catching eyes outside the “mainstream” Hollywood cinema is Jennifer Linch.
She is a film maker, director, actress and a master of the martial arts; being able to do her own stunt work without the need of a stunt person. She has the look, the skills and the drive to make her films her way and with her own unique style. After watching her short film, Flowers of the Night, it allows the viewer to see her passion, her style, and her ability to kick some butt as well as give her a medium to showcase acting ability as well. She has been working on some new projects and keeping herself busy, but one of her newer projects that she has been tinkering with is her project called, Unsaid.
Unsaid is a first person POV film about a cop who’s wife was kidnapped and murdered, initiating a spree of vengeance on the people who took her away from him. The film uses music to emphasize on mood and emotions, leaving no need for dialogue. Everything is told through visual means as well as orchestrated music. Though it isn’t completely done yet, there is a lot of potential and talent in this film.
When asked what influenced her into making the film this way and how difficult it was, she said she was influenced a lot by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Her writer made her sit down to watch it and after five minutes she got hooked, it became one of her favorite movies. It didn’t have the fancy effects like a blue screen or green screen but just a good script and good acting abilities.
Her motivation for the short was also to test herself and the abilities to create a film where dialogue doesn’t exist. The only emotions you can feel is through the visual and the tone set through the audio, whether it be soft music or adrenaline fueled. She had to rehearse a lot with hand acting (through the POV format) and learn different techniques to showcase the first person acting and fighting sequences in a nice sequential way.
Jennifer also has an eye for detail and her directing abilities are unique. When asked if there was a filmmaker she would like to model herself after, she said Jeong-beom Lee. He is a Korean film maker who directed films like The Man From Nowhere and No Tears For the Dead. The way he was able to use music to set the tone and make the emotions come to the forefront was something she is wanting to continue to learn and use for her own films.
As mentioned earlier, people love martial arts for different reasons. Asking her why she chose martial arts and what it is that she enjoys from it, she says that it was her brother that got her into it. Her brother is a martial arts instructor and when they were younger, he would rent only martial arts movies. Jennifer was intrigued and heavily influenced by studying it and learning from the movies.
One of her goals is to focus on doing martial arts fantasy comedy movies. In fact, she revealed that in January she will be in Toronto doing her feature film called Kung Fu Ghost, which will be a supernatural, romantic, martial art comedy. Sign me up for front row seats. It sounds unique and a nice popcorn feature that will put smiles on peoples faces.
Linch is quite a talented actress and martial artist who loves weapon fighting. So, she’s quite a bad-ass. Movies are filled with stunt people but Jennifer does her own stunts. When asked why she wants to do her own stunts, she states “I like doing stunts myself. I don’t want to cheat my viewers. That’s just my thing.”
Asking how much time is needed to pull off such choreography, she says, “Normally we would need about 3-4 weeks to create a really good fight scene and do it safe but since we are so small, we have 2-3 days.” After hearing that, you have to give it up to her and her creative team. To take precise choreography and fight scenes and only have a couple of days to rehearse, which also involves camera staging, is so refreshing to show how much it means to them. Showing how dedicated their team is to get blocking and the stunt work down, so everyone is safe but looks awesome. Hats off to them all.
She is continuing to hone her craft and film making abilities as well as acting and fighting. In time, she can hopefully get even more notoriety and show her love of martial arts to an even wider audience. It was a pleasure talking with her, learning more about her, the films she loves and some of her dream projects with martial arts. If you would like to know more about Jennifer, check out her YouTube page: youtube.com/user/FoodTravelwithJenny