Last we heard from Keanu Reeves and his martial arts epic of a directorial debut “Man of Tai Chi,” he had wrapped principal photography, which was exciting news to anyone who saw a proof of concept video that surfaced online last summer.
For his fight sequences, Reeves intended to use a highly articulate and precise mechanical arm to take the camera above, around, and into the faces of his on-screen combatants. The results of the technique, which we saw briefly in the proof of concept, were impressive enough to make “Man of Tai Chi” something to eagerly anticipate.
But MTV News got some bad news from Reeves when speaking with him about his latest film “generation Um….” It turns out that he wasn’t able to use the rig to film the fight sequences in “Man of Tai Chi.” Find out why after the jump!
“It was really exciting to go into this idea. I got some feedback from [the reaction to the proof of concept]. It turns out though, ultimately, because we were filming in China, it was a lot simpler to do the proof of concept than to actually use it in the film,” Reeves said. “One of the events that happened that was tough was that I wasn’t able to use tool in the movie.”
Thankfully, you can’t go from shooting an intricate fight scene with a high-tech mechanical arm to just filming the thing straight on. Reeves said his experience with the arm influenced how they eventually shot the scenes.
“It was tough. It was just too big and too much. We had to ship it to China. All sorts of practical consideration ran into the vision and the dream,” he said. “It certainly influenced the way that we went forward in terms of shooting some of the fight scenes in terms of the organicness and movement of how we shot some of the fight scenes. I just couldn’t go on top. [laughs] I couldn’t do an overhead shot with no cut into a close up.”