We present the final of our three-part series of interviews with Asian cinema pro, Bey Logan! In part one we discussed Bey’s intriguing love affair with the martial arts, movies and practice, in part two this continued along with colourful insights about some of the most eminent kung-fu actors and players of our time! (part one here, part two here)
Now we wrap-up with a few light-hearted Q & A’s, daily life, advice and reflections on his present and future hopes.
Bey, what are your Top 3 funniest moments in kung-fu movies that come to mind?
- When Yuen Shun-yee hits the hunch right through to the back of San Kwai in ‘Buddhist Fist’.
- When Richard Ng finds everyone hiding in the cupboards in the hotel room in ‘Shanghai Express’.
- When the guys fight with neon light sabres in ‘Pedicab Driver’.
What are your top 5 worst ever kung-fu movies?
Wow! Great question! No one’s ever asked me that!
- 1991’s ‘The Raid’ (even though its by Ching Siu-tung and Tsui Hark).
- ‘Treasure Hunter’ (directed by John Chang, whom I greatly admire, though he steadfastly refused to be interviewed, at least by me! It starred the world’s most paranoid kung fu actor, David Leong!).
- ‘Iron Monkey 2’ (with full respect to Donnie, but… what happened?).
- ‘Drunken Master 3’ (again, what happened?).
- ‘Half a Loaf of Kung Fu’ (which should be called ‘Half a Wit’…).
You’ve worked with most of the renowned martial artists actors, who else in the martial arts industry would you most like to work with and why?
A couple of people who I’d love to have worked with are Lau Kar-leung and Bolo Yeung, but, in both, cases, I think maybe the years have overtaken us, so it can’t happen. I think they’ve both become legends in their own way and in their own fields; maybe its better not to spoil it! I’d like to work with Chiu Man-chuk, we met for the first time a few years back and he seems a really cool guy, I’ve really enjoyed a couple of things he’s done (‘The Blade’, ‘Mahjong Dragon’). I’d like to write something for Corey Yuen to direct. As an actor, if I can even be called that, I wish Fruit Chan would direct the ‘Neon Lights on Myanmar’ movie he once told me I could star in!
Can you describe a day in the life of Bey Logan?
I have young kids, so I’m usually up quite early. I live in a cul-de-sac up from Soho, on Hong Kong side, I take the Central Escalator down to Hollywood Road, take a taxi to Admiralty, then the MTR (subway) to my offices in Cheung Sha Wan. This new hidden fortress is in a warehouse building, I usually grab an egg sandwich at the cha chaan teng (local style restaurant) on the ground floor.
When I get in, I make coffee, check emails, meet the staff to go over the challenges of the day. These include the state of play with our various film projects, logistics and promotion for our new Reel East brand and so forth and so on.
Tuesdays and Thursdays I train with my teacher, Mak Sifu, down on the docks, other days we may have lunch meetings or else just risk the salmonella special in the cha chaan teng.
In the afternoons, we have project specific production meetings, or I try to set aside some time just to write which script or book I’m working on.
In the evening, I either train in the kung fu area at the office, or else at the gym in Soho. And that’s my day, give or take!
What is your ultimate aim, have you accomplished what you wanted to achieve?
As I get into my fifties, I feel I’ve accomplished SOMETHING, at least! I’ve lived a life unique in this century, which not many people can claim. What I feel I have yet to achieve is some kind of financial stability.
Film-making, any kind of art, is such a gypsy pursuit, and Reel East is my first effort to really build a business. I’m blessed that I get to create and to derive so much pleasure from that. If I didn’t have to worry about the payroll, budgets and my own living costs, I’d be doing just fine!
Where do see yourself in the next five to ten years?
I hope I can further develop Reel East and make at least one really good movie. As the years pass I see myself less involved in hands on production and doing more writing.
What five qualities in your opinion do you think are the most enduring for a true martial arts warrior/martial artist?
- Discipline (putting in the hours, keeping in some kind of physical condition).
- Loyalty (to a teacher who deserves it).
- Stamina (physically and emotionally).
- Self-knowledge (so you can create yourself in your art).
- Humility (always keep beginner’s mind!).
What advice would you give someone thinking of taking up a martial art?
Firstly, find a school in your area where the opening hours fit your schedule. No matter how good the teacher, if its a huge inconvenience to get to the school at the right time, you’ll soon find excuses not to go.
Don’t get hung up on the art, focus on the instructor. Try and find a teacher you’d like to hang out with if he wasn’t a black belt! Start, and just simply refuse to ever stop training. If you do that, you’ll inevitably outlast most of the flashy guys who burn out and quit.
And have fun with it, please!
What’s your message to readers of Kung-fu Kingdom and your fans around the world right now?
Stay happy and healthy, and thanks for supporting the martial arts in all their manifestations. And check out www.reeleast.com!
What favourite pearl/golden nugget of warrior wisdom would you like to share with us before we sign off?
We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having the human experience.
That’s really some good food for thought!
Well Bey, in concluding the last in our three-part interview series, what can I say other than it’s been an incredible, eye-opening and riveting experience through and through! Hearing your insights and your candid, incisive views after so many years of accumulated martial wisdom, learning and sharing, can’t thank you enough really. Mega kudos and much respect!
In the meantime we wish you tremendous success in your movie writing and directing endeavours, please keep in touch!
Thanks Raj! Finally, I want to thank my friends and good teachers, from whom I learned a lot, and my enemies and the bad teachers, from whom I learned even more! If any of the Kung-fu Kingdom readers make it out to Hong Kong, I’d be delighted to meet them. You can always contact me at bey (dot) logan (at) gmail.com, or else at the B&E, Martial Club-CSW or Reel East Facebook pages
Links for Bey Logan
Email: bey (dot) logan (at) gmail.com
Reel East website
Reel East Facebook page
Personally, I never get starstruck by famous and flashy stars, but instead by renowned and wise teachers; this interview definitely authenticates Bey’s credentials as a wise and true martial artist. His mention of committing Shakespeare poems and speeches to memory in part 2 especially struck a chord. I’ve got nothing but praise for one who embodies the sentiments and spirit of traditional martial arts. Thank you both for this one.
Bey Logan’s highlights the integral factors of finding a martial arts school for the neophyte student; to find a good teacher, one who can be your friend as well as tutor, someone who will inspire you and motivate you and the key element, to enjoy it. The obstacles you face in any art may be difficult, but they are not insurmountable and you will be a better person when you emerge from the other side.
THE definitive interview, encapsulates what Martial Arts stands for; the discipline, the training, the various styles, the practitioners. But most importantly, we learn that this is not about money, but about the love of the sport (though the money helps!).