Adventures with Mandy Chan: Jumping off buildings

This is based on a conversation that happened in Chinese with Mandy about his movie stunts. So the translation will be a little iffy. After all my Cantonese is getting rusty.


"In Hong Kong we use mattresses to jump off buildings. Hollywood those uses those airbags right? In Hong Kong we use mattresses. Same thing."

I was trying to imagine that but then I remembered watching a movie where the did show this.

"They stack them up really high and they have a special type of cardboard to keep them together. Say if you are standing on this CCBA building it will go all the way over to across the street, that wide. All mattresses. You can jump of it from the sixth floor no problem."

I think I had a look of fear just listening to him.

"It's Verrrrry SAFE! You just have to know how do jump, that's it."

I could never do that.

"Look Adam, This is something that if you can do it, you can do it, if you can't, you can't, that's it. We were doing this film in Australia. Say a cop is chasing a thief all the way to the top of the 6th floor. Fight fight fight all the way up until there is nowhere to run, so the thief goes, 'Bye-bye' and jumps. So we asked the actor playing the thief, 'Can You do it?' He looks.. looks. No. I can fight to the 3rd floor and then jump out the window into the water. Water plus the mattresses.



So


Okay. we went to another guy and tell him, 'Go get me a cliff diver.' We're in Australia now remember. They get him. He says, 'What do I need to do?' Jump off of there from the 6th floor into the water."

'That's it?"

"That's it."

How much?

"One Thousand dollars."


"Okay no problem."


So we start, and everyone is just drinking coffee and talking. You would think you need to do some stretching? No.

"You ready? You all warmed up?"

"Yeah no problem."

Okay, so he goes up to the 6th floor now.


We cross our arms to signal ready..

Okay Ready.

So we start turning out finger like this around and around. That mean roll camera.

Okay rolling camera.

Okay thumbs up. Let's go.

Okay... Jump!


All set, give me 1,000 dollars cash.. jau hai gum gan dan.

Really that's it so simple."



There is more about the jumping off of buildings but I'll talk about in later posts.  Mandy teaches his art of Movie Kung Fu and cinematography at Bunker Hill and is is the process of setting up more classes in Chinatown. I was thinking that this would have been so cool to do in high school, like at Groton and all the other prep schools. That in conjunction with the Hong Kong Movie culture would be an awesome event. The kids would want to learn it, plus it teaches you a lot about Hong Kong and the Kung Fu stories etc.  There will be more about the class and Mandy's other adventures in the Hong Kong film industry coming soon.

Mandy is a man with big plans. And I am going to follow along for the ride when I can.


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