Early June had presented me with the opportunity to sit down and interview Bao Tran, the Director and Writer behind the breakout action hit comedy ‘THE PAPER TIGERS.’ The time difference thankfully didn’t sully any of the content with Bao and his Producer Al’n Duong, providing a candid and enjoyable conversation – illustrating the story behind this incredible project.
The perils of interviewing a duo (a phenomena I had experienced at certain junctures during my journalistic pursuits at Australian IRONMAN bodybuilding and fitness magazine) can present a rather unique dynamic, which results in a two contrasting personalities; thus requiring said journalist to adapt and change the line of enquiry. This was certainly not the case with Bao or Al’n. Both were incredibly receptive and accommodating, despite the immense traction and high praise that this film has garnered these creative talents were very humble and open.
Both Bao and Al’n had engaged in a hectic media schedule that very day, yet the demands of a Press Junket didn’t deter them from taking time out of their schedule to sit down and talk with this Australian film critic. A range of topics were covered, from story and narrative, to casting and scripting; much of the topics that fascinated me when I first viewed this excellent new movie.
Perhaps most intriguingly, was some of the challenges in constructing the film – not presented by the internal stakeholders themselves, but rather that of some studio politics who had made demands that didn’t align with Bao’s vision; but also were antiquated by today’s standards. Regardless, both men continued to walk the path they had forged, refusing to compromise the very ideals that are so intrinsic to the heart and soul of the movie itself. Bao’s integrity and commitment to his original vision, is clearly what makes this movie so special; he has adopted a deliberate old school sense of nostalgia in the construction and thematic elements – but by the same token, he has achieved this with a very modern, and contemporary flavour.
As a preface, I will say that my over enthusiasm was too evident and though I cringe at my excitement; it did make for a great contrasting element as you can see my exuberance, whilst both Bao and Al’n were so calm and composed by comparison. To some this footage may seem incredibly raw (lack of proper lightning) and unfiltered, but like the Way of the Tiger, this very delivery was ferociously fun.
The Paper Tigers is currently available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital wherever movies are sold, and will also stream on Netflix beginning August 7!