ANDERSONVISION: What is it like being directed by your wife?
PAUL MORMANDO: Its really cool as I feel a sense of pride that its a family affair, also in her own right she is a good martial artist and a legitimate Black Belt in Cha Ki Do so she knows if the fight scenes are looking authentic or not. Sometimes we disagree on a scene, but for the most part we work very well together, and she is my driving force.
AV: AndersonVision boasts several martial artists among its readers. Explain the genesis behind the creation of Cha Ki Do.
PM: Well Cha Ki Do was developed in 1989…while I was still training in Tae Kwon Do……As much as i loved the art, I started to see its limitations, but there are limitations to every style. growing up i was a huge Bruce Lee fan and read all of his works, and totally related to his arts of both Jeet Kune Do & Jun Fan Kick Boxing. The only dilemma I discovered was without no boundaries or guidelines and the whole self-discovery philosophy was not for everybody especially a beginner who kind of needs structure in the foundation. So Cha Ki Do is sought of a sister art ofJKD..where we adhere to the principle of absorb what is useful and reject what is not, but we have guidelines and phases of where we introduce different arts at different stages of the martial artist’s development.
AV: What is the importance of having action stars work as relatable figures?
PM: In my opinion the audience wants to see a character who can do some incredible things but also wants to be able to identify with them. So not every film the star should be a navy seal or some high caliber CIA agent…..audience sometimes wants the character to be relatable to either themself or someone they know.
AV: I’ve seen previous mention of your Action acting idols, but if you had to pick one…which would it be?
PM: Jean Claude Van Damme….because of his tenacity to succeed.
AV: What is the importance of turning a film like this into a family affair?
PM: It helps to motivate me more to get it done, as well as it lessens the time away from my family so its a win win situation all around.
AV: How did Freedom Williams become involved with the film?
PM: Freedom Williams was cast because of my good friend John Thomas (JT as he is know), whos just also happend to be my Casting Director He said do you know who is a fan of the martial arts that I work with…and I said know who? He then introduced us and we hit it off and had a great scene in the film together, very nice guy and a good actor.
AV: What was it like to work with Bobby Ciasulli?
PM: Bobby was fun, he and I had some great chemistry in our scenes on and off the screen. He did a wonderful job.
AV: What was the hardest stunt to capture on film?
PM: I have to say there really wasn’t anything I can think of off hand…..we had an exceptional Cinematographer Marc Fratto who is just brilliant, and made the fights scenes look really authentic.
AV: Do you feel that brevity is important to action cinema or can it be allowed to stretch like a drama?
PM: That’s an awesome point. I think the action genre and the horror genre are kind of put together like a science formula ….a certain about of T&A and some car crashes and gun shootouts etc. with very little detail to the story line, so in essence, everything is kind of short leading to the fight stuff. My films don’t mirror that formula, they are Character driven…so you kind of follow the character into the action and the action is kind of the by product to the story. Especially in some of my upcomming films.
AV: Finally, it appears that the film is in the home stretch. What should AV readers expect by the time this movie tentatively arrives in December 2017?
PM: Hopefully it will be released Internationally before then, and I will be filming several other projects, including the remake of my previous film DOUBLE FIST.