Bey Logan Q&A
The following was taken place in the Temple Discussion on 12/26/00 to 01/04/01 between regular vistitors of this site (Jt, George Tan, Drunken Master, Soc, Dave R, Little Saint, Ranch Hand, Dale, Hector Martinez and GB) and of course Mr Bey Logan.
Bey Logan: First of all, belated seasons greetings to everyone, and thanks for all your efforts in perpetuating the legacy of Bruce Lee. Seeing as my name seems to crop up so often, I thought it was about time I made a few comments of my own. Forgive the rather lengthy message that follows. Firstly, I do not claim to be the world's greatest Bruce Lee authority, nor have I ever done so. In terms of Lee's Jeet Kune Do and its attendant philosophy, I'd say that honour goes to John Little. In terms of Lee's film work, to George Tan. I was bemused to see that George, along with several other posters, was put out at my supplying commentaries for the 'Big Boss' and 'Fist Of Fury' DVDs. The fact is that I would have been delighted to step aside and let George execute the commentaries instead. The problem with George, whom I've known since the early 80s, has always been that he amassed this huge amount of information which, for personal, logistical and legal reasons, he is incapable of disseminating through any professional medium. I've read so much criticism of John Little's work. What was John supposed to do? Wait for a 'real' expert like George to print his books? I've waited over a decade for the 'Tracking The Dragon' series, and I'm still waiting now. The fact is that, as George well knows, the copyright for the images involved is split between the Lee Estate, currently represented by Universal, and by Media Asia, the Hong Kong-based film company for which I work. The professionalism needed to clear the necessary rights is far beyond George's capabilities, which is the real reason he's self-publishing. If he can actually release anything resembling a real book in 2001, I'll perform 'Kung Fu Fighting' live on stage at Hong Kong's Pink Mao Mao club. Let's talk about the DVDs. George has mentioned that he'd been asked by Hong Kong Legends to contribute commentaries and other materials. Its true that an approach to him was made, via Rick Baker. Despite the offer of financial remuneration, and the widest possible worldwide audience, he turned the company down. He keeps talking about the DVDs he's currently working on, but these will almost certainly be pirated versions of the films. I know for a fact that he is not working with any of the official licensees who have obtained the rights from Media Asia. The fact is that no deal could ever have been struck for George to do commentaries for the proper, legally-released Hong Kong Legends DVDs. That's not because no-one wants to work with George, but because George doesn't want to work with us. My challenge to him is this : if you really want to 'keep it real', then get out into the real world, and do some work that will stand the test of time. George, you are, indeed, the most knowledgable Bruce Lee expert , but, as a far wiser man that I once said, knowledge is not enough, we must apply...
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Bey, Your erroneous info knows no bounds Bey old boy.My photo archive was purchased in 1989 from the photographer (and negative holder) of the BL films. The photos are registered and copyrighted by yours truly.The Lee Estate,Golden Harvest,Media Asia or any other entity cannot lay claim to them. Let me ask you something-how can you lay claim to something you don't even have a print of,let alone the ORIGINAL negative(s),or a chain of title from the photographer? The reason for self publishing is simple-the work can be done exactly the way I want it to be done,and I get the lions share,not some publisher who pays you a pittance for your own work. Ditto your masters.What could they possibly pay me to do work? I'll be holding you to that dance also.I might even have you give a private showing. But guaranteed you'll be doing it boyo. You actually did get one thing right, I'm the man when it comes to knowing about Lee. You know my feelings on releasing the G.O.D. footage.I don't think Lee would have ever finished this film,and I'm damn sure he wouldn't want folks seeing a slew of out takes. His old lady stated publically right after he died that the footage won't be shown. It's very nice that you unearthed it,and YOU did that on your own volition,if I'm not mistaken.So there's the catch 22- you're damned if you do,and if you don't. Do you know if a film called `The Tournament' will be coming any time soon? That's an underrated classic with Angela.
Bey Logan: Thanks for the relatively civil response! I've read the way you talk to some posters who cross your nunchakus. First off, no-one would be happier than I if your collection actually saw the light of print. I'll be first in line to buy copies, regardless. However, as fair warning, I should tell you the following : US copyright law recognises three very specific rights regarding a visual image. Firstly, there are the rights of a photographer to his or her own work. In this case, you have indeed acquired these rights from the source. Secondly, there are the rights of an individual to his or her own likeness. These rights revert to the next of kin in the event of the person's death. In this case, the 'likeness' rights to the Bruce Lee images you have are owned by Universal. Finally, there are the 'image' rights. Media Asia's position is that most of the images you have depict scenes shot for the Bruce Lee films it owns, and therefore it, too, has rights regarding them. I fully appreciate that you have far more photographic materials than we do, but possession alone is not 'ownership' in law. Whatever your personal opinion, both Universal and Media Asia would take legal action to protect their relative copyrights. You may decide to self-publish anyway, but please be aware of the official positions of the companies concerned before doing so. Talking about 'Game Of Death', I don't think anyone knows for sure what Bruce's intentions were. Certainly, his family, friends and most of the fans seem happy the material is out there, and I'm just glad I could play a small part in making that possible. Finally, I agree that the 'Tournament' is a real 'lost classic', and will be released, eventually, as part of the Hong Kong Legends DVD series.
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Bey, I don't need a model release from a deceased party. And I can use the shots in a fine work of art, not merchandise of any sort-posters, toy boxes, etc. That's the law amigo. `Likeness' extends to merchandise, not artstic use. Get me a publisher who'll pay some serious loot and we'll chat. Talk to me about doing it stateside for you Bey! I can get Angela to help promote it as well as her other dub plates!
Temple of the Unknown: What a fitting finale to the millenium year. Old friends (or should that be bitter sweet rivals) rallying round the yule log fire, things should really start cooking! So many authorities in one place, let the Tournament begin! (didn't they shoot footage in Bruce's Cumberland Road house there?).
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Mocrates, No (dysfunctional) family gathering would be complete without your Cousin IT persona gracing (or more accurately permeating) our presence. Rivalry? Can't nobody steal my shine. But that aside, do I detect a hint of bloodlust in your tone? Have you seen past your vegetarian ways and gone temporarily carnivorous? Stick around son, you might get your wish. To quote Ali- `I'm knocking out all bums!' Get your specs on and read son! And get some food in you!
Bey Logan: Do I miss my guess, or is this the infamous Guru Greg, he whose vegetarian lifestyle has kept him young while age has wearied me? Yes, in 'The Tournament' the Cumberland Road house is, appropriately or not, the headquarters of the Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association. The house is also used as the home of Hong Kong pop group The Wynners in a Monkees-style Golden Harvest musical comedy flick entitled 'Gonna Get You'.
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Bey, Welcome to the forum. As you can see there are some great discussions on this forum with everybody putting there views across, if everybody agreed it would be very boring indeed. Thanks for putting your points across, and i for one are looking foreward to the commentaries on the Fist of Fury and Way of the Dragon dvd's you will be doing for Hong Kong Legends. A couple of questions. Are you planning to write anymore books on Hong Kong cinema? Are Media Asia going to release any of the old classic Kung Fu films on dvd such as Hapkido, When Taekwondo Strikes and The Himalayan? Have a Happy New Year..........
Bey Logan: Thanks for the warm welcome, Dave. Just so you know, the Hong Kong Legends 'Fist Of Fury' DVD will feature the same commentary as the Mega Star one. I couldn't think of anything else to say, and all the real experts were, as usual, unavailable! I'm going to do the 'Way Of The Dragon' one with Jon Benn, which should be fun. As ever, all other Bruce Lee authorities are welcome to jump aboard. I'm working on another book right now. It'll be a collection of what I consider to be the best of my Hong Kong movie writing from the last decade, including reviews, interviews and personal essays about my experiences working in the Hong Kong movie industry. Turning to DVDs, the current plan is that the classic kung fu titles you mention, and a whole lot more, will be released as part of the Hong Kong Legends line. Unfortunately, some of the materials Media Asia inherited from Golden Harvest weren't in great condition, so quite a lot of restoration work is required. Thanks again, and all the best for 2001.
Temple of the Unknown: Hello Bey......Question, could you kindly elaborate on the material that was mentioned by you (back in 1990), of speculation involving 'other' floors in "Game of Death" consisting of a 'Thai Boxer' and a woman with swords? Regardless of your beliefs nowadays, please provide that same speculation (in the greatest detail) for us here (if possible). I know alot was said over the years, I'm just interested to find out the source from which your article had sprung.....Thank you Mr. Logan & God Bless!
Bey Logan: I'm so embarrassed that you brought this up... For more recently arrived fans, let me tell you that Little Saint's enquiry dates back to a series of 'Game Of Death' articles I wrote while editing the UK's 'Combat' magazine. The back story was that I met this strange Irishman named 'Tom'. He had (for the time) this huge collection of Asian action films, and swore blind he'd once had in his possession this extended version of 'Game Of Death'. He described the missing scenes to me in some detail, and I, like the mug I was, believed him! Please bear in mind that this was ten years ago, and no-one knew, categorically, what was in the Golden Harvest vaults. Looking back, there were some warning signs. For example, when I asked him whether his copy of 'Broken Oath' was in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese or Thai, he replied 'T'be shore, 'tis in Oriental...'. Yeah, verily, you live and learn...
Temple of the Unknown: Hey Mr. Logan....Could you also give us your beliefs regarding the outside criteria (if completed or not) as well as the missing 'log' footage with Dan Inosanto? There seems to be talk of another version from the Japanese (sometime in the early part of 2001), but I'm unsure of the exact material thats being used. If possible...could you kindly give a comparison between the 2nd Japanese version with A Warriors Journey....Thanks again Bey!
Bey Logan: I'm beginning to realise that joining this forum has all the hallmarks of a full-time job... Okay, my honest, relatively informed opinion is that there is as yet unseen Bruce Lee / 'Game Of Death' material stashed away in the Golden Harvest vaults. Its likely even Harvest don't know where it is, or even that they have it. I don't believe anyone else has this material, or it would have surfaced already. The only reason the unseen 'Game Of Death' material didn't appear sooner is that, between 1978 and, I guess, 1997, no-one who knew what they were looking for had access to it. That's still the position with any further footage held by Golden Harvest. Talk to them! The Artport version features pretty much the same 'GOD' footage that the John Little one does. Its just the wraparound that's totally different. I'll let the fans compare the relative merits of the two.
Temple of the Unknown: Hey Bey, Your DVDs have been great! The Fists one was ecspecialy good and your home work really showed. I am glad to hear you will be doing something with WAY and are doing it with John. You are one of the few people that keeps yaking (and that's good) about what is on screen each moment. Too may people seem to miss what is happening as they continue to talk about something that ended 10 minutes before. Too bad there isn't any "behind The Scenes" footage to be dug up for the DVD (right???) I am hoping on one of your DVDs you will do a little mini documentary where you can interview guys like John for it. And I hope you get a chance to do ENTER as well since the American release had a very poor commentary with very little being said (considering that film had just about every stunt man in Hong Kong and Heller didn't point out one). Maybe you can get a chance to do more commentaries with other Hong Kong films as well, like some of the old Shaw Brothers or Golden harvest ones. Keep up the good work and look forward to the next one!
Bey Logan: I have to say I was disappointed with the 'Enter' commentary as well, and that inspired me to try and do a better job with our films. I'd love to do an 'ETD' disc, but we don't have any international rights to that film. There should be some interviews on the 'Way' disc, as well as the raucous commentary. I've heard from several people that some extra footage from 'Way' does exist, but in the hands of a private collector. I'll believe it when I see it! I certainly intend to either execute or arrange for commentaries on our forthcoming martial arts movie releases. No word yet on when any Shaw Brothers classics will see the light of DVD.
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Bey, Hope your enjoying your visits to the forum. A couple more questions for you. The Cantonese version of Game of Death is missing the Hapkido fight, why is this? Was it intended to be used in another film by Raymond Chow? Does this mean that nobody in Hong Kong has seen this fight!A couple of non Lee related questions. What happened to Casanova Wong (Great name!). He made some great films such as Warriors Two then seemed to dissapear. Why is it that films such as the one mentioned above and films like New Legend of Shaolin and Scorpion King are available from mainland china on dvd but not Hong Kong? Are they going to get a HK DVD release? Finally do you know what Sammo Hung is up to after the cancellation of Martial Law? I heard he was in Hong Kong doing a movie do you have any other info, thanks in advance.
Bey Logan: There's an alternative version of 'Game Of Death' which has the Chi Hon-tsoi fight situated near the middle of the film, before Lee follows Dr.Land to Macau. It seems that, for some reason, that sequence was taken out of Golden Harvest's Cantonese 'master' tape of the film, meaning that there were now only two fights at the end. As no-one involved was a Bruce Lee fan per se, I guess no-one noticed. Casanova Wong was a Korean martial artist and, as far as I know, went back to Korea after the 70s/80s kung fu boom faded. I can't speak for 'New Legend Of Shaolin', but 'Scorpion King' will be coming out on DVD from Megastar in due course. Sammo shot a couple of guest star roles in Hong Kong films, including Wong Jing's 'Tekken' movie. He was meant to be in Stanley Tong's 'China Strike Force', but it didn't happen. I hope he's planning another international movie!
Temple of the Unknown: Hi, When is the way DVD coming and will you be giving the same treatment to etd and god as well??? Nice boss dvd by the way, I saw you on a kung fu night once talking about how Bruce busted a guys teeth out on the set of etd, pretty good, you was actually on the tennis court where etd was staged. Then Bruce said "OK my turn"!!!!!!!!!
Bey Logan: 'Way Of The Dragon' is scheduled for a May release. Look, or listen, for a raucous commentary by Jon Benn and myself, along with a rare photo gallery etc. It will be the usual pristine remastered print you've come to expert from a Medusa/Media Asia DVD.
Temple of the Unknown: Hello Bey.....I totally agree with you that Golden Harvest (unaware or not) has a lot more than they realize (which I'm sure they do!). Please confirm a rumor that I heard a couple of months back....It was said that George Lucas had tried to purchase the additional footage (Game of Death wise) from Raymond Chow, to use in his upcoming trilogy (either 4-5). It was also said that Chow (without hesitation) quickly denied Lucas no matter what the price! Lucas is a very smart fella!, why would he be interested in 'out-takes' since thats all Golden Harvest claims to have? (especially since the majority of them are already being used)......Thanks Bey!
Bey Logan: I read that story, too. I had to check if it was April 1st again already. The short answer is that its what is charmingly referred to in the UK as a 'wind-up'. I suppose its possible that George Lucas might try to include a Bruce Lee digital character into a forthcoming 'Star Wars' movie, but I can't see that he'd need or want the 'Game Of Death' footage for that. Anyway, Chow's office normally refer such enquiries to us, as they no longer have any rights to the material (which is why they don't want to spend any time trawling their own archive for lost Lee footage).
Temple of the Unknown: Will the sync problem that was so evident in the previous release be fixed with the upcoming release in May? Was it fixed with the edition that was recently released (the one with the red cover art)? Thanks in advance.
Bey Logan: If there's one thing you can count on, its that, in terms of picture and sound, we and our partners at Medusa will deliver the definitive DVD 'Way Of The Dragon'. Media Asia never actually released the film on DVD in Hong Kong. The title was licensed to Universe, and they were responsible for the authoring of the DVD master. I read a lot of complaints from overseas fans about the quality of Hong Kong DVDs, and I know exactly what they mean. Please bear in mind that the home entertainment market here is largely undiscerning, which goes to explain both the popularity of VCDs and the quality of the entire local t.v industry. The Universe DVDs were only licensed for distribution in Hong Kong, and have only been parallel imported to other markets.
Temple of the Unknown: Thanks Bey. I am sorry to hear you don't have the rights to ETD. I had thought at one point Media Asia had released it on DVD as a Movie Only version. You would have done it a lot of service. Hopefully Prodigal Son, Magnificent Butcher, Hand Of Death, etc will get some special work from you guys in the future. You had some great shots in IMPACT a few years back that were from the set of WAY... What are these from? A 16mm film blow up or just a 35mm still camera? They have a strange film-like quality that is why I am asking. In particular, there were a couple shots with Bruce kicking an air shield that looked as if it was in succesion, as if removed from (once again) a film strip. Do you have any idea if anymore film footage remains from the Behind The Scenes on ETD that Bruce actually shot with his sifu? They little bit that we have seen is on your THE MAN, THE LEGEND DVD where Bruce pops in for a second and punches him. Thanks for all the input about Golden Harvest and their views on Bruce. It would make sense that over the years they no longer give his stuff much interest and that is why some film (period costume screen test, outtakes, etc) has never turned up if they exist. And finally, not that there is a lot of Bruce stuff to talk about, but do you guys have the rights to do a special edition DVD of Game Of Death or Tower Of Death?
Bey Logan: We do have certain Asian distribution rights for 'Enter The Dragon'. We released the VCD ourselves, but the DVD rights went to Universe. As for the 'Way' shots being from some behind-the-scenes footage, I wish... They're from a reel of film that my man Jon Benn shot on the set. Regarding the behind-the-scenes footage from 'Enter', my best guess is that it does exist, but, as I've mentioned before, languishes in the Golden Harvest godown. Both 'Game Of Death' and 'Tower Of Death' will be released on DVD under the Media Asia/Medusa banner. On the latter, I'm hoping to get Roy Horan to join me for the commentary.
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Bey! First of all let me start by saying that you are indeed a "champion". I loved your commentary on "Fist" immensley! I recall seeing the film back in the early 70's when it played in New York and have read many books on the filming of "Fist" but the information you provided gave a feeling of seeing the film for the "First Time!" I thank you kindly for taking the time out to add such wonderful information to the films of this genre and I hope it never stops here. I also read your incredible book "Hong Kong Cinema" which in fact is the most complete and accurate look at the "Martial Genre". I have read "bruce Lee to the Ninjas" by Mike Meyers but by far your book is exceptional! Please keep us posted on future commentaries as I will look forwards to your "Way" project. It's about time we get to enjoy an "Official Product" from the "Source!!!"
Bey Logan: I'm very flattered, but also reminded of a Biblical saying: "He that comes after me is mightier than I..." I think that, should he ever move out of the ghetto and into the mainstream, George Tan would really be the man, and I could move on to other things. He has the most knowledge and the best collection of Bruce Lee movie materials. If he'd only cooperate with a real distribution company, for both books and DVDs...
Temple of the Unknown: Hi Bey. Happy new year. Please tell me HK Legends are not releasing Tower of Death. it is awful! I watched it recently and was appalled at the poor direction and sloppiness of the whole production, especially when it was directed by Ng See Yuen. The scene with Roy Horan and the guy in a lion suit, was so funny, it will be interesting to hear an audio commentary with his views on the film. What is he doing now and are Seasonal films still in existance. They made some great films such as Secret Rivals, Dance of the Drunk Mantis and the 2 Jackie films. Finally do Media Asia own the rights to Drunken Master 2? If so is it ever going to get a dvd release in Hong Kong.
Bey Logan: Whatever the relative merits of 'Tower Of Death', its part of the MA/Medusa DVD slate, so we're going to make the best of it. My own feeling is that, as a 'Bruce Lee' movie, its hokey as hell, but at least offers a chance to see some vintage Yuen Woo-ping martial arts choreography. Seasonal are still in existence, though, in recent years, Ng See-yuen has focussed his energies on local politics and international productions, with the last being 'Bloodmoon'. He just directed an English language film in the US, but I don't have any details about it as yet. I'll try to answer all the 'Tower' queries at once. Ng See-yuen told me that he accepted the gig from Raymond Chow in the belief that there was still extensive 'GOD' footage that hadn't been used in the 1978 version. He was very disappointed when he realised all they had to play with was a few outtakes from 'Enter The Dragon'. That's why he killed off the 'Bruce Lee' character early on, and focussed the story on the 'brother'. The 'guy with the beard' is Roy Horan, currently lecturer in film studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic, whom I'm hoping will do the commentary with me. I agree that someone like Ng See-yuen or Yuen Woo-ping would be equally good choices, but the former would never agree to do it, and the latter doesn't speak English. I suppose we could do a subtitled commentary track, but this would be very complicated. Apart from acting in the film, Roy was also very much involved with the production, so he's got some interesting stories to tell.
Temple of the Unknown: From IMDB Celebrity News The Hong Kong villa where Kung Fu superstar Bruce Lee lived until his mysterious death in July 1973 has been turned into a brothel. It was nicknamed the Crane's Nest by the martial arts star who died at the age of 32. The villa on the island of Cowloon is now called the Romantic Hotel. Rooms can be rented for around $30 an hour and guests find condoms already laid out on the beds while the televisions show round-the-clock porn. Although the hotel does not advertise using the star's name, many local men know that Bruce Lee lived there and say they get an extra kick out of it. The star's fan club is now trying to turn the building into a memorial to Lee.
Bey Logan: Yes, the story is accurate, but its such old news. The house was already a 'love hotel' back when I first visited Hong Kong at the tender age of 19. In fact, most of the former homes in that area are now either love hotels, kindergartens, wedding boutiques or old folks homes (so you can be conceived, educated, married and die without ever leaving Kowloon Tong...). Of course it should have been turned into a museum, but the costs involved would have been huge, and I have real doubts as to whether such a venture would have been commercially viable.
All of the questions and answers were compiled by JT
Mr. Logan returned for a second time to the Temple forum on June 12th 2001 to answer some more questions.
Questions by Milan Polaczyk Q1: When did you discover the lost Game footage at the Golden Harvest archive ? Which year exactly ?
Answer by Bey Logan Where, where and how much This must prove beyond any doubt that I have too much time on my hands, but : 1996, same year I got married (which is the only way I can remember!), and it was in the Media Asia archive, not the Golden Harvest one. Man, do I WISH I'd had access to the GH vaults.
Q2: Which party, Artport Japan or John Little, came to you first to make contract with you regarding the new Game movies. Also, exactly which year and month ?
Answer: It was Artport. Damned if I can remember exactly when. The contract's at MA and I'm not. The year would have been 1999. I remember my colleagues being stunned at the offer I got from the Japanese. John contacted us some time after that. He was very worried we'd steal his thunder by doing our own documentary! I really wasn't interested in making another Bruce Lee docu, and I couldn't figure out how to turn the footage into a feature, so I did the deal with John
Q3: How come two different parties after all made contract with you regarding the movies using the same Game of Death footage? It seems quite unusual to me. I think one party gives up if they know someone already takes the footage.
Answer: Both deal were non-exclusive. Artport only licensed the footage for Japan. John for US and Europe. The footage can still be licensed to other people by Media Asia. Licensing a whole film to several parties would be unusual. However, this is basically a clip or footage license, and these are rarely exclusive.
Q4: I understand that Media Asia still has the whole Game of footage and you only licensed Artport and John Little to use the part of it. Does it mean that the rest of the footage can be used for commercial purpose if someone wishes to pay for it ?
Answer: See answer above. I hope this helps! Bey
Thanks to Mr. Logan for still coming by here to answer questions for the fans.