Pirate Brother’s Realistic Action Scenes
Written and photographed
By Jude Bautista
Describing it in words may illicit disbelief. It is a scene that both Actor Verdy Bhawanta and Director Asun Mawardi are proud of. A car comes at Verdy trying to run him over he instantly leaps into the hood of the car. He somersaults in mid-air and lands just behind the trunk of the car. And unlike most action movies of today there were no wires used nor were there any CGI in the stunt sequences.
Audiences will get to see the proof of this in the credits portion of Pirate Brothers. The out takes where Verdy doesn’t quite land perfectly are included. A scene where Verdy and Robin Shou throws bad guys into glass panels simultaneously also gets a minor accident. One bad guy gets some (real) cuts on his head after doing the stunt. This is real film making without the fancy special effects. The most popular face in the film is Robin Shou of Mortal Kombat fame. He was not able to make it toManilafor the mall tour because he is in South Africashooting “Death Race 3.”
Pirate Brothers is an all-Indonesian production. Bhawanta and Mawardi along with one of the nemesis Ryan Tedja were in town to do some demos in capoeira and even Wu shu. Director Asun Mawardi may be the only film maker with a doctorate in Business Administration. Out of a genuine love for film he also graduated from theNew YorkFilmAcademy. He has won awards inIndonesiafor his films, “I Do, I Do”, “Untukmu”, “Rindu Kami Pada Mu” and a documentary on the “Tsunami” which devastated Thailand and his country.
Verdy Bhawanta and Asun have met on the set of several TV commercials and developed a strong working relationship. Verdy credits him for motivating him through that car scene, “This is really important, when the director gives you the support it brings out the star in the actor. I really wanted to do this scene because I know I can do it but at times there’s self doubt. He gave me a few words ‘If you don’t want to do it I can delete this scene. Tell you what if you don’t do it, you’re going to regret it your whole life.’ That’s the secret word I always remember: regret.”
Asun was able to talk about where he got the idea for the scene, “The reason I was confident with Verdy because we measured it. We found out he can jump over 9 people. With the car scene it was less than that. It’s the timing, the fact that the car is moving towards you. You get messed up from the pressure.” He explained that they put together 9 people side by side and had them bend over and then had Verdy do the jump.
But it really wasn’t the distance that made the car stunt so difficult, “Doing it without the car is very easy than with a car coming towards you. There’s a mind fear feeling. We did it a couple of times then he didn’t quite make it right. After a few attempts finally he made it. Once he overcame the fear he did it. He was supposed to jump over the car without getting hurt. It took 5 or 6 takes.”
Some of the other scenes which looked spectacular were a lot easier for Verdy. The scene where he leaps into a car window feet first was no problem, he said he could do “10 takes.” Or when he was surrounded by 5 bad guys and leaps 4 feet high and kicks all of their faces in one sweeping motion.
It’s actually the fourth time Verdy has been toManila. He has been a guest instructor invited by Fantasma the premiere capoeira proefessor here. “I love the Philippines, I’m being honest. The Capoeira community here is like a family. Maybe it’s because of the culture here. Everybody’s close they love to sing. Everybody’s friendly, I love it. Sometimes I want to get Filipinos for the film. Four years ago I was asking about the movie industry here. There are a lot of people with potential that they don’t know about.
Asun Mawardi also revealed his secret for castingHollywoodactor Robin Shou, “He adjusted well, he’s very easy. He eats whatever we eat. He loved Ayam Bakar (grilled spicy chicken). When he was asked by the press ‘how did Asun convince you?’ he jokingly said ‘it’s the Ayam Bakar!’ I bribed him with grilled chicken all the time. Anytime he has a chance he will eat it. When he went back toL.A.he had the recipe and he sent me a video: ‘Asun check it out Ayam Bakar!’”