After I found out about this great
little movie (why did it take me so long?) I immediately contacted the
director Sheldon Schwartz to find out more about it, and his Wing Chun
training. Personally, I want to be making movies myself, so finding
this little gem was a real treat for me.
the Wing Chun Archive (WCA): Sheldon,
with your permission I'd like to feature your film on my site. I think
it is a wonderful short film, and am excited to see Wing Chun in a cinematic
setting once again. Can you tell me a little about your Wing Chun
training and other interests?
Sheldon Schwartz (SS): Thanks
for putting it on your site!! I can't believe people are actually taking a
liking to my little film. I expected it to be a little too religious for
most people, but I guess I was wrong.
I filmed Beimo after finishing 7 months of consistent intensive training in
WC. My teacher is Sifu Gary Lam. You can visit his site at
My interest in WC comes from my stepfather, whom I call Uncle George, who
was a student under Wong Shun Leung (WSL) as a child (who also taught Sifu
Gary). Uncle George would show me WC moves here and there as I was growing
up, and I was always amazed at the speed, explosiveness (and painfulness) of
Finding out that Bruce Lee was also taught by WSL, I decided to make it goal
to gain proficiency in WC someday. Uncle George recommended Sifu Gary, and
the rest is history.
I love the idea of connecting genres to make something that would otherwise
be exploitative (Kung Fu for the sake of Kung Fu), substantial (Kung Fu to
communicate a message). This was why I made Beimo.
WCA: This being a Wing Chun site my questions
will focus more on that aspect of your interests. So what is your favorite
Wing Chun book?
SS: My favorite wing chun book would probably be
the Tao of JKD (If that qualifies). since I really think it grabs the
essence of WC. Whatever the disagreements over lineage and superiority may
be right now, WC was meant to be an efficient martial art by its very
definition. I think Bruce Lee's book takes this idea down a good path.
WCA: I agree, and yes that qualifies. There is more Wing Chun
is Bruce Lee's early works than most Wing Chun books... In my humble, but
accurate, opinion. :) And your favorite Wing Chun Movie?
favorite WC movie (there aren't many to choose from) is definitely the
Prodigal Son. I loved the way you could see WC, as presented in the movie,
played out in the fight scenes.
WCA: What are your goals in the area of film?
goal in film is to make movies that communicate good messages. I hope that
one day I get to make a film that really impacts the way my viewers look at
reality for the better. We don't have that in Hollywood anymore; I hope I'm
the lucky one who gets to bring that back someday. If its not me, kudos to
the person that does.
Are you done with your Wing Chun training?
done with WC for now. I have to go to law school and start my production
company. This takes a lot of time!
WCA: Tell me about it.
It is hard to find the time to focus on training and have any other side
projects at all, much less Law School and running a business.
Do you think we'll ever see any more Wing Chun in your films?
want to make a romantic comedy/coming-of-age-flick about a nerdy computer
programmer who learns WC and becomes popular after beating up a bunch of
guys at a bullshido.com-style throw-down. He meets his first girlfriend that
WCA: That sounds great, I
can't wait. I'm curios to know if you are Christian and if that
was part of the basis for the film. I'm no expert, but I didn't think there
were many Chinese Christians in the 1930's and 40's, so I was wandering
SS: Yes, I'm a
Christian. I'm actually half-Jewish/half-Chinese. Yes, I wanted to express
an aspect of my faith that everyone could relate to: Forgiveness
WCA: You did that and did it
well. Good job. Well, I'm not one big on interviews, so thanks,
for your time Sheldon.
If you have would like to see more of Sheldon's work,
please visit his website:
What The Film. If you contact
Sheldon, please let him know you saw his film here on the Wing chun Archive.
Train Hard! A