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Promotion – “The Final Blade” – A Feature Film


Posted August 6, 2018 by

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Promotion – “The Final Blade” – A Feature Film

Coming to Auckland from China at age 12, Ying attended Kelston Boys’ High School in the 1990s.  He took up martial arts when he found himself the target of bullies and this later turned into a career as a stuntman specialising in Chinese martial arts.  What started out as small roles in film turned into a passion for directing. Willie developed his filmmaking career alongside a busy professional practice as an Auckland-based stunt coordinator and choreographer, specialising in high-wire acrobatic stunts.  His fluency in English and Mandarin and ability to work with people from many different backgrounds was good grounding for his career trajectory.

Willie has worked on most of the major international productions based in NZ over the last two decades, including Power Rangers, The Warriors Way and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2. He has worked on more than 22 shows in the last 14 years from Hollywood movies to major TV productions in China.

Recently he has moved his base back to China where, in only a few years, he has become a noted emerging filmmaker. He has now directed four feature films in China. The Final Blade is the first feature film that he has made as an independent producer, and since its release has won a slew of awards in Europe, the UK and the Americas.

"The Final Blade" - A Feature Film

“I only had 20 days to shoot this action comedy feature, in a bloody cold winter in Beijing. I had to encourage my actors through all the conditions, but it was an unforgettable experience.”

The plot of The Final Blade features plenty of action and a plot that could only have come out of China with its passion for period dramas, fractured heroes and quirky side notes of history. The Imperial Guards of Ming lead a group of assassins into the palace of General Li to win back the treasured Chicken Cup.  Three hundred years later, the Chicken Cup is lost in a fight between the descendants. It is up to a noodle shop owner – a warrior in hiding – and his young apprentice to find and protect the ancient cup.

It’s a story which touches on themes of coming-of-age, honour and trust as well as being entertaining.  Willie’s trademark choreograpy combines modern and traditional martial arts moves and weaponry.  “The pace and the energy of The Final Blade is outstanding… The story intrigues you throughout and presents great character development,” noted Nami Melumad of the Los Angeles Film Awards, on presenting Willie with his award for Best Director.

award for "The Final Blade"

Willie is especially keen to see his film attract audiences in NZ, because of future projects he’s planning. He’s excited by the new wave of NZ-based Asian filmmakers, actors and writers who traverse geographic and cultural boundaries.

“I have always seen NZ as my home. My next step is to bring NZ and China together in a movie co-production. NZ Maori culture and the Chinese culture are very similar and there is the potential for strong connections between our audiences.”

The Final Blade is screening at Event Cinemas Auckland (Albany, St Lukes, Queen Street) on August 9th. For more information and to book tickets, head over to the Event Cinemas website.



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