Director David Worth on Collaborating with Cynthia Rothrock and Creating Action-Packed Films

David Worth, a director known for his action-packed films like Lady Dragon, Lady Dragon 2, and American Tigers, shares his experiences working with the talented martial artist and actress, Cynthia Rothrock. His passion for filmmaking and innovative techniques allowed him to create captivating on-screen chemistry and showcase Rothrock’s incredible martial arts skills. Let’s dive into the behind-the-scenes magic and challenges that made these films stand out.

In Lady Dragon and Lady Dragon 2, Cynthia Rothrock showcased her incredible martial arts skills. What was it like collaborating with her on these films, and how did you approach capturing the intensity and dynamism of her action sequences?

Honestly, I didn’t even know who Cynthia was before working with her… & that’s all it took! WORKING With Her!!! Cynthia was & is an Extraordinary colleague: Out in the Heat & Dirt & Grime & With NO Craft Service & The VERY Modest Filmmaking Abilities of INDONESIA… She NEVER Complained, Was Always Ready, Did Her Own Stunts & Action… Take After Take After Take in the Heat & Dirt & Was One Of The MOST Professional Actors I’ve Ever Worked with!!! Amazing, Outstanding, Fantastic! All of the pampered, latte served, air-conditioned Actors in La La Land should take lessons from Ms. Rothrock… My Approach Was: Three (3) CAMERAS No Waiting!!!

“American Tigers” brought together a talented cast, that included the additons of Sam J Jones, and Donald Gibb. How did you work with these actors to create compelling on-screen chemistry and deliver memorable performances, especially in the context of the film’s action-packed storyline?

Sam Jones got the lead because of my experiences with him on “Lady Dragon 2″… He’s very talented and has an amazing sense of HUMOR!!! Don Gibb is the same and again from my experiences with him on “Bloodsport”. They All supplied the Chemistry… I brought the Natural Locations… Available & Practical LIGHT & of course: 3 Cameras NO Waiting!!!

“Lady Dragon” and “Lady Dragon 2” were notable for featuring Cynthia Rothrock in the lead role, breaking barriers for female action stars at the time. How did you contribute to empowering her character and showcasing her physical prowess through your cinematography and visual storytelling techniques?

Having worked with Cynthia on LD… I tailored the SCRIPT for LD2 to show off even More of her Extraordinary Talent… Then Hired the BAD GUY of BAD GUYS Billy DRAGO as her nemesis!!! Mission Accomplished!!! Billy was like working with a Jazz Musician-Actor & Once he knew the parameters of the Scene… He was able to give me an infinite variation on the material… And of course Cynthia played off of all Billy’s Immense Talent…

“American Tigers” offered a unique blend of martial arts and espionage. How did you approach capturing the suspense and excitement of the film’s thrilling action sequences, particularly when it involved multiple characters and intricate choreography?

VERY Quickly! Because I only had a 14 Day Shooting Schedule!!! That was ALL the time that VERY Modest Budget would allow… I also Cast a bunch of Hungry Young Actors who were always willing to “go the extra mile” to get it Done! Those Elements along with Sam Jones & Don Gibb, & My 3CNW… Made it all doable…

“Lady Dragon 2” marked the sequel to a successful martial arts film. How did you approach maintaining the essence of the first film while also introducing new elements and surprises to keep the audience engaged and satisfied?

Mainly by adding the BAD GUYS for Cynthia to play off of and eventually overcome…

What was your collaboration like with Cynthia Rothrock in terms of developing her character’s arc and ensuring her performance aligned with the overall vision of the films? Were there any specific challenges or highlights that stood out during the creative process?

No real challenges… I treated Cynthia like an ACTOR first and then as a Martial Artist… We always discussed Acting & Emotion First… Then the Action…

“American Tigers” had a distinct blend of action and comedy. How did you approach balancing these two elements to ensure a seamless blend that resonated with the audience and enhanced the overall entertainment value of the film?

My approach to the material is usually very straightforward and practical… 1. Capture & Cover the material for Drama or Action or Laughs… 2. Edit the material to show off those elements to their very best… 3. Release it & Hope the Audience gets it and likes it…

Looking back at your work on “Lady Dragon,” “Lady Dragon 2,” and “American Tigers,” what are some of the aspects or moments that you are most proud of in terms of your cinematography and contribution to the films’ success?

On each of these Productions I was Writer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor & Production Supervisor… ALL Those elements were my contributions to the films… & THAT’S what I’m Most Proud Of… Also: The Final Fight with Cynthia & Richard Norton In LD… The Nightmare in the Hospital with Cynthia and Billy Drago in LD2… & Just completing Everything in 14 Days in “American Tigers”…

Check out more interview at Action Reloaded

Check out David’s detailed book, “ZEN & The Art of Independent Filmmaking, a cautionary tale…” For an abundance of additional material… www.amazon.com

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