'Be Water' ESPN 30 for 30 Director: Bao Nguyen.
From. nyu You received your MFA from the School of Visual Arts also in New, York City how important are those degrees to supplement your ability as director? I mean I, think for. You know film, school and Education, the most important thing I take away from it is like building a community and finding like minded people who love films and you kind of carry on that love after you graduated in your work together on your on your feature, your future projects and and I mean obviously the education is important, but I think the relationships you take away from it or more important now. Is there I mean I know? For those who see the documentary, they know kind of what influence you partially to really loving a certain aspect of Bruce Lee, but is there any other driving forces that really kind of? Propelled you where you are today whether it's a filmmaker or an actor or a movie itself. I remember seeing a hoop dreams when I was pretty young. I was about ten or eleven, and it was just A. He's the first time I really saw documentary like a feature length documentary, and it's such an epic story right also an intimate at the same time, and I think it's informing me of like the type of story said I'm interested in the type of storytelling I'm interested in and also kind of the power of sports in the drama of Sports, and and how you can use sports as a way to talk about bigger issues in society, and so I think that film definitely played a role in how I. How I became a documentary filmmaker and I mean it's not a directly to to be water I. think he can maybe see. Some of the piano correlation. Oh absolutely, absolutely and you know. You've done some really creative and really great projects, but we documentary like be water that you're connected. Do personally that you? Again for anyone that has seen it. For the thirtieth. The world seated at this point. You know you really have a fondness in a your linked emotionally to the person you're you're you're making the documentary on become something else at that point? Right because it's still such a beautiful work of art, but because of your connection because of the way Bruce Lee moved you. Does. It become something else at that point bow. In your for me when I'm making it film. Tired of want to infuse my own voice in the not literally. You don't hear me speaking as a narrator anything like that, but I think that films at I'm kind of drawn to are the ones that feel personal and honest and authentic, and you can really feel the directors hand. Especially in a film, we were talking about such an icon that maybe anyone else could have done a certain style of Bruce. Lee Fill of documentary about Bruce. Lee But I wanted to make sure that this felt like my film, and by kind of going deep into my roots my parents Vietnamese refugees. They left Vietnam on a boat. We're living in Hong Kong refugee camp for for six months and then. Went over to America the very similar story to Bruce's in terms of coming to America. And not having connections, not really having any money, and that was sort of the Bruce Lee that I felt like I didn't know too much. About Bruce Lee as the immigrant American as Asian, American as the other American. So, I tried to infuse like what lessons I learned from my parents, and for my own upbringing as a child of immigrants and use that to make the films feel personal and have that touch point in a way. So yeah that was that was always the intention and I hope people. Felt that kind of personal filmmaking style. Even though we're talking about an icon like briefly. Yeah, I can't even imagine what it's like. Because you talk very very early in a documentary about you know, it's the very first time you recognize yourself. Somebody on screen. That isn't stereotypical or lacking the respect. They deserve I. Mean I can't believe I mean it. Had to be an. You've answered this such a passion project just because of the effect man had on you and millions of others as well. Yeah I mean I could say that. I was in like one of those huge Bruce Lee fans at went out and collected everything and. Watched every single movie ten times over, but as a symbol, and as an icon for representation for kind of hero, and fighting for the underdog, definitely left a mark on me and again it was just trying to unpack that that that iconography that mythology that I felt. Everyone knew, but they didn't know the person, and and that being said I agree responsibility, obviously telling the story of someone like Bruce Lee but I started to think of it more as a privilege that I'm privileged to have the opportunity to tell lead story into. You know mess it up in many ways and I once. I understood it more as a privilege recognized. It made it less of a daunting task I