Bey Logan is considered by many to be a respected expert on East Asian cinema, in addition to this he’s also credited as a screen writer, film producer, and actor and has trained in the martial art Hung Gar. In 2006 Logan was hired on as Vice President of Asian Acquisitions & Co-Productions at The Weinstein Company, where he now oversees the Dragon Dynasty sub label. Infini-Tropolis.com asked Mr. Logan to take a moment to answers some questions about the labels past and future endeavors of which he graciously agreed to do.
Infini: It's been awhile since we've seen a Shaw Brothers release from DD,
what can Shaw fans expect next from DD?
Logan: Our next Shaw Bros releases will be Five Venoms and Return to the 36th
Chamber. We needed a while to take stock and see how many Shaw titles the market could take at one go, and which kinds of title they preferred.
Infini: What do you feel constitutes a proper DVD release?
Logan: You mean for an Asian title? The perfect DVD is one with the original
language version, where possible, the original English dub and a new one. Interviews with the principals, deleted scenes and behind the scene footage
and, of course, a Bey Logan commentary. Getting everything except the last element can be a challenge, but that doesn't mean we don't try our hardest with
Infini: Any plans for Dragon Dynasty to start releasing on Blu-Ray?
Logan: Yes! Keep watching the Dragon Dynasty site (yes, there will be updates!) for
Infini: There have been several disappointing accounts of "dub titles" or poorly translated subs on various DD releases. How do you account for that, and is it an issue DD intends to remedy in the future? If so, how?
Logan: Well, the buck stops here. There's a huge amount of work needed to prepare
the volume of releases that we put out. Bear in mind that we don't just release DD titles! On certain titles, we didn't focus on that aspect sufficiently, and the fans caught us out on it. We will be more diligent in future!
Infini: Also, there have been instances such as with My Young Auntie where Mandarin was included instead of the originally intended Cantonese, have steps been taken to see that this doesn't happen again?
Logan: Where possible, we always want to give the fans the films they want in the
versions they want. Sometimes, the problem is in taking delivery of materials from Asian companies, where they may not have everything we need
all of the time. We also only have a limited budget to generate new materials. Of course, the fans don't know or care about this, nor should
they. However, if you're asking me the main reason for the absence of elements you would like to see, its usually that we were unable to access
them, despite our best efforts.
Infini: For fans of old school dubs, are efforts being made to see that these too are included with future Shaw Brothers and other old school releases?
Logan: Absolutely! Again, it depends on availability, and, not just of the specific
soundtracks, but of a sufficient technical quality and with the necessary rights cleared.
Infini: What can we expect in terms of future Korean releases, which at this time have been few from DD?
Logan: I would love to release more Korean films. However, City of Violence, our
first Korean title, was such an amazing film, but didn't really sell as we had hoped. Of course, we look at every new Korean action film that comes
along and, when one fits the bill, we'll release it.
Infini: Why have so many DD titles been pushed back without explanation such as Hapkido or Shaolin Wooden Men?
Logan: There is an explanation! Similar titles didn't sell as well as we expected
them to, and so we had to rethink our distribution schedule. Also, the titles you mention have been released pretty widely in various versions,
bootleg and otherwise, and it was a challenge to think how to re-represent them in a fresh way.
Infini: When can we expect to see The Better Tomorrow series from DD?
Logan: Just as soon as we take delivery of technical materials to allow for the
quality of release you guys expect and demand. Its not as easy a job as you might think!
Infini: There seems to be little coming from DD in regard to its future releases and plans, nor has much been updated on the website. What's the reasoning for this? How can fans get more in touch with the happenings of DD?
Logan: We have been taking a breath to examine the first cycle of Dragon Dynasty
releases. If all you guys bought huge numbers of every title, it would make
life so much easier! I believe we have a quality product, but every market is different, and we have to make sure the label finds the broadest possible
audience. Its a show and its business. The website will be updated this week, and regularly, I hope, from here on. Its still the best place to
check for DD news.
Infini: What coming releases are you most looking forward to?
Logan: Its been a pleasure to work on such fan favourites as Supercop and the Jet
Li titles. Also, Empress and her Warriors is a wonderful movie, and I'm certain it'll find an audience.
Infini: With niche market distributors dropping like files, how is DD faring with the plummeting economy?
Logan: We're hanging in there! I think we still have this particular market
cornered, and the brand can weather the storm.
Infini: Will the upcoming Fong Sai Yuk releases be uncut with original audio?
Logan: Yes and yes!
Infini: What are DD's plans for 2009?
Logan: To upgrade every aspect of our operation, to make sure that we hit an even
bigger market with an even better product. We will continue to re-issue classic titles with the respect they deserve, while acquiring the best Asian action titles we can find.
Infini: With the Fist of Legend release, a snippet of text from the original ending was removed from the earlier American dubbed release and the recent two disc special edition. What was the reason for this, and is DD working to see that these sorts of things don't happen again?
Logan: Again, we're at the mercy of the materials we have access to, and we don't
have an unlimited budget to generate new versions of everything. I have the deepest respect for the hard core fans who care deeply about that kind of
omission, but we do sometimes have to be aware that this is show business, and with no business, there's no show!
Infini: Any plans to release any Japanese titles in the future? Whether it be martial arts, jidaigeki, pinky violence, yakuza eiga ect.?
Logan: None as yet, but we track all the current Japanese releases, and would
certainly acquire one that fit the bill for DD. In terms of the classic chanbara titles, it seems that a lot of other companies are already working
that territory very effectively.
Infini: Why is Jackie Chan always sporting a black tee shirt on the cover of the majority of his American DVD releases?
Logan: Its actually a Ric Meyers T-shirt, but the ratings board forced us to
Photoshop his features out, hence the black t-shirt.
Infini: What are some of your favorite martial arts films?
Logan: Prodigal Son, Pedicab Driver, Drunken Master, Iron Monkey, 36th Chamber of
Shaolin... Those five are good for a start!