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Interview with Accident Man: Hitman's Holiday directors George & Harry Kirby
                                                                by Bobby Blakey

Accident Man Hitmans Holiday.jpg

In 2018 martial arts action star Scott Adkins starred in the film Accident Man, based off the comic from Pat Mills and Tony Skinner. Now he is back once again with Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday this time with directors George Kirby and Harry Kirby taking the helm. I got to sit down with the brothers to discuss bringing their unique vision to the film and working with Adkins to bring this martial arts mayhem to life.

Bobby: Correct me if I'm wrong, but Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday is your first big feature correct?

Harry: Yeah it is our first feature.

Bobby: I was doing some research and I know you did a lot of stunt work as well as a lot of short films on Batman and different things which looked like an awesome career already, but now you're doing this movie?

George: Yeah, crazy.


Bobby: How did y'all get involved in this one?

Harry: Like you said, we've been doing kind of short films on YouTube for like about 10 years. We're massive geeks and anime fans so we did a lot of live action, Dragonball Z, Batman, and some X Men short films as well as some original shorts. George has been working in the stunt industry for about 10 years and was actually the stunt double for Benedict Cumberbatch on Doctor Strange, which is where he met Scott. Fast forward and we've made a proof of concept for an action film that we've written and we showed it to Scott and asked if he would be in our movie. He loved it, but ended up not really wanting to play the character, but hoped to work together in the future. Two weeks later, we get a phone call and he's said why don't you come in direct Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday. He gave us an opportunity where he vouched for us to the producers and then we got on the project. So we are very, very grateful.

Bobby: Your sequel to Accident Man is a lot different than the first film and I love it. I love that it feels like a comic book itself that’s more colorful, seemed a lot more violent, I think it's better than the first movie. As filmmakers is there a sense of nervousness going into making a sequel to a movie that you weren't involved with and trying to find your voice for it without changing it?

George: Yeah, I mean when Scott sent us this script, and we read it we could see there was loads of potential for a really fun movie. Scott was very keen to keep some continuity from the first film, but also, you know with any sequel go above and beyond and take it to the next level. We wanted to really amp up the comedy and the action you know, just really dial up another notch from the first film. That was kind of the mandate really was to make it a fun ride and just really bring out the fun in the characters.

Harry: I think if we'd been asked for this to be the same as the first film then it would be very different. You know, Jesse Johnson who directed the first film has his own voice and his tone. We were told by Scott to bring your voice to this the way you wanted which was great. We wanted to stay true to the first one so that people who watch the first one can enjoy this one, but we were given that free rein to go crazy, add these larger than life characters and more accident kind of stuff. So it was a good opportunity.

Bobby: So was the script always written with these zany designed assassin characters like the clown and things like this or was that something that kind of develop as you're starting putting it together?

George: Yeah, the clown was always in. Scott was really keen on it. He'd take some inspiration from a from a YouTube character, actually and it was really interesting to have that character in it. We came in and like Harry said just kind of tweaked and moved things around a little bit and very collaborative pitching ideas and stuff. It was a very collaborative process where we're sort of developing these ideas and the best ideas win sort of thing. We worked together with Scott and Stu Small until we ended up with the first bit that we had.

Bobby: This film is kind of reminded me of something like Game Of Death where there's always fight after fight, after fight, but you have to have a story that holds it together. How hard is it as a filmmaker, to weave together and make it not feel like it’s just trying to get to the next fight and nothing else?

Harry: Yeah, you don't want to just feel like the bits in between are just there while you are waiting to get to the next fight. We were lucky because we have Perry Benson playing Fred, Sarah Chang playing Siu-ling and we got George Fouracres playing Dante and of course big Ray comes back was well who is an amazing actor. So you've got these other characters that are playing off Scott's character that give him people to bounce the banter off of to create that comedy. We also wanted to give Fallon more of a purpose with him fighting for friend. I think sometimes when action is just for the sake of action, you kind of lose interest, but we're rooting for Fallon so he can save his friend and also get rid of this annoying guy Dante. You can identify a bit more with him and you kind of care about why he's fighting, and what he's fighting for, as well as just delivering on some sweet action that people can cheer and get excited about.

Bobby: Obviously you directed this together, but with George doing more of the stunt work in your career, does it make it easier for a film like this to split the duties to have someone focus on the stunts and the other focus on the directing at times?

Harry: Definitely. We're kind of 50/50 when we're on set, but there's definitely times leading up to it, where George leans more into the action and is also on camera quite a lot as well. He's able to get in there and I can be over there talking to the actors about the next character scene and stuff so we do have a bit of a balance. Also, the advantage we have is that it made us really appreciate lone directors, because there's a lot of pressure on you to make sure that you're delivering something good. If one of us is having an off day, the other one can kind of step in and take over. We are brothers also so it's just nice to work together and have someone to support you so that definitely helps out.

Bobby: When you're dealing with a martial arts films there are people like myself that are in the martial arts, and we're looking for a specific thing. How hard is that to not just try to pander to the audience, but still get the excitement stuff in there as well as sometime just be ok with hitting someone with a brick and not be some fancy jump kick?

George: With each of these characters, I would say they're all larger than life and definitely wanted to bring something different to each character and their fights. Poco was basically mixed with a killer clown and anime character giving him the big brick on the stick and we just wanted like the crash test dummy type of thing. When they built the set and stuff we said just make everything destructible so that we can just put this guy through the mill and really have fun with that. Then that you jumped to the Oyumi fight and we wanted that to be a real true straight martial arts fight where the two top guys were going at it and really make that something special. Obviously, you got Sarah Chang fighting Peter Lee Thomas as Silas and wanted to keep a little bit of comedy in her fights. You know, she's quite eccentric character and just went to keep some of the fun elements in her fight and a little bit of silliness sort of thing. Scott was keen to do some bow stuff because he doesn’t get much chance to use stuff like that a lot of his films, so we made it more of a weapons fight. We definitely tried to bring different elements to hopefully kind of everyone gets a little bit of something from each fight.

Harry: As a general rule, we're just thinking what would be cool and what would we like to see if we were watching a martial arts movie. So we're able just to kind of play and so you go, like, rather than just thinking, what exactly the audience like what you do have to do. At the time, we're just going well, we will martial arts and who actually thinks can be cool.

Bobby: I give big props to you for pulling it off because it is a rare thing to get to noticeably see different styles of fighting in a fight. Knowing martial arts, when you watch these kinds of films, sometimes that stuff blends together, because there's so many similarities. Here you can specifically see the way this person moved the way they fought. You know, and then of course, Scott Adkins had to maintain his same style while doing new things to adapt.

Harry: Thank you. Scott is so integral to this film. He's got he's got like six fights in this film. It’s so intensive on him as well as trying to do his acting stuff he's got the physically that’s so demanding on him and all the guys. We were lucky in that those performers all had their own styles as well with Sarah Chang who is a Wushu champion, you know, so they all bring in their own different stuff to it.

Bobby: So I assume it was written in the script, but have to ask if the whole thing with her moments where she would sneak up on Scott was a homage to the Pink Panther thing?

Harry: Yes. Scott loves the Pink Panther and very much wanted to do a homage to it.

Bobby: Do you guys have anything coming up that you can tell us about and any chance of us getting an Accident Man 3?

Harry: So on the first one, we've had some offers to do some stuff, but can't say too much. Hopefully people can see more of us, and our stuff soonish. The dream project for any producers out there watching this, we would love to do a Ninja Turtles movie one day. With Accident Man 3 we know that Scott is so passionate about this character that he would do another, so you haven't checked out the movie yet, go and check it out. If it does well enough, we know that the third one would come definitely.

Bobby: As a fan of the first movie I'm always nervous to go into sequels and this is like Scott’s, third franchise after Boyka and Ninja. This might be one of the first ones that I say is better than the first movie and can’t wait to watch this movie again.

Harry and George: Thank you very much.

Bobby: Are any of your other short films you did with Batman and stuff readily available?

Harry: Yeah, go check out our K and K productions YouTube channel. You can watch all that stuff there.

Bobby: Awesome. I appreciate your time and I can't wait to check out what you'll have coming up after this.

Harry: Thank you Bobby, hope we get to speak to you again soon.

George: Cheers.

Check out Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday in theaters, VOD and Digital on October 14th from Samuel Goldwyn Films.

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