Tony Jaa's Team


Panna Rittikrai
Martial Arts and Stunt Choreographer
Tony Jaa's Martial Arts master

Stunteam

 

Tony Jaa's Martial Arts master : Panna Ritthikrai
Martial Arts and Stunt Choreographer: Panna Rithikrai
Source

Panna Rithikrai was born on February 17th 1961 and decided early on that action films were his great love. He pursued this love with passion and gusto, knowing in his heart that one day his dreams would come true, that he would direct a movie of his own. It has been over 25 years since Panna first embarked on his cinematic journey and, since then, Panna Rithikrai has become a household name, recognizable throughout Thailand, bridging the generation gap and popular with both sexes. From irrepressible teenagers to mature grandparents, everyone has heard of Panna Rithikrai, the most outrageous and daring action director to have ever hit Thai screens.

During his 25-year career, Panna has been involved in more than 100 different productions. He has tackled everything from props and set design to choreography, from directing to starring in major movie productions, as well as being involved in his television work. A large portion of his experience came while working on international productions shot in Thailand.

Panna Rithikrai worked in the Thai film industry throughout its golden years as well as during the less prosperous ones. He has had the opportunity to work with some of the all time greats in Thai cinema history, such as Soraphong Chatree and Noppol Gomarachun.

One of his greatest triumphs was when he came across a not terribly handsome youngster by the name of Tony Jaa. Panna could immediately see the raw talent that was etched across the boy’s face. It took another 4 years of extensive training and fine tuning before Tony Jaa was finally ready for the lead role in “Ong Bak”, a movie that stunned a jaded generation of action fans with its daring lack of stunt doubles, computer graphics or wirework.

The success of such a huge production opened many new doors for Panna and a barrage of offers began flooding in. One such was for the hilarious action/comedy, “The Bodyguard” which netted its producers over 1.54 million USD in Bangkok alone. His latest production, “Warrior King”, has the highest ever budget allocated to a Thai action picture. “Warrior King” is the first Thai production in cinema history to have been presold to so many territories whilst still in production.

Filmography as Martial Arts Choreographer and Director:

1986 Born to Fight Director / Choreographer
1986 Sing Wing Leuy Director / Choreographer
1987 Plook Kuern Maa Kah Director / Choreographer
1987 Petch Leuy Pleung Director / Choreographer
1989 Hode Dam Queue Director / Choreographer
1990 Gong Tap Tuern Director / Choreographer
1991 Sing Siam Director / Choreographer
1991 Payak Rai Cheang Chun Part 1 Director / Choreographer
1992 Peen Gleaw Part 1 Director / Choreographer
1994 Payakrai Cheang Chun Part2 Director/ Choreographer
1994 Kuwang Ter Ma Plon Director/ Choreographer
1995 Peen Gleaw Part 2 Director/ Choreographer
1995 Peen Gleaw Part 3 Director/ Choreographer
1995 Khon Luk Toong Director/ Choreographer
2002 Ong Bak Choreographer
2004 The Bodyguard Choreographer
2004 Born to Fight Director / Choreographer
2005 Warrior King Choreographer

 

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Stuntmen Team
Source : Wikipedia

Muay Thai Stunt is a Thailand based group of stuntman, formed by Panna Rittikrai to work alongside with him on his action films. In addition, the stunt team offer their service to other film productions under a contract basis. Members of the stunt team is skilled in acrobatics/gymnastics, weapons-related fighting arts, Muay Thai and other Martial Arts style including Wushu and Tae Kwon Do. The stunt team specializes in fight choreography, fall stunts, wire-work, vehicular stunts and explosion stunts.

History

Early Films

The stunt team was originally formed in Khon Kaen Province on 1979, composing of 20 people at its initial conception. In 1982, Panna and his crew worked on their first movie, Kerd ma lui (Born to Fight) with Panna as director, fight choreographer, stunt cordinator as well as actor in the lead role. Several of his stuntmen co-star in it. Between the mid 80's to late 90's, over 50 low budgeted indie action films was produced.

By the mid 90's, the action genre in Thailand was at a decline, causing several of the members to disband from the stunt team. Due to lack of interest, Panna was force to discountine producing action films momentary, marking an end of the B-movie era.

A New Beginning

In 1999, Panna formed a partnership with Prachya Pinkaew and his production house, Baa-Ram-Ewe to collorabrate on a big budget studio film, Ong Bak through Sahamongkol Film. Prachya was to direct while Panna serve as fight choreographer and stunt cordinator. Sharing the same passion in action films, they both intented to revive this genre in Thailand through Ong Bak with raw and daring physical stunts as shown in Panna's earlier films. Before production, Panna ensemble a stunt team again and he handpicked Tony Jaa, a stuntmen to take the lead role. After four years of production, Sahamongkol Film released Ong Bak and it became a smash box office success domestically.

The success led to more Thai action film projects with further collobration between Baa-Ram-Ewe and Panna's stunt team. In 2004, the action comedy, The Bodyguard and a remake to Panna's first action movie, Born to Fight was released. Dan Choupong who started as a stuntmen like Tony Jaa, was promoted to lead actor for Born to Fight. In Born to Fight, Panna emphasis on the stunts and less on fight cheorgraphy.

Panna and his stunt team continues to work on new projects in the upcoming future.

Trivia

  • A common trademark in many of Panna films is the use of full contact rather than pulling punches or the use of camera tricks in the fight scenes.
  • Members of the stunt team perform live demos with Tony Jaa for promotional tour of Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong.
  • The stunt team also worked on several Hollywood movies shot on location in Thailand. This included Alexander, The Beach, Tomorrow Never Dies.
  • "Out-takes" of the stuntwork for Born to Fight is shown during the end credicts.

Members

  • Panna Rittikrai
  • Tony Jaa
  • Dan Chupong aka Chupong Changprung (Born to Fight)
  • Kawee Sirikhanaerat
  • Somjai Junmoontree
  • Banphot Kimuenwai
  • Patchawat Sooksil
  • Kritsanapong Ratchata
 
 

by Yeng

References