Kayla Chow and Brett Piperni are martial artists determined to succeed. Their passion for Taekwondo shines through in this inspiring documentary about how diligence, perseverance and friendship combine to fuel their journey toward becoming champions.
Writer/director/co-producer: Nik Green
Co-producer: Yvette Lu
Nik Green says:
“Alive and Kicking is very personal project that came together in an incredibly compressed time frame. The result is a film I’m very proud of [because] it contains a cast and crew consisting of friends who are all skilled at what they do.
The key subject, Brett Piperni, is a close friend who has been through all kinds of trials and tribulations on his way to becoming a medal-holding Taekwondo expert.
The duality between being seen as a high-level martial artist while at the same time being weakened by physical ailments was a fascinating starting point for Alive and Kicking and I feel Brett described this in a very naked fashion. Knowing him as a ‘tough guy’ sort of friend made me curious as to whether or not he would be comfortable in front of the camera and I am pleased to say that he became a natural in short time.
The addition of Brett’s training partner, Kayla Chow, was a nice storyline as she has also faced numerous hurdles on her journey. Kayla is a phenomenal athlete with skills and determination that will see her continually reach for the top in her martial art.
I referred to Alive and Kicking as a lo-fi film with high emotion up until filming, and I feel this held true throughout the filmmaking process which occurred within 22 hours from top to bottom. A static approach to cinematography was employed intentionally to allow for the dynamic martial artists to come to the fore. The soundtrack was a traditional score with odes to martial arts films created wonderfully by composer Duane Sharman.
I feel letting each of these elements speak for themselves combined with the skilled artists who created them make this a very collaborative film which shines through on screen. As a director, it’s important to know when to push and when to ease up. This was easy on Alive and Kicking due to the skilled people involved both in front of and behind the camera.”
About Nik Green
Nik is a filmmaker with a varied past. He has been an entrepreneur for the majority of his working life. In total he has started, maintained and sold four completely different businesses.
As the CEO and founder of Global Authority Media, Nik produced Common Grounds, a documentary series on the independent coffee industry and followed up with the festival-screened Rebuild, which focused on labour activism in Nova Scotia.
Since owning a coffee house, he has been a reporter for a Hollinger Press paper in the Kootenays, spent a year as a photographer for British Columbia Tourism and graduated from the Vancouver Film School. He also maintains a weekly column called The Electric Grapevine. Nik finds interviewing and writing invaluable in the documentary filmmaking process.
When not working, he is an avid basketball fan, practices Krav Maga and enjoys learning the bass guitar. The bass guitar influence comes from being a huge fan of the band Primus and frontman Les Claypool.
Nik’s influences include Michael Mann, Quentin Tarantino, Tony Scott, Sylvester Stallone, Shane Black, David Mamet, Luc Besson and Les Claypool.