Kung fu fun in focus 

Lights, camera, action: On set with cast and crew from Maximum Choppage on Friday. Pictures: Simon Bennett
Lights, camera, action: On set with cast and crew from Maximum Choppage on Friday. Pictures: Simon Bennett

FILMING for Australia's first martial arts TV series began in Cabramatta last week.

The comedy series Maximum Choppage is being shot over six weeks and will be aired on ABC 2 later this year.

It follows Simon Chan who has returned to his hometown of Cabramatta, after his mum sent him to learn "the art" of kung fu — instead she sent him to art school.

It is based in a fictional Cabramatta where gangs terrorise the community.

Kathryn Yuen makes her acting debut playing the role of Simon's mother, Mrs Chan.

"I am a mother of four really jumping into the deep end here," she said.

"The whole process has been hilarious and I have been so lucky.

"Though Mrs Chan is a lovely role for a mature actress, I am acting. She is a woman with power but also vulnerable to an extent."

Maximum Choppage started out as a short film written by Cabramatta filmmaker Timothy Ly and was turned into a one-hour feature and approved by Fairfield Council.

Mr Ly then approached Matchbox Pictures and they decided to rewrite it as a television series.

One of the series producers, Julie Eckersley said that from the beginning Fairfield Council had been really supportive and allowed Matchbox to do the filming on location.

"It really is a Cabramatta story," Ms Eckersley said.

"Well, a fictional Cabramatta besieged by gangs, but it is really exciting for Cabramatta and it will show a side of the suburb that most people don't really know.

"We are trying to celebrate everything that is Cabramatta."

Mayor Frank Carbone said the council welcomed Matchbox Pictures to Cabramatta and the energy and excitement the filming had brought to Fairfield.

"The filming of Maximum Choppage will cast a positive light on Cabramatta," he said.

"Highlighting that it is not only a suburb renowned for its culinary delights, but also that it is a diverse suburb able to cater to the needs of many industries, including the film and television industry."


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