My vow to make a movie in the U.S.caused me to go this far with this film. I should have known to back out when the director could not come up with a script. I never stopped saying to all my students, “I am making a movie.” I gave myself a timetable that by 1994 I must finish this goal in order to move on, otherwise I cannot start anything. I remember Stew Leonard asking me, “Why you don’t take that money and open another school?” and I said, “Stew I must do it, I have spoken too much, now I am forced to do it, it is just ego, but everyone is starting to make faces like Hahn!”
I have come to the conclusion that I do not blame anyone other than myself. It makes me angry and I will never forget as part of this process we owed a person $105,000. This man was not working, he was sick, and owed creditors hundreds of thousands of dollars. He came to work for me on the film and even when I paid him, he still would have had to file bankruptcy and later did. A few years after he filed, he was rebuilding his home in Greenwich. To this day I still find that hard to believe. What makes me the angriest is that the wife of this person told her husband that he would lose money and talks bad about me still. She failed to be an honest person as I paid everyone. Some of the people that received checks asked, “What for? “You lost out with this movie, dummy.“ I kept my word that everyone would be compensated.
This movie turned into the biggest humiliation of my career. This low budget movie went from costing around $250,000 to over $1 million. I could have taken the easy way out and just filed bankruptcy but I chose not to. I could have just as easily gone back to my country, taken a great job, and lived the “good life,” but I chose to stay and do what I know and love and that is teaching martial arts. I knew that 3-4 years down the line, this movie would promote my name regardless if it failed in the past.
Marcello ran the master trailer which was the best part of the movie and a box of the most memorable pictures of me. When Marcello tried to hire someone to work with him on the movie, while interviewing this prospective employee, a man named Andrew had a dog bite him on the ear in Marcello’s apartment, and even after tried to get money from us. That was just another speed bump during this whole movie process. Nothing went the way it was supposed to go. I know now that Marcello did nothing wrong, he felt sad and ashamed that he let me and many others down. I never wanted to blame Marcello because he did so much work on this movie to try to get it right but he lacked the experience. Marcello felt that he made all the mistakes but I feel that the mistakes were all my fault and not his. Marcello’s issues were not having a solid plan and not taking the time to learn his craft.
So many people who believed in what I was doing were let down. I did nothing wrong other than trust those that were my friends, and that is why I believe that I deserve the blame for all that happened during the making of this film. Crossing The Line was a nightmare for me. Marcello has since vanished and we have not heard from him. I would like to thank all my students that stuck by me and showed their support during this time.
Calasanz Martial Arts and Fitness
507 Westport Ave,Norwalk CT06851