Recently I was at a small gathering talking shop about the now and future of mainland China movie scene. These directors' names popped up. We have been seeing exciting works from these directors and I am sure we will see more genre material tailored made for China's growing movie going audience from them.Ning Hao. He is taking China genre films boldly where no fellow director had gone before.Jin Yimeng. Representing an aspect of new China like no one else have done. Chen Daming. Daming can really tell a story and he's got quite a few exciting genre projects ahead.Dayyan Ng. Dayyan made the quintessential mainland China rom com a while back. He also has a few projects coming up.Johnathan Lim. Up and coming. Great with action. Did a good job with Sophie's Diary. Slam had great basketball action.All five of these directors understand three acts structure. All five believe in genre material. All five of them can write their own material and know how to work with writers. In terms of genre material, all five of them understand that the director's cut is not the final word. Audience's reaction is king. All five of them are in China and telling the new China stories.Hong Kong film makers still have their place in the overall scheme of things. But China is seeing the emergence of a new China culture and I think this new fellowship will be representing in a big way....soon...coming to a China megaplex near you.
On Sophie's Revenge, I was fortunate to have worked with these guys who are extremely talented creatively and professional in their technical standards. They have enriched the story telling with added layers and complexities. Also I would like to think that at the end of the day, they helped this project to raise the bar locally to another level. Second Chan is totally awesome. He created this incredibly complex and dynamic world for Sophie to live in. People who have seen the rough cut finds Sophie’s world fascinating and vicarious. We have more than 200 VFX shots in the film. Without Sing, the task of reining in these complex sequences would have been impossible. Mr. Sing Foo, you are the man! Cheung Ka Fai obviously is one kick ass editor. As a matter of fact, he is THE editor. The piano duel sequence in Jay Chou’s SECRET continues to be my favorite edited scene in contemporary Chinese cinema. Thank the movie gods, Ka Fai is editing our movie!!! Then there’s Nathan Wang, Hollywood film score composer! Add to the score sheet, Dong Dong Dong (I think he calls himself 3D), composer for CRAZY RACER, also in on the mix…Enough said! Mr. Kim who did sound design for my favorite Korean film – OLD BOY, thank you thank you for doing the sound design for Sophie!!! Obviously there are many, many, many others who brought their own artistic integrity and energy into this project. For everyone involved, this is indeed a work of love. Big thank you from me and I will tell more of it in future blogs.
Yes, yes I know, it's like a non-stop thank you fest....but hey a lot of people put in hard work for this movie. Most people who sit in the movie theater with their pop corn and friends in toll tend not to think about the sweat and tears behind the scene...I mean it's fine. They have no need to...just enjoy the film! But for me, I can not thank everyone enough! Anyway, whether Sophie succeeds in the box office arena, I think it is up to the movie gods. However, at this point in time, I do want to say that we achieved a major goal already.
I think we were able to provide an open platform, this movie, for everyone involved to do something original, to add their thoughts and opinion to contemporary Chinese cinema. Our main star, by her very presence, granted all of us a chance to take a shot at the emerging Chinese genre film market space! Thanks Ziyi and Ling!
Goodness, just came back and wow! Saw that my last blog was from almost a year ago!!! Was working on Crazy Racer (Silver Medalist) then and now I am already on another movie. Time goes by so fast!!!! And Jing Jing is married!!!! No one told me!
Anyway, freezing in Beijing at the not so pretty smell old beijing Film studio sound stage working on this new flick.
Once we are all set up and proper. I intend on doing some blogging, updating what's going on with the shoot.
Was going to ask the Alive guys to do our movie's web site...but oh well....we still have time???
So tired!!! Sometimes I wonder why I ever even think about doing this movie thing!!! It's so stressful with everything forever in flux....
Well, Sliver Medalist is now in post production but that baby is not longer officially linked with me...thank you CFG....
One is being shot now in HK...a pretty big action film with Benny...but that one is on auto controlled as well. So not much stress there.
The next one I am setting up now is a pain....everyday we have hope that it will move forward...however, the next day...there's always another pain in the xss problem that will scuttle the whole project...
Tired and stressed out. No way I am going to do this forever...I think if I am lucky to have a few of these projects under my belt, I will quit while I am ahead...go make pizza or something for the rest of my life.
Meantime, it's good to be in HK...warm and humid!!! Beijing is crazy cold and dry.....yuck...and it's good to see friends here...
Well, happy holidays and hope this next project will fly...
Now back and forth between Xiamen and Beijing. Xiamen airline is actually decent. Alas, it's a pain to get a FFM card from Chinese airline. Well...seafood is fantastic in Xiamen. Of course the stir fry rice noodle..there is a small mom and pop stand outside our military inn...we are now regulars...the wife does a better job doing the noodles than the husband I must say.
Well, try to go to the beach next week. Maybe take some pictures as well.
Second day in Xiamen. Slept only 3 hours last night. We are staying at a military inn. At best a two stars.
Half way through the night...like around 4AM..the air conditioning went out...and the mosquitos started their run around my ears....
try to cover my face with a shirt but it was sweating hot....
Couldn't go back to sleep...and at six or seven, this senior tour group staying at the same floor was up and talking really loud.
Then construction next to the inn started....LOL
Xiamen is nice though. Blue blue sky. HOT! I am so happy because there is sun and no pollution.
Seafood is great! Fruits are great!
Well, as for work..we are 25 days countdown to start. Lots to do but as in everything in this biz...lots of hurry up and wait.
There are some great looking vintage streets here in Xiamen. I will upload photos when I can connect my phone to the laptop.
Good friend of mine...Hugo is having a show this weekend here in Beijing. Hugo is quite the photographer. His last exhibit was recetnly showcased in Shanghai.
Hugo likes to work with current local Beijing artists.
Sometimes I wonder. Am I here to make movie or to make money. I think now that I am older...but not wiser, I finally realized that I have no idea how to make money...let alone save money...
But I think I know a little bit about making movies. So I suppose I should just stick to it.
Making Chinese movies for the Chinese audience. Movies that are fun or entertaining! That's a brand new idea here!!! Deus forbids audience should be entertained in a Chinese film...hehe
Let's see how it will work out.
Jeez...was at a editing session until 3AM last night. Burning candles on both ends Beaver. This is going to be a killer week. Looks like 4 hours sleep a night and what's the point of going home...really?
Beijing is the place though if one wants to do films. Lots of talented people here taking their shot for the holy tomato!
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