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Healing Hands III Discussion

Filed in TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, WorkTags:

Some readers saw my performance on tonight's episode of Healing Hands III (strangely enough almost exactly the same time in both Australia and Hong Kong) and requested that I open a discussion 'forum', so here it is. Feel free to chat away.

Please remember that I'll be away from Hong Kong for several days beginning Sunday. Consequently, there may be fewer updates to the blog until I get back.

Filed in Press, TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, Work, 中文文章Tags:

拍戲最辛苦的是甚麼?是由下午五點一直拍到凌晨五點十一個小時?是每天上班的時間不一樣,讓你在生活上安排別的活動有必定的困難?或是工作不穩定,不知道下一個月的租金從那兒來?雖然這些因素都有,卻不是最辛苦的。最辛苦的就是等。

昨天,我們開始一連五天拍幾場武打戲。每場有兩個人在場中對打,而旁邊還有二十多人觀看,分別有第一組,第二組和評判們。拍武打也不簡單。每個動作,每個角度,每個反應都需要分開拍,而且需要拍得既刺激又好看,絕對不容易。

在打場中間對打的演員和身邊幾個武術指導當然很忙,但在旁邊的演員就很難過,就是因為要等。只是鏡頭見到我們在後邊的時候,我們才要工作,做出合適的反應。這沒有辦法,我們也都明白。拍戲拍了那麼多年,我們知道這種場景是怎麼樣的,上班以前已經有心理準備,也準備好了一些東西能幫我們渡過這個晚上。

但是,電視攝影廠也不是一個十分安全的地方。雖然我們希望每個人都信得過,可是這個世界上哪個地方沒有壞人?所以比較貴重的玩具,例如手提光碟機,電子遊戲機,電腦,我們都不太敢帶來。

只不過十一個小時真是很長的時間。怎麼過呢?有些人談天說地,談幾個小時也不成問題,還有人看書或看報紙,還有人玩手提電子遊戲機‭ ‬(很小的,可以放落口袋裡),也有人唱歌又或者聽音樂,當然也有人睡覺。但是不論怎樣都好,要等的時候,十一個小時就是很久很久。

雖然在等的時候應該可以做很多不同的活動,但始終做不到想像中那麼多。可能這個情況跟去外家的家一樣。雖然大家的關係很好,但談話的時候談了十分鐘就已經沒話說了,而就算已帶著自己的玩具在身,仍然沒有興趣玩。始終,地方不是自己的,就沒有那種舒服感,那種安定。所以在攝影廠拍這種旁觀戲的時候,大部份的時間就只有等。

等得久了,人的腦子很容易停頓,麻木的感覺也會有。但在一個演員做戲的時候,腦子一定要維持清醒。如果沒有精神就很難演好戲。身為一個專業的演員,怎麽可以讓這種情況出現呢?

不過我們已經算好了。我們這次只要忍四五天,而且還可以選擇一邊等一邊做我們的小活動。有很多人,他們的工作每天基本上就是等。很多老人家在沒有其它「搵食」方法之下只好做看更的工作‬,而他們工作的環境需要他們獨自工作,亦沒有機會跟別人一起。我覺得這樣的工作是一種折磨。就算像我一個人不需要經常有人陪自己,但怎麼能每天都過那樣孤獨的生活呢?

我做不到。你呢?

「情迷黑森林」 Thomas and I

Filed in TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, WorkTags:

This is a photo of Thomas Lui and myself. Thomas is the chief pastry chef at the Marriot Hotel. He's a great guy and incredibly talented when it comes to pastry and chocolate. Every cake and chocolate creation you see in the show was made by Thomas, with great attention to detail. He loves his work and he never settles for less than perfect.

I remember one night filming at the studio. My scene was the second-last scene of the night but rather than leave and go home straight away, I decided to wait until they had finished the last scene so that I could get one of the cakes that had been made for that night's shooting. Sure enough, after every scene had been filmed, I was able to leave with half a cake; the producer took the other half. It was no ordinary cake, not the fluffy kind you normally see in shops and restaurants. This cake was made of yoghurt and something else that I can't remember at this point. You'll probably see it in the series. The cake was absolutely heavenly to eat. My family loved it as much as I did. It was possibly one of the best cakes I've ever eaten in my life!

By the way, the orange 'wall' that you see in front of Thomas and myself in the photo is in fact a sponge cake! All of the cartoon adornments on the front of the cake are made of chocolate, made by Thomas of course.

Thomas and I

One more thing. If you watched the first episode of the TV series, you should have seen the cake that 高根 made for his son. It was a taxi cake. Thomas in fact made a taxi cake for his baby boy a few years ago, so you can see where the idea came from. In Thomas' case, the taxi was full of chocolates and other nicities. Thomas has also made a Kowloon bus cake for his son's birthday. He's an amazing guy.

「情迷黑森林」宣傳#2

Filed in Events, TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, Work, 中文文章Tags:

我們「情迷黑森林」的人明天(六月五日禮拜天)將在尖沙咀再做宣傳活動,下午二點三十分在美麗華酒店對面的柏麗大道。

「情迷黑森林」宣傳

Filed in Events, TVB (H.K.) 香港無線電視, Work, 中文文章Tags:

我有份拍的「情迷黑森林」在下個星期一在香港開始播。現在我坐著公司車到萬豪酒店去,為這個劇集做宣傳。我有點兒開心因為有機會再見劇集的顧問厨師阿 Thomas 。劇集內的朱古力和蛋糕大多數都是由他親手做的。

這個劇集是我在 Los Angeles 讀演戲之後第一個機會試我學了的演戲方法,所以我對我在這個劇集內的表現好有興趣。

我們開始!

“Perfume” 「香水」; my Prologue

Filed in Events, Perfume 香水 (2005), Work

It's been three weeks since "Perfume" 「香水」 finished, enough time to feel the after-show depression and get over it again. I always enjoy the stage performances. They are the rare opportunity for me to share time with the same group of people over an extended period of time, an opportunity to discover new friends.

"Perfume" was no exception.

Terence 鄭傳軍, the director, is himself an actor with five years of study at the Hong Kong Institute of Performing Arts. He was very particular with every aspect of the play and gave advice or requests to the actors frequently but also respected their need for room and freedom to try their own methods of expression. He did a terrific job with Josie who was simply great on the stage.

Josie 何超儀 has been acting for an eternity but almost always on film. Acting for stage is different and she had to adjust. She's a smart lady though and she worked hard to become the best she could be. It showed. I guess I was lucky on this occasion. When I began working with these people, I had no pre-conceptions about them, their abilities or their personalities. I was starting from scratch. I knew Josie's background but that was all I knew and it didn't affect my relationship with her.

Josie's a marvel. She has many serious physical debilitating problems and she never lets them hold her back. Her mind is as strong as steel and she works as hard as a horse to get whatever she wants. And she doesn't have a single hint of arrogance in spite of her family background and her success in the film world. It's no wonder she has the respect of her peers.

Alice 劉雅麗 was wonderful. She has years of stage acting experience and no character is too big a challenge for her. I'd heard of her a few times over the years that I've been in Hong Kong but I've never worked with her, and I've never seen her performances. It's a pity because she's really a great actor.

Gary 譚偉權 is remarkable. If anyone needs a model of hard work and determination, they need look no further than Gary. He gave up his work in TVB several years ago because they were holding him back, confining him to the children's program. Now he has a full time day-time job and pursues his true love at night; ie, acting. Every day during rehearsals, Gary would work a full eight-hour day at his day-time job and then rehearse with us for four hours in the evening. He's proven that actors can continue to act if they really want to, even if they have to work a day-time job to put food on the table.

Four hard working actors without arrogance, malice or envy all working hard and cooperating to make the best production possible. It's no wonder we became friends.

Sally 林愛心 and Shirley 梁雅芝 were wonderful to work with. If you saw the show, you probably saw them dressed in black walk up onto the stage to stand with us at closing before we left the stage; two wonderful and hard working girls. They faced multiple challenges every day, and they did it without complaint. They were usually over-worked and tired but always wore a smile none-the-less.

It was a great team. I'm proud to have been a part of it.

The play was an original, written by 喻榮軍, a playwright from Shanghai. It was written for a Mandarin audience and we had to make changes; both from a language standpoint and from a content standpoint; for the Hong Kong audience. That said, the playwright did a great job with the play, creating something that was interesting, intriguing and entertaining to watch. That's not an easy feat and the playwright should be commended for his achievement.

Unfortunately, there was one aspect of the play with which I didn't totally agree. Many of the audience found it confusing that Gary and I would suddenly and so obviously be gay partners at the end of the play. It was clearly out of sync with the rest of the story. As actors, there's only so much we can do to control the result of the play. In the end, we have to listen to the demands of the director and the company executives. In this case, it was the company executives who requested this particular ending; albeit in the best interests of the play. They thought that Hong Kong audiences would be entertained by this comical result, and in fact, many audiences were entertained by the ending. Unfortunately, they were also confused. If there is ever a re-run of the play, perhaps they can polish the ending a little to keep it entertaining without the confusion. It won't be easy but they're smart people so anything is possible.

For me, the question now is one of waiting, waiting for the next opportunity to perform on stage. In many ways, it's superior to working for television or film because you're given every opportunity to develop the character, to always be working with your partners on set, and to always perform the role from start to finish without interruption. It's a great way to act.

My first stage performance was in 1997 with "Magic is the Moonlight" 「上海之夜」. My second performance was in 2002 with the "Teresa Tang Forever" musical 「但願人長久鄧麗君音樂劇」. "Perfume" 「香水」 was my third stage performance. Hopefully, I won't have to wait long for my fourth stage performance.

Big sets, big wait

Filed in Work

I'm currently sitting in studio 15 at TVB City. We've just had dinner and we're ready to continue filming tonight's scenes of 阿旺新傅.

Tonight's filming typifies some of the most difficult moments for an actor. The set is a fashion show involving six or seven primary actors, several supporting actors and more than thirty extras. To complicate things further, the fashion show involves twenty different sets of clothes. We've been filming for three hours and we've only filmed six sets of clothes with fourteen sets to go. It's going to be a long night.

The actor faces two problems under these circumstances. The first is boredom and consequently fatigue because of the frequent and sometimes long waits between shots. Fatigue is one of the actor's biggest enemies. When the actor tires or becomes fatigued or lethargic, acting well becomes very difficult. Great acting requires concentration and energy.

The other problem is that many non-contiguous shots are usually filmed together. It's faster this way because the lights and camera position don't have to change significantly between shots. It's a challenge for actors though because they have to maintain realism even though there's no acting prior to the shot; ie, it can be difficult to get into the mood of the moment.

We'll probably be filming until 4am while most people are sensibly sleeping in their beds, possibly with the sound of never-ending rain in the background (which by the way is one of my favourite sounds).

One last thing for you to think about. Five hours of filming this fashion show will probably produce just three or four minutes of television programming. All of tonight's filming will produce just fifteen to twenty minutes of programming. And people wonder why the industry is worried about piracy and BT!

(this article was written and sent from my Nokia phone)

An unofficial “Perfume” poster

Filed in Events, Perfume 香水 (2005), Work

I took quite a few photographs during rehearsals of "Perfume". While I was on stage, Gary would take control of the camera. One of his photographs was extremely impressive and I used it to create this poster. People attending the play might have seen the full A3 version just outside the theatre entrance. It looks great, especially at A3 size on photographic paper.

Perfume poster