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Interview with Wong Jing, guru of mainstream cinema
From TV to the Shaw Bros 1/1 - Page 1
Info
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin
Date : 10/12/2007
Type(s) : Interview
 
 Intext Links  
People :
Chu Yuan
Wong Tin Lam
Movies :
Challenge Of The Gamesters
Companies :
Shaw Brothers
 
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Page 2 : Wong Jing, the businessman


Expert in recycling trends and box office successes, multi-hyphenate director-writer-producer-actor Wong Jing has made in the last decades some of the funniest and most entertaining flicks in Hong Kong. Well, he actually made a lot so of course some are good – he wrote 115 films, produced 120 and directed 83. Among those reels a few are extremely entertaining and engaging. We don’t talk about great movies or classics here with the prolific Wong, but of guilty pleasure and good time. Wong’s confessed many times his desire to entertain the masses, and make a living in the process, while despising any form of art.

In our interview conducted end of 2007, Wong reveals his influences, his business tricks, what he thinks of egoistic filmmakers and audience, his special brand of humour (called ‘mo lei tau’), and his favourite film genre.

beginnings

HKCinemagic: Did your father Wong Tin-lam, a renowned veteran filmmaker, helped you to become a director?

Wing Jing: No, actually I started my career without teaming up with my father. I started my career as a variety show writer and a comedy writer on TV. After that I wrote for serial drama of all kinds, TV dramas. Then after a lot of popular TV shows, I started in the film business and direct films in 1980.
In the beginning I was a screenwriter, I then directly became a director. I didn’t have any time to be assistant director (AD). Normally in HK, you become a director after being an AD for a while. But sometimes a famous actor or choreographer can become director.


Wong Tin Lam (with Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Lam Suet)

My first film was The Challenge of the Gamesters [produced] by the Shaw Brothers. After that I have directed almost 90 films and produced more than 150 titles, and I wrote a lot.

Actually I am not my father’s student. I’ve never learnt anything from him. I learnt by myself and other director. I learnt a lot from films by other directors like Chu Yuan. But I am not his student. I watched his films and sometimes asked questions, like” why are you doing this?” “What is your purpose?” “How do you do it?” Stuff like that.

 
HKCinemagic: Did you work on some of Chu Yuan’s films?
Wong Jing: I was making my own movies and he was making his at the same time. I respect him so he liked me. We always stayed together to chat. Actually he taught me a lot of things, the philosophy of the film business. Not the technical part but the politics: how you stay in this business, how you trick those actors and investors.

Wong Jing (right) in The Challenge of the Gamesters, the first Gambling Movie of the director
HKCinemagic: You have different jobs: director, writer, producer etc. Which side of the film business do you prefer?
Wong Jing: It makes no difference. It all depends on what is needed.
 
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