|Arthur Wong: First of all, read through the script many times, make sure you understand clearly.
Point number two is to have a very good communication with the director. Because you are you, he is he. What is his thinking? Maybe it is quite different from you imagine. That’s why you would not understand clearly how the director is going to make a movie in his way. And then, thirdly, use your heart. That’s it.
Another point: Understand the actors, who the lead is, etc. Different people act differently. So watch them during rehearsals. And maybe you’ll see the difference between the plan before and after, as the actor will act his way. So you have to adapt very fast.
This is the difference between HK movies and other countries. In the 1980s, the busiest period of the industry, a lot of time we didn’t have any script on hand. In the morning, the call time was 7 o’clock. The script would be faxed to the location at 9 o’clock. (Laughers) And then after the director read it he would say something new or very different from what was discussed the previous day. So you’d have to change very fast, adapt. This is the situation of HK movies. We don’t have very good preparation.
I don’t like this system. But I think it’s getting better and better. The money is tighter and tighter, so everybody has to be well prepared to save time and money on location. In the old days, every action choreographer would come up with the choreography on the set. But nowadays it’s different, you have to use video camera, pre plan everything and show it to the director: “in this scene we will fight like this or that.” He approves, and we go on location. We don’t have to think, just do it.