My knowledge of pop culture is poor, I admit with no shame; it’s never been good, in fact. So when I was asked to shoot the making of a movie starring one Zhang Ziyi and one Wang Leehom, I said “Who?”, much to the consternation of the people who were thinking of hiring me.
To my detriment. I found both stars to be highly professional, warm, friendly people. Wang gets an extra tick in my book for being a environmentalist, as well as for his efforts to preserve the musical traditions of various minority cultures. They were making a movie (tipped to be the next biggest Chinese hit) called “My Lucky Star” and I was there to shoot the making-of.
Working in a popular movie set environment was a new experience for me. This environment was unique in that the crew comprised of Americans (director Denny Gordon and director of photography Armando Salva), mainland Chinese (actors, actresses, various managers), and Hong Kongese (most of the production crew). Needless to say, this linguistic melange resulted in constant communication difficulties, the most amuzing of which being Dennie’s habit of ending a scene with New deal!, which to Hongkongese ears sounds like the f-word in Cantonese.
Worthy of mention was the Jacky Chan action team, who managed the action, the stunts, and just seemed to love what they were doing, and Sunny Chan’s dancers – I loved what they were doing….