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William Chang interview

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Joined: 28 May 2004
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Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:34 pm    Post subject: William Chang interview Reply with quote

I think he was a very important person to make "The Grandmaster", so I found this interview very interesting.

(I translated this interview with my interpretation, so some details might be slightly different.)

I think this explained William Chang (also about corroboration with Wong Ka Wai) quite well.

Interviewed in Berlin

Apple daily report

William Chang talked about going his own way

William Chang has been an art director and an editor for a lot of Wong Ka Wai Movies, and The Grandmaster is not an exception. As Tony said in the movie, "Kung Fu, two letters~~", art is the same in the way, however in case of art, it is unable to distinguish an entire mistake from doing things right. It is important to improve as much as you possibly can.
The most important thing is to carry out in accordance with your heart. Your judgment shouldn't be affected by any means by others' eyes."

He and Ka Wai has known each other for a very long time and been good friends, so they can understand each other without saying a word.

He has been engaged in this field for years, and received Hong Kong Academy Award for art direction, Golden Hourse award in Taiwan in the past, and also "ITMFL" was awarded Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
However, he was very modest and he answered with delight in this interview.

He doesn't talk a lot, fulfilled the artist's character, though he is very humorous, and eloquent.
If he sees, he will understand exactly what should be done. It is not heard with ears but is based on his experience.

Although the achievements of his arts are high, his fashion are casual. He laughed "when we shoot a movie all day long, shirts get dirty, so all we need are just comfortable shirt"
He is very relaxed in Berlin this time, so if there is time, he would like to loiter various places to get some inspiration.

When did he have a contact with movie for the first time?

After watching famous U.S. movie,"The Graduate" in which Dustin Hoffman was the main actor, I felt strange on the way back home, and found out that this movie caught my heart, since the technique of this movie was very different, watching this movie repeatedly next week, and then I started watching movies from different countries all day long.
I also determinded that I was going to take movie as my occupation then.

Confidence in making the world surprized

He had taken charge of an assistant director of some movies before he went abroad to study the theory of movie.

"In fact, since I was already involved with some movie making and knew the process, I did not feel the necessity of studying anything, however I liked the environment where movie was studied.
Although my father didn't agreed at first, he finally agreed to study movie in Canada for three years"

He has his own idea, he thinks "what I studied are seldom used, and all the theories are there to break them.The most important thing is making a movie which is worth watching"

He finished studying abroad for three years and returned, it was not so easy for him at first, he couldn't get any job connected with movies for about 2 years, then he got the opportunity to do work of art design on Director PatricTam's movie "Love Massacre" staring Brigitte Lin.
Referred to his confidence then "although I didn't understand why, I knew all very well, and nothing surprised me. I exaggerated contrast of color deliberately." After this one, his art direction won popularity, and then began the movie "Mongkok Carmen" with Wong Kar Wai.
Once we started, we got on very well, then became indispensable partners to each other.

"Even before Wong Kar Wai and me working together, we were already good friends over seven years, we were talking about movies with drinks every month. When he said he would like to work together with me one day, I accepted it straight away. It was wonderful when we were shooting this movie." Asking him about working with Wong Kar Wai for a long time ?
He said "Wong Ka Wai is very wise and solid. A tacit comprehension is already between me and him, so he doesn't have to say anything, I can understand what he is thinking.
That's why he sometimes ask me to help editing when he is busy".

According to his heart, not to be idle

Since the talk reached about editing, asked him who is an editor of the Grandmaster, about the opinion which many Chan Cheng's scenes were cut.
"I don't think you can say that. The performance scenes of Chan Cheng has not been reduced so much, however the scene of fighting with Tony Leung was not used".

As he already won a lot of prizes for art direction, he doesn't feel they are so important any more ? He said "nevertheless all the awards are encouragement".

Even though there are seldom opportunities for the newcomers of art direction recent years, is he considering a new generation's training ? "I also have got several newcomers to help me, however it is not something to teach. By looking at them, I can also learn something.
The most important principle of doing good work is not consider what others think, and love the work from bottom of your heart. I am consistently being so. Nothing is more important"

I asked about the rumor that he was really angry at a shooting location once, he admitted it. "Yes, I want to work with a wise person who can understand what should be done by just one word. Isn't it very normal ?
But now I am more careful about this side as well in past several years, and try not to be angry".

And I found this interview back in 2010 in English.

Last edited by Eri on Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William said ""The Graduate" changed my life -- it taught me how a film is not merely a tool for storytelling, but an art as well. After seeing it, I was determined to join the film business."

If he didn't watch this film, HK films' history would be different. I think "ITMFL" , "The Grandmaster" or any other films he was involved, were not up to the same level as they were.

I also like "The Graduate" even though I only watched it on TV when I was very little (so I couldn't understand everything) and later at a small cinema on revival showings.
The songs in this movie left me such a strong feeling, specially "Sound of Silence", I often played this song whenever I found a Jukebox (being nostalgic) without knowing what the lyrics mean.
Actually, I thought the title was "Sound of Sirens" (because they are exactly the same if written in Japanese) when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Embarassed Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing this interesting article and all your effort to translate it Very Happy, - William Chang is definitely one of the most important persons for shaping up the way WKW movies are thumbright .

About the "Sound of Sirens", haha, I remember it from one of the very first Simon and Garfunkel CDs I bought shortly came to US. It was so long ago Embarassed and now I am reminded all over again.

From your translated article, I managed to trace the original. For me, it's my way to learn Cantonese from English Wink







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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, yitian for the original article and nice photos. Very Happy

I put the original one first (copy & paste), but by some reason, all of them disfigured perhaps because of the font I used and couldn't read at all, so I deleted it. Rolling Eyes Anyway, it is nicer to read Chinese if it is possible. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Eri, for sharing and translating this interesting W.Chang interview
.......and Yitian, for the orig. article with pics , as well thumbleft
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:40 pm    Post subject: Plans for the future Reply with quote

Why does Tony want to work with Martin Scorsese?
Isn't his movies cruel?
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