Graduate moviemakers win at Hong Kong Film Awards
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Mr Billy Li Kwok-lam and Mr Henri Wong Chi-hang, graduates from the School of Creative Media (SCM) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), won the Best Art Direction Award and the Best Visual Effects Award, respectively, at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards.
Mr Li’s winning entry Our Time Will Come was directed by acclaimed Hong Kong filmmaker Ms Ann Hui On-wah. It’s about guerrillas resisting Japan’s occupation of Hong Kong in the 1940s. To ensure all props and scenes looked authentic, Mr Li and his team spent a lot of time on research.
However, it was difficult to find the required information. Much of it was lost or destroyed during the war. “We searched for more than a month to locate details about a Japanese gunship in the film. We finally managed to find the information on a website maintained by a US expert who collects ship designs,” Mr Li said.
Majoring in animation, Mr Li graduated from CityU’s SCM in 2006. “SCM’s training helped me a lot on art direction. Besides camera work and lighting, I learned how to use software to draw special props and scenes and print them out with a 3-D printer. I could also draw a work plan for my production colleagues to use when making the required props,” he said.
Mr Wong won his award for Wukong directed by another well-known local moviemaker, Mr Derek Kwok Chi-kin. It’s about how the legendary fictional figure Wukong rebelled against rules set by the Heaven and wreaked havoc before he became the Monkey King.
Mr Wong said he and his colleagues wished to imbue something new in the Monkey King character as the classic novel The Journey to the West had been filmed many times before. So the special visual effects that he and his team developed were designed to help tell the story rather than steal the spotlight. “Visual effects don’t mean simply pressing buttons on a computer. They should be part of the film language,” he said, thanking all his team members for their hard work and contributions to the visual effects designed for the film.
Since graduating from CityU’s SCM in 2002, Mr Wong has worked on many films including Ip Man 1, Ip Man 2, Gallants and As the Light Goes Out. He has been nominated several times before at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards.