Tuesday, May 04, 2004

[Ta Kung Pao & Sing Pao]

In preparation for the Olympic Games in August, TVB will begin airing some pre-games shows as of May and held a press conference to showcase its productions, inviting Legislative Councillor and President of the Hong Kong Sporting Association and Olympic Committee Mr Fok Chun Ting as a guest of honour. Together with the Athens Games Production Manager Wong Ka Leung and hosts including Joe Ma, Myolie Wu and Winnie Yeung, they held a ceremony to begin the hundred day countdown to the games. Other guests at the event included TVB's six "Olympic Stars" - Raymond Lam, Ron Ng, Sammul Chan, Bosco Wong, Kenneth Ma and Lai Lok Yi.

The "Ten Production Lead Up" includes fifteen episodes of "My Winner" that introduces some Chinese gold medal winners from past games such as Jiang Jiliang, Zhuang Yong, Lang Peng, Xu Haifeng, Li Xiaoshuang, Tian Liang and Hong Kong windsurfer Lee Lai Shan. When Wong Ka Leung was asked whether Fu Mingxia would appear, he says that as she is often not in Hong Kong, they have not been able to contact her, but TVB will keep trying. As for another show called "Number 1 Superstar Sport" and "Number 1 Superstar Water Sport" will feature all artistes at TVB, including the cast of the shows that will be airing at the time such as "Angels of Mission", "To Love with No Regrets" and "Virtues of Harmony". Even the variety show and children's show hosts will be taking part. Also the "Community Chest Olympic Walk" will be held in Kwun Tong with the roads sealed off and those taking part will include artistes and other celebrities, with a pledge from businessman Li Chak Kai to try and take part in this.

At the conference, Olympic coverage hosts Hon Yuk Ha and Chung Chi Kwong interviewed the "Six Stars", but Hon didn't know who they were! She had asked someone what their names were, but just before they turned the microphone on, she was still asking whether Sammul Chan was Ron Ng. Then she went on to call him 'Lam Kin Fung'! After the event, she asked for a photo with the six stars and got to know them one by one, but the six guys were in a playful mode as they confused her even more as Sammul said to her: "My name is Lam Fung!"

Although the six are rising stars, but sports commentator Hon still didn't know who they are. To this, Ray and Ron both say they don't mind. When they were asked whether Hon was asking their names off stage, Ron and Ray said that she was just asking what their English names were. They also pointed out that they are still newcomers and Hon is from the sports team, so it is not unusual for her not to know them.

Raymond reveals that after heading out to Kenya in June to film for "Wandering Hero Medics", he will be heading into the Mainland to film for "Tossing Rain Turning Cloud" and plans to be there for four or five months. He also sayss that even if he is working hard, he is still happy because this is a grand production. There are rumours that he was only offered this part because Louis Koo turned it down, but Raymond doesn't mind because he feels that this proves that the company has confidence in him. Last summer, he was also in China filming for "Twin of Brothers" staying there for a good half of the year, no wonder he has been awarded with the title of 'Chinese Ambassador of Hong Kong Artistes'.

At the event, they showed the music video for the TVB Olympic theme, sung by the six stars and Ron Ng indicated that he has been approached by a record company to record an album and is currently in discussions with them. In the meantime he will be continuing his singing lessons.

Myolie Wu and Joe Ma will be heading out on the 16th to Athens to film an Olympic special presentation and will stay there for eight days. She sayss that she has prepared some skincare products to prevent her from getting sunburnt. This is Myolie's first trip to Athens and she has prepared to put on a few pounds because there is a lot of fresh seafood to be savoured there. When the coverage begins in August, she will be in the studio hosting so she is currently swotting up on many sporting facts. Talking of her new show "Dreams of Colours" having a slow start to the ratings, with just 25 points, she says that maybe this is down to the fresh script and new faces, so the viewers have to ease into it. However she has been doing her own ratings estimate because the balcony at her apartment looks over at another apartment block and she has been looking out to check and she thinks that four out of every five families are watching her show, so the ratings shouldn't be too bad. As this is Myolie's first leading role, does she feel pressure? She laughs: "I have confidence. This is only the first week and there are many factors that affect the ratings, so I have tried my best."

Joe Ma was wearing shades at yesterday's event and this was because when he was filming on location for "One Beautiful Spear", he was stung by an angry mosquito, leaving his eyes red and puffy. As he will be heading out to Athens this month, he has made arrangements with the producer of his current series so as not to affect the schedule too much.

As a host for the Olympics this year, but missing out on a trip to Athens, Winnie Yeung is a little disappointed: "My husband originally thought I would be going and had arranged to go with me, so of course we are disappointed." In 1996, Winnie was covering the opening ceremony for the Olympics and was presented with a souvenir of the event. She laughs that as this is priceless, she treats it like the family treasure.

Yesterday also happened to be Sammul Chan's 26th birthday and after the press conference, a birthday cake appeared for him from the company to celebrate. He also received a birthday kiss from Winnie that was a lovely surprise for the birthday boy. As for how he would be celebrating, he says that he will be discussing an advertising deal over dinner because he has just received an offer to make a skincare ad. He would not reveal his fee, but says: "It is the cheapest fee because if it was expensive, no-one would ask me."

Talking of his birthday wishes, it is all to do with work because he does not want to think about love just now as it is his golden stage in his career. Not having dated for three years, Sammul says his first criteria for a partner is that they get on, for example he can be quiet and his girlfriend must be able to accept his silent times where he doesn't say very much and may seem distant.


Sammul: "I'm not Ng Cheuk Hai, he is!"*
Ron: "What? You don't even know us!"*
(*design caption)

[Oriental Daily]


[Oriental Daily & The Sun]


TVB's "Hard Fate" has been airing now for three weeks and in the shocking episode that was aired on Monday night depicting the suicide of Damian Lau and Mary Hon's characters, some graphic scenes of the two bodies after they fell from the building were shown that caused much discomfort among the viewers and the Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority received 23 complaints whilst TVB received another two from horrified viewers. Some complaints also mentioned that the show encouraged extra-marital affairs after watching Damian's character have an affair with Flora Chan's role.

A HKBA spokesperson indicated yesterday that family viewing times run from 4pm to 8:30pm and as this show was aired outside the family viewing times, then it did not break any immediate rules. However, the complaints committee will be investigating as to whether they will uphold these complaints.

In response to these complaints, producer Wong Sum Wai said in a telephone interview yesterday: "This scene was showed at around half past ten at night and was outside of the family viewing hours. The show also carried PG (Parental Guidance) warning that some scenes that may cause discomfort. Most adults should be able to accept the scenes, but I think that people just weren't expecting Damian to fall after Mary. This is all planned within the power of the drama that needed to be shocking and it certainly gave us the reaction we expected." She also adds that there is a code of practice within TVB with a group of internal censors who had passed this scene so she laughs: "Tell the viewers not to be afraid, it is all just acting!"

As for the complaints about encouraging men to have affairs, Wong points out that Flora's character was not aware of Damian's marriage when she dated him and in the end, she decides to leave him, so they are in no way condoning this behaviour. TVB General Manager Chan Chi Wan responded saying: "We would only air it if it was allowed to be broadcasted, but we will accept the views of the audience and learn from this incident." Reports suggest that in a similar scene in the classic series 'The Greed of Man' where Adam Cheng's 'Ding Hai' threw his sons off a building, there were some sensitive scenes that were cut, but it still led to complaints from shocked viewers.

When Mary heard about the complaints, she responded: "Really, oh dear! Maybe I was filming it so I didn't feel the impact it would have. [Em: No pun intended!] I felt that the scene looked great, but if my dead face scared anyone, I can only say sorry, but I was just serious towards my work. I remember that scene took three days to film and we were hanging from wires and it was really hard work. It was filmed on the top of a really tall building and we were so frightened as we filmed it, scared that we might really push each other off the building!"

Damian was unavailable for response as he is currently working in China.


[The Sun]

With a part in the controversial "Hard Fate", Kevin Cheng bumped into reporters at a jade store in Central, where he was taking time out to select a mothers' day present for his mum. With the intention of buying a present, he was met with praises for his performance from the shopkeeper, followed by complaints about the storyline as Kevin was left a little embarrassed. When the shopkeeper saw Kevin, she was so happy as she claimed him as her son, saying: "Your character is called Leung Ka Ming, my son is called Leung Ka Ming as well! My son, I have been supporting you, you are doing great! Keep up the good work! But after watching it for a bit, I don't like the storyline - Damian having affairs and having a child, it makes me so unhappy and it is affecting the image of the jade sellers. Can you feed it back for me?"

To this, Kevin defended the show saying: "Romantic affairs happen in every walk of life, not just in a particular trade. The TV shows just reflect life in general." Finally, the shopkeeper gave Kevin a discount as Kevin bought a jade bangle for his mother costing around a thousand dollars."


[The Sun]

Louis Koo has made many movies over the years and longs to win an award and since producing his own film "Naked Ambition", Louis has developed a strong interest in life behind the camera and is planning to join together with many experienced crew members to start a course with the aim of developing potential film crew.

Louis tells:

"I have been in the industry for coming up to ten years and have made a number of films. Many people have asked me if I long to win an award and have my own representative piece. To be honest, I would really like to win an award, but I am in no hurry, because having been in this industry for so many years, passing through so many stages, I know that this has to be a combination of the time and the place. Actually, each time I make a film, I do not think about whether this will win me an award. I just think about doing my best to put on a good show and justify it to myself and the investor.

"Take last year's 'Naked Ambition' for example, I put a lot of effort into it, but during the process, I found that there were a lot of things that I had never experienced or known about behind the camera. If I could learn more about these things behind the scenes, then it would be very useful for my work in front of the camera.

"Also, whilst working on 'Naked', I found that there are a lot of young people who have the potential to make a career in this industry, so I am planning to join with some colleagues who are experienced film makers to hold a training course for these newcomers and help to diversify the creativity in film making. As for those in front of the camera, I have always been spotting raw talent, take Ron Ng for example. He has a lot of potential in many areas and he should do well in this industry."


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