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Interview Gordon Chan, from The Big Heat to A-1
Comedies and Stephen Chow 1/2 - Page 3
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin
David Vivier
Date : 13/1/2005
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Stephen Chow Sing Chi
Movies :
King Of Beggars
< Previous
Page 2 : D&B, Heart to Hearts
Next >
Page 4 : Fight Back to School

HKCinemagic: Your first seven movies were comedies.
Gordon Chan: Yes. Nobody ever believed I could do it actually. (Laughing)
HKCinemagic: And you even did three comedies with Stephen Chow.
Gordon Chan: Yes.
HKCinemagic: Is it very hard to make a comedy, to find the right tempo?
Gordon Chan: I still think comedy is the hardest kind of film to shoot. It’s so difficult. For action scene, you plan it, you choreograph it, you really think about and you come up with a picture in your mind. You basically can know what the reaction [of the audience] will be. But when you come up with lines of comedy, you don’t know if the audience will like it or not, even if you make a big laugh on the set, or even [if it works] in one country or one city.
HKCinemagic: There is a kind of chemistry that needs to operate.
Gordon Chan: Yes and there is also the cultural difference. So I still think comedy is very difficult. And it is always fragile. A good action film is always a good action film. For a comedy, the audience’s reaction changes with time. Two years ago, when you looked at a comedy, you found it funny. Two years later you hate it because it’s so politically incorrect. And why would you be laughing at people that way. Talking about political correctness is also a very difficult thing for character comedy to go on. It’s tough to find something to laugh about for a long time.
HKCinemagic: You can shoot a scene and have fun and on the big screen, the result is disappointing.
Gordon Chan: Yes, it’s not correct anymore, it’s not funny anymore. So it’s difficult. And to shoot a good comedy, you need a different type of film shooting. You have to create an environment; you have to create a sense of humour around the set. Camera movements, framing and tempo are also important.
HKCinemagic: Is it one of the reasons you added action sequences in your comedies?
Gordon Chan: I think it helps the comedy to have a longer life span. That way you can release the pressure from the comedy a bit. And it’s tough. I was always used to say no wonder the comedians are always these kind of goofy guys. They always behave a little bit different. Take Mr. Bean or Stephen Chow… And people will always say: “How would they behave like that?” And I’d say “Imagine your whole career is dedicated to making people laugh.” It’s a very scary thing.
HKCinemagic: And it’s very difficult to stay…
Gordon Chan: … funny.
HKCinemagic: Stephen Chow is the king of comedy in HK. You’ve done a few films with him from Fight Back to School to King of Beggars. How was your collaboration with him? Was he very much involved on the set?
Gordon Chan: He was. He had to. He had a lot of input. In fact what I did was I was creating all these situations for him to react. I wasn’t the one who decided how he should react. I was the one who created all the wheres and whats. And he could say: “OK, this is good for me. Alright, this is fun and that is fun.” And of course, I’d usually come up with some lines, the major points [in the story]. For some actors I would fix a path, for Stephen I would have to make a big road, so he can really manoeuvre.
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Page 2 : D&B, Heart to Hearts
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