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 HKCinemagic 2

Statistics :
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Interview Gordon Chan, from The Big Heat to A-1
First Option, The New Option 1/1 - Page 7
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin
David Vivier
Date : 13/1/2005
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Bruce Law Lai Yin
Tsui Hark
Michael Wong Man Tak
Shawn Yue Man Lok
Movies :
First Option
The New Option
Seven Swords
< Previous
Page 6 : Final Option, SDU, Michael Wong
Next >
Page 8 : Dante Lam

HKCinemagic: Final Option was followed by First Option (1996), then The New Option (2002). Why the sequels?
Gordon Chan: I didn’t expect to shoot the second one, the First Option. Actually, some British Navy officers approached me then because they saw what I did with the Army. They wanted me to do something for them. “You can use our boats!” they said.

So I came up with a solution. These SDU policemen would be fighting with another bunch of Special Forces. And 1997 was approaching. I thought everybody in the film should feel that 1997 is going to be a big obstacle ahead but they could tackle it, could face it. And not even Michael Wong, this gweilo, was going to get away from HK. He was going to stay! That was a 97 film, a film about 97. And I thought I should do it this way. But somehow, because of the schedule and everything, my film just kept on getting postponed and postponed. And eventually I lost the boats. All I got was the speed boat. Originally, the speed boats were supposed to be on loan for a big battleship. But eventually we failed to really make it happen.

However, First Option was the first film for which we ever tried Dolby synch sound. That was a time when I was so alarmed: Hollywood was coming we needed to be better, to protect our industry, otherwise we were going to die fast. And I fought really hard to ask for Dolby synch sound and ask for all the support. That was a very chaotic film.

So the film was postponed and we lost the British Navy support, and I got caught when I was doing these explosions by some policemen. And they decided to sue me; all these explosions were illegal.

HKCinemagic: You mean for the scene in the island at the end with the final attack?
Gordon Chan: Yes, what you see now was only two thirds of the film. The ending sequence wasn’t finished. And I was actually wanted by the police! They stormed my office, they tried to confiscate my film but I already put it somewhere else. I was like running around with my film stocks. And we were negotiating everyday on the phone. They said I broke the law, and I said “Yes, we’ve been breaking the law each time we do explosions in HK anyway, for like twenty years.”
HKCinemagic: But I guess in HK, they always did anything without permits.
Gordon Chan: Before, there were no permits. That was why I was looking so hard then for the film commission to allow permits.
HKCinemagic: Was Bruce Law in charge of explosions for First Option?
Gordon Chan: Yes. It was Bruce Law that the police wanted. But I refused to give up any names. I said to the police: “No, you’re not going to get hold of anybody, except me. If you want one guy to take responsibility for this, it is going be me, but you know you’re going to get a headline for this. I am going to walk in the police station with all the reporters. And I am going to ask the HK government why they don’t issue permits.”

And so we negotiated, and eventually, they gave in, and wanted to sue the film company for a fine. I said I’d pay for the fine.
HKCinemagic: Was it a substantial amount of money?
Gordon Chan: No, but then, my shooting permit was cancelled, and I couldn’t use firearms anymore. They cancelled my firearms permits too and we couldn’t shoot anymore. So I had to use whatever footage I had, we edited it and finished the movie. That was such a shame.
HKCinemagic: Indeed, there was a real potential there. The last part was very tactical.
Gordon Chan: Yes, because there was the plot with the bait, manoeuvres. That was gone.
HKCinemagic: You did The New Option in 2002, with Shawn Yue.
Gordon Chan: Yes, actually, that film wasn’t supposed to be a feature film at all, it was supposed to be a TV feature. It was a video production for televisions. Somehow, they thought it was good enough to put it out on big screens. Personally I disagreed.
HKCinemagic: It’s very confusing when I look at the credits on the DVD. What did you do actually?
Gordon Chan: It was supposed to be only a TV series. And somehow, they put it up on the screen. I was pretty pissed off actually.
HKCinemagic: I mean you actually shot the movie yourself?
Gordon Chan: No. Not at all. And they even put my name on it, on the director list. It was very strange. I went to see the distributor and asked: “What are you trying to do to my career?” (Laughing) I mean the idea was fun, but the execution sucked. It was a good idea and that film could be remade into a very good film if it was properly shot.
HKCinemagic: And Michael Wong got typecast again, he did a lot of SDU roles for direct-to-video films.
Gordon Chan: Yes.
HKCinemagic: Do you have news from him? Is he happy to do that kind of films?
Gordon Chan: No. Not at all. In fact, I am very happy for him, because he’d just done his first period HK film, as a Manchurian king in Tsui Hark’s Seven Swords.
Page :  1  2  3  4  5  6  7   8  9  10  11  12  13  Top
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Page 6 : Final Option, SDU, Michael Wong
Next :
Page 8 : Dante Lam

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