Andy Lau and Jiang Zhiqiang talk about the boss: there must be a storm when the boss joins forces

Andy Lau
    Mr. Lau said of Mr. Lau: "We choose investment projects from different angles, and we admire Boss Liu’s taste." Mr. Lau said of Mr. Jiang: "On the premise of doing business, Mr. Jiang can still maintain the quality of movies, which is what I want to think about." Mr. Lau and Mr. Jiang have a clear division of labor: one focuses on quality, the other controls the commercial market. The audience may be the biggest beneficiary.
    One is a superstar, the other is a behind-the-scenes boss; one has helped promote new directors such as Ning Hao and Guo Zijian to the top, one has introduced big directors such as Li An and Zhang Yimou to the international market; one has lost all his wealth due to investment in movies and had to make ten movies a year to pay off debts, one has done countless successful commercial blockbusters but at the same time does not forget to dig up newcomers to invest in art theaters; one has invested and won countless awards, one has invested, applauded and won…
    The two bosses are Andy Lau and Jiang Zhiqiang. In recent years, their films have monopolized the Hong Kong Film Awards. Andy Lau’s Yingyi Entertainment’s "The Ring" and "Sister Tao" won the best film in 2011 and 2012 respectively; Jiang Zhiqiang’s "Anle Film" became the biggest winner of this year’s Academy Awards.
    If they join forces, what kind of storm will it set off in the Chinese film industry?
    Since the beginning of the film directed by new Hong Kong director Yuan Jinlin, the two "bosses" have attracted much attention in the industry because of their first collaboration. The reporter recently interviewed the two "bosses" and listened to their behind-the-scenes stories of cooperation. From their accounts, you will find that although they have many different judgments and opinions on film projects and markets, there is one thing in common, that is, for them, film is not just a business. And they are willing to admit that they are not the kind of "smart" boss.

Jiang Zhiqiang on the set of "Storm"
A storm of two bosses.
    When working on "Storm", Andy Lau and Jiang Zhiqiang have a clear division of labor: one focuses on quality control, and the other controls the commercial market, each performing its own duties. Lau Dehua said that this cooperation is more like a learning for him, he is learning how to "maintain the quality of the film under the premise of doing business." Jiang Zhiqiang said that after bringing Boss Liu in, he does not have to worry about the quality of the film, because "he admires Boss Liu’s taste in movies." For such cooperation, the audience may be the biggest beneficiary. As a police film, the investment scale of "Storm" is as high as 80 million Hong Kong dollars (the same below). The two bosses are willing to spend money, hoping to open up a new pattern of police and gangster films.
Andy Lau: I’m studying, because no one has the responsibility to play with you
How is "The Storm" different from other police films?
    Reporter: As a police and gangster film, in addition to shooting in 3D, what is the difference between "Storm" and other police and gangster films?
    Andy Lau: This time, although "Storm" is an action movie, we have added a lot of emotional things, and there are a lot of literary dramas. I think these really happen in your life. Even if you take away all the action, it is still a good movie. But the action we shot, I think it should also appear in Chinese movies.
    Reporter: Is there a lot of action scenes in it? I saw the trailer and it was quite popular.
    Andy Lau: Yes. We’ve been talking about doing action scenes, but I don’t think everyone’s perspective has been opened up. Of course, this opening up may also be related to the investment scale of the entire film. The investment in this film is very large, but I think it is in line with the proportion. Originally we hoped to control the budget at around 60 million to 70 million, but because we made that scene, we increased the investment. The quality of the film itself is good, but I don’t know what will happen to the next release.
Clear division of labor with Boss Jiang
    Reporter: In the past, when you were the boss, you might have placed more emphasis on production control. The quality of the films you produced or invested in was mostly guaranteed, but from the perspective of market distribution, did you pay less attention to them?
    Andy Lau: I don’t have the ability to pay attention to so much, so I can only leave it to others to do it. If others do well or not, they won’t lose much because they didn’t invest. Now the issuer is Boss Jiang, who invested with me. I think he will be very attentive, and I am also studying now. I will sit and watch what he does.
    Reporter: Is there any inspiration?
    Andy Lau: Yes. It’s like the media said that if a certain theater chain didn’t cast our movie, that theater chain would have less production – these things I didn’t understand before. This kind of thing used to make me angry. But now I don’t face it, let Boss Jiang face it. I will try my best to do my own thing well.
    Reporter: Your division of labor is very clear.
    Andy Lau: Yes, very clear. He also has my ability. He is the boss who can check the quality. In fact, I have always worked with him to adjust the quality of movies, including the later "Chills".
    Reporter: I heard that the script of "Cold War" was given to you first, and you recommended it to Boss Jiang?
    Andy Lau: I recommended it to him. Later, I also invested a little and made a little money, and then the money I made was invested in this movie. I am studying, because no one has the responsibility to play with you, they are all in business. On the premise of doing business, Mr. Jiang can still maintain the quality of the movie. This is what I have to think about. You can’t keep talking about the quality, and the movie has to be sold!
    Reporter: How to achieve a balance between business and quality.
    Andy Lau: Yes, this is difficult, really difficult.
    Reporter: It was also very popular back then.
    Andy Lau: This is something we can’t continue. If I want to make a film in China Film, I have to sell it out, and I have to invest 20 million in the next film. I don’t have the ability yet. I voted for "Chills", and I will help you control the quality. In the end, I made a little money, and then I can continue to invest. Before, my company didn’t dare to make more than 25 million movies, but now I dare to make 50 million just because someone is with me. You can calculate it here first. If I make 25 million, maybe I will make 5 million, but when I make 50 million, I find this friend, I can make 10 million, he makes 5 million, I make 5 million – I still make 5 million, but I can make 50 million movies.
    Reporter: It will make your idea more achievable.
    Andy Lau: Yes.
    Reporter: Then it sounds like Andy, you really don’t seem like a businessperson.
    Andy Lau: I don’t want to do business. As soon as I do business, I will get angry. I don’t understand, but if someone helps me take control.
As a producer, I will not lose my temper on site.

    Reporter: Boss Jiang said just now that as a producer, you are very strict, including what you just said about controlling quality. Will you give the director some advice when shooting on site?
    Andy Lau: Not when shooting. I will pass the script in the early stage, and I will strictly control the editing in the later stage, which is very strict. I control the editing of almost every play I cast, including "Storm". Of course we are a team. But the director must be really capable to come up with such a result in the end. For example, sometimes when we cut a place, the director will feel very strange and say that it is art. Would you like to take 30 million less at the box office? We have to face this reality. If you are the boss, the responsibility lies with you, so I have to start to adjust it slowly and then discuss with the director. So I just control it in the early stage and later stage, not on the spot. Because he is a new director, if you scold him today, every actor will scold him tomorrow, and others will not give him face.
    Reporter: The new director will indeed have such problems, especially this time there are so many big names in the play, and his voice over is very important.
    Andy Lau: Yes, so I will do what he says, whether I am happy or not. I will tell him after the shoot, hey, you were wrong today, you know? But I will never say it at the scene. If I lose my temper at the scene, I will say sorry to him in front of everyone tomorrow.
    Reporter: It is to establish the director’s absolute authority on the scene. Do you think that being a producer is much harder than being an actor?
    Andy Lau: No. Because if I wasn’t a producer, I wouldn’t have lost that temper. I shouldn’t have used my status as an actor to lose that temper. Because other actors will make irresponsible remarks and won’t even give him face. This is very important.
Jiang Zhiqiang: New attempt, because no one has seen the 3D version of the police movie

I admire Andy Lau’s taste in film selection
    Reporter: This time with Andy, have you found anything unexpected about him as a boss?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: He is very serious about his life and work. After I worked with him, I found that we have a lot in common: First, we have a common pursuit of movies, the pursuit of good movies, and the two of us are very, very consistent in this regard. At the beginning, we would ask each other some questions, but now we don’t need to ask each other. Why did we spend so much money in the end, why did we encounter so many problems in the middle, and why are we still good friends in the end? It is because everyone pursues the same goal.
    Reporter: I was just joking with Andy that Boss Jiang’s films made more money, but he made less money. Then he said that’s why he worked with Boss Jiang. Did you observe how he learned during your collaboration?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: Actually, Boss Liu often looks at scripts from the perspective of an actor, while I often look at those scripts from a commercial perspective. For example, why does he like "Sister Peach"? Because if he looks at it from an acting perspective, he will think that "Sister Peach" is too enjoyable. This kind of enjoyable thing doesn’t necessarily sell for money, but it must be an awesome movie. Including "The Ring", the play is really enjoyable. So, he looks at it from another angle and thinks the script is great. I often don’t have his taste. I usually go to see if this movie is a commercial movie. So I admire his taste. Of course, everyone knows that not every movie makes money. Everyone misses sometimes. He misses sometimes, and I also miss sometimes. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this.
    Reporter: Many of his films are of good quality.
    Jiang Zhiqiang: Yes, God is very fair. If you do good things, people will still agree with you.
The more noisy, the more tacit understanding, the better friends you can become
    Reporter: Collaborating with the film "Storm", do you feel that he, as the boss, will pay more for this drama in terms of acting?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: No, he pays a lot for each of his films. He is very serious about his life, and he must work hard to do what he promises others. Either he doesn’t agree, he will do his best as soon as he agrees. He is very principled…
    Reporter: Have you ever disagreed? Who do you listen to?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: There are many. We are all reasonable people. If I see anything unreasonable, I will tell him one by one, and if he sees any dissatisfaction, he will tell me one by one immediately. Because everyone’s goal is the same, they are all for the good of this movie. You say yours, I say mine, then discuss it. So I object to many of the things he mentioned, but I have to give my reasons.
    Reporter: What issues do you usually object to?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: I will object to many things in the play, such as whether this movie should be done like this, whether this dress should be worn, whether the dialogue should be said like this, whether there should be this scene, a lot. The movie is a team of hundreds of people, so we often encounter a lot of problems, but the more we make trouble, the more tacit understanding, the better we can become friends. Because we are all focused on the issue rather than the person, our goal is to make a good movie. Some things he agrees with, some things I agree with, and this will happen.
The 3D version of the police movie is a new attempt
    Reporter: Andy said that although "Storm" is a gangster movie, it will be very different from other gangster movies?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: Yes. It is the background of a police officer and a bandit, but it is actually a super blockbuster. At that time, Andy talked to the director, and the director also told him that Hu Jun has three sentences in the play, which means that in today’s society, the law is becoming more and more sound and more protected, and many people use the law to protect themselves. So this police officer is forced to a desperate situation. How should he enforce the law in this lawless world? That is to say, the psychological state of this police officer when he encounters this matter. There are some things he should or should not do, many of which are internal things.
    Reporter: So Andy said that the literary drama will also be very beautiful.
    Jiang Zhiqiang: Yes. Because now every movie cannot be supported by action alone, it must have emotions in it. "Chills" has no action, but there are plays in it. We hope this one can be better than "Chills".
    Reporter: Where is the freshness of the 3D police film for the audience?
    Jiang Zhiqiang: It is because everyone has not seen the 3D version of the police and gangster movie. I think there are many movies that have been changed to 3D, such as Jackie Chan’s, which should not be considered a police and gangster movie. But the audience is watching new things now, which is fresh and exciting, so we are also thinking in this direction and want to make some new attempts. For example, why does Tsui Hark still shoot 3D? I also want to create something new.

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