I became a director through muddled circumstances. Since I entered the film industry as an electrician, I had fantasized about being a director. But at the time there were no film schools in Hong Kong, so I can only learn on the job. After I became a gaffer, I would buy tea, coffee and snacks to visit the director as he edited the scene, in the hopes that he would take the opportunity to teach me a thing or two. But I never expected that after every director finished cutting their scene, they would just ask how I felt about it. After hearing my praise, they would eat and drink my offerings but teach me nothing.
Thereafter, I would still visit with food and drink as they edited, as before. But when the directors asked me how I felt about the scene, I purposely withheld my compliments. I even told them what garbage they were making. The directors were so angry that they would immediately defend themselves with everything they had learned from their overseas film schools, presenting me with their lessons. Then I would look dubiously at them, they would even tell me which elements are an imitation of which American master’s work and which passage is an homage to which French master….
From then on, before going to visit them in the editing room, I would first understand the style of a director, and purposely think of the things he least like to hear. As time went on, I became a director myself….
Wingle Chan Tung-chuen began his career with a desk job at Salon Film Company in Hong Kong in 1978. Coming into contact with people in film peeked his interest in the business. In 1982, he officially entered the film industry as an electrician, becoming a gaffer in 1984. The following year, he doubled as cinematographer, becoming a full-time director of photography in 1987. In 1992, he received a nomination as Best Cinematographer at the 11th Hong Kong Film Awards with Once Upon a Time in China (1991).
In 1991, Chan executive-directed All Men are Brothers Blood of the Leopard (1993) for director Billy Chan Fu-yee. He made his solo directorial debut a year later, with Law on the Brink (1994), followed by Enemy Shadow (1995).
Chan joined Super Impact Production in 1995, working as onlocation supervisor and cameraman for television series. In 1997, he became Head of Studio and Chief Associate Producer of China Star Entertainment’s Shenzhen Television Production Studio. Since 2000, he had been making television series in Mainland China full-time.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Enemy Shadow||MAK Tai Kit Peter|
||Law on the Brink|