Daniel Yu Wai-kwok entered the film industry after graduating from Hong Kong Polytechnic (now Hong Kong Polytechnic University) in 1982. In 1990, he partnered with actor Andy Lau to establish Team Work Production. Its first film, the stylish martial arts film Saviour of the Soul (1991), won Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction honors at the Hong Kong Film Awards. It was followed by Days of Tomorrow (1993), directed by Jeff Lau, and Tian Di (1994), directed by David Lai, both films produced by Yu, who went on to produce the 1995 release Bugis Street, directed by Yonfan and shot on location in Singapore.
Yu took over the helmer’s chair with the romantic comedy Thanks for Your Love (1996, Norman Law Man). He then produced, again under the auspices of Team Work, the Fruit Chan-directed Made in Hong Kong (1997), which became a milestone in the independent cinema of Hong Kong, and Chan’s sophomore project, The Longest Summer (1998), which consolidated Chan’s role as an important figure in turn-of-millennium cinema.
Between 2004 and 2006, Yu served as COO of Andy Lau’s company, Focus Film, overseeing all of Lau’s projects. In 2005, he helped launch First Cuts, a joint project by Focus Film and Star Chinese Movies Network, aimed at galvanizing Chinese language cinema by bringing filmmakers from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan together to produce features shot on HD. Its best known project is the Chinese film Crazy Stone (2006), an action comedy directed by Ning Hao that became a huge surprise hit. Released in the same year as Crazy Stone was Yu’s sophomore directorial film, All About Love (2006, co-directed with Lee Kung-lok).
In 2008, Yu moved to Beijing, turning his career focus on the Chinese market. He collaborated several times with Ning while embarking on the second phase of Final Cuts. He was involved in Lee Kong-lok’s My Ex-wife’s Wedding (2010) and Ning’s No Man’s Land (2013). The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman (2011), the first work of Final Cuts’s second phase, won Best New Director and Best Make-up and Costume Design at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards. Yu also co-produced Malaysian director Ho Yu-hang’s At the End of Daybreak (2009) and Glory Days (aka 7 Assassins, 2012), co-directed by Eric Tsang and Xiong Xin-xin.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||All About Love||LEE Kung Lok|
||Thanks for Your Love||LAW Man Norman|