Paying tribute to the quintessence of the country in a "modern" way - I filmed the Peking Opera movie "Suo Lin Sac"

    Zhang Huoding pretends to be a kind-hearted rich lady Xue Xiangling

    Director Teng Junjie is talking to Zhang Huoding about the shooting rules

    Zhang Huoding's most famous water sleeves, the movie takes a long shot in one go

    Recently, I have a whole block of time to review and summarize the creation of the Peking Opera film "Suo Lin Sac", which was filmed on the eve of the Spring Festival. Before my eyes, I flashed back the origin of this film project, the twists and turns after its launch, the final decision, and the whole process of filming... While I was looking through the broken script of "Suo Lin Sac", I talked about the special past, filming Details and smooth completion are doing some text thoughts.

    1 get on the horse

    In the autumn of 2018, I was officially assigned the task of directing the Peking Opera film "Suo Lin Sac", starring Zhang Huoding, an outstanding contemporary successor of the Cheng School of Peking Opera and a professor at the Chinese Academy of Opera.

    We have worked together for a long time, but it was only a few TV video work exchanges. Really sitting together to comprehensively study and collaborate on a play and a movie started from the national "Peking Opera Film Project" and "Suo Lin Sac" project special meeting held in Beijing in October 2018. At that time, Zhang Huoding said to me: "Director Teng, I have seen the 3D panoramic sound Peking Opera films Farewell My Concubine and Cao Cao and Yang Xiu directed by you, and I feel very good." I said, "Thank you Huoding. You The Cheng style art, rhythm and rhythm, the integration of human and drama, is full of weight." The meeting finally made the decision to officially launch the Peking Opera movie "Suo Lin Sac", and listed the rehearsal of the whole play, the performances in Beijing and Shanghai, and the movie's launch. Detailed schedule for filming and official release.

    However, plans have not kept pace with the changes. The actual start time is constantly changing due to the impact of the epidemic and so on. As a director, I have repeatedly studied with the producer, Shanghai Film Group, the China Academy of Opera, Shanghai Radio and Television, and the Capital Jinghu Art Research Association, adjusted and optimized the rehearsal and shooting plans according to the situation; The backbone went to the China Academy of Chinese Opera in Beijing to hold a special meeting and conduct "sand table battles"; in addition, Zhang Fan, the director of the Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre, was invited to participate in the pulse and support. The Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre will also send more than 30 actors to participate in the filming of the film.

    Although the situation is changing and the epidemic is ups and downs, the rehearsal of Zhang Huoding and the actors is still advancing firmly. During this period, I watched two official performances of Zhang Huoding in Beijing and Shanghai respectively. In Beijing Chang'an Grand Theater and Shanghai Grand Theater, whether it is at the entrance before the opening, in the theater, or in the square after the show, you can directly feel the enthusiasm, affirmation and love of Zhang Huoding's performing arts from the heart of the performance market. And bring the "burst" boiling point.

    2 military orders

    The shooting time was finally set on January 4, 2022, and it will be completed by the end of the month, that is, before the Spring Festival. The location is Ningbo Xiangshan Film and Television Base, which is currently one of the benchmarks of domestic film and television production.

    New Year's Day is approaching, and when people in Beijing and Shanghai are getting ready and ready to start, another wave of new crown epidemics has appeared. Our shooting location, Ningbo, is on the list, and there is a trend of aggravating it. Everyone's nerves were tense again. "What should I do? Start or suspend?" "Stick to the shooting or postpone it until the second half of next year?" In those days, there were countless cross-regional WeChat, emails, phone calls, and online meetings. Decisions were formed, pushed down, and formed again and again. . However, the rhythm of everyone's heart is not chaotic. After several rounds of research and judgment by the leading group of the "Peking Opera Film Project", various producers and epidemic prevention experts, it was finally determined that although Xiangshan belongs to the Ningbo area, it is a peninsula 100 kilometers away from Ningbo, and the epidemic prevention is in place. So far, there is no case. , the overall safety and controllability, the relevant disease control departments have also given the above opinions. Zhang Huoding's attitude is also firm. She said: "We take precautions scientifically. I have prepared double the luggage. If there is any situation after the filming is completed, I will stay outside for a while."

    After the plan was postponed for three days (mainly for vaccinations, supplementary epidemic prevention classes, and sufficient epidemic prevention materials), everyone set off from Beijing and Shanghai respectively.

    What I am facing is a military order with "two guarantees": to ensure the quality of the artistic creation of Peking Opera films; In order to provoke this special burden, in addition to paying close attention to the "bad supplement" expertise and consulting a few close friends of medical experts, I co-producer Sun Jie, and Li Huayi, the teacher in charge of the China Academy of Opera, rely on various departments and professional methods. , relying on the attention, self-discipline and cooperation of all the cast and crew to start this difficult job. We have established medical points in accordance with the latest version of the "Epidemic Prevention Operation Manual". Hand sanitizers must be placed near all taps, body temperature is measured every day, and masks are worn every day to go to work. According to the requirements of the local CDC, we strictly test nucleic acids and cut off the entry of all irrelevant personnel. Including painstakingly persuading the enthusiastic fans who came to condolence to return. Full-time security officers have demonstrated all-weather "no dead ends" in law enforcement, and the team leaders have "realistic" supervision and implementation requirements, and pay close attention to the end. Finally, the military order was completed.

    3 Douhan

    I have served in the army on the coast of Zhejiang for many years, and I know very well that the eastern islands in the middle of winter and the twelfth lunar month are humid and cold. I have brought the director team, stage art team, and lighting team to Xiangshan many times before, and I have a feeling of cold winter, and now it is even more so in Xiangshan.

    However, the two newly built large-scale studios in Xiangshan Film and Television Base were welcoming us warmly, and local agencies and many logistical staff also tried their best to support us. These two studios, one is 3,500 square meters and the other is 18,000 square meters, which is the size of two football fields, which is enough for my director's imagination, enough for the space design and multi-scene layout of movies and staging, and enough for artists and actors. their performances. Shanghai Film Group worked hard and used the professional method of film, and finally won the schedule "miraculously".

    However, the season is in winter, and in the cold and humid January, the air conditioner is not enough, and the lights are all turned on, and the temperature is not enough. It really embarrassed the artists and actors, and also embarrassed the production and drama departments. I demand that "the east wall be demolished and the west wall repaired, so that the wall will not fall down" and the indoor temperature must rise. With the combined use of multiple tricks by relevant departments, the on-site situation has been greatly improved.

    According to the usual practice of filming, the production team opened up a small dining room for the No. 1 star who was the most stressed in the plot, and arranged a special RV. But Zhang Huoding said quietly: "We don't spend this money, we don't do this specialization, we don't need to eat with a large stove, and we don't need an RV. Every time I finish a scene, I just find a corner to sit on the scene, the weather is cold, I have a warm baby." With her sincere insistence, Xiaozao "closed business" immediately, and the RV on the first day outside the studio could only turn around and go back.

    On the day of the official launch, we didn't hold a ceremony or celebrate. I only said a paragraph to mobilize the power: "Ordinary teams often repeat themselves, and excellent teams often pursue and surpass themselves. We are Peking Opera Films. The crew of "Suo Lin Sac" must be blessed with a hard core to complete this kind of transcendence."

    4 "Leave the head"

    Throughout the filming, it is necessary to constantly change the camera position, adjust the light position, adapt the props, design the plot line and the way of moving the mirror, etc., so the time is doubled. This is a very important thing for Peking Opera actors who are accustomed to performing on stage in one go. Especially for the protagonists of "full outfit" and "tight attire throughout", it is even more of a challenge. Before shooting, Zhang Huoding and I discussed this issue specifically. Zhang Huoding usually takes three hours for the entire makeup, head, Baotou, patch and other processes. Among them, head restraint has extremely high requirements on physical fitness and professional quality. Zhang Huoding once said to me when rehearsing in Beijing: "I will use the method of practice to extend the shooting time after the head restraint every day, and try my best to stick to it for five hours. If it exceeds, I may not be able to stand it. If so, I will discuss with you in advance. ." From what I understand, Tsing Yi is different from other Peking Opera lines. Once the makeup is done, you can't "add your head" (that is, loosen the headbands every half an hour), and you must stick to it until the end. Five hours is not easy. But in order to get back the time, after the first day of turning on the camera, we unknowingly took it to 11 o'clock in the evening. From 1:00 pm, Zhang Huoding has "stripped his head" for a full ten hours. I was very worried. After filming, I asked Huo Ding, "Is it enough? Why don't you tell me in five hours?" Huo Ding said, "I see you all working harder, running around the field, talking, scheduling, and changing seats. , I have been busy without stopping. I am infected by the atmosphere of the scene, so I don't want to interrupt your plan and rhythm. When I have time, I will sit silently and play silently. At the same time, I will prevent unnecessary consumption of energy and challenge my own tolerance limit. It seems to be able to withstand today, but it will not work in the future, so I will quietly propose to you."

    In fact, in all subsequent shoots, Zhang Huoding never mentioned this requirement, and shooting 10 hours a day became the norm.

    5 "Modern"

    Cheng Yanqiu, the founder of Chengpai, once said on August 26, 1931: "Those who are committed to Pihuang should take a big and hard responsibility. What responsibility? The first step is to 'modernize' Pihuang. The second step is to make Pihuang a 'modern' social education." This important discussion has a guiding significance across time and space for my application of the concept and method of shooting "Suo Lin Sac" today. What we use is the most "modern" film technology: 8K+ panoramic sound, which is very rare in film production so far. Of course, the entire difficulty factor has risen sharply, but my creed is still: "Don't choose comfort, Just choose the right one."

    The 8K panoramic sound camera crew I led came from the Magic D Film Studio of the Shanghai Radio and Television Technology Center, which is also one of the producers. The world's first 8K panoramic sound feature film filmed by Magic D Film Studio, together with the National Centre for the Performing Arts, SMG Magic Dimension Digital and Dragon TV, won the Lumiere Award, the highest international award for 8K films. This time, under the leadership of director Xu Wei, we invested the best 8K pre- and post-production equipment, photographers, DAT (data processing), and CG special effects engineer teams. Dragon TV also sent an 8K documentary film crew to film the whole process, forming a unique lineup of Peking Opera feature films and documentaries with double "8K".

    According to my perception, at present, the world's 8K technology is ushering in a historical inflection point of a major breakthrough and large-scale use. The Beijing Winter Olympics opened the first year of successful 8K live broadcast of multiple projects; the "Shenzhou 13" astronauts have also brought back the first documentary about space made by humans in 8K. Seize the opportunity to lead, shoot and make this movie well, it's just right to the point. It uses the most "modern" technology to pay tribute to the inheritance and development of Peking Opera art, to comfort Mr. Cheng Yanqiu, and to add light and heat to the promotion of traditional culture.

    6 "Spoilers"

    From time to time, a good friend calls me and asks me to tell me the most impressive clips and stories during the shooting process. As a result, I often think of "Rain in the Spring and Autumn Pavilion", "Street separation", "Zhulou looking for balls", "Good deeds and mutual reunion" and so on. These paragraphs, I wrote more detailed in the director's elaboration and the sub-screen script, and the camera movement expression during shooting was also smooth. It's just that post-editing, CG special effects production, dubbing, conforming, and synthesizing are still in full swing, and a series of Peking Opera and cinematic integrations and enhancements are still to be done. Therefore, it is not time to start one by one, so I would like to use a paragraph for each. Let's talk about "spoilers" briefly.

    The Spring and Autumn Pavilion is a crucial scene in the entire "Suo Lin Sac". Combining the appearance tension of the fusion of Peking Opera and film, I made two sets of plans, "No Rain" and "With Rain", the focus is on the latter. In the huge studio, the whole picture of "Spring and Autumn Pavilion in the Rain" was shot. The plot is still this one, but there is a different feeling in the atmosphere, vision, and hearing of the scene. According to Zhang Huoding's statement to me: "I can see through the wind and rain in front of me, and I have more feelings of touching the scene and feeling emotional, psychological experience. It deepened all of a sudden, and singing and acting seemed to have more inner touches."

    Another example is "Street Dispersion" and "Zhulou Searching for Balls", which also have a more elaborate blend of Peking Opera and cinematic designs. Among them, the focus is on the moving line layout and high-quality shooting of high-dynamic and high-intensity moving long shots in special scenes and narrow scenes. The dazzling sleeves and the extraordinary strength of the footsteps are integrated into the true completion of the film with a dense atmosphere, close to the plot, and one shot to the end. After going down twice, Zhang Huoding and the photographer who carried dozens of pounds of "Steadicam" stabilizer and camera were sweating profusely, but they were still not satisfied. In the process of large-scale scheduling, large emotional fluctuations, and large moving line hedging, we optimized the plan and added two more shots to achieve the best results. This long shot of movement fully depicts the specific mood and superb skills of the characters, and opens up the "three walls" smoothly and flexibly, which is worth looking forward to.

    For another example, in the film's "Reunion of Good Virtues and Mutual Reunion", the actors Zhang Huoding and Zhao Shouzhen, the head of the third troupe of the National Peking Opera Company, the famous Mei Pai Tsing Yi Xu Chang's singing and the large double water sleeve performance are all called Peking Opera+ A cinematic classic.

    7 Gratitude

    Zhang Huoding has always had deep respect for all the teachers at each stage. Among them, his admiration for his mentor, Mr. Zhao Rongchen, who is also the direct disciple of Mr. Cheng Yanqiu, is beyond words. At the shooting site, I once asked Zhang Huoding: "Whether you are taking the position or officially starting the filming, you are always trying to make a full bow and tune, and your physical strength is very exhausted. During the change of camera position, scene change, and light position, When you rest at the edge and corner, you don't joke or play, you just concentrate on thinking, thinking about the play, or thinking about the next scene to be shot. Why is this?" Huo Ding said: "Because I have a pair on top of my head. My eyes are watching me all the time, and I can't live up to it or be ashamed. These eyes are my mentor, Mr. Zhao Rongchen, who has strict requirements and expectations for me." I asked again: "Many of your fans, including the filming site. , and many people respectfully call you the 'Deng Shen', what do you think?" She said, "I'm not a god. I take the title of 'Deng Shen' to my fans and friends who support me as the hope that my performance will be full of charm. I will keep working hard and lighting up the lights for Peking Opera..."

    I remember that when I finished shooting the last set of shots of the movie, I made a rule to the whole crew: the official shooting has been completed, but, in the special period of anti-epidemic and epidemic prevention that we must face, we cannot declare victory and finish. Celebrations are also canceled. Only when everyone returns to their own homes, the big data is collected after 14 days, and all staff report safe and sound, can we officially announce to the public that the filming of the 8K panoramic sound Peking Opera movie "Suo Lin Sac" has been successfully completed. On the afternoon of the day before the Lantern Festival, producer Sun Jie called me officially to confirm that all the crew members were healthy and normal. At this point, I sighed with emotion for a while, and I was slightly relieved. Every artist and colleague of the crew who have gone to the world at this moment: Thank you very much!


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