WEEKLY

IF THE EARTH IS FLAT
如果地球是平的

「地球是平的」──這句令你我都嗤之以鼻的說話,竟是一群地平論者多年來的執著與堅持,因他們至今仍相信地球是一個狀似光碟般的平面。幾位香港理工大學數碼媒體系的學生受此理論所啟發,拍出《地平說》這部畢業作品,講述一名男子為證實地平說的理論而飛上太空。此作品勇奪多個本地及海外電影獎項,成為一時無兩的影壇佳話。今期Chessman Post有幸請來身兼《地平說》導演、編劇的江嘉嶢(Rony)分享他拍電影的心路歷程。

一路走來,始終如一
從稚氣十足的小男孩,蛻變成如今屢獲獎項的學生導演,Rony對拍電影的熱誠從未有半分減退。中一的時候,他和校內的師兄一起參與香港學界電影節,拿下「最佳影片金獎」。在眾目睽睽下接過獎項後,他初次嚐到成功的滋味,遂與電影結下不解之緣。正正是當時的那份成功感,成就了現在的他。

這些年來,Rony沒有停下腳步,一直在各類型的比賽中脫穎而出,包括幸福醫藥的短片創作比賽、Sony「夢.想就拍出來」、港台兩地「短片由我創」製作大賽等。當人人認為畢業作品只是一份功課,Rony和他的組員卻視之為千載難逢的機會。「我認為拍FYP(畢業作品)的目的,其實是讓我們在投身社會前,了解自己的能力去到哪裏。」沒有草率了事,只因他們對電影的熱愛和尊重。

苦盡總會甘來
《地平說》是怎樣誕生的?原來其創作靈感源於一次Rony與中學同學的閒聊間,談起英國還有「地平說學會」。一段無心插柳的對話,令Rony和他的組員決定要放手一搏,嘗試拍攝科幻片。但在資金短缺、時間緊絀的情況下拍科幻片,對一班學生而言,就似是不可能的任務。

「拍這部片,我們每一個人都在挑戰自己的極限。」Rony坦言,這其實就如一場賭博,他們或會攀上人生的一個高峰,或會血本無歸,徒勞而回。在整個製作過程中,他們在道具和技術上都遇上重重難關。首先要面對的問題,就是如何把這個科幻故事變得合理化。一個平凡的都市人要上太空,聽起來實為天方夜譚,所以他們要花很多心思潤飾故事情節。說到上太空,當然少不了一個仿真的太空艙。然而,他和組員合共四個人均不諳木工,幸而最終有兩位朋友作外援幫助他們。除了道具外,後期製作、CG(Computer Graphics)、綠幕等,他們都要一步一步學起,過程甚為艱鉅。至於選角方面,他們請來曾參演《西謊極落之太爆太子太空艙》的周祉君,以及甘草演員黃樹棠。面對這兩個資深演員,他們亦曾經感到緊張。

結果《地平說》不負眾望,先後於「坎坷影展」和「全球華語大學生影視獎」取得最高的殊榮,及後更揚威海外,在Festigious film festival 2017中取得「最佳學生電影」及「最佳導演」的獎項,成績斐然。

電影是…
「對我來說,電影是一個抒發空間,也是讓人抽離現實的空間。」Rony認為,電影就是生活中最好的調劑品。尤其是香港人的工作壓力特別大,下班後去看一齣戲,可將當天的疲累一掃而空。不過,看電影不僅洗滌了他的身心,更改變了他對人生的看法。「有時候,我們會以為電影的內容很誇張,但其實不然,現實也可以很荒誕。電影與現實,總是彼此掛勾的。」戲如人生,乃是老生常談,但卻找不到比它更貼切的形容了。

香港,還容得下電影業
普遍人都覺得香港的社會氣候扼殺了創意產業的發展,然而在Rony眼中,電影業的前景絕不黯淡。「雖然很多人認為現時香港電影業不如80年代般輝煌,但其實香港近年有不少新晉導演,拍了很多好電影,令人再次關注香港電影。」未來,他期望繼續在電影界發展,亦希望參加「首部劇情電影計劃」,以獲得更多拍電影的機會。

你或許不認同地平說理論,但這並不重要,因為Rony和他的組員其實只希望藉由《地平說》的故事,鼓勵人們要向前看。「在追逐夢想的同時,我們往往會犧牲許多時間,甚至其他意料之外的東西。與其在糾結當初的決定,倒不如繼續向前看。」幾位應屆畢業生能拍出如此有思想的電影,誰說香港的電影業已沒落?

「電影如人生,你永遠不知道下一步會發生什麼」──江嘉嶢

撰文:王以珞
照片提供:江嘉嶢
美術:王曉澄

“The Earth is flat”— To most of us, this statement may seem ridiculous, but it is a truth to all the convinced flat-earth believers. Even until now, they still firmly believe that the Earth is a disc-shaped planet. Inspired by the jaw-dropping theory, four students majored in digital media from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University produced a short film Horizon for their final year project. This story is about a flat-earth believer who attempts to fly to the space and proves that the Earth is flat. This film has received a number of awards. Chessman Post spoke with the director, Rony Kong, about the process of filmmaking and his pathway to become a director.

The Passion Never Fades
From an immature boy to a young man who is capable of directing a film, Rony’s passion for film never fades. During his early years in high school, he worked with some high school seniors and participated in the Hong Kong Interschool Film Festival, where his team received the Champion Award. It was the first time he savored the taste of success. Since then, he has been very enthusiastic about film.

These years, Rony never slows down his pace. His works always stand out from different competitions, including the local short film competitions organized by Fortune Pharmacal Co. Ltd. and Sony Corporation of Hong Kong Limited. While final year projects are often perceived as merely “a homework” by many students, Rony and his teammates think that it is a chance of a lifetime. “I think doing the FYP (final year project) is a great opportunity for us to evaluate our abilities before entering workplace.” It was their passion and respect for film that has led them to success.

Hard Work Pays Off
So how did Horizon get started? It actually started from a chit-chat between Rony and his high school friend. They talked about and surprised that there was a “Flat Earth Society” in this modern era. Rony and his teammates were intrigued by this fact that they decided to use this as the main theme of their final year project. To produce a science fiction film, however, seemed to be an impossible mission under limited budget and tight schedule.

“We are all pushing ourselves beyond our limits in making this film.” Rony added that it was like gambling somehow. They knew that they would either become famous, or they would spend all their time and money—but to no avail. During the whole process, they came across various problems. First, they had to rationalize the plot. It may be unbelievable for an office man to travel to the space, and so they spent quite a lot of time to think about how to embellish the story. Moreover, a spacecraft is a must for filming, but none of them were good at crafting wood or iron. Fortunately, two of their friends joined the team and they successfully made the spacecraft. Apart from the props, they were also technically challenged because they did not master the technique of post-production, computer graphics and green screen. As for casting, they invited Aaron Chow and Wong Shu Tong to be the main actors. Working with two sophisticated actors, they once felt a bit nervous.

Finally, Horizon won a couple of big awards in “Festival de Cannot” and “Global Chinese Universities Student Film and TV Festival”. Not only local competitions, but it also received the “Best Student Film” and “Best Director” in “Festigious film festival 2017”.

Film is…
“Film leaves room for us to express our feelings and detach from reality.” Rony believes that film is the best medicine of life. Many Hongkongers all so stressed out at work and the best way to wash away their tiredness is to watch a film. In addition, film has changed his view towards life. “Sometimes we may think the stories presented in films are too dramatic. But they aren’t. Life can be as dramatic as a film. Film and reality are always interrelated.” This reminds me of a cliché that “life is like a film”.

Film Industry in Hong Kong
Nowadays, many people reckon that Hong Kong is not an ideal place to develop creative industry, and yet Rony does not agree with such point of view. “Although many feels that Hong Kong’s film industry is not as glorious as its heyday during the 80’s. There is still an array of talented directors in Hong Kong.” In the coming future, he hopes to carve out a career for himself in this field. He also wants to join the “First Feature Film Initiative” to gain the opportunity to make his own film.

It does not matter if you agree with the flat-earth theory or not. Rony and his teammates only want to encourage people to look forward through the story of Horizon. “We often sacrifice a lot of time and many more important things in our lives when chasing our dreams. But instead of being doubtful about the decisions that we have made, why don’t we keep moving forward?” After watching this thought-provoking film produced by the four graduates, who would still say that the film industry in Hong Kong has declined?

“Life is like a film, you never know what will happen next”—Rony Kong

Text: Elok Wong
Photo: Rony Kong
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #169

IF THE EARTH IS FLAT

 

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