Monday, February 22, 2010


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ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW won the Crystal Bear Prize in Berlin. Sandra Ng Kwan Yu, Simon Yat Tat Wa, Evelyn Choi Wing Yun, child star Chung Siu To, Mabel Cheung Yuen Ting and Alex Law Kai Yui shared the honor. (Photo: Wong Chi Hung)
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ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW: Limited Budget, Save Whenever They Can

The Mabel Cheung Yuen Ting produced, Alex Law Kai Yui directed film ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW (SHUI YUET SUN TAU) won the Crystal Bear for the Berlin Film Festival Generation kplus Best Picture. The team yesterday returned to Hong Kong and unveiled the pain behind their success. Law Kai Yui praised leads Simon Yam Tat Wa and Sandra Ng Kwan Yu for accepting less pay and stressed that theirs was not a "very friendly rate" but a "family rate". Kwan Yu joked, "This time I truly had to bring money to work, even the film's plastic slippers are my own!"

ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW made Hong Kong performing art history with the Berlin Film Festival's Generation kplus Best Picture Crystal Bear Prize. Producer Cheung Yuen Ting and Law Kai Yui yesterday returned to Hong Kong and as soon as they arrived they attended a celebration with actors Yam Tat Wa, Ng Kwan Yu, Evelyn Choi Wing Yan and child star Chung Siu To.

The Team Worked Half To Death

Cheung Yuen Ting and Law Kai Yui thanked the cast and the crew for their full cooperation. Law Kai Yui said, "ECHOES OF RAINBOW was very touch to make. I am very happy to bring good news that thrills everyone." Cheung Yuen Ting said, "Our nickname is 'fear inducers'. We work the team half to death. We can thank them with this award." They expressed that they faced a variety of challenges when they tried to raise funding for the film. Luckily veteran film professional John Shum Kin Fun started the investment then pulled in Mei Ah film and film development fund for 1/3 of the funding each. With all 12 million they finally began to work.

Blowing Smoke As A Noodle Stall

Law Kai Yui thanked the leads Yam Tat Wa and Ng Kwan Yu. They knew the production had very little budget was were willing to make the film at a "family rate". Yam Tat Wa expressed, "This film was based on Law Kai Yui's childhood story. I was fortunate enough to play his father, so I didn't do it for the salary. When the old man charges the son money, how can that be? In addition I have wanted to work with both directors for a long time." Ng Kwan Yu said, "I play the Mommy role. The director said I have his Mommy's special quality. I saw how sincere he was so I charged a 'mommy rate'. This time I truly had to bring money to work, even the plastic slippers in the film were my own!" Cheung Yuen Ting admitted that to avoid exceeding the budget, the production was shrunk to its shortest. Ng Kwan Yu said, "In the final scene, Yam Tat Wa and I were having Put Chai Ko in a long alley. The truth is due to a lack of money, the script originally had a noodle cart stall scene. Yet the director in order to save money used a big basin and blew smoke from it. During the close up shut, the effect was like a noodle stall. We knew how to think on our feet."

The Story Is Based On Alex Law's Childhood

When asked why he took a script that has been in the bottom of the drawer for over a decade to make, Law Kai Yui said, "The events took place when I was little. I have a diary writing habit. Actually the story has
been at the bottom of the draw for several decades." He felt that a film production has to first move himself, then it would be able to touch the audience. He wanted to take the chance to bring out interpersonal relationships and trigger resonance. He did not make it for the overseas market. Law Kai Yui said, "In recent years I have been particularly motivated to make this story. I saw how lost so many post 80s are and all the negative energy in society. When I was little we had a lot of difficulties, but we wouldn't feel sorry for ourselves. We would only think of ways to resolve them."

Simon Yam Patiently Brings Child Star Into Character

Ng Kwan Yu expressed that the first collaboration with this film industry "golden couple" she was in awe. In addition she heard that they were very demanding, so at first she was very nervous and minded very much whether they would accept the takes. After every shot she had to hear Cheung Yuen Ting say "That's great" to be at ease. Ng Kwan Yu and Yam Tat Wa said that child star Chung Siu To frequently had bad takes. In order to bring him into character, they put a lot of efforts into yelling at him until he cried and he suffered a lot at their hands. Yam Tat Wa said, "It requires a lot of patience. For one dialogue scene on the roof, the child was very scared. Finally the team waited 8 hours before getting one good shot."


Reporter: Chung Yat Hung

Photo: Wong Chi Hung

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