Sunday, February 5, 2023


Jack Ng says that when he makes a movie he has to be responsible to the audience.  He is not begging for ticket sales.  It would be great if the movie would break the record, if it would not he would try gain next time.

Jack Ng threw a tantrum when the background actors' minor movements ruined a great take of Dayo Wong's legal scene performance

Sunny Chan and Jack Ng are the Academy of Performing Arts classmates and are very close
courtesy of

Started as a screenwriter, Jack Ng Wai Lun in his 23 years in the business has written many critically and commercially successful screenplays, including THE BEAST STALKER (JING YUN), THE STOOL PIGEON (SIN YUN), SPL (SAT POR LONG), COLD WAR 2 (HONG JIN 2) and ANITA. His directing debut, the Lunar New Year film A GUILTY CONSCIENCE (DUK SIT DAI JONG) was a overnight sensation. After 16 days in release it has made over HK$ 75 million. As it maintained its momentum, the film would have hope in passing the Louis Koo Tin Lok produced and starred WARRIORS OF FUTURE (MING YUT JIN GEI)'s HK$ 83 million to become the highest grossing Hong Kong Chinese film. Ng Wai Lun felt that whether the box office would reach HK$ 100 million, the key would be whether even more viewers who normally would not go to the movies would attend. If only viewers and fan groups who supported A GUILTY CONSCIENCE repeatedly to pump up the box office, even going over HK$ 100 million would not mean much.

Ng Wai Lun said about A GUILTY CONSCIENCE's box office continuing to climb and passing HK$ 100 million would not be a dream, "Actually whether it would be able to pass HK$ 100 million, the key lies in whether even more viewers who normally wouldn't go to the movies would put aside their differences and go. If we just rely on viewers or fan groups who have watched A GUILTY CONSCIENCE repeatedly buy tickets to pump up the box office, even if we would pass HK$ 100 million it wouldn't mean much. After seeing the movie, if you feel it is good, sincerely recommend it to friends who haven't seen it to go. Only this way would be the greatest power of promoting Hong Kong films. Nowadays, if you love it you do, if you don't you don't. If you like it then recommend it, if you don't then don't stop others from liking it. Those of us who make movies have to be responsible to the audience, not come out and beg for tickets. If we can break the record, we would break the record. If not then we would wait for next time. It's just that simple."

Would he consider releasing a director's cut or an extended version? He said that he would not. "Editor Mr. Chan Kei Hap and I sat together and edited the current street version. Actually it could be counted as a director's cut. The cut scenes would have the best chance to see the light of day again as DVD 'Deleted Scenes'. As for whether these Deleted Scenes would appear, I would have to have another talk with the company."

The Wong Tze Wa starred TABLE FOR SIX (FAN HEI GUNG SUM) and A GUILTY CONSCIENCE are currently in second and third place at the highest grossing Hong Kong Chinese film box office. Earlier when he talked about working with Ng Wai Lun, he revealed that although Ng was mild tempered he has thrown a tantrum on the set and yelled at people. Ng Wai Lun explained that because he felt bad for Wong Tze Wa giving a great courtroom scene performance, but due a minor gesture of a background actor the take was ruined. He joked, "Throwing a tantrum is only a filmmaking tool, appropriate tantrum throwing would make everyone alert. However when used too much it would become ineffective, like I was singing. Thus I didn't like to use this method too much, because throwing a tantrum makes people tired." He revealed that he chose Wong Tze Wa to play the role of Lam Leung Shui, because his stand up comedy image was mean enough. However Wong Tze Wa in person actually was very easy going. The "poison tongue" was purely for getting people in the mood.

Ng Wai Lun thanked Wong Tze Wa for giving him a lot of useful suggestions, like speaking Hokkienese in one scene. Also for his soccer field chat with Bowie Lam Bo Yi, Wong Tze Wa felt that it could go even farther so he lent a hand. Ng Wai Lun said, "Wong Tze Wa said that I was lucky, as he drove the story from behind. If he unfortunately caught the novel coronavirus and was in less than great shape, the entire film would have gone down with him. I felt that Heaven was helping the whole thing, reinforced myself to say: when I do something that I can answer for with aa conscience, Heaven would help me with resolving the problems."

Ng Wai Lun hoped to make a mob film with the original team. "A BETTER TOMORROW (YING HUNG BOON SIK) affected me. When I watched this movie at age 11 it already made me cry." However he never thought about working with his good friend Chan Wing Sun again, because when they worked together on MONSTER HUNT 2 (JOOK YIU GEI 2) they argued many times. He was afraid of hurting their relationship. In addition their genres were different. Chan loves to make light comedy while he excels in heavy subject action films. "When I saw his TABLE FOR SIX succeed, I was happy for him."

Ng Wai Lun and Longman Leung wrote the film ANITA, which made almost HK$ 63 million at the box office. He caught the eye of the film company's boss Bill Kong Chi Keung and finally got to taste his director dream. Ng Wai Lun said, "Kong Chi Keung knew that I excel in writing action film, but in 2020 the pandemic erupted. The future wasn't clear yet. The boss said that an action film would be harder to make, hinting that I should write a drama. What drama would be shot with a sense of action? I thought immediately of a courtroom movie. The rhythm of a war of words was like punches and kicks, as some would say shooting a drama like an action film. In addition I just finished watching foreign film IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER and thought a miscarriage of justice would be a very attractive subject. At the time he already thought, if in the future I would have the chance to direct, I definitely would want to make a courtroom movie."

The 47 year old Ng Wai Lun looked back at his humble days as a screenwriter and once thought about switching jobs. "Early on screenwriting didn't make much and was unstable. It was hard to make a living. At the most difficult I only had several hundred in my bank account. I also have thought about giving up and switching jobs, but I didn't have another industry I wanted to work in. So I could continue to write my expertise of crime films and action films. Yet due to cyclical unemployment and I didn't take enough initiative, my opportunities drastically reduced. I wasn't as lucky as the modern new generation, with so many opportunities like the First Feature Film Initiative, financing and greenlight projects. I also thought about whether to take this journey of screenwriting. In the end I still grind my teeth and worked freelance for a living. My Academy of Performing Arts classmate (Sunny) Chan Wing Sun and I wrote a soccer animation, but we knew nothing about soccer. We needed soccer fan friends' help to provide the information."

A film major at the Academy of Performing Arts, Ng Wai Lun before graduation already received instructor recommendations to be Gordon Chan Ka Seung's "page": responsible for handling the film 2000 AD's screenplay text. During that time he met director Dante Lam Chiu Yin, who gave him the opportunity to be a production assistant on JIANG HU: THE TRIAD ZONE (GONG WU GO GUP). Started from the bottom, he was responsible for some of the screenplay of HIT TEAM (CHUNG ONG GAING CHAK). "Lam Chiu Yin once asked me whether I wanted to be a screenwriter or a director, I chose to start with screenwriter because when I would become a director later I still would need to know how to write a script. At that time I finally understood that to be in this business, I had to learn to save money because I constantly faced unemployment. Also because of accumulating years of experience, this time for my directing debut I found many crew members I trust to help." He felt that the biggest difficulty of being a director was answering questions from different positions. As the screenwriter as well, he could not give himself too much free rein. "I had to write something that I could shoot, I couldn't be too fantastical."

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