Thursday, June 14, 2012

video - shanghai 2012 tv festival - youku interview 6/12/2012

youku external link 
 HD screencaps from sina.ent

Steven seems to be adapting very well to his new environment in Hengdian, well respected and loved by his cast and crew members.  And recently in his weibo he seems to be full of life and contented with his lot.  His easy-going personality, even temperament, tolerance, humility, friendliness, and genuineness drawn people to him and make people like him. And from the video, Steven definitely understands the value of setting rapport with people and embraces it with charm and approachability. And because of that, not just his fans but other people like his mainland colleagues and crew members, and even the mainland reporters have taken to addressing him '4th Brother'. Even TVB Producer Lau Ka Ho called him 4th Brother on weibo. Haha And the make-up ladies are also fond of him, so much so, they brought homemade dishes for his lunch, at least twice already (per weibo where he graciously thanked the them for their dish.) 

In this video as with the other Shanghai TV Festival videos, Steven is so fidgeting and hyper, so very different and less restraint from his past interviews, he's like a manic bird recently let loose from his cage.  I felt like reaching into my computer  screen to stop his fidgeting and tell him to sit up right and mind his posture, like HSQ did. 

About this interview, thought it is really odd and quite unfair to those present how the host keeps the focus mainly on Steven, not his character in the series but on him asking Steven's colleagues on what they thought of Steven as colleague. How did that promote the series as whole? Anyway, below is the incomplete transcript in progress.  

Incidentally, all those who saw him in real life said Steven definitely looks better in person than on screen. 

Host, Liu Cai, welcoming YYP cast: Steven Ma, Zhang Meng (张檬), Huang Shao Qi (黄少祺), Wu Qian Qian(乌倩倩), Tang Ling (唐菱) . Cast introduce their respective characters in the series.

YYP plot: Steven and HSQ both love Zhang Meng, who is the leading lady. WQQ is Steven’s 1st stepmother. Tang Ling and HSQ are childhood friends who later attended and graduated from the same university. Tang Ling loves HSQ but he doesn’t love her. TL ends up being Steven’s wife. Steven portrays a pair of twin brothers, one good one bad.  

The cast take turns detailing their characters’ storyline starting with Tang Ling and ending with Steven.

not verbatim paraphrase
Timer: 7:34
Host: Steven, here on the set his mood is really good, seems rather high.

Steven: I’m always high.

H: Really? I want to ask how many times have you been to Shanghai?

S: If work related should be three times ba but have been here before for pleasure.  But for Shanghai TV Festival (stvf), this is my first time attending.

H: So what do you think of STVF?

S: Very fun. I’ve met many friends along the way, both Hong Kong and mainland, different troupes, people I’ve collaborated – cast or crew, lots of people I know. Very familiar and very warm feeling.

H: So talking about Hong and mainland, people from different places.. you’re filming in mainland currently, what is the difference between filming in Hong Kong vs mainland?

S: Well, I’ve been filming series in Hong Kong for almost 19 years, the style is almost the same, one day 2 calls. First the outdoor scene then the studio. But now, same as the previous Legend of Yuan Empire Founder, frankly speaking, it is more relaxing, and less tiring, physically. 

H: So Hong Kong or here in the mainland more relaxing?

S: here more relaxing. Cos’ there’s only one call daily. Plus there is only one director, also giving me more time to do my homework and more time to rest.  Nevertheless, I’ve already gotten use to TVB’s way of filming.

H: 19 years?

S: Yes, 19 years already.  I don’t have a management contract with them any more but I’m still grateful to tvb.

H: You don’t have a management contract with tvb anymore?

S: Not anymore

H: Not anymore? So that prompts the next question.  So in future, where would you like to focus your work? in Hong Kong or in mainland?

S: Focus on both. Actually, all this while I've been in contact with some HK tv stations.  As well as TVB. No matter what, Hong Kong is still my hometown. So for sure, I will return to Hong Kong to film series. I think early next year I'll be able to film a series in Hong Kong. 

H: But most of your time will be spent in mainland?

S: More than half. 

H: So a big portion of it. 

S: Right. 

H: Here comes another probing question. Why put most of your time here? Besides more relax, are there any other reasons?

S: Of course, there are. 

H: Right, we want to talk about the other reasons. 

S: First, the pay is higher; second..  

H: Differ by a lot? Because I've never filmed a drama so don't know.

S: Quite a bit. 

H: By how many times?

S: This is not convenient to say. It's better not to say.

H: 10 times?

ZM: Can just tell him your fee. 

H: No need to reveal the fee S: It's 10% of hers ba. (Zhang Meng)

H: That can't be. Should have been at least 10 times ba?
(tn: H so nosy, and a bad host neglecting the rest of his guests)

S: This doesn't matter, what matter is that.. 

H: Too much difference, so can't calculate

S: Yeah, it's quite a bit, but what is more relevant is that I get to know many other actors unlike in the past. Like in TVB even if not collaborating would see other. I need more stimuli, more nutrients.  Filming in mainland I get to meet different actors all the time, different series troupes, all very beneficial to me and open my mind up. This is very important.

H: Steven has described his feelings filming in mainland. Why don't you all describe your feelings filming with Steven in the same series?

Let's start with Zhang Meng. She looked puzzled so here give you a chance to clear your mind up. (TN: YYP promotion becomes Steven's personal interview?)

ZM: (To Steven) Why did you hit me? 

H: OK, at this time let's invite Steven out of the room.

ZM: Actually Ma ge, Teacher Ma, Gua Gua, is a very good man. In filming and in real life, he takes good care of us. What's more important is that his professionalism is excellent. I've learned a lot, a lot from him. Furthermore, in private we are extremely good friends. Truly from my heart, you understand.

H: Ok, you've expressed your feelings. Next

HSQ: This is my first time collaborating with Ma Zai..

H: Totally different names - there Ma ge here ma zai.

HSQ: We're of the same age. I feel that he is very lively, very quick to get know people. To me this is a good thing. Because in shooting a series if needs to quickly close the distance (of unfamiliarity) this is a very good trait. If the troupe is to be divided in 2 halves, he (SM) is responsible for action; I'm responsible for quietness, quiet as in slow to become familiar with other people. Not easy for me. In filming, besides the script, don't know what else to talk about but he can.

ZM: Loquacious

HSQ: Yeah, like even the sweeper, he would say to him, "I say, you know.."

Group laughter.

S: Did I do that? But frankly, I would do that. Anyway, it's ok.

HSQ: This is just personality.

H: So you are happy because he (Steven) can close the distance for you. 

HSQ: You don't have to think of a topic to talk about cos' he has plenty to talk to you.

S: This way our interrelation can get better

WQQ: Among these three, these two I have already worked with but it's the first time with him (Steven)

H: We'll only talk about Steven for now. (tn:why?)

WQQ: I joined the troupe much later. So that day I entered the makeup room, still  groggy, it's early in the morning. So U was inside the room, and he jumped up. "Ma!"  "I portray your oldest son, Tang Ting Xuan."

H: Just like that, closed the distance. (getting familiarity)

WQQ: Yes very quickly. There and then I didn't feel any distance between us. Conversing with him, I felt a warm familiarity. And I recall that day our scene was very weighty, all emotional scene, on the first day of filming. On our first day of collaboration there was no sense of unfamiliarity at all.

H: When he yelled Ma, did you feel like slapping him on his head and yell, "son"? 

WQQ: There is something that is even more over the top.

H: Really?

WQQ: Should I spill it or you? You say it.

H: You better say or else what Teacher Wu said may not be nice things about you. 

S: We're fine together. I went over to say hi to her and then I said: Ma, how are you? I'm Ma Jun Wei, I portray your son, Tang Ting Xuan. 

WQQ: Eldest son

S: Yes, eldest son. And then she said: " Oh, you're the bad son." I said I'm not the bad one, your biological son is. The second son. And so we talked non stop in the makeup room.;

WQQ: And also the first I got there he got this big pot of chicken soup. But these two sons of mine have very similar names Ma Jun Wei, Ma Jun Chao, so I got confused. So on that night I posted my thanks on my weibo but I thanked the wrong person. And that person said "Ma, you made a mistake."

S: I saw that post but I didn't respond to it.  But my younger brother, Ma Jun Chao, responded, "Ma, you made a mistake, that was ge's treat. Ma Jun Wei's treat. But I still did not respond because I didn't know how."

WQQ: So the next I apologized to him. Sorry, sorry, I ate from the east household but wrongly thanked the west household.  He said no problem. He's your biological son.

H: So after this program you immediately will post on weibo that my son is Ma Jun Wei. Ok, now Tang Ling. Can you sharing your feeling with working Ma Jun Wei or any of the cast.

TL: Because I'm a newbie and slow to warm up to strangers, so at the beginning I was quite worried.  I'm the kind that's slow to warm up but once I warm up it's difficult to cool down. And become very talkative. But in the beginning I would be quite cold. (aloof) When I read the script I would laugh and cry at the same time. But at the actual filming I worried I couldn't modulate my emotions well enough because at school I did mostly comedies. So I was quite nervous. But I found out that once I started filming even now, just having filmed a few days someone asked if I was nervous to collaborate with big shots, I said no, not at all. Didn't have that feeling at all. What's the reason? It's because when collaborating with Steven, he is the kind that is of his own volition will help you out. I didn't feel any pressure at all. Anyway, whether I did well or not, he would tell me and that made me relax.  And the same with Shao Qi ge. He's a taciturn man, and does not talk much. So our pretty lady boss even asked me if working with Shao Qi ge was harder because he doesn't like to talk. I said not really because we both don't talk much.  Because every time we conversed it would be about the script. So it's ok and create a tacit understanding between us. But unfortunately I do not have scenes with Qian Qian jie.  It's a pity.  But I do have scenes with Meng Meng, not many but we have some latter ones to shoot.  So I feel on the whole it's fine.

H: About Shao Qi not much of a talker let's have him talked more here. Just now she revealed her feeling on how it was working with you, can you reveal yours working with her?

HSQ: For this I need Ma Zai ..

H: It's ok , you say

S: You can use this opportunity to express your feeling

HSQ: Actually it's not that I don't have much to say but that I'm slow to warm up, a bit shy, so besides filming, I honestly don't know what to say to the other people. So studying our lines, when I saw Zhang Meng sitting there  I thought to myself I should say something to her

H: So in your heart you want to say something.

HSQ: What should I say?  Talk about our lines?

I truly have nothing that would make you want to speak to me?

HSQ: Unlike Ma Zai, he can talk more.

ZM: You didn't say that we invited you to have meals with us.

H: Shao Qi, you've the situation wrong.  It's when you wanted to talk to Zhang Meng  you were not thinking what to say to her because Ma Zai was already there talking, they were talking to each other, so what could you say?  Right? Let me help you recall.

HSQ: Right, because their conversation was very intimate.

ZM: Ha?

HSQ: I didn't have the space to cut in.

Group laughter

S: I did say to Shao Qi. Shao Qi is more quiet, also he has many friends there (Hengdian) so often went out with them, so less often joined us like having meals.    So last time I said to Shao Qi, I don't care no matter what you have to more often join in our activity. Ok, let me clearly clarify why I'm so willing to take the initiative to get to communicate with other people because I believe this can truly benefit filming 100%.  If  off screen we interact with each other I feel that our scenes would be even better.  If everybody, like aiya, don't communicate, don't chat with each other, and everybody too keeping to themselves~~  because in the scenes we are not strangers to each other.  So I will on my own volition get to know them. And hope that the result would be better.

H: Yes, actually this question was for Shao Qi but in the end concluded by Ma Zai. Can see that Shao Qi really can't talk. (tn: haiz. What a host!)

WQQ: Actually, I've been filming with him for almost 2 months now, series filming in Suzhou. Actually, if you are familiar with him, maybe you have neglected him. I think. I feel it's unjust to him. He can crack jokes with you, truly.

H: Of course.

WQQ: Yes, he can. The last few days filming in Suzhou we had had fun and happy.  True?

H: Qian jie fights for justice, go reveal the truth.

WQQ: Reveal the truth? I think...hahaha! Actually if Shao Qi hits off with the right person he can be quite talkative.

ZM:  So he did not hit off with us then?

WQQ: Is it all talk too much? He couldn't get in with his words.

S: Frankly, Shao Qi and my scenes are not many.  Our scenes are the those to come later. They have more together. And we two (Steven and ZM) have more.

H: ok, separated

ZM: Shao Qi, how about sharing a meal later? I make a date with you.

H: Good, so tonight has a dinner date.

HSQ: When I saw them, I want to say something but don't know what to say. I mostly smile; a silly smile; a silly, foolish smile; just to show I'm listening to you speak. I was participating, just didn't speak.


H: Actually in this troupe regardless talkative or not talkative, like to speak to other people or don't know how to speak to other people, all are very happy.  Looking at you guys, very happy and warm feeling.  And this series is going to be aired pretty soon so each of you, talkative or not talkative, here comes the time to speak the most crucial words in a sentence to promote your series to the netizens, series fans and your fans, why they should watch this series.  We take turns one at a time.

TL: Start with me again. Come the crucial time always start with me first. Ok, youku netizens, you all must pay attention to this series, YYP, because in this series, its raw emotions and love hate entanglements all of us young, old, new, big shots, small shots, all acted outstandingly and very professionally. On screen and off screen we are all a very happy family. Regardless, on screen or off screen, after you have watched you will be very happy to have watched our series, Yuan Yang Pei.   Thank you.

H: Thank you for your honest words, you one sentence speech.

WQQ: Our series is originated from 'When Love is Bygones', but when this series end, love will not become bygones but love will continue.

H: Thank you, Qian Qian jie.

WQQ: You have not been moved for a long time now? If so, you must watch YYP even it will move you and move you again.

H: Thank you, Shao Qi.

ZM: You will get to love YYP. You will get to love Jing Yong En.

H: And now the one who can talk, know how to talk, and most want to talk. Ma ge.

S: Let me tell you, this YYP is truly a good script so you all will sure to love this series, and also will love every one of its characters. YYP waits for your support. Add oil.  

H: So now ends youku interview. And youku has a small gift for each of you but it represent a small token of our sincerity and regards.  This is youku cellphone case. Hope you all can watch all your new series on youku.

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