Culture Culture

27/08/2019 - 08:00

Director Tran Buu Loc: Each movie is an experience

I’ve been to Hue several times before, both for travelling and for filmmaking. About 10 years ago, I came to Hue to film “Aspirations of Thang Long” (Khat vong Thang Long) and truly knew why everyone nicknamed the city "poetic Hue”.

These days, the film crew of "The Bride of Hue" (Nang dau xu Hue) is shooting the first scenes. Following the success of cult movies like "The Descendants of the Sun" (Hau due mat troi), "The Tailor" (Co Ba Sai Gon), "Furie" (Hai Phuong) ..., director Tran Buu Loc was invited by the two young directors Bao Nhan - Nam Cito to become the producer of this project. He has disclosed interesting information with Thua Thien Hue Weekly.

Director Buu Loc and his team visited the film’s settings in Hue. Photo courtesy of the crew.

You must have had to tolerate the harsh weather in Hue these days. How often have you visited Hue, and what impresses you the most?

I’ve been to Hue several times before, both for travelling and for filmmaking. About 10 years ago, I came to Hue to film “Aspirations of Thang Long” (Khat vong Thang Long) and truly knew why everyone nicknamed the city "poetic Hue”.

I love Hue for its grace and tranquility with the splendid Perfume River and the vibrant red color of flamboyant flowers every summer. Hue is also very serene and sacred with Thien Mu Pagoda and the famous tomb system.

With your experience in many kinds of commercial cinema movies such as "The Tailor”, "Tam Cam – the Untold Story” (Tam Cam chuyen chua ke), “Furie” ..., why did you decide to produce "The bride of Hue"? Does your previous success put pressure on you when it comes to this movie?

Each film is a completely new experience with different pressure, so even if I’ve succeeded in previous projects, all upcoming plans will put a pressure on me. That’s not to mention the success of high grossing "Furie" has even placed me under more strain as a producer.

So, for every project, I always told myself to strive more and stop thinking about my past experience to avoid overconfidence. I reminded myself to be cautious and do my best to successfully complete projects.

At the introduction of the film crew in Hue last May, we all acknowledged a lot of obstacles for the team when choosing Hue as the film set, such as the weather, props, technology ... Then how well have you prepared to cope with these issues?

I’ve been in the industry for more than 10 years, so I know preparing for potential difficulties is always a prerequisite. This time, my team and I were lucky enough to receive generous support from the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue province, which is indeed a huge advantage and a motivation for the production team to complete this film. Much appreciation to the provincial leaders!

Director Buu Loc (left) and the two directors - Bao Nhan and Nam Cito. Photo courtesy of the crew

Hue people seem quite reserved and picky... Any hesitation when making a film of the land with such cultural depth?

I always bear in mind that filmmaking is to serve the audience, so it doesn’t matter as long as I put my heart and soul into the work. Respecting the audience is key to receive widespread support (laugh). I believe so!

What is the message you want to convey in “The bride of Hue"?

I prefer to keep it a secret until the premiere.

From a producer to a director, do you find yourself on the right career path? Do you see any pros and cons when holding these roles?

I think I’m perfectly on the right track since shifting roles offers me a valuable insight into both of the most important roles of a film project. Usually in a film crew, the producer and director hold the leading positions that actually conflict quite often. One focuses on logistic and financial matters while the other cares about filmmaking expertise, so it is not easy for the two to get along. Luckily, I served both roles, so my 2-in-1 experience has greatly helped with my fulfilment in both.

Director Buu Loc (2nd from left) in a film introduction ceremony to promote Hue at Boi Tran's garden. Photo: T. NINH

You’re often said to be capable of detecting and following trends, especially in making commercial films for the young. How have you seen your advantages in this "market share"?

Indeed, every filmmaker will be able to notice and follow the trend, but perhaps my good luck is to receive strong support from the audience. I have to thank them for loving my “trendy” films.

You’ve been quite reserved when talking about yourself, but if you could name a particular signature "style" of yours in filmmaking, what would it be?

I’m not a showbiz person so I often hesitate to talk about myself. I’m only keen on filmmaking and see it as my life... It’s as simple as that.

Thank you and best wishes for the crew. May you have interesting scenes at the film set in Hue!

By Tue Ninh