About three years ago, Terence Chang walked into my office and showed me the reel of a commercial director. Every single commercial on the reel told a vivid story within the 30- to 60-second time frame. The shots were very fluid and visually stunning. I felt that this director had a lot of potential. His name was Alexi Tan.
Later, when I was in the hospital due to a minor illness, Alexi came to visit me. I told him stories of my childhood in Hong Kong. If it were not for my religious beliefs, my strong and loving mother, and my passion for film, I would have joined the triads and my life would have taken a totally different path. Alexi was deeply drawn to my story and wanted to adapt it into a film. I told him that I had already made it years ago, as “Bullet in the Head.”
Soon after, I went to Beijing to prepare for “Red Cliff.” Coincidentally, Alexi has also just moved there. One day, Terence Chang passed on a script to me. It was an adaptation by Alexi Tan and writer Jiang Dan, based on the stories I told him. The setting was changed from 1960’s Hong Kong to 1930’s Shanghai. I thought it was very well written, and encouraged them to try to get the picture made.
Terence Chang gathered the best and hottest young actors from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: Daniel Wu, Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Liu Ye, Sun Honglei, Tony Yang, and Lulu Li. He also recruited the best creative team working in Chinese language cinema, including Philip Kwok, Alfred Yao, Tim Yip, and Wong Chi-ming. With the financial support of CMC Entertainment, the film “Blood Brothers” was finally made in the fall of 2006.
I am very happy with the result of “Blood Brothers.” The art direction, cinematography, and lighting stand out especially. For a first-time director, Alexi Tan was very fortunate to have worked with a bunch of such talented people. Other than congratulating him, I hope he can keep up the good work, and make “Blood Brothers” the start of a long and successful career.
John Woo 吴宇森
Yi Xian, Hebei于河北易县