Filmmakers Gathered in Celebration for the Premiere of Documentary A Foley Artist
Filmmakers Gathered in Celebration for the Premiere of Documentary A Foley Artist - Taipei Film Commission
A Foley Artist, the first documentary about sound effects in Chinese-language cinema, premiered at Ambassador Theater at Changchun Plaza in conjunction with a press conference. Director Wang Wan-jo and the film’s subject, Foley artist Hu Ding-yi gave interviews at the event. Directors Yee Chih-yen, Peng Chia-chia, Chu Yu-ning, Lin Jing-jie, Chen Hung-i, Tsai Yin-chuan, Shen Ko-shang, Lou Yi-an, and Singing Chen, as well as actress Lin Mei-hsiu, who had all worked with Hu Ding-yi, were in attendance to offer congratulations. Deputy CEO Ann Yang of Taipei Culture Foundation was also present on behalf of the agencies of Taipei City Government that assisted the production.
A Foley Artist was widely praised at the 2016 Golden Horse Film Festival. It is based on the career of Foley artist Hu Ding-yi, beginning with Taiwanese cinema then delving into the history and technologies of sound in Chinese-language cinema. The film covers the development of sound effects in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai, while referencing today’s film industry, to offer essential record of the development of sound in Chinese-language cinema. Director Wang Wan-jo was inspired to make a documentary on this unique subject on a visit to Hu’s studio at Central Motion Picture while she was working on the post-production of a film there. She was fascinated by the myriad tools in the studio, including a collection of dozens of different pairs of shoes. By capturing Hu’s work as a Foley artist, she hopes to introduce to more people the world of Foley, which is a less glamourous yet vital part of filmmaking “hidden behind the scenes.”
Director Wang Wan-jo of A Foley Artist and the film’s subject, Hu Ding-yi.
Lin Mei-hsiu (left) and Chu Yu-ning (right) presented Hu Ding-yi with flowers and a poster signed by the filmmakers at the event.
Film directors Yee Chih-yen, Peng Chia-chia, Chu Yu-ning, Lin Jing-jie, Chen Hung-i, Tsai Yin-chuan, Shen Ko-shang, Lou Yi-an, and Singing Chen, who had all worked with Hu Ding-yi, paid their utmost respect to the Foley master at the event and celebrate the release of A Foley Artist. The gathering of both the senior and younger generations of filmmakers made the event a warm and lively occasion. Chu Yu-ning, who worked with Hu Ding-yi on To My Dear Granny, revealed that he was very intrigued by Hu’s Foley work when he visited Central Motion Picture during college and that he even tried to imitate his processes. Chu also suggested that Foley is like “buoyancy” or “flavoring” for a film: It is rarely in the spotlight, but it is inseparable from the cinematic experience.
Comedy queen Lin Mei-hsiu, who worked with Hu on her film debut Comes the Black Dog and was awarded Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Horse Awards for her role, is also the female lead in To My Dear Granny. Lin attended the premiere especially to thank Hu for his support in her early career. She recalled that when she first met Hu, she was required to drive the small car used in the film downhills with Hu and the film’s crew inside, even though she could not drive. She remarked joyfully that no one was hurt. As an actress, Lin never noticed how sound was created for her films, until she saw the trailer for A Foley Artist, where she realized the staggering amount of work on sound that went behind the scenes.
Hu Ding-yi commented that for more than 40 years in Foley, he rarely met with directors for his work, but he was thankful that the directors trusted him with creating the sounds necessary for their films. He is always ready to take on any challenge that directors send his way. With the release of A Foley Artist, Hu hopes that more filmgoers will be introduced to the role Foley plays in cinema. A Foley Artist opened on Friday, April 14, exclusively at Ambassador Theater at Changchun. (Article/ Sophie Wong; Photography/ May Wen; Video/ Catherine Huang)
Filmmakers gathered in celebration for the release of A Foley Artist. Back row from left: Liao Mei-li, Peng Chia-chia, Lin Mei-hsiu, Wang Wan-jo, Hu Ding-yi, Chu Yu-ning, Lin Jing-jie, and Yee Chih-yen. Front row from left: Tsao Yuan-fong, Hu Hao-hsiang, Shen Ko-shang, Singing Chen, Lou Yi-an, Tsai Yin-chuan, and Chen Hung-i.