With exception of the film A Simple Life, which stars Andy Lau and achieves ticket sales totaling NT$50 million in Taiwan, Hong Kong productions have significantly underperformed in the last 2 years. However, Hong Kong movie stars still have diehard fans in Taiwan. Just days ago, award-winning Hong Kong movie star Anthony Wong was invited to take part in the Taiwanese production - Ximenting, directed by Wang Wei, where he worked with Taiwan's new performers including Dylan Kuo and Amber Ann. Ximenting was entirely shot in Taipei City; the scenes covered included Bopiliao Historical District, Park Areas of 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition, Nangang Bottle Cap Plant, the octagonal Red House and its northern square. The shooting was completed in early May.
Anthony Wong had good impressions of Taiwan. He said to Taipei Film Commission that filming in Taipei is a joyful experience, for it is a place of good food, talented workers, and involves less traveling between scenes. For these reasons, he got along quite well with the production team. He enjoyed the filming so much that once he even started playing African and Jazz drums on the Red House stage during the shooting. Being a professional drummer, he got carried away for more than 10 minutes before realizing the crew were in the middle of a scene.
During the production of the TV drama - Brighter Future, DaAi TV rented 9 indoor spaces in Bopiliao Historical District the last month to facilitate the shooting. Sometimes, the gate to the tea shop would be left open, making it one of the best photo backgrounds to tourists passing by. On May 5th, the production team scheduled to shoot an utterly depressing funeral in the morning and a cheerful wedding in the afternoon, featuring the same group of actors and actresses. This dramatic turn of emotion was a good demonstration of just how capable these performers are.
Another production worth mentioning was Forgotten, a TV drama directed by Lien Yi-chi in an attempt to win the Golden Bell Awards. It stars Ruby Lin, Chang Pen-yu, and Singaporean actor Christopher Lee. Because of budget limitations, the production started with only one-month preparation and a three-man team. Some of the scenes were shot in Lin Sun Hospital, Yang Ming Hospital, and an enclosed section of Siwei Road. One day, while filming Ruby Lin's car accident scene, one of the production staff left the handbrake off, leading the car to slide on the street which nearly ran over Ruby Lin, who was lying on the ground. Fortunately, the production team discovered it early and rushed to stop the car before turning into a real accident.
There were several films that have entered into their pre-production stages during April and May, including Afternoon Tea - directed by Arvin Chen, Rooftop - directed, produced, and played by Jay Chou, and Face (official name undecided) - played by Chen Bo-lin. Face is based on Giddens Ko's novel - Superman. Because of its sci-fi background, approximately 60% of the scenes will be shot in Taipei at the observatory, hospitals, and Ximenting. Furthermore, a Japanese tourism commercial by HIT (endorsed by Lin Chi-Ling) was also shot in Taipei.
In the foreseeable future, we expect to receive a larger number of production teams from local and abroad into Taipei. However, we regret to see that some of the production teams did not comply with the related filming regulations during their shooting; incidents such as overtime shooting and regulation violations have all caused troubles for the lenders. The Forestry Bureau has explicitly refused to offer its Japanese cottage for filming, while Renai and Lin Sun Hospitals are also considering to withdraw their support.
We are sad to see the loss of those who were willing to lend their properties for film production, on the grounds that few production teams had failed to obey rules. These incidents had made it inconvenient for the more obedient users. In order to prevent further incidents, Taipei Film Commission will exercise greater care in screening the proper script and production team, or may even be fully involved over the course of production to ensure that properties are put into proper use.