STOP10 Jan 2017: 'Take 2' by Ivan Ho


A prison film for CNY? Yes, here is a film about ex-prisoners which can actually make you laugh and gets you in the festive mood, no less. Take 2《遇见贵人》is a comedy about four prisoners who resolve to turn over a new leaf after they finish serving their jail sentences. They are played by Ah Boys To Men star Maxi Lim, veteran getai host Wang Lei, wacky comedian Gadrick Chin and Long Long Time Ago's Ryan Lian. The rest of the cast includes such familiar faces as Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Chen Tian Wen and Dennis Chew.

This film is director Ivan Ho's debut feature as a director. He has previously been a screenwriter for some of Jack Neo's films, including Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen and Long Long Time Ago.

Here is our interview with director Ivan Ho, which gives you a glimpse into the making of Take 2:

Take 2 was your first time in the director's seat, after co-writing several of Jack Neo's films. How did that come about? Were you eager to take on the director's role?



Perhaps it was because, while director Jack Neo was filming [one of their previous collaborations], I would often spontaneously suggest some of my whimsical ideas. Maybe it was for this reason that Jack felt that I was suitable to direct comedy, and offered me this valuable opportunity.

I believe that once many screenwriters become good at writing, they dream of moving into the director's chair. I am no exception, which is why I especially cherish this directorial work

或许是由于我在梁导的拍摄现场时,常突发奇想的要求梁导临时加入一些天马行空的点子。可能正是因为这个缘故,梁导因此觉得我适合执导喜剧片,才给予我这个宝贵的机会。
编而优则导,相信是所有编剧所梦寐以求的,我也不例外,所以我格外珍惜这次的导演工作。

What did you learn as a director that you might not have encountered while you were a screenwriter? 

As a screenwriter, I only need to focus on the plot structure, characterisations and story development, whereas the director not only needs to keep all of these in mind, he also has to account for the shooting schedules and the entire movie's rhythm and tone. It's very tough, even harder than writing a script from scratch.

本只需要关注构、人物性格以及起承合,而演不但需要留意上述几点外,要兼顾镜头调度以及整部影的奏与基等,其度之高,比起由零开始作的编剧之而无不及。

Were any scenes particularly difficult to shoot?



The action scenes near the end of Take 2 were most difficult, because we had to simultaneously handle the choreography, special effects and acting, and on top of that, there were many people involved. Personally, that was the hardest scene for me to shoot. 

《遇见贵人》完前的,由于同时牵涉到作、电脑特技、感情戏,加上人物众多,是我个人觉得拍摄难度最高的一场戏。

How did the idea for this story come about? Did Jack's previous ex-convict film, One More Chance (2005), have any influence on the story?


The entire idea for the movie came from Jack. He has always felt that ex-convicts are a rarely acknowledged group of people who deserve to be given compassion and opportunities to return into society. That's why he hopes that the movie can bring out a positive message of redemption, and hence induce more in society to pay closer attention to this group of people.

Hence the previous movie One More Chance also centred on the ex-convict theme, but the style of Take 2 is very different. The earlier movie focused more on prison life, whereas Take 2 mainly skips over events within the prison.

整部影的概念来自梁志强导演。梁导一直觉得社会上一批鲜为人知的个群前囚犯,需要社会的关怀以及给予机会,让他们重新融入社会,所以希望电影能带出回头是岸的正能量讯息,并引起社会人士关注这一群人。
虽然之前的《3个好人》也是以出狱者为主题,但是整体故事风格跟《遇见贵人》却是截然不同的。前者对于监狱生活着墨较多,而《遇见贵人》基本上完全没有监狱内的剧情。


On that note, did you consciously try to make your visual/directorial style similar to or different from Jack's?


Although I take Jack as a directorial mentor, my childhood pop culture references differ completely from his. Personally I am a huge manga fan, which is why my humour style varies so much from Jack's.  However, to pay tribute to him, I would ensure that some scenes retain that 'Jack Neo' style, in the hopes that this will give audiences a knowing smile.

In this world, there are so many different humour styles, but in the end their motivation is the same: to make people laugh! That's my own raison d'être!

承梁志强导演,但是我自幼接触到的流行文化却跟他完全不同。我本身是一个漫画的狂热爱好者,所以于幽默情的理手法绝对于梁志强导演。不基于致敬原因,某些景我是刻意的以梁氏理,希望做到能令观众会心一笑。 
天下之大,幽默派别不少,但是归根究底目的只有一个,就是要令人发笑!我的存在理由也正是如此!

Which actor did you most enjoy working with?



In Take 2, the actor I admired most was Wang Lei. As one of Singapore's most popular getai figures, his getai schedule was packed, but he would have to find time in between shooting to rush to host getai events, sacrificing his rest time. Yet Wang Lei would do this without complaint, and remained very down-to-earth, putting his trust and encouragement in me even though I was a rookie director.

Take 2's ending action sequence even features Wang Lei's first time attempting action choreography -- the results will surprise audiences!


《遇见贵人》里,我最佩的演就是:王雷。贵为新加坡歌台一哥,歌台邀约忙碌,却时常得在拍摄空档赶场跑歌台担任主持,牺牲休息时间。但是王雷却毫无怨言,更没摆过架子,也给予了我这名新手导演最大的信心与支持。《遇见贵人》戏末动作场面更能见到王雷首次参与的武打镜头,效果令人惊叹!

How did the actors get along?


The entire cast was like a family, bonded tightly together. Whether during filming or outside of it, they were great friends and compatriots. I've never seen an entire crew get along so harmoniously and cheerfully. It was a pleasure!

《遇见贵人》的演员们都像一家人,凝聚力十分外都是好朋友、好伙伴,我从没见过一个剧组上上下下都相的如此融洽愉快的,是我的福

Which scene should we most look forward to?

As I've mentioned previously, Take 2 ends with an epic and hilarious action scene, which is the first and most intense in Singapore's cinematic history. Topped with several cast members' crazy antics, it has to be the movie's most eye-grabbing scene.

就如我所提及的,《遇见贵人》完前的一大型作搞笑,是新加坡本地影史上首次到的最激烈的面,加上几名演狂搞笑,将是整部影最亮眼的部分之一。



Take 2 will be released on 26 January 2017 in cinemas islandwide, right on time for Chinese New Year!

Follow the happenings and news about Take 2 on the Facebook pages of mm2 Entertainment and JTeam.


Written by Colin Low

For the full list of January 2017's 10 films under STOP10, click here.

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