台星共創華劇新局

《你那邊怎樣,我這邊OK》
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2019 / 6月

文‧陳群芳 圖‧拙八郎創意執行提供


台灣與新加坡首度跨國共製戲劇《你那邊怎樣,我這邊OK》,將在8月上檔。兩國的演員、導演跨海與當地劇組合作,以一樁跨國銀行盜領案串起兩條故事線:看新加坡演員在冒險中體驗台灣迷人風情;台灣演員又如何在新加坡的都會建築裡展現精湛演技。兩地的美食、風景、文化將如何透過鏡頭在戲裡交織,令人期待。

 


 

今年初台北圓山飯店搖身成為星光大道,由導演王小棣領軍的拙八郎創意執行與台灣電視公司,以及新加坡媒體集團新傳媒共同製作的戲劇《你那邊怎樣,我這邊OK》,舉辦開鏡記者會。來自台灣、新加坡的演員們輪番上台,連我國的文化部長、警政署長也都到場祝福,宣布這部陣容堅強的作品,正式開拍。

台星影視交流點線面

在新加坡經常會看到台灣的綜藝節目、偶像劇、八點檔連續劇在電視播映,新加坡觀眾對台灣的演藝人員並不陌生。新加坡的電視台也經常邀請台灣演員參與新加坡戲劇的演出,例如陳美鳳、黃仲崑、王傳一等,不論是主角或客串,都能為戲劇畫龍點睛。

每年新加坡舉辦的亞洲電視節,台灣都帶著精彩作品出席,除了交流影視作品,更是洽談版權、尋找投資的重要盛會。而新加坡的電影也會參加台灣舉辦的金馬獎,如2013年的作品《爸媽不在家》就獲得第50屆金馬獎最佳劇情片、最佳新導演等4項大獎,令台灣觀眾驚艷。

兩國之間的影視交流頻繁,不曾間斷。導演王小棣則將彼此從交流,進一步發展為關係緊密的合作夥伴。

2017年王小棣受邀前往新加坡新傳媒集團教授表演課程,無意間聊起共製作品的想法,雙方一拍即合,就這樣牽起了緣分。決定合作後,王小棣想如果能將一個故事分成兩邊來詮釋,肯定很有趣。雙方經過一年多來來回回無數次的討論,終於誕生了一部擁有兩條故事線、既可單看又可交叉看的戲劇──《你那邊怎樣,我這邊OK》。

看戲享受解謎趣味

《你那邊怎樣,我這邊OK》以2016年發生在台灣的跨國駭客集團ATM盜領案為發想,駭客集團透過駭入第一銀行英國倫敦分行的一台數據機,一步步駭進位於台灣的總行系統,進而取得ATM的控制權,從遠端就可開啟吐鈔機。車手得以在不操作機台的情況下領走大筆現金,一個晚上在全台四十幾部ATM以同樣手法犯案。這起盜領案當時促成了台灣與國際打擊犯罪組織的合作,最終成功破案。

王小棣將故事主軸分成兩線,新加坡線是由演員藍正龍飾演劇中虛構的騰昇銀行的新加坡地區經理,新加坡演員陳泂江飾演航運集團的少東,兩人在新加坡展開企業間的明爭暗鬥;台灣線則由新加坡演員黃俊雄飾演一名聰明但個性單純耿直的駭客,新加坡演員陳羅密歐則飾演來台學習廚藝的海南雞飯接班人,兩人因故捲入盜領案,為躲避警察追緝而在台灣展開一場冒險之旅。兩線各有獨立的敘事結構,既可單看發生在新加坡或台灣的劇情,亦可交叉觀看讓整部戲的故事脈絡更加清楚。

例如,觀眾可能會在新加坡版看到藍正龍撥電話到台灣交代任務,然後掛上電話後劇情繼續往下走;但台灣版就會看到話筒另一端接電話的人的臉部表情和反應,看他接下來會採取什麼行動。新傳媒監製梁來玲自信地表示:「這個故事很複雜,看一遍是不夠的!有些你看第一次沒留意到的細節,當你在看另一個版本時才會發現原來是有梗的,激起觀眾回頭重看的念頭。」讓觀眾從中發掘解謎的樂趣,是這部戲迷人的地方。

因靠近而熟悉

誠如新傳媒首席內容創作官梁露明在開鏡記者會上表示:「這次台前幕後、從裡到外的合作模式,是新傳媒第一次的嘗試。」也是台灣與新加坡首度如此緊密的影視合作。

台灣這邊由王小棣擔任整部戲的總導演及監製,統籌劇本及兩個故事線的規劃;新加坡新傳媒監製梁來玲負責新加坡線的拍攝、後製等事宜。台灣線的部分由台灣導演柯貞年、新加坡導演葉佩娟(Doreen)各搭配一組台灣的劇組人員;新加坡線則是台灣導演曾培善、新加坡導演陳金祥,分別與當地劇組合作拍攝,跳脫以往導演帶著自己的劇組前往國外拍攝的模式。

4組人分散在兩國4處同時拍攝,要讓多頭馬車協調進行,勢必需要縝密的劇本規劃;再加上以兩條故事線分別呈現的設計,所以台星雙方在前期劇本的討論就費了很大的功夫。必須協調兩地拍戲的工作模式、調整拍攝規格,更要將兩國的文化特色不著痕跡地融入劇情。雖然台灣與新加坡同樣講華語,但因為文化風土的不同,就有不同的呈現:新加坡人在講話時會夾雜英語及其他方言,有些詞彙甚至沒有華語的表達方式,例如台灣人常講的筆電,新加坡人都稱作「laptop」;又或者他們習慣隨興的使用英文單字的開頭作為形容詞。演員黃俊雄舉例,當新加坡人說:「不要那麼emo啦」,台灣人乍聽會摸不著頭緒,但其實指的是emotional,請對方不要情緒化的意思。

以往新加坡電影裡常會聽到新加坡人講話會以中英文夾雜,或是語句的尾音會加上la、lo等,獨特的「新加坡式英語」表達是許多台灣人對新加坡人的印象。王小棣也希望新加坡演員的對白多以新加坡式英語來表現。但合作後才知道,新加坡的電視節目,華語戲劇必須使用標準華語,不能參雜方言,所以像是台灣常講的「續攤」、「撩妹」等詞彙就不適合出現在新加坡線的劇情裡。當有類似情況時導演們就會因應拍攝兩種不同對白的版本。

星國人的台灣拍戲初體驗

導演Doreen分享自己這5個月在台灣拍戲的經驗:「在新加坡許多專業術語都直接講英語,但台灣劇組居然可以全部用華語表達,起初常會因為不知道如何用中文表達而詞窮。」經過一陣子磨合後,和台灣劇組逐漸培養出默契與情感,有時不用言語,彼此也能心領神會。偶爾向劇組說自己沒法休假看遍台灣風景時,劇組還會開玩笑地說:「導演,台灣最美的風景是人!」幽默地表示劇組就是Doreen最美的風景。

新加坡的新傳媒集團旗下有電視台、廣播電台、雜誌……,還有經紀公司,所以戲劇節目大多是由自家藝人來演出,演員間彼此熟識。不同於台灣的演員是分屬多家經紀公司,有拍戲需求時,來自各方的演員匯聚拍攝。此次開拍前,王小棣為演員們準備的表演課,對陳羅密歐而言是很特別的體驗。透過老師的引導,大家甚至願意分享自己私密的心事,在歡笑與淚水中,演員們漸漸熟悉彼此。

《你那邊怎樣,我這邊OK》全劇共40集,新加坡線與台灣線各20集。一部20集的戲,新加坡以往的製作期大約兩個半月,拍攝時程緊湊,都是按著排定的通告進行;但在台灣,搭景、架燈等等的細節都十分講究,拍攝期至少4到5個月,為了劇情需要而臨時加戲更是家常便飯。黃俊雄表示,很佩服台灣演員即興演出的功力,之前在新加坡都習慣提前準備劇本,但在台灣常會接到臨時的通告,起初他會有點不知所措,擔心自己表現不好,但也因此得以磨練自己的演技。台灣劇組的縝密分工,讓黃俊雄和陳羅密歐都大開眼界,以往在新加坡拍戲時,演員都必須自己記下連戲服裝,台灣這裡卻有專門的服裝組幫忙打點,導演Doreen笑說:「他們倆在台灣很幸福,從頭到腳都有劇組照顧。」

成為彼此的風景

戲劇呈現人生的縮影,也讓觀眾從中看見一個國家的文化。新加坡以現代化的城市聞名世界,摩登建築是不容錯過的場景,金沙酒店、摩天輪、馬場等,都被導演們以鏡頭收錄。台灣劇組到新加坡勘景時,對新加坡的公共住宅──組屋、海南雞飯等所發出的驚嘆,讓梁來玲重新思考用不同角度來詮釋自己習以為常的事物。看導演們如何呈現他們所看到的異國風景,也將是這部戲的亮點。

新北市淡水、烏來、野柳以及基隆等,則有台灣線劇組的拍攝足跡。新加坡演員陳羅密歐、黃俊雄跟著劇組上山下海,因應戲劇內容體驗了戶外溫泉,在山路騎摩托車俯瞰台北的城市景色,台灣豐富的地形地貌,讓居住在都市裡的他們大為讚嘆。

劇名:「你那邊怎樣?」「我這邊OK!」像是親友間簡單的一聲問候,言談間蘊含了關心、一種想要了解的好奇心。劇組希望兩國的觀眾因為這部戲引發對彼此更多的好奇與了解,也藉由網路平台的播放,讓更多人認識台灣與新加坡,透過彼此合作,將華語戲劇的影響力推得更遠。

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近期文章

EN

A Milestone in Chinese-Language TV Drama

Taiwan and Singapore Collaborate on All Is Well

Chen Chun-fang /photos courtesy of Eight Ge Man Production /tr. by Geof Aberhart

In August and September All Is Well, the first television drama coproduced between Taiwan and Singapore, will hit the airwaves. In it, two storylines are tied together by an international bank robbery, and viewers will get to watch as Singaporean actors venture through Taiwan’s charming scenery and Taiwanese actors showcase their acting skills in Singa­pore’s urban jungle. This intersection of cultures and settings is certainly something to be eagerly awaited.

 


 

Early this year, the Grand Hotel in Tai­pei became a veritable Walk of Fame as director Wang ­Shaudi announced the commencement of filming on All Is Well at a press conference. The show, boasting a formidable cast, would be a coproduction between Taiwan’s Eight Ge Man Productions and Taiwan Television, and Media Corporation of Singapore.

Taiwan and Singapore together

Taiwanese variety shows and dramas are a frequent feature on Singaporean television, and so Taiwanese entertainers are far from unfamiliar to Singaporean audiences. Singaporean TV stations also often invite Taiwanese actors to take part in Singaporean dramas.

The annual Asia Television Forum in Singapore features wonderful works from Taiwan, as well as facilitating exchanges, rights negotiations, and investment agreements. Similarly, Singaporean films have been part of the Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, with Ilo Ilo, for example, taking four awards including Best Feature Film and Best New Director in 2013.

Exchanges between the two sides in film and tele­vision are frequent and show no signs of slowing down. With this latest venture, director Wang ­Shaudi has taken things from simple exchanges to partnership.

In 2017, Wang was invited to Singapore to teach performance classes by Media Corporation of Singapore (Mediacorp). It was while she was there that the idea of a co­produc­tion began to brew in her mind as the two sides hit it off. It was almost like fate. After more than a year of discussions, the two finally formulated a drama with two storylines that could be seen as both independent and intertwined, which would become All Is Well.

Whodunit

The show is inspired by an incident from 2016 when a transnational hacker group stole some NT$83 million from Taiwanese ATMs. The group began by infiltrating an ATM at a London, England, branch of First Bank, working their way into the Taiwanese head office’s systems step by step so they could remotely activate ATMs in Taiwan. This meant the getaway driver could make off with a substantial sum without touching the machine, and in the course of one night, the group was able to raid over 40 ATMs across Taiwan. The case spurred cooperation between Taiwanese law enforcement and their oppos­ite numbers abroad, ultimately nabbing the culprits.

Wang chose to break the story down into two tracks. The first follows Blue Lan’s character, the Singapore area manager of a fictional Taiwanese bank, and Desmond Tan’s, the son of the boss of a Singaporean shipping group, as the two go through the world of corpor­ate conflict in Singapore. The second track follows Elvin Ng’s honest hacker and Romeo Tan’s aspiring chef, in Taiwan to learn his trade, as the two are drawn into a theft and find themselves on the lam.

Each track has its own independent narrative structure and could be viewed as its own Singapore- or Taiwan-based drama, but the two can also be viewed together, giving a clearer overall picture.

For example, in the Singapore version viewers may see Blue Lan’s character calling Taiwan to assign someone a task and then carrying on with the Singapore strand of the plot, while in the Taiwan version they will see the other end of that call and what that person then goes on to do.

Familiarity through proximity

On the Taiwan side, Taiwanese director Ko Chen-nien and Singaporean director Doreen Yap were at the helm, while in Singapore Taiwan’s ­Tzeng Pei-shan and Singa­pore’s Martin Chan led the way. These partnerships each worked with local crews, a big shift from the usual practice, which sees directors bring their own crews when shooting abroad.

The four teams shot in four different locations across the two countries, and between that and the separate storylines, preparations for the production required substantial discussion between the Taiwanese and Singa­porean sides. The way of working and the shooting specifications had to be negotiated between the two, and they also had to work to seamlessly combine the cultural characteristics of both sides into the show. While both sides may speak Mandarin, cultural differences nonetheless make themselves apparent even in how each side talks. Singaporeans, for example, are much more used to throwing in words in English or in other varieties of Chinese, and sometimes the English words are cut down to just a syllable or two when used as adjectives. Elvin Ng gives an example, noting that when a Singaporean says “Don’t be so ‘emo,’” a Taiwanese person might have trouble cottoning on to the fact that “emo” is short for “emotional.”

Singaporean movies have also often featured the locals mixing Chinese and English in their speech, as well as parts of speech not used as often in Taiwanese Mandarin, creating a distinctive “Singlish” that has come to be one of the lasting impressions of Singa­poreans among Taiwanese. Wang had hoped to make a lot of use of Singlish in the dialog of the Singa­porean actors, but as the cooperation developed, she came to understand that Singa­porean film and television are now required to use “standard” Mandarin, with no mixing of languages. Given that, the directors would often shoot two versions of scenes, each using different dialogue.

A Singaporean in Taiwan

Mediacorp has fingers in many pies, from television and radio to artist representation, and as a result its dramas usually feature actors from its own stable who are well known to one another. Taiwanese actors, on the other hand, are spread out across several agencies, and as such tend to come together from various groups to shoot. This difference between the two industries came to the fore in Wang’s decision to hold preparatory classes for the actors ahead of shooting, something that was a new experience for Romeo Tan. Under the leadership of their teacher, the actors gradually came to know each other better as they shared private thoughts, laughter, and tears.

All Is Well comprises a total of 40 episodes, 20 each for the Taiwanese and Singaporean storylines. In Singa­pore, shooting 20 episodes would take around ten weeks, moving at a quick pace according to a tight schedule; in Taiwan, though, where crews are more particular about lighting and sets, that same number could take four or five months, and reshoots to accommodate script changes are a common occurrence. Elvin Ng says he admired the ability of the Taiwanese actors to improvise, as in Singa­pore they tend to stick to the script, but in Taiwan there are often last-minute changes. At first, he says, he found this a bit overwhelming and he worried about his perform­ance, but it also turned out to be a valuable chance to hone his acting skills.

Sharing scenery

Television shows can present microcosms of life and give audiences windows into other cultures. Singa­pore is famous for its modern urban look, and the directors made sure to capture icons like the Marina Bay Sands, Singa­pore Flyer, and ­Kranji Racecourse. When scouting for locations in Singa­pore, the Taiwanese crew were amazed by the public housing and the Hainanese chicken rice, and their reactions inspired executive producer ­Leong Lye Lin to look at the things she had taken so much for granted from a whole new perspective.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan shooting took place in well-known locations like Wu­lai and Ye­liu in New Tai­pei City, as well as in Kee­lung. As part of the show, Romeo Tan and Elvin Ng had the chance to experience outdoor hot springs and looking down over Tai­pei by night as they rode motorcycles along mountain roads. As city dwel­lers, they found themselves bowled over by Taiwan’s scenic richness.

The people behind All Is Well hope that audiences in each country will have their curiosity about the other piqued by the show, and that with the show available by streaming, even more people will get to know Taiwan and Singapore as the cooperation helps spread Chinese-­language drama even further.

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