The Awesome Ensemble
No, this is not a repeated entry, in case you're having that sense of deja vu from an earlier review also about the Making-Of DVD of what's arguably one of the best feature films of 2011, You Are The Apple of My Eye (那些年，我们一起追的女孩), by writer-director Giddens (九把刀), who will be in town later this weekend for Bookfest 2011.
It's either you're contributing to its box office success in Singapore through multiple viewings, or are/have been picking up memorabilia such as the source material in Giddens' original novel (in both Traditional or Simplified Chinese formats with different covers), or the Making-Of book which came with the DVD as earlier reviewed, or have picked up the Original Soundtrack published by Sony Music, which also comes packaged with a second DVD disc containing almost an hour's worth of behind the scenes material, wrapping up with two versions of its theatrical trailer (the romantic love version and the hot blooded youth version), clocking in a combined 60:54 minutes.
Naturally the snippets from the earlier Making-Of DVD came from this almost hour long one packaged with the Original Soundtrack, which began with the cast members talking about the most romantic moment in their lives. There are plenty to be gleaned from this Making-Of production since it contains extensive interviews with cast members, and especially Giddens himself, who shared the reason why this film was actually made, was in order to shoot what was the final 10 minutes of the wedding scene to relive the actual moment in 2005, which served as a catalyst in having this film project finally lifting off, having rejected countless of offers by others who had wanted to adapt it for the big screen.
And you just got to admire the guy for his courage in attempting to direct a feature film of this magnitude without much prior experience, and for bearing his heart and soul in a film for all and sundry to see (which in effect provided the film its sincerity and genuineness without coming off as contrived, and making it believably real with identifiable moments for anyone who had gone through high school days), reliving through the production process some of the painful episodes in his relentless courtship for the apple of his eye then, although there were always going to be highlights from the more uplifting moments of friendship and camaraderie, and of course having a hand at picking Michelle Chen for the lead female role, having a pseudo "goddess" portrayed and having the spirit of the character captured wonderfully by the actress.
Like any behind the scenes production, there's the standard interview segments where the cast talk about their roles and about certain key scenes in the film, reminiscing some of the more interesting aspects of the production process and what went on the set, from birthday celebrations to various shenanigans. But the most informative moments come from the interview with producer Cai Zhiping who got featured prominently in the first 30 minutes, and from Giddens himself who shared the idea, inspiration and his feelings behind scenes, while bracing himself for the sting from the past.
Presented in the letterbox format in Mandarin without subtitles, I suppose one has to wait until the actual DVD release together with non-Mandarin speakers curious enough to know more about its production to have something subtitled. Here's hoping that the release will come with plenty of bells and whistles, and a lot more insights that have yet to be seen.
You can read my review of the film here.