Press conference for City Under Siege was held on June 1, 2010 afternoon in Beijing, during which a 5 minutes making-of featurette was shown. The event was attended by the producers/investors, director Benny Chan, the cast Aaron Kwok, Ngai Sing, Wu Jing, Shu Qi.
Benny Chan introduces that at that time, he wanted to surpass himself with a new concept, and having already done many contemporary films, he thought of doing a film on mutants, he wanted to elevate the demands of the action scenes to the next level, to come up with better action, to entice the audience with something new.
However, Benny Chan notes, “Hollywood has done many such themes, and their market is very big, and they have ample funds, in terms of technology and special effects, we are still lagging behind them. So, in this film, we will highlight our forte, Chinese kungfu, every action scene is something not seen in Hollywood films. To them, Chinese kungfu is very enigmatic. We would use our strengths to make up for our shortcomings. So, this film does not focus on the science fiction elements, rather we put emphasis on on-location action, as well as fist-to-fist combat.
“Around 10m yuan went to the special effects, this is the most extravagant film I’ve ever done. Apart from special effects, stunts and makeup also cost quite a bit of money. In this film, there are 5 mutants, and each mutant needed 5 makeup artists, and so we had 20+ makeup artists, this was a very difficult challenge. It’s the toughest film I’ve ever done, even more difficult than Shaolin. I had to rack my brains designing and planning every set and scene.
“The audience are always looking for some big explosion scenes, and we have done our homework in this area too. We have a bigger space here, like fighting in the air, the sets in the past were more down-to-earth, so it wasn’t possible to have such effects. In the finale, we cordoned off an entire street for filming, then 100 cars were driven in, and we shot the fight right in the middle of the street. It would have been way too overblown, if not for the subject matter of this film.”
Once again, Ngai Sing again takes up the role of main villain who holds the City Under Siege, and he is praised by director Benny Chan for for his superb moves, living up to his name as a super action star. Ngai Sing also has his image completely changed with the monstrous mutant makeup. Because of his mutant image in the film, Ngai Sing had to arrive 3 hrs earlier than everyone else for makeup, and he’s also the last the leave the set, to allow time for removal his makeup.
“But I didn’t find it tedious, rather, it was an enjoyment, enjoying the process of filming in such makeup. As long as you put your heart and soul to do it, you’ll be able to bring out the feel of the character. And it was indeed great fighting in City Under Siege and Wu Jing is a very good opponent to fight against.” says Ngai Sing.
Wu Jing is playing an agent – a beastly cop – who catches mutants in this film. And Benny Chan has specially designed lots of drama scenes for Wu Jing, a fresh change compared to his past roles. Dressed in Western suit, and wearing a pair of gold-rimmed glasses, Wu Jing would often appear at the research facility and crime scenes. At the same time, the film affords plenty of room for Wu Jing to shine in wushu.
Wu Jing says, “It’s truly difficult filming City Under Siege, very frenzied. I’m an normal person in the film, but I have to fight abnormal persons. When an ordinary person fights the mutants, the mutants would feel nothing, but I must strike hard enough until they would feel the pain. Besides, the mutants could fly in the sky, while I stay on the ground, how to fight? All these have to be treaded upon carefully.”
While Zhang Jing Chu, who plays Wu Jing’s significant other in City Under Siege, wasn’t able to attend, Wu Jing remarks the image that Zhang Jing Chu projects in the film is the model of his ideal wife, and adds that the film marks the turning point in his life.
Benny Chan takes great pride in Wu Jing’s performance in the film, “In City Under Siege, you’ll see an all-new Wu Jing, the character Wu Jing is playing is a very complex person, but he captured everything very well, I believe that Wu Jing has made a great leap forward in City Under Siege in terms of acting, we’ll have even more outstanding collaborations in the future.”
City Under Siege, made with the budget of around 100m yuan, opens in China on August 6, 2010.