SEVEN SWORDSMEN BATTLING HARSH CLIMATIC CONDITIONS OF MT TIAN, XINJIANG

Seven Swords of Mt Tian TV Series 

 

 Seven Swords of Mt Tian TV series 《七剑下天山》 spent 1 week filming in Mt Tian. This was also the toughest time the production had in Xinjiang. Despite all the hardships, director Clarence Fok was very happy with the result. Much of the time were wasted in the journey travelling to and fro between the set at Mt Tian and their lodging, leaving little time for filming.

 

They had to set off before sunrise and could only reach they lodging late in the night. On the second day, on their way to Mt Tian, they met with an avalanche, and their path was blocked by fallen boulders. Few vehicles passed by the vicinity and there was no phone reception. So, the crew and the cast had to clear the road themselves with the spades and hammers, and were delayed by a few hours. Fortunately, no one was hurt and filming proceeded as per normal.

 Yu Cheng HuiAt 3300m above sea level at the peaks of Mt Tian, even the slightest movement would lead to one panting heavily, some crew felt nauseous or giddy halfway and had to be transported down the mountain to recuperate. However, it’s not so fortunate for the cast-members even if they were suffering from acute mountain sickness, for filming couldn’t go on without them.

 

Ma Jing Wu, who plays Reverend Hui Ming (aka Master Shadow Glow), the only actor who appears in both the TV and movie adaptations of Seven Swords of Mt Tian, was also one of the rare few who were unaffected by high altitude, “I am a Xinjiang people, though I have left here many years ago, my feelings for Xinjiang, for Mt Tian, has never changed.”  Xinjiang City Daily

 

Filming in Xinjiang had been very tough and though Seven Swords of Mt Tian TV series has only completed 1/3 of the filming, nearly half the budget has already been spent. Owing to the unfavourable weather, few productions have done outdoor filming in Xinjiang. A spokesperson for the production said, “Finally, we would be free. These two months in Xinjiang had been really tedious.

 

The climate here is very harsh, but the cast’s professionalism is very touching.” Regarding the budget being exceeded, the spokesperson said they had a shock when producer Wang Yong submitted the accounts. Yet, on closer scrutiny, they couldn’t find out exactly what went wrong, apart from unpredictable weather, such as the set they built in the night would be destroyed by the wind the next day they arrived for filming and had to be rebuilt, or filming had to be put on hold when sandstorm came, another is due to the director striving for perfection.

 

While some takes might seem to be okay, Director Clarence Fok would always insist on them being not good enough and called for retakes. “Yet, objectively, based on the present preview clips, they have done a really terrific job.” The spokesperson told this reporter that the studio is going to allocate slightly more funds to ensure that artistic quality is not compromised, yet at the same time, they are sending someone more experienced to oversee the accounts and exercise a tighter control on the budget.  Chongqing News

 

Martial arts director Yuen Bun is heading to Hengdian this week to join Seven Swords of Mt Tian TV series. A spokesperson says, “We are extending our invitation to Yuen Bun in order to showcase the beauty of realistic fights, to bring the martial arts sequences to the next level. Simply put, we want the audience to be thrilled, to see something different in Seven Swords of Mt Tian. Besides, we also have many excellent martial artist stars, this is also how we exploit our strengths fully.” Yuen Bun has signed a three month contract with the production, and his pay is reportedly higher than any of his previous works with Tsui Hark.  Huashang Daily

 

Producer Wang Yong indicates that to fit the original novel’s description of the snowy peaks of Mt Tian, the TV series will be using Sichuan’s Xilin Snow Mountain as the backdrop. The production will head to Sichuan in December and spend a week filming in Xilin Snow Mountain, a scenic spot where the most breathtaking scenes in Lian Cheng Jue was shot on location. To the delights of wuxia fans, Tsui Hark might personally be directing this important scene – depending on when the movie wraps up.  Chengdu Daily

Not only did they have to ride on horses, but also perform strenuous action scenes, which could be quite a hurdle for some of the younger actors and actresses. However, this was nothing to the over 60-year old wushu master Yu Cheng Hui, who plays Fu Qing Chu. He was undaunted by the high altitude, “I want to take more pictures here. It’s so picturesque here, I could feel the power of nature, the power of chivalry here.” When asked about how he dealt with altitude sickness, he said, “Working out very often.”

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