|Director Nguyễn Phan Quang Bình|
Glee Việt Nam is a remake of the award-winning American television series Glee. The first season, consisting of 22 episodes, is being made by Nguyễn Phan Quang Bình. The first episode was shown free on local online channels on August 18.
After the first episode, the series has received positive and negative feedback from a wide range of viewers. The producer, HCM City-based film studio BHD, decided to show the second episode later than the originally scheduled time. A meeting and exchange between the television crew and a live audience was held to replace the intended second episode release.
Film director Bình is famous for movies including Vũ Khúc Con Cò (Dance of the Stork) and Cánh Đồng Bất Tận (The Floating Lives). Dance of the Stork, his first movie, received the Best Feature Film Prize at the Milan Film Festival in Italy in 2003, while The Floating Lives won the Golden Kite Awards for best film, best actress and best supporting actor from the Việt Nam Cinematography Association in 2010.
Bình spoke about directing and producing Glee Việt Nam.
The first episode of Glee Việt Nam was released. Are you satisfied with it?
Firstly, it is very difficult to produce the series because Glee Việt Nam combines acting, music, dancing and sport. We spenth two months preparing for shooting the first episode. The series includes over 100 roles and hundreds of extras. It is very complicated to direct a television series with many roles like Glee Việt Nam.
I think all film directors wish to have more time to make their films perfect. I try my best.
What percentage Glee Việt Nam is the same as the original version?
Glee Việt Nam is the first copyright of Glee in the world. We worked with Los Angeles-based Fox producers to buy the copyright.
The film crew is working under pressure to make the series close to Vietnamese culture with the original’s script. We can change the plot, situations, and character traits to suit Vietnamese culture, with Fox’s agreement.
Many Vietnamese audiences have seen Glee and they love it. Millions of other Vietnamese haven’t seen the American series. I love Glee too and I want to make Glee Việt Nam for young Vietnamese audiences. There are few movies for teenagers in Việt Nam.
I want to make a film telling about themes that young audiences are interested in. I hope the young audience will enjoy Glee Việt Nam and see themselves in the roles in the series.
We also know that the audience that watched the original will be demanding because they love the original very much.
Could you tell more about music in the series ?
We use one hundred percent Vietnamese music in Glee Việt Nam.
It is a musical drama so music accounts for 30 to 40 per cent for the success of the series. Music helps the roles express their outer feelings and inner emotions. The series’ music includes pop and romance music for two main types of roles - teachers and teenagers.
Many Vietnamese movies are ruined by advertisements. Are there too many advertisements in Glee Việt Nam ?
The series is shown free online. We need financial resources from sponsors to produce the series. However, we don’t let advertisements affect the plot. Advertisements appear naturally in the series. We really want to create a market for high -quality online films which will be free for Vietnamese audiences.
To do this I have to thank sponsors who believe in us and are always with us.
American Glee is successful thanks to music and actors who have singing technique. But two main roles in Glee Việt Nam by actors Phương Trinh and Rocker Nguyễn are not good at singing. What made you choose them ?
There’s a fact that it is very difficult to find an actor who can act, sing and dance. Some roles in the series don’t need to sing as well as they need to act, so we give priority to acting.
Trinh’s role is very difficult because she has complicated psychological development. I chose Trinh because she fits the role. Trinh’s role doesn’t sing much and she doesn’t need to record live. The music director takes responsibility for helping Trinh to complete her role.
Nguyễn’s role in the series is a hot boy. Nguyễn is a handsome singer and he has experience in acting before. He is also smart at expressing the role of the character well. Absolutely he meets the role’s demand.
I’m satisfied with his acting in the first episode. To me he is able to go across Vietnamese borders.
What is the most difficult challenge for you in directing the series?
It is an online film project that requires a big financial resource. It can be said that Glee Việt Nam is a musical series with the largest production so far.
But it is very difficult to make the series because it requires actors to spend time researching and practicing. They need to combine acting, singing and dancing. There is no difference between night and day when we shoot the series.
Many actors quit their other shows to follow the film crew. I really respect this because I know they receive payment which cannot match the value of their work. — VNS