Vietnamese artists invest in web dramas

February 24, 2020 - 10:25
Vietnamese artists in recent years have been investing in web dramas which have attracted tens of millions of views on YouTube.


Actor Trấn Thành and People’s Artist Ngọc Giàu in Bố Già (Old Dad), the most-viewed web drama in Việt Nam. It has earned more than 90 million views for five episodes. Still photo taken from video

Phương Mai

HCM CITY — Vietnamese artists in recent years have been investing in web dramas which have attracted tens of millions of views on YouTube.

Actor Trấn Thành’s Bố Già (Old Dad) is the most-viewed web drama in Việt Nam, having earning more than 90 million views for five episodes. It ranked number 1 on trending on YouTube in Việt Nam after the film premiered on January 2.

The five-episode series is about the life an older motorbike taxi driver who faces problems earning enough money for his family.

He sometimes behaves cruelly to his two children and wife, but he is also a kind-hearted man who loves his family and likes to help people.

“My wife gave me ideas for the film, and we finished the screenplay together,” Thành, who plays the leading role, told local media in interviews.

“In Việt Nam, people love to do films about mothers, but not many fathers,” he said, adding that he hoped that the film would enhance understanding about Vietnamese fathers.

“People often complain that Vietnamese fathers are rude and they forget what they have done,” said the 33-year-old actor who invested VNĐ4 billion (US$172,000) in the production.

To achieve the best quality, Thành invited experienced filmmakers to work on the production.

The film’s director is Tô Gia Tuấn, aka Mr. Tô, who has directed popular web dramas like Thập Tam Muội (The 13th Sister) and Vi Cá Tiền Truyện (Chasing Love).

The film also features young actors Tuấn Trần and Ali Hoàng Dương, and veteran actors including People’s Artist Ngọc Giàu and Lê Giang.

Bố Già has been praised by the media and the public, receiving thousands of positive comments on Trấn Thành’s YouTube channel.

Viewer Vương Thanh Liêm said the film "feels close to people and it's about good things in life”, while viewer Duy Trần said he saw it twice.

Trấn Thành, a graduate in acting from the HCM City University of Cinematography and Theatre, is known primarily as an MC, a comic and movie actor, voice actor and producer.

As an MC in 2006, he earned several awards for his role at Mai Vàng (Golden Ochna) Awards in 2013 and 2014, the Việt Nam Television Awards in 2015, and the HCM City Television Awards in 2014.

He has played leading roles in top Vietnamese films such as Cua Lại Vợ Bầu (Falling in Love Again) earning VNĐ191.8 billion ($8.25 million) in ticket sales, and Trạng Quỳnh (Dr Quỳnh) with VNĐ100 billion ($4.3 million).

Last year, he also released a eight-part web drama called The Call on YouTube. The drama, about mysterious calls at night, has attracted more than 2 million views for each episode.

Like Thành, Thu Trang, Huỳnh Lập and Nam Thư have invested billions of đồng in making web dramas and have achieved success.

Singer and actress Hằng is a new face in the genre. She is working on her first production, which is still a secret.

“I spent half a year on writing the script and casting. I will be the director and play a leading role because I want to control the film to ensure it is perfect,” said the 34-year-old actress.

Hằng played a leading role in movies like Sắc Đẹp Ngàn Cân, a Vietnamese version of Korean movie 200 Pounds Beauty, and won a Mai Vàng Awards for favourite actress in 2017.

“My film will reflect hot topics of today's society with thrilling details in hopes of bringing audiences a unique production,” she added.

Hằng and her colleagues Trương Thanh Long and Xuân Phúc are on set for filming.

She expects to release her film on YouTube in mid-2020. — VNS