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Nhất Trung: From a hit maker to a box office king

Update: July, 30/2018 - 23:37
Viet Nam News

Working hard in silence, Nhất Trung is well-known for bringing several V-pop singers including Minh Hằng, Tim and Lưu Chí Vỹ to the limelight. At the peak of his music career, he suddenly took a new direction and moved into movies.  Trung speaks with Minh Thi about his tactics to further approach audiences, both by music and film.

After a long time working as a composer and music manager, Nhất Trung now focuses on movie making, taking three roles of director, screenwriter and producer for high-grossing flicks such as "49 Days", "Ghost Hospital", "Sunshine" and "Babysitters at Work".

"49 Days" parts 1 and 2 netted  a total of VNĐ71 billion (US$3 million) at the box office, a significant number for Vietnamese cinemas. It also gave movie-goers a new perspectives of Vietnamese thrillers. His latest project "Change 2 Change" will be released by the end of August.

Inner Sanctum: Being a part of singer Minh Hằng’s success, can you reveal a little bit about a formula to create a pop star?

There is no formula. Just as a perfect role for an actor, a hit gives birth to a star. As a manager, I had to find songs that fit best with my singers and their audiences. Once a song becomes a hit, a singer can attract attention and has potential to be a pop star.

Whatever my positions are, a composer, a showman, a director or a scriptwriter, I always put quality first. A singer, to me, should also be an entertainer and have hits. A movie should make people laugh and cry. Audiences should get to know you through your projects and love your movies because of their quality.

These will be the key that helps you gain loyal audiences, nothing else.

Inner Sanctum: Is there any difference in the way you create a hit song in the past and now?

I have no tips to make a song become a big hit. Anytime a composer writes a song, he writes it with his heart. If the song has a catchy tune and special lyrics, if it touches upon a different topic, it may win audiences’ hearts.

Inner Sanctum: Lyrics are still the common weakness of popular pop songs. How can you write a catchy song that is not considered shallow?

I think a song is written based on its composer’s feelings. The way the composer presents it, however, depends on his background, whether he comes from an elite circle or he is just a commoner.

To me, no matter what the lyrics are, as long as a song touches people’s hearts. It does not mean I approve songs with shocking lyrics.

Inner Sanctum: Why do you decide to switch from a composer to a director?

Life offers us several turns that stimulate us to change and to improve ourselves. I believe in “fate”. Once you are done with something, you need to do something new, meet somebody new.

Regarding my music career, I did my best. At present, I find the role of director suits me well and try to have a shot.

Inner Sanctum: What about being a “million-dollar” director?

A “million-dollar” movie means it gains a commercial success. It also implies that the movie is welcomed by audiences.

Audiences have their tastes. They choose movies which were made with quality, made from the heart. You will never know how much you can earn from a movie, therefore, at first, just try your best then hopefully, your efforts will pay off. VNS

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