A few weeks ago we featured Champion x “Street Dance of China” commercial in our Ad of the Week. The fresh, cinematic, tension-packed 2-minutes spot has all the right elements for the audience to play it on repeat. And judging by the massive 2.4 million views and overwhelming reaction on the brand’s social media, many might have done so. SHP+ decided to talk to Touching Studio’s EP Roy Ling and director Gerhan in order to take a peek behind the scenes and share their creative secrets with our readers. Spoiler alert—the team had to navigate far too many surprises and adjustments for a one day shoot.
几周前，我们曾在每周精选中推送了Champion x《这！就是街舞》的广告大片。这部风格新鲜，堪比大片，紧张刺激，时长2分钟的片子，绝对有让观众情不自禁循环播放的魅力。从该品牌社交媒体平台上的240万次的点击量和强烈反响来看，很多观众很可能的确看了不止一遍。于是，SHP+决定采访一下Touching Studio的监制Roy Ling和导演Gerhan，带着大家一窥幕后的故事，与我们的读者分享他们创作的秘诀。剧透小提示——为了一天的拍摄，这个团队必须应对太多的意外与调整。
Champion X 《这！就是街舞》导演版 director’s cut
Touching Studio is known for their proclivity to show in their advertising films traditional Chinese elements, but in a modern way. This time – same endeavour. One and only advantage though – Touching Studio has already worked with Champion before. So when the client came to them with a vague and simple brief to “show dancers doing something, with a bit of a story that audience can remember” – the concept of beautifully choreographed fight as we see on screen was born.
He continues that the film was deliberately planned as no voice over from the beginning, relying on the visuals to further enhance the impression. And music, which Gerhan credits especially: “I want to say the composers are really awesome. Before the shooting we just designed some loop. After, when we got the footage and showed to the composers, Alex and Chacha got to the point so fast, maybe just three versions or so.”
Touching Studio以其在广告片中用现代的方式展现传统中国元素而闻名。这次也是一样的挑战。唯一的优势是，Touching Studio之前已经与Champion合作过。当初，虽然客户给到他们的只是一个模糊而简单的项目简报：“展示舞者在做什么，带有一点观众可以记住的剧情”，与我们最终在屏幕上看到的精心编排过的漂亮打戏相去甚远，但这一概念在最初就已经诞生了。
Movie reference: Tokyo Tribe (2014) 《东京暴族》
The whole project was very rushed— two weeks for coming up with a creative idea and shooting. According to Roy, there’s no better way to describe the whole process but “controlled improvisation”. To start with, as shooting was happening during mid-autumn holidays, many of the locations were not available. Gerhan wanted the story to unfold indoors, as shooting outside would be to hard to control, not to mention the amount of light needed to create the right atmosphere. So the only available location, being a bit “too ancient, really very Chinese” didn’t exactly check all the right boxes for a fashion brand. But the art director Meng Luyuemanaged to create there more stylish environment, by balancing its traditional looks with some cool-looking elements like steampunk decorations and a western long dining table.
Another big challenge, it is known that shooting dancers is never an easy job, especially when you’re mixing dance and fight. Plus, when those dancers-fighters perform on a table. Even more so when you don’t even know exactly what moves they would be making. “We didn’t have time for rehearsal, not really. And we only wrote a simple story— a guy walks in, they fight on the table. No specifics on the moves, we couldn’t plan it”, Roy remembers laughing. All the team could do is to plan people’s position’s on the table to protect the actors, and co-create directly on set. Gerhan shares: “One hour before the shoot I discussed with dancers what they could do, asked them to show me a few seconds of freestyle with aggressive movements. I showed them some kung-fu movie references, like which kicks and punches could incorporate in the dance move. And it’s really hard— to put three people on the table to do this, that was one of the hardest parts”.
Movie reference: Grandmaster (2013) 《一代宗师》
Speaking of which, three people dance-fighting simultaneously is not something Touching Studio came up with for the sake of a better look on screen. Because of the accident from production timeline, one of the actors had to leave early. That’s why the team had to readjust fast, shooting all three together. Roy says, it was a bit of a sacrifice on the story, as they originally envisioned a series of two-by-two fights before the final one. He shares, it wasn’t unfortunately the only sacrifice, however. “Because of the budget and need to control the production schedule, we cut a lot of scenes. That’s a bit of shame, that a lot of details didn’t make it. Like there was a chef part where we would see the knife reflecting danger coming in and things like that. A lot of details that could really enhance the atmosphere, highlight the tension, we lost on that”. Even so, to an audience, the tension on screen leading to the final battle scene seems definitely palpable.
说到这里，不得不提一下，让三个人同时跳舞并不是Touching Studio为了更好的画面效果而想出的点子。由于制作时间线出了点意外，其中一名演员不得不提前离开。这就是为什么他们团队必须快速调整，安排三个人一起拍摄。Ray分析说，这其实牺牲了一点剧情，因为他们最初的设想是在最后一场打斗之前会有一系列的二对二打斗。他告诉我们遗憾的是，这并不是该片唯一的牺牲：“由于预算问题与控制制作进度的需要，我们剪掉了很多场景。很多细节都没展示出来，真是遗憾。比如有一个厨师的戏份，我们会看到刀子反映出危险要来了之类的细节。许多细节能够真正提升氛围，突出紧张感，但我们却损失了这一点。” 但即便如此，对于观众来说，银幕上的紧张气氛，到最后的战斗场面似乎是水到渠成的。
Movie reference: KILL BILL (2003) 《杀死比尔》
To end on the list of troubles, the final scene where the show’s previous winner Bouboo meets this year’s favourite David叶音 is strikingly different from the scenes on the table. And again, not part of the plan. “We were not aware, that French dancer had a leg injury. That’s why we see a lot of hand movements, not any kicks”, shares Gerhan. So, the team has designed a special background two hours before the shooting in order to accentuate the moves. This way they turned the mishap in favor of the spot.
The whole production process turned to be a string of last minute changes, with a lot of freestyling going on-and-off screen. But maybe, Touching Studio’s ability to go with the flow and come up with solutions in a split second is exactly the way to capture the dance-fight coolness authentically.
Then again, it also seems to be the way how Touching Studio realizes most of their amazing projects. Team shared with SHP+ in previous interview: the kind of clients they often work with, don’t have creative agencies attached, nor they give time for bidding. So with time and budget constraints, but full creative freedom and fluid production process, Touching Studio has room to do their magic on the go, almost every time they shoot.
此外，这似乎也是Touching Studio完成大多数精彩项目的方式。在之前SHP+的采访中，这个团队同告诉我们: 他们最常合作的客户，往往没有代理，也不给竞标时间。所以由于时间和预算的限制，以及充分的创意自由与流畅的制作过程，Touching Studio几乎在每次拍摄时都有临场超纲发挥的空间。