New se­ries puts fo­cus on war cor­re­spon­dents

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By XUFAN

While most of China’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary pe­riod TV pro­duc­tions pre­fer to fea­ture po­lit­i­cal lead­ers or his­tor­i­cal bat­tles, a new se­ries, The Waves, fo­cuses on war cor­re­spon­dents.

Two episodes of the 44-episode drama are be­ing screened ev­ery night as the coun­try marks the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of WorldWar II.

Set in the tur­bu­lent 19351945 pe­riod, the se­ries, which pre­miered on Oct 16 on Bei­jing Satel­lite TV, chron­i­cles the lives and ca­reers of four pa­tri­otic col­lege stu­dents, who be­come war cor­re­spon­dents to fight the Ja­panese in­vaders us­ing pens and cam­eras.

The story is set against a back­drop fea­tur­ing a slew of his­tor­i­cal bat­tles and mile­stone mass cam­paigns.

While the main pro­tag­o­nists are fic­tional char­ac­ters, more than 180 big names in mod­ern Chi­nese his­tory fea­ture in the se­ries. They in­clude the Com­mu­nist Party’sthen­mil­i­tary lead­er­sPeng De­huai, Nie Rongzhen and Deng Xiaoping, Kuom­intang leader Chi­ang Kai-shek and Cana­dian doc­tor Nor­man Bethune.

For the di­rec­tor and scriptwriter Su Zhou, the most in­ter­est­ing part of the se­ries is the fo­cus on or­di­nary civil­ians dur­ing the harsh times.

“The war cor­re­spon­dents are not mil­i­tary men, but they are among those who get the clos­est to the killing and the death ev­ery day on the bat­tle­fields,” Su said at a me­dia event on Oct 13.

“Dur­ing wartime, an in­spir­ing ar­ti­cle or a close-up photo can some­times be more pow­er­ful than guns and bul­lets,” he said.

“There were many famed war jour­nal­ists and in­flu­en­tial re­ports dur­ing the wars. They were also war he­roes and de­serve a screen pro­duc­tion to por­tray their courage and sac­ri­fice.”

Su has won many top tele­vi­sion awards in his 20-year

An in­spir­ing ar­ti­cle or a close-up photo can some­times be more pow­er­ful than guns and bul­lets.”

ca­reer, such as the Fly­ing God­dess Award and Golden Ea­gle Award.

The scriptwriter team in­cluded author Wang Haip­ing, who has won best screen­writer prizes at Bri­tain’s China Im­age Film Fes­ti­val and the Chi­nese Amer­i­can Film Fes­ti­val.

Pop stars Yin Xiao­tian, Zhang Bo and Han Xue play lead­ing roles in the se­ries, in a bid to at­tract younger view­ers, said Su.

Han, raised in a mil­i­tary fam­ily, said that act­ing in the first rev­o­lu­tion­ary se­ries of her ca­reer made her feel like she was “go­ing back to the years when my grand­fa­ther strived and strug­gled”.

Mainly pro­duced by Bei­jing Satel­lite TV, the se­ries cost 80 mil­lion yuan ($13 mil­lion) and took two years to shoot in the former rev­o­lu­tion­ary base of Linyi, in Shan­dong prov­ince.

The crewhad to cre­ate replicas of anum­berof land­mark struc­tures dat­ing back to the 1930s and the 1940s to give the se­ries an au­then­tic look.

To shoot a three-minute scene, the spe­cial ef­fects team had to make 400 stone lions fea­tur­ing dif­fer­ent ex­pres­sions and in­stall them on a replica of the Lu­gou Bridge, or Marco Polo Bridge.

The famed bat­tle on the bridge on July 7, 1937marked the start of the Chi­nese peo­ple’s War of Re­sis­tance against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (1937-45).

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