Image source: Screenshot of the official Weibo video of “Menghualu”
After more than a month of broadcast, “Menghualu” came to an end.
After director Yang Yang got the script, he was moved by the struggle, friendship and love of several women. “Menghualu” not only focuses on “sweeping sugar”, it depicts group portraits of women while promoting the history and culture of the Song Dynasty, and gives modern women new thinking through the hands of the ancients.
As a national first-class director, screenwriter, and producer, Yang Yang has directed many excellent TV dramas such as “Hand in Hand”, “Inspiration” and “Together”. The representative works in her resume are of different types and styles.
When “Menghualu” was about to end, Yang Yang accepted an exclusive interview with a reporter from “Daily Economic News“. Yang Yang said: “Meng Hua Lu is a drama I made for women who have worked hard from all over the world to Beijing, Shanghai and other big cities to find the value of life. I hope that the vividness of this drama will be based on a realistic life foundation. On, the audience can empathize after watching it.”
Image source: “Menghualu” official Weibo
“Through the script, I think of women who are working hard in Beijing and Shanghai today”
In the summer of 2020, Yang Yang came into contact with the script of “Meng Hualu”, and after reading it, he was moved by the struggle, friendship and love of several women.
The story of “Menghualu” takes place in the Northern Song Dynasty, but Yang Yang thinks through the script of the women who are now working hard to find the value of life in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai from all over the world.
Yang Yang has a lot of female friends from Bei Piao and Shanghai Piao, and she often listens to their stories. “I want to make a drama for these girls.” Yang Yang told the reporter of the belief that she had in her heart at that time. “Your self-reliance and self-improvement are things to be proud of. Everyone will have their own difficulties, but we still choose to persevere, work hard, and move forward, so that we have no regrets in our lives.”
“The reason why everyone loves “Meng Hualu” is because they can see their own shadow in the story. At first, everyone may have come here because of their popularity, wanting to see how beautiful the actors are and how beautiful the pictures are, but this is just The reason for attracting (audience) to open (the play) is how to immerse the audience in the story and empathize, which requires the performance of the actors and a solid story. I chose these actors as the protagonists because I hope everyone will see The other side of the actors. This collocation is fresh, and the actors can show different performance styles through their own efforts, and bring them new masterpieces. This may also be one of my ambitions as a director. “
In Yang Yang’s understanding, “Meng Hua Lu” is a drama with rich stories, which includes not only the growth and difficulties of women, but also the fun points of light comedy, as well as the ultimate push and pull and sweetness in love.
Standing out from a number of costume dramas, “Meng Hualu” takes a different approach to show the evenly matched love of adults. The “Gu Panshenghui” CP was “crazy” by the audience, but Yang Yang emphasized “restraint” and “blank” to reporters.
For example, Zhao Paner is a girl with a complicated personality. Her philosophy of life is to not depend on anyone and be very self-reliant, which is related to her life experience. She received a good education since she was a child, but later became an official trick because of her father, and the road of growth was twists and turns. This is the clear and real contradiction of the characters: “If she is not so smart, she may not be so sensitive, but her character is not willing to be (subject to) fate (original), and has tenacious vitality.”
Gu Qianfan is similar to Zhao Paner, who has an unfortunate past. His mother died when he was a child, but his biological father is a high-ranking official who is good at manipulating tricks. “He is a person who pursues justice in his heart. He is very contradictory, so he has always been reluctant to call his father father.
These two traumatized people have both experienced the bottom of their lives before meeting each other. Yang Yang firmly believes that they are not ordinary men and women, but people who have experienced hardships and have a mature mentality. “When two such people meet, they must be restrained first.” Yang Yang emphasized.
Zhao Paner felt inferior about her own experience, and she was afraid that Gu Qianfan would look down on her. However, when Gu Qianfan saw Zhao Pan’er’s first face, he knew that she was not an ordinary woman. “In the scene of washing hands, Gu Qianfan said, ‘In my heart, you have never been lowly’, Zhao Pan’er felt that she was respected. The restrained emotion between adults has existed between the two for a long time. Later, Pan’er said to Sanniang with tears in her eyes that she liked him, but she was afraid of many things and didn’t know how the relationship would develop. This was (to) a shaping of their previous emotions.”
Image source: Screenshot of the official Weibo of “Menghualu”
“Restriction” is like “blank” in ink painting
In February 2021, “Meng Hualu” officially started filming. From winter to spring to summer, the location was transferred from Hengdian, Wuxi, and Xiangshan to Xiangyang, which lasted four and a half months.
As a large-scale drama, it is not easy to choose a scene, especially in Hengdian Film and Television City, where hundreds of dramas are born every year, and costume dramas are even more crowded. “Some scenes have to be registered and preempted months in advance. Even if they are obtained, the shooting time is limited.” Yang Yang said frankly.
Under the constraints of conditions, the crew could only find a scene that no one robbed, but unexpectedly found a street with water and bridges. It was a scene of the Republic of China, almost deserted. “We repaired the roof, doors and windows into the Song Dynasty style, decorated plants and potted plants, and made this scene that no one came to ‘live’.”
The opening scene of “Menghualu” is the scene of the leading actor Zhao Paner rowing on the lake, and several small bridges and flowing water, showing the graceful scenery of Qiantang in the south of the Yangtze River. Before the shooting, this group of scenes had been presented in Yang Yang’s mind. When she described the concept of “Venice on Water” to art and photography, everyone jumped up. “Women are like water, and the smooth and beautiful tone of “Meng Hualu” benefits from my inspiration for water.”
The restraint and blank space of scenes and plots can be seen everywhere in “Menghualu”. Yang Yang said: “I always feel that ancient Chinese culture is very profound. Costume dramas need a kind of classical and subtle beauty, just like Chinese painting pays attention to blank space.”
For example, in the scene where Zhao Pan’er and Gu Qianfan faced each other across the water, the ship was full of dreams and overwhelmed the galaxy. “There were originally a lot of lines in that scene, but in the end I put the lines in a secondary position. The two were speechless, facing each other across the water, drifting apart, and the ripples in their hearts flowed in silence. This kind of restrained handling, It is probably the blank space in ancient paintings. I believe that this kind of subtlety is a kind of classical beauty, and the audience can feel it.”
Zhao Paner rescued Song Yinzhang and sued Zhou She in the yamen for the scene. The venue in Hengdian only gave the crew of “Meng Hualu” two days. When Yang Yang was still thinking about whether Gu Qianfan should come out from behind the wooden door, it rained heavily and inspiration came. “Rain is also an element of water, so I asked the props team to quickly bring Huang Chengcheng’s oil-paper umbrellas. In the rain, Pan’er was going to be hit by a board, and then someone appeared, but it was Chen Lian who Pan’er didn’t know. Wait. Pan’er rushed out of the crowd again, Gu Qianfan came out from behind the screen, and the two looked at each other, that hazy, destined feeling came.”
“”Meng Hualu” is a very colorful women’s drama, it is difficult to summarize (will) in a few words.” Yang Yang tried to sum up, “Live color and fragrance, very vivid, beautiful, glamorous, vivid, charming, or fragrant. I hope this drama is very vivid, but the vividness is based on a realistic feeling. On the basis of life, I don’t really regard it as a costume drama.”
Yang Yang told the “Daily Economic News” reporter that he is both a director and a part of the audience. When Yang Yang himself, the team and the actors were all moved by the story of “Meng Hualu”, when the laughter continued on the filming site, the stone in Yang Yang’s heart fell to the ground. “I know the audience will also be moved. This kind of creation is very interesting. But when shooting, you really can’t think too much. You have to stay focused and create carefully.”
Image source: “Menghualu” official Weibo
Showcasing the charm of a hundred tea operas through the hands of “Zhao Pan’er”
The beauty of “Menghualu” is beyond doubt. On Douban, “Meng Hualu” started with a score of 8.3 and is currently stable at 8.5. Its reputation has surpassed most of the dramas in recent years. Behind the masterpiece, the main creative team also carries a sense of responsibility to promote traditional Chinese culture.
There is an episode in “Menghualu” that uses a lot of space to show “tea fighting”. Some viewers expressed that they did not understand, “the sugar content suddenly decreased”, but some viewers said that they actually learned about “tea hundred dramas” from a film and television drama. .
The protagonist Zhao Paner’s identity is the owner of Zhao’s tea shop in Qiantang, and later opened a tea shop in Tokyo. The plot of “tea” runs through “Menghualu”. Yang Yang revealed that Liu Yifei not only specialized in classes, but also did a lot of exercises, hoping to use the hand of “Zhao Pan’er” to show the charm of Chinese tea hundred operas.
“In the part of tea culture, we have asked Mr. Zhang Zhifeng, the representative inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage tea operas in Fujian Province, to give lectures and guidance. We also hope that the charm of traditional Chinese culture can be shown more in the film and television works.” Specifically in the shooting session , Yang Yang said this is the challenging part. “The scene of ‘Tea Fight’ is very complicated, with many characters and cumbersome procedures. Because the formation of tea foam takes time, it is difficult to control each link. The smooth shooting is thanks to Mr. Zhang’s guidance.”
During the shooting, Zhang Zhifeng’s eldest disciple personally came to the scene to guide the shooting. Yang Yang recalled that an episode was 40 minutes long, but the “Double Tea” part was 25 minutes long when it was first cut, accounting for more than half of the length. “The follow-up has been simplified, but I am really reluctant to delete too much. It is our responsibility as film and television people to be able to promote traditional culture in Chinese film and television dramas.” After the broadcast, Mr. Zhang Zhifeng also recorded a popular science video related to tea hundred dramas. Let traditional culture be understood and loved by more people.
During the shooting of the whole drama, the crew did a lot of homework, including reading books about the Song Dynasty, inviting tea culture consultants, historical consultants, and Song Yan experts for guidance. Yang Yang said that the screenwriter Zhang Wei also spent a long time on the historical research of the Song Dynasty. When writing the script, he carefully consulted a large number of historical books and had an in-depth study of the basic necessities of the Song Dynasty. “Zhang Wei knows the names of the dishes, drinks, streets, and the names of people from all walks of life, and how they dress.”
Modeling director Huang Wei referred to a large number of Song paintings depicting the way of life of the Song Dynasty, including “Along the River during Qingming Festival”, “Listening to the Qin”, “Burning Incense and Listening to Ruan”, “Brick Carving Chef”, etc., combined with modern shooting techniques to present In Yang Yang’s understanding, there are both pyrotechnics and costumes that are in line with the image of the characters.
“I think the Song Dynasty was a dynasty that integrated elegance and elegance. The aesthetics of the Song Dynasty were exquisite, simple and high-end. People in the Song Dynasty liked subtle beauty, not complicated and unassuming, and the popular four elegant at that time – burning incense, ordering tea, and arranging flowers. , hanging paintings, I also like. Song poetry and Song porcelain are also beautiful, so I tried to integrate the romance, artistic conception and beauty of these Song Dynasty into “Menghualu”.” Yang Yang said.
As a national first-class director, screenwriter, and producer, Yang Yang has directed many excellent TV series such as “Together”, “Jian Ye”, “Spiritual Art” and “Hand in Hand”. The types of representative works in her resume are different and different.
“Meng Hua Lu” is Yang Yang’s first attempt at a female-oriented group drama. “The big difference between this creation and the past is the use of ancient costumes to express modern life. “Spiritual Art”, “Hand in Hand” and “Love Obstetrics and Gynecology” purely show modern life, while “Jianye” is a male-frequency costume. “Menghua” The large part of “Lu” is about women, and of course there are also men. How to combine them well is different from my previous creations, but my previous expression and experience of men’s dramas and the shooting of “Meng Hua Lu” Some help.”
For the next work arrangement, Yang Yang revealed that he will respect the opportunity. “Whenever I come across a subject that can move me, I will try my best. I have reverence for my profession, and it is not my simple means of making a living.”