Tell a moving story to pay tribute to the heroes (voice from the scene)
After two years of creation and polishing, the TV series “Meritorious” met with the audience before this year’s National Day. The main theme of “Merchants” is to link the colorful chapters of the life of the first eight “Republic Medal” recipients with the struggle history of New China, interpreting their “loyal, persistent, and simple” life character and the lofty dedication to the motherland to serve the people. realm.
This is a very challenging theme creation. The eight heroic characters have a lot of deeds, and the audience is familiar with them. However, the TV series is limited in space. How to express the characters, plots, and images in a dense and colorful way, what to focus on, how to shoot new ideas, and how to grasp the relationship between reality and fiction? This is a challenge. “Meritorious” includes 8 unit stories, 8 protagonists, dozens of personal characters, 8 directors, 8 screenwriters, 8 crews, and the entire filming team exceeds 2,600 people. How to achieve both integrity and individual style ? This is another challenge.
I think that no matter what the subject matter is, it is most important to determine the form through the content. The eight stories do not have to pursue the same style. The way of telling can include flashbacks and flashbacks, or flat and straightforward, to give different directors space for artistic creation. Because they have read a lot of information and conducted a lot of interviews, they know best how to express content appropriately.
We need a unified title design to clarify the theme of the creation to the audience. I hope that the title will be solemn and unique, which will bring the TV series closer to the real characters. In the opening, there is a close-up close-up of a “Medal of the Republic” first, and then actors who play meritorious characters walk slowly to the audience, gradually transitioning into real meritorious characters. Although the title is only 1 minute and 30 seconds, it is the most difficult part of the whole show’s creative realization. It can also be regarded as a technological advancement to the production capacity of Chinese TV dramas. On the first day of the episode’s airing, an audience left a message on Weibo: “When I saw Grandpa Yuan Longping approaching, I burst into tears.” This made me particularly gratified. The audience feels the intentions of our creators.
Realism is the overall tone of the play. The first is truth, using pictures and stories to accurately restore the real life of that era; the second is simple, using simple emotions and simple artistic language to express the simple heroic characters; the third is looking up, using the eyes to find the heroic characters The extraordinary in the ordinary, express their ordinary in the extraordinary. Among them, it is very important to accurately restore the atmosphere of each person’s time and restore the true relationship between people at that time. Because the deeds and contributions of every meritorious figure must be related to the background of his time. To create characters out of the times, the audience will feel unreal and alienated. Reality restoration involves all aspects and bits and pieces of production, including costumes, props, art, and setting. We must strive to be realistic. We even require small roles and extras in each unit not to appear repeatedly. Omissions in subtleties will definitely affect the artistic quality of the entire play.
The principle of realism creation requires that the truthfulness and logical rationality of life be followed, including the serious treatment of common sense. “Meritorious” is the theme creation of heroes and models. Why is the real experience of heroes and models very touching, but some literary works show that it is difficult for the audience to empathize? I think the key lies in the details. The authenticity of the details can bring the truth of the plot and the truth of emotion. The characters are real and the story is real, but the details are not real and the audience will not believe it. The details are portrayed to test the creator’s observation and perception of life, the capture and control of inspiration, especially the artistic skills. Respect for common sense implies respect for the laws of art. TV dramas are literary and artistic works that move people through the creation of stories, plots, and characters, and convey ideas and values through the way of spring breeze and rain. Therefore, “Merchants” strives to meticulously portray the mundane aspects of heroes and the noble personality of ordinary people, and concentrate on the “highlight moments” of heroes. Let the audience understand the excellence of the meritorious character, understand the noble spirit and the value of the times of the heroic character. The same “highlight”, different characters, different occupations, and even the same person’s different life stages are different. Everyone discussed repeatedly and changed the draft several times, in order to show the most shining fragments in the life of every meritorious character. For example, “Neng Wen Neng Wu Li Yannian” focuses on Li Yannian’s three days and two nights in a battle in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea; for Shen Jilan, we will not focus on her deeds of being elected to the National People’s Congress for thirteen consecutive terms, but on how she proposed Equal pay for equal work for men and women plays an important role in the cause of women’s emancipation and equality between men and women. In Zhang Fuqing’s chapter, we talked about his life, because Zhang Fuqing hid his merits and fame deeply and worked hard all his life. Although each character has only 6 episodes, the preparation period for each unit is 7-10 months.
Whether we succeed in shaping the meritorious character in people’s minds is awaiting feedback from the audience.
(The author is the chief director of the TV series “Meritorious”)