Interview with Song Haolin, the director, revealing the behind-the-scenes creation of "Five Boys Saving the Water"


Special feature of 1905 film network The director "spelled" for the film.


He broadcast live on the short video platform until late at night, and was rejected nine times with netizens. In the process, he said countless thanks and was even ridiculed. In short, Song Haolin actively "opened" for the film.

 


The first time I met the director was at a meeting after the film was released. Without the support of the industry, without the lens of the media, only the feedback from the amateur audience. At that time, a girl stood up very excitedly and told the director that this was her way of signing up for various viewing groups, and she brushed the movie. She was still crazy about Amway among her girlfriends. After that, he raised his mobile phone, as if he wanted to convey his Amway effect to the founders.

 


The director said that he had been listening to everyone’s reaction at the gate of the cinema during the screening. After hearing everyone’s laughter, he slowly calmed down and felt that he had found the audience. But he did not forget to ask the audience to go to various ticketing platforms to order a "want to see".

 

When we met for the second time, it was the interview announcement day, and we jokingly asked him if he was mentally prepared in case he really parachuted like a rumor. He is dull, "I hope that efforts can be seen, and I hope that everyone’s efforts will be waiting in the distance."

 


It was the end of July, half a month before the original film schedule. But in the end, because of the epidemic prevention and control, like other films in the same file, it chose to meet the audience at the best time.

 

The movie was rescheduled, and finally we met The Battle at Lake Changjin. We asked the director again, will the mentality change now? He told us that this time, he was much more calm. After this period of precipitation, looking back at the fighting propaganda before, he cherished the process of everyone’s efforts.

 

Everything caters to the content he conveyed on various occasions. The theme of "Five Boys Saving the Water" is "Ordinary". Besides this "ordinary", there are still flashes.


Vol.1


When the project "Five Boys Drowning in the Water" was handed to Song Haolin, he didn’t have an answer in his heart, just thinking about whether it was suitable or not.

 

In any case, he put all his requirements before the production, and if possible, everyone will continue to push forward. Unexpectedly, after the producer saw these requirements, there was a "noisy" inside. But it is precisely this that makes the team think that this project belongs to Song Haolin, "because he has a stubborn spirit, which is exactly what this project needs."

 


The two sides soon promoted cooperation, and Song Haolin’s adaptation space was "as long as five high school students who practiced synchronized swimming were satisfied". This also means that he can break the original, re-establish the theme of this project, and re-construct the character design of the role.

 

To this end, Song Haolin went to a strange city alone and made a simple retreat.


At that time, Song Haolin was at a special stage. "I am rethinking what kind of director I want to be, and even wondering if I am suitable to be a director." Many cruel problems need him to face directly. He has his own embarrassment. He is in his forties. His previous cinema film was wildly recommended by Amway. Under the heat, a lot of capital came to the door, but his enthusiasm faded, and many of them became more vain.

 


"I began to face up to myself that some places are quite ordinary."The creation of "Five Boys Drowning in the Water" became a process of dialogue between Song Haolin and himself. In this state of reflection, Song Haolin slowly explored the theme of the film, and then what happened during the Spring Festival made him more determined.

 


At noon that day, Song Haolin ordered a takeaway at home and didn’t arrive until the afternoon. After opening the door, the delivery clerk bowed to him madly and apologized. There was no other delivery clerk to deliver that day, and it was really impossible to deliver it. "After closing the door, I couldn’t calm my mood for a long time. She is an ordinary person, but she may be a very good mother or wife. "

 

Song Haolin suddenly realized that both himself and most people around him are actually ordinary, but everyone’s life is still very wonderful. As a result, this has become the theme of the movie "Five Boys Who Save the Water". Even the hero’s name is the most common one, and it will not be remembered in the crowd — — "Zhang Wei".

 

Vol.2


When I didn’t really see the film, everyone threw a question to the director, "How to adapt it locally?" After all, the original version of "Five Boys Who Save the Water" has scored 8.4 points so far, and at the same time, it has won the popularity of actors.


But for Song Haolin, his story is brand-new, that is, the story of five high school students, and everyone has a high school experience, not an adaptation, but a translation of life.

 

Five teenagers, one schoolmaster and four "school scum".

 


When Song Haolin was studying, he was not a good boy in the traditional sense. From time to time, he was called to the office by the teacher, but he was very outstanding in literature and art, and the teacher could do nothing about him. These stories belonging to his past have all become the inspiration for Song Haolin’s creation of Five Boys Who Drove the Water.

 

During the period of seclusion, he found the key to enrich the characters, and also remembered those old friends. "I just concentrated their special ones and put them all on these characters." Finally, except Chen Minghan, the other four characters all carry the shadow of Song Haolin and his classmates around them.

 

After the characters are established, slowly build the whole script. The whole process is very long. Until the beginning of 2020, the script as a whole was relatively mature, and the crew officially released a picture of actor recruitment. What followed was all kinds of questions.

 


At that time, the epidemic had just come, so all the casting work of actors had to be moved online. Because movies are mainly synchronized swimming, Song Haolin has an absolute requirement for actors — — Excellent swimming skills.

 

In the casting scheme, Song Haolin considered looking for a group of professional athletes to shoot like that, but after communication, many factors could not really contribute and had to give up.


At the same time, he also understands that this story is not like Leap’s, but tells the story of professional athletes. Five Boys Who Save the Water is a story of ordinary high school students learning synchronized swimming.

 

In the end, the team decided to choose a teenager with performance skills.

 


At this time, Song Haolin still has two choices, one is to choose a more famous actor, and the other is a group of new people. Everyone knows that if the actor can find someone with a topic, then the follow-up publicity of the film can save a lot of worry, but Song Haolin gave up this option.

 

"I am more concerned about whether the actor can devote enough time to real training and whether he can devote himself wholeheartedly. Most importantly, I especially hope that these five children will not only show a good relationship on the big screen, but will really become good friends in life. Because the true feelings between people can actually be presented in front of the big screen. "

 


Song Haolin, who has worked with well-known actors, knows that these requirements for actors are not absolutely unsatisfied, but in the follow-up coordination, the difficulty will be very great. "So we simply started to use new actors. Of course, we are also bearing the difficulties in publicity now." In order to choose the right actors, Song Haolin has seen more than 1000 actors.

 

Vol.3


, Feng Xiangkun, Li Xiaoqian, Wu Junting and Wang Chuan, five people made up Five Boys Who Save the Water.Of these five people, except Xin Yunlai, she participated in the performance.Sadness flows against the river, and other supporting roles in film and television works, others are completely blank.

 


Wu Junting was an accident of Song Haolin. In the original script, the role of the prince was a little fat man. But when Song Haolin met Wu Junting, the story changed. At first, everyone thought that Wu Junting seemed to be very suitable for the role of Gao Fei. "He is 1.88 meters tall and very idol." Later, everyone found that Wu Junting had a particularly cute temperament. "I think Xiao Wu will play the prince, and there will be something very different."

 

Therefore, Song Haolin set the "prince" as close as possible to Wu Junting. At the same time, the choice of the role of "Goofy" has been adjusted almost simultaneously.

 


Li Xiaoqian looks very quiet, even literary and artistic. This appearance temperament is bound to be inconsistent with Goofy’s arrogant state. But Song Haolin will always think of this child.

 

"Later, when training, he was really the kind of child who didn’t talk much, but he was very hardworking. Everyone is resting and he is still practicing. " This kind of stubbornness in his bones makes Song Haolin very sure that he is flying high.

 


In the end, these five boys, who are full of teenagers themselves, became the protagonists of the film. In fact, when casting, "being good at swimming" is a prerequisite. What Song Haolin didn’t expect was that when training really started, these five people were gone, and only Wang Chuan could really swim. In addition, Wu Junting even "cheated" him that he was the little prince of the reservoir.

 


Regardless of whether they can swim or not, the crew invited the former coach of the national synchronized swimming team to be as strict with these five teenagers as training professional athletes. The time left for them is not much, but less, three months.

 

In Song Haolin’s view, these five teenagers can be replaced at any time if they can’t train well. Now that you have taken some risks, you must present the best results. However, the teenagers did not give the director a chance to change, "they will not have the idea that they are not suitable."

 


This kind of momentum is very much like the way five boys work hard for the final flower swim competition in the movie. During the training period, five teenagers eat and live together, which is almost the routine of athletes. They train for at least six hours during the day, and then have performance classes at night, with only one day off every week.

 

Vol.4


From June to September, five teenagers handed in beautiful report cards.

 

But this does not mean that the shooting is very smooth. There was a scene in the Aquarium. At that time, it was winter, and the water temperature was only over 10 degrees. The actors had to go into the water, but only when they arrived at the scene did they find that the pool was particularly dirty. Usually dolphins lived in it, with a water depth of almost 5 meters, and it was full of dolphin excrement. In order to make progress, the actors had to go into the water.

 


In addition, during the filming process, a typhoon was encountered, and many equipments were damaged, resulting in the subsequent filming plan being completely disrupted. Difficulties abound during the filming, not to mention the injuries of actors. "They also love me dearly, and sometimes they don’t tell me."


This detail made Song Haolin warm-hearted and scared, and reached an agreement with the actors. "You must tell me if you are injured, and you must trust our judgment. If you don’t say it, you will hold on now, but it may affect the follow-up work, and the price will be big."

 


The transition of film shooting also brings great difficulty. Five cities, including Yangzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Jinjiang, were designed for the filming of "Five Boys Drowning in the Water". However, unlike Xiamen, many cities have rich experience in actor shooting. "We had a play filmed in Quanzhou at that time, and we needed a lot of group performances. At that time, we transferred group performances from Xiamen. As a result, once, our actors were stuck on the expressway and had to find local people to participate. " However, the inexperienced people’s "slow shooting" in performance also made the shooting progress particularly difficult.

 

The difficulty doesn’t seem to stop at the shooting period. During the later period of the film, Song Haolin was also "uncomfortable".

 

Although the hero is Zhang Wei, on the whole, the film is more like a group drama, and the stories of five boys are extraordinarily three-dimensional. Group images are not easy to shoot, and they need a lot of content to support them in order to convince the audience.

 


The initial cut of the film is as long as three hours. Obviously, this time is not suitable for a youth movie shown in the cinema. How to cut and highlight what is a big problem before Song Haolin.

 

In this short video era, it is sometimes difficult for Song Haolin to calm down and appreciate some deep-seated content, and think about it. Finally, it is simply difficult to get rid of the inner scenes of the characters. "There will be a little loss, and those contents will make the spiritual things deeper."

 

Vol.5


After all kinds of events, the film finally saw the world. Douban score is currently 7 points, which is 0.1 points higher than when it was split. It is already a high score in recent remakes of youth movies.

 


We asked Song Haolin’s expected score, but he didn’t care. "When I care, does this movie ignite the audience?" This is the third feature film directed by Song Haolin independently, and it is the first work to really face the market.


Although the past "Summer in Itaro" has been recognized by the Golden Rooster Award, Shanghai International Film Festival and other film festivals, for him, the past creations are all more self-expression.

 


Did Song Haolin find the answer to "What kind of director do you want to be" after Five Boys Who Drove in the Water?

 

"I found it in the process, or I am still looking for it."


He gave an ambiguous answer, but he may not be in a hurry now, because he recently had a new question, "What do I care about when the work is done, or how to get into the audience’s heart?"

 

Perhaps the answer this time is to find that answer on his way to find an audience for Five Boys Who Save the Water.