A director often lets considerations such as whether a film is filmable or watchable, and its box office potentials influence his decisions. Apart from all objective considerations, films that attract audiences are those that resonate with them, and because their directors are able to grasp the films’ main themes and clearly and methodically convey them to audiences. Having been in the entertainment business for all these years, I had assumed that films are pricey commodities. Grand camerawork may enliven a film, but meaningful content is its soul and its essential element.
If I were not a film director, I will definitely choose to become a chef. Making a film is very much like cooking, except its ingredients are actors, location and the like. Cooking skill is akin to a director’s filmmaking technique: one has to highlight the main theme of a dish and add tasty seasoning in order for customers (the audience) to appreciate the director’s ideas and empathize with him. This is the main ingredient for success in art.
David Lai Wai-ming was born in Hong Kong in 1963. Influenced by his mother, the producer and actress Maybo Chiu, he entered the film industry at the age of 15 as an actor. He appeared in such films as 0.38 (1980) and Superstar (1980), as well as in various ATV series including Five Heroes From Shaolin (1986). In order to better his acting skills, he enrolled in the Academy for Performing Arts (APA) when he was 24. While in school, he participated in numerous stage productions like The Crucible (1990), Orchards (1991), Table for Five (1991) and Deadly Ecstasy (1991). In 1991, he completed his advanced diploma course at the APA.
His passion for cinema undiminished, he rejoined the film industry to work as assistant director and producer. He worked on Lady Super Cops (1993) and King of the Sea (1994), both produced by Maybo Chiu; A Day Without Policeman (1993) and Born to Be Wild (1995), directed by Johnny Lee; and the Alex Cheung Kwok Ming-directed Made in Heaven (1997) as assistant director and post-production supervisor; and the Johnny Lee-directed Legend of the Dragon (2004) as executive director.
In 1994 he was cast as the second lead in Law on the Brink, and in 1997 he participated in the script of the TV series Days in Shaolin.
Lai started directing in the 2010s, with the anti-drug films Demon (2010) and Demon 2 (2011). Demon 2 was invited to tour Taiwan to promote its anti-drug message.
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