In the past, directors took the lead in filmmaking. Director was god. Today filmmaking is led by producers, who find a good topic, assess market return, and then assemble the best possible team with talents coming from the Mainland, Southeast Asia and Hong Kong. Director’s authority has declined. Even top directors would find an editor to edit a film, giving the film a different flavor. Now, film is the trinity of music, images and design. Perhaps some might think that films made this way have lost personal style, but at the same time, audiences don’t like to follow an existing pattern. Everyone wants freshness. New faces emerge in show business every day, but the audience replace is them quickly. This is the age of replacement. This is also a fast food culture. In the blink of an eye a new culture or a new trend emerges. If filmmakers fail to catch up, audiences won’t pay to see their films. That’s why I keep searching for a direction that will be ahead of the times.
(Excerpted from Wen Wei Pao, September 25, 2006)
Born in Hong Kong in 1985, Michael Mak Dong-kit joined Television Broadcasts (TVB) as an assistant director after graduating from secondary school in 1977. He was involved in the production of hit series like A House is Not a Home (1977) and Vanity Fair (1978). He then joined Commercial Television and participated in the production of the acclaimed series The Gold Dagger Romance (1978). After Commercial Television collapsed, Mak worked on a number of kung fu films.
Towards the end of 1978, Mak’s elder brother Johnny Mak Donhung became the programme director of Rediffusion Television and Mak joined his brother there, working as assistant director. He became a director a year later and produced a number of series which are considered classics today, including Blowing in the Wind (1980), Dynasty (1980), Tai Chi Master (1980) and Princess Cheung Ping (1981).
In 1981, when Rediffusion Television was sold, the older Mak left to set up Johnny Mak Production. Michael followed him into the film industry in 1982 and the brothers teamed up on many projects. Among them were Happy Sixteen (1982), with which Michael made his directorial debut, and his sophomore project Dragon Force (1982), both produced by Johnny.
Mak continued to make an imprint with his directorial work, making such films as Everlasting Love (1984), which made actress Irene Wan Bik-ha an instant star; Long Arm of the Law II (1987), the sequel to the ground-breaking Long Arm of the Law, directed by Johnny; Moon, Star, Sun (1998), which earned leading star Carol Cheng the Best Actress award at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Awards; and the court drama The Truth – Final Episode (1989), with Andy Lau Tak-wah with Deanie Ip as son and mother. He also directed Sex and Zen (1991), a classic erotic film raking in more than HK$20 million in receipts. The Island of Greed (1997) earned seven nominations at the 17th Hong Kong Film Awards.
In 1999, Mak became director of Chinese language programs at Star TV’s Star Chinese Channel. He later joined Sundream Motion Pictures to oversee the company’s production, responsible for Nothing is Impossible (2006), directed by Lam Wah-chuen. He returned to TVB in 2006 and became the assistant director for TVB’s Taiwan outpost TVBS. He was promoted to general manager for overseas production in 2011.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Asian Charlie's Angels|
||The Island of Greed|
||The Train Robbers|
||Sex and Zen|
||Long Arm of the Law III|
||The Truth - Final Episode|
||Midnight Whispers||LAI David|
||Moon, Star, Sun|
||Long Arm of the Law II|
||The Isle of Fantasy|