O Sing-pui was born in Hong Kong in 1956 and attended Newman College for his secondary-school education. Driven by a love for films, he studied film at the Hong Kong Film Culture Centre, where directors like Tsui Hark and Clifford Choi Kai-kwong taught. Tsui, impressed with O’s enthusiasm and dedication, hired the youngster as assistant director on his Dangerous Encounter – 1st Kind (1980) and All the Wrong Clues (… for the Right Solution) (1981). O later also assistant-directed for filmmakers like Eric Tsang, John Woo, Jackie Chan and Michael Hui, on such films as Aces Go Places (1982), Plain Jane to the Rescue (1982), Teppanyaki (1982) and Armour of God (1987).
In 1986, O got his first taste at directing with The Story Behind the Concert, a backstage musical of sorts starring singer Alan Tam. He later directed seven other films, the last one the Comic King (2001), a romantic comedy set in the comic-book trade.
Despite his success in the mainstream industry, O was also dedicated to independent cinema. In 1997, he photographed the low-budget film Before the Crescent, directed by Bryan Chang, and Fruit Chan’s Made in Hong Kong, both milestone works of Hong Kong independent cinema. In doing so, he not only launched the new direction of cinematography for his career but also became a mentor-like figure in the turn-of-millennium Hong Kong cinema fostered by a new generation of filmmakers. He later lensed You Shoot, I Shoot (2001), the first film of Pang Hocheung; Heroes in Love (2001), an omnibus film directed by Wing Shya, Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung and Vincci Cheuk; and The Pye Dog (2007), the debut of Derek Kwok.
O quickly became a renowned cinematographer, nominated for Best Cinematography at the Golden Horse Awards for Hollywood Hong Kong (2001) and at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Ip Man (2008). He also photographed Gallants (2010), which won several major prizes at the Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. He is a member of the Hong Kong Directors’ Guild and the Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||My Flying Wife|
||An Eye for an Eye|
||Dream of Desire|
||The Story Behind the Concert|