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融中西文化 獲今日成功

專訪John Wu

 
文 浦瑛
 

    我認識John Wu至少也有10多年了,他做事認眞,對任何事情只要他承擔下來,就會用他百分之百的努力去完成它。伊利華報和他也有一段很深的緣分,那就是創刋不久第三和第四期,John擔任了伊利華報的版面設計,當時伊利華報還只是每月一期,而John一個人做幾份工作,其中有一份工他從1998年開始,每個星期要到好萊塢去拍電影。那時我還是剛開始做報紙,什麼都不懂,眞巧有人介紹在加拿大有一個華人報紙的版面設計北大方正公司,所以伊利華報就開始和加拿大北大方正合作至今,想來時間眞快,一晃伊利華報已經生存了九個年頭。我時時刻刻感恩着與華報一起成長的幕前幕後耕耘的人,John Wu也是其中一位。


   John Wu中文名字是吳凱森,但大家都喜歡叫他John,尤其在克里夫蘭John 更是一位在其他少數族裔里也被認同的華人名人。這二年由他和一批年輕有活力的靑年人聯合策劃主辦的克里夫蘭亞洲節讓John的名字更響了。因爲他做事勤快低調做人,他在衆多人面前總是將話筒讓給其他人。10月1日他導演的又一部新片問世,首次放映就有250人觀看,讓不大的製作公司放映室擠滿了觀衆。
    John Wu 1967年出生於美國克里夫蘭,他的父親是一名外交官,在他的童年他隨他的父母親到過菲律賓、台灣最後到南美巴拿馬,因爲他不能 按照他父親的指望當醫生,而他主修的是心理學和計算機專業。在他23歲那年,帶着$3000美元只身到他的出生地克里夫蘭來,到克里夫蘭後,他第一就去找克里夫蘭華人敎會,在那里他得到華人朋友的支持和鼓勵,他開始了他創業生涯。
     John Wu自稱他小時候是一個最調皮最不喜歡讀書的學生,由於父親工作每隔四五年遷移一次,他原本就不喜歡讀書,這就讓他更加難以過關。父親十分嚴厲,John Wu至今都記得小時候不管他在哪個國家,父親規定每天必須抄寫3張中文作業,John 説雖然我不喜歡讀書更不喜歡抄寫中文,但被父親和老師懲罰很殘忍,所以他今天能精通中文還得感謝在他幼小時,父親每天逼他抄寫中文。回想自己,John 説他媽媽説他以後會變成一個“小太保”,因爲父母親年齡差距很大,在他成長過程中父母離婚,按他自己説:我是在中西文化燻陶中成長。


    John Wu一個人摸索走出一條通向成功的路,這條路就是跟着你的夢想走。他喜歡東方文化,他從小就練武術,他第一次表演武術是在美華協會新春晩會上,他自己都沒有想到,從一個表演者到參與美華協會的董事人員到今天他已經做了7年的美華協會主席,他希望明年有其他人能承擔爲人們服務的重要職位。
     John Wu他也喜歡西方文化,他和他的一幫熱愛計算機和電影的朋友,就這10多年了拍攝了近40部不同的電視和紀録片,他在工作中親自瞭解市場,他發現自己在中西文化的燻陶下一個新的計劃脫穎而出,克里夫蘭需要舉辦一個亞洲節,這樣會有更多西方人瞭解亞洲文化,這不僅是傳播亞洲文化同時也是發展經濟。連續二屆亞洲屆參加人數從1萬增加到3萬五,他希望明年有五萬參加者。John Wu他還和克里夫蘭政府領導和開發部門一起聯手,打算在未來的10年讓克里夫蘭亞洲城面貌換新。
    我採訪John Wu只有短短一小時,他給我上了人生一課:人在這個世界天天都過着不同的一天,這是他的親身體會:他的父親吳明德出生在上海一個很富有的家庭,家族經商大米,可是年輕時的父親愛賭,將整箱的黃金都在賭桌上溶化。但一天他父親清醒,這不是他要的未來,父親苦讀,最後成了一名出色外交官,父親在菲律賓認識比他小18歲到母親,John還有一個妹妹,自父親去世,10多年來John 一直關愛他們,在經濟上支持他的母親和妹妹,人生天天過的不同,關鍵你如何把握。
     John Wu小的時候不愛讀書,成績總是在紅燈區,在他到達巴拿馬時候,課堂上講的是西班牙語,他不知道老師在講什麼,那年他上八年級,學校讓他退學,他母親到學校去説讓John Wu留一年試試看,如果跟得上在繼續讀。由於他是外交官的小孩,他住的地方全部都是文化與金融人士,他吿訴自己不能再這樣調皮搗蛋,要跟上班級同學,要好好讀書。人只有自己能征服自己,沒過半年,John Wu就趕上同班學生,他也找到了他自己:人只要自己敢做夢,同時朝着夢想去努力,有一天一定能走到你的目的。

 
 
The Superheros from the East & West
by Johnny K. Wu
 
 

Growing up, I have been exposed to two cultures, by embracing them, I’ve learned to appreciate the differences and the similarities of each. Hence, they’ve molded me into who I am now.
In Asian culture, we use martial art novels as our pastime just like in the Western culture the way it uses comic books. The similarities are there: the good guys have ‘incredible’ powers and fight for justice.
In Asian culture, the marital art novels are called Wuxia, these are books written by period scholars that talk about how this and that person after getting an incredible amount of martial art skills became invincible or ascended to become a God. Just like in Comic Books, a Wuxia character can ‘jump and leap over buildings’ like Superman would. Another Wuxia character uses his wit and martial art skills to solve and stop crimes, just like Batman did.
As a filmmaker, the way I was brought up in the society, has built me to become who I am now, and as you have probably seen most of my films, I’ve always challenge myself with actions, martial arts, and artistically styled films that help me grow.
As I grow between the two cultures: Having a family value and tradition of a descendent of a martial art family and my exposure to the comic book worlds, I can say I’ve had the best of both worlds.
Back in 2003, I made a parody fan film that got me a bit of name brand with the independent and comic book fans, A Joker’s Card was shown to over 20+ festivals and conventions. With its success, it prompted me to create a feature film The Rapture, that was distributed worldwide to several countries.
As I returned back to do another fan film, this time, I wanted to make it dark, without the comedy, and was more in the character and the action sequence and able to challenge me to draw in my artistic way.


Superman was the character I decided to venture into. Not only is he a superhero everyone knows, he is also my hero. Superman is not just an Alien living on Earth, but he is an Alien that tries to do the best as a good human being, maybe like a poster child for the entire human race. He gets angry but yet, he has a heart and compassion that not many of us can hold and claim as our own I grew up loving him, although I am not a ‘hard core’ comic book fan, I would always watch the cartoons, the movies, the TV series and enjoy every minute of it.


The challenge of making a movie about someone that everyone knows is that no matter how you make the film, people will either love it or hate it, and not usually just have a “neutral” interest. This is because Superman has become a subculture of our society, and each individual has his own “mold” of what Superman is and is about. For me to venture into this legend, it is almost feels like getting into a firing range and hoping that the bullets miss me… And like Superman, I would have to have a body of steel and not be weakened by the words and sometimes, personal attacks people would throw at me after finishing watching the short film.
That’s the MAIN obstacle I would face by doing a Superman Fan Film. The second, would be how to convey the story. Fans all over the world have what they like and dislike. For me, making S is more about having fun, creating a ‘universe’ that is different, so I opted to shoot most of it on a green screen, as we wanted to be able to make our hero fly. Next, we added wire-harnesses, that make flying more possible or in-the-air fight sequences fun. Lastly, I decided to make the background ala comic book style. I can easily make the background as realistic as possible but why when it would be easier to shoot the entire short film on location with harnesses hooked on above. Shooting on a green screen allows me have more creative and artistic expression. So after considerable time discussing with our friends, cast, and crew: the decision was made to make it a color two dimensional comic styled background. After all, it is a universe we created for OUR Superman.
I hope you enjoy the short film. This is our interpretati

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

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