Shining among film stars

Shining among film stars

A student campus television station has proved to be professional in every sense of the word

The campus television station WoW Productions, run by students at Salem - Immanuel Lutheran College, in Tai Po, often works with professional Hong Kong actors and singers and has long been the envy of other schools' stations.

All school TV channels try to offer updates and news about what is happening on campus. But WoW, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, doesn't stop there. It has filmed dramas with professional actors and actresses, a reality show modelled on American Idol - with music producer Lee Lik-chi and singer Sebastian Poon as judges - and an exclusive interview with Henry Tang Ying-yen, the chief executive candidate, for a documentary following his election defeat.

The school's chemistry teacher Aman Wong Chun-man, who helped students set up WoW in 2003, says: "Many people believe a school production team can't get the help of celebrities. But we believed everything is possible.

"We knew we needed to be sociable and try and ask people for help, and some kindly accepted our requests. After a while, when WoW had gained some fame through its productions, it was easier to seek more help and approvals to interview important figures, or invite stars to be actors in our films."

Wong's encouragement led the team to film an interview with Tang a month after he lost the election to become chief executive - something many media organisations would have wanted to do.

Senior WoW members, including Sixth Form students Douglas Lu Tsz-fung, Jeri Lo Tsz-fung, Willis Ho Tsun-fung and Nicholas Tse Nok-hang, were among the team invited to Tang's house to make the documentary.

Jeri, 17, WoW's vice-chairman, says it wasn't easy to plan the questions. "The theme of our documentary was Tang's views of Hong Kong's core values. And we wanted to know about what he'd been doing since the election and his future plans. We drafted questions that wouldn't be criticising him after losing the election, yet would focus on topics that suited our film."

Willis, 17, who was the cameraman, says Tang was relaxed and friendly. "He gave us a warm welcome and even provided snacks so we could enjoy a tea break when we arrived. The warm atmosphere eased our nerves and we ended up having a nice talk with him."

WoW also filmed a talent show, iTalent, with Lee and Poon, a member of the local band, Sugar Club, acting as judges for the final.

Douglas, WoW's chairman, says: "Our talent show replaced the traditional singing contest last year. We were worried students might not be happy that the singing contest had gone. But we could tell the audience really enjoyed the show. It proved really rewarding, even though the production process was very tough and challenging."

WoW also films a drama each year to enter in the Inter-school Film Festival. This year it made a satirical film, The Fourth Roll - with teen idol singers Kandy Wong, James Ng Yip-kwan and Sheldon Lo appearing as special guests. It looked at Hong Kong's ever-changing education system, as seen through the eyes of a boy who uses an old-style camera with film rolls.

Jeri says: "It was great to work with stars we rarely see in our daily life. We learned to be professional during the filming. We chatted with the stars, or took photos with them only after we'd got our job done."

Douglas and the other leading members of WoW are now handing over the day-to-day duties to a younger team of students, led by fifth-former Marco Lin Hei-long.

"We plan to film two drama segments to celebrate our anniversary," says Marco, 16. "Possibly there'll be a theme song; we may invite pop singers to compose, or sing it."

To watch WoW's work on its official YouTube channel, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/amanwongc; English subtitles are available for most of the videos.

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