Hong Kong Baptist University - Alumni Affairs Office Home   |   HKBU       中文
The BUddy Post
What's Up

Professor Cheuk Pak-tong, Director of Academy of Film, HKBU

The BUddy Post reporter has interviewed Professor Cheuk Pak-tong, who has been the Director of Academy of Film since the establishment of the Academy in June 2009. We are delighted to have Professor Cheuk shared with us his vision for the Academy and his insights on the Hong Kong film industry.

Reporter: As the Director of the Academy of Film, can you share with us the mission and vision of the Academy?

Prof. Cheuk: Creative industry plays a pivotal role in shaping Hong Kong’s identity. The mission and vision of the Academy of Film are to educate future leaders and nurture potential creative people and researchers in the field of creative industry, which is considered as a major aspect of modern culture.

Reporter: What is the core academic curriculum at the Academy?

Prof. Cheuk: To cope with the rapid development of media culture in Hong Kong and the Mainland China, Hong Kong Baptist University established the Academy of Film in June 2009, offering a wide spectrum of programmes including five courses in Professional Programme in Film (Higher Diploma), a Bachelor’s degree programme, and two Master's degree programmes, as well as supporting academic and creative research projects of faculty members and resident artists.

The Higher Diploma courses covering the scope of Script Writing and Directing, Film Production Management, Production Techniques (Cinematography, Lighting and Art Direction), Post-production (Editing and Sound Mixing), and Acting for Film and Television. In fact, a plan for launching one more Master’s degree in Film Management is in the pipeline. It will be the first-of-its-kind Master’s degree in Hong Kong, which provides one-stop training in film production technique and production management for students. Undergraduates with a Bachelor’s degree from any disciplines are welcome to apply.

Reporter: What is the career opportunity of your graduates?

Prof. Cheuk: With the establishment of three new TV stations in the coming years, namely Hong Kong Broadband Network, Now TV and i-CABLE, I expect that there will be a substantially increasing demand for scriptwriters catering for the production of TV programmes in Hong Kong.

Reporter: Understanding that you have been working in the film industry since graduation, why do you make a career move to the academic setting?

Prof. Cheuk: As I remember, I was working as the Senior Producer/Director of Television Broadcasts Ltd (TVB) in 1987-1988. I was mainly responsible for shooting tele-movies, which are TV drama and each episode was about an hour and a half. At that time, I became very sick as I could not fall asleep in the morning after the prolonged night shifts every day. My body started giving me signals as I suffered from bronchitis and coughing all the time. Therefore, I quitted my job at TVB, and applied for the teaching position at the Department of Film and Video of the then Hong Kong Baptist College. Since then, I have devoted most of my time in teaching and conducting research at the University, and I enjoy very much working in the academic setting.

Reporter: What are the key criteria when you select candidates for acting and performances?

Prof. Cheuk: For stage performances, first of all, I will usually take into consideration the character and personality of the candidates. Then, I will look at their appearance and see whether they are photogenic or not. After all, the candidates have to look appealing to the audience.

Reporter: Which movie and director do you appreciate the most? Why?

Prof. Cheuk: Directed by the legendary director, King Hu in 1971,“The Touch of Zen” is one of my favourite movies. Others such as Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic collections “Psycho” and “The Birds”, as well as Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” are also my cup of tea. I particularly appreciate Dziga Vertov 's Russia silent film entitled “Man with a Movie Camera”. The structure of this masterpiece is a classic and is creative. Although the movie was shot in 1929, the technique is applicable to the films nowadays.

Reporter: What do you think about the future trend of film production?

Prof. Cheuk: Under the impact of globalisation, the film industry in the Mainland China is rapidly booming. It is estimated that the Chinese investors have RMB¥10 – 15 billion investing in the film industry in the Mainland, and hence the film productions are increasing drastically. Consequently, there will be a significantly high demand for various positions in the market. As far as I know, scriptwriters for instance, are particularly in great demand. The salary of a scriptwriter in Hong Kong ranges from HK$20,000 to HK$30,000 per month, whilst those in the Mainland has surged from RMB¥20,000 to RMB¥50,000 per episode. Therefore, if the scriptwriters are producing scripts for a 10-episode TV drama in the Mainland, they can earn almost ten times as much than when they are working in Hong Kong.

Reporter: What are your aspirations and what is your motto in life?

Prof. Cheuk: My motto in life is “Just do it and do it now”. I strongly believe that people should act on what they think they should do and do it immediately, rather than always staying in the stage of thinking. If you start progressing towards your goal, your friends can always lend you a helping hand. On the contrary, if you only think without acting, you will never succeed.

Interviewees’ Biography:

Professor Cheuk is currently the Director of Academy of Film, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). He received his MFA degree in Cinema from the University of Southern California in 1977, and further obtained his PhD in Cinema from HKBU in 2001. He was appointed as the Head and Associate Professor of the Department of Cinema & Television at HKBU in 2001. Prior to joining HKBU, Professor Cheuk was working as Director in Television Broadcasts Ltd and Taiwan Television Company. His recent publications and creative works include Hong Kong New Wave Cinema, 1979-2000, Global Chinese Film Finance and Management, Hou Hsiao-Hsien Master Class, and Yim Ho Master Class.



Professor Cheuk sitting on his director’s chair and sharing his aspirations on film industry

Professor Cheuk’s recent collections

Back to The BUddy Post July 2012
Home   |   HKBU   |   Contact Us   |   Unsubscribe