On July 20th, the key repertoire commemorating the 130th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth, the major revolutionary TV series “Ask the Boundless” was successfully completed in Hengdian, Zhejiang after 127 days and nights of filming.
“Ask the Boundless” is written by Chen Jin, an expert on party history, and Liang Zhenhua, a film and television screenwriter, and directed by Wang Wei, an excellent young director. The actors are screened based on the criteria of both appearance and spirit, as well as virtue and art. Finally, a starring team composed of nearly a hundred outstanding actors such as Wang Renjun, Jia Ze, Ning Li, Bai Ke, Tang Zeng, Wu Xingjian, Zhang Xiaolong, Wei Daxun, Jiao Junyan, Niu Junfeng, Zheng Yecheng, Ma Shaohua, Song Jia, etc. is formed. From 21 to 1927, as a “pathfinder” and “early traveler”, he took root downwards and grew upwards. He successively devoted himself to the labor movement, peasant movement, cooperation between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, and rural surveys to explore the passionate story of the road to China’s revolution.
Return to the scene of history
Gather the backbone of the industry to fill the gap in the creation of major revolutionary dramas with hard work
Focusing on the land of China from 1921 to 1927, using Mao Zedong as a clue to connect this period of history, it records the young Mao Zedong’s concern about where the Chinese nation is going, and his growth from a follower to a forerunner and pioneer. Film and television works that explore the correct path of the Chinese revolution are rare.
The finale special of “Ask the Boundless” opened with a touch of candlelight, recording the creative team’s solid creative journey and practical footprints. The play’s chief screenwriter and party history expert Chen Jin passionately explained the original intention of the creation, hoping to tell how the young Mao Zedong was “chosen by the party, history, and the people to become a leader” in practical work; the chief screenwriter Liang Zhenhua said, “I hope that today’s young people will see “Ask the Boundless” and will truly feel the group of young people who dreamed, loved, melancholy, and pursued so enthusiastically 100 years ago.” Meng Lingchao and Meng Lingqun introduced that in order to truly present the living environment of the young Mao Zedong, the crew “restored Mao Zedong’s former residence Qingshuitang and Shaoshanchong, and restored the history of the First and Second National Congresses of the Kuomintang.” There are many scenes, but “all of them are real”, which is also the audio-visual impact brought to the audience by the pursuit of the ultimate reality.
The process of the revolutionaries pursuing the bright road and the truth is long and arduous. The preparation and filming of “Ask the Boundless” are intertextualized a hundred years later. The finale special series records the hard work of the creators who have made thousands of miles: reviewing more than 50 million words of historical materials, the script will last nearly 1,000 hours; there are about 400 characters with names and surnames in the whole play, at least 350 of which have prototypes of historical figures, presented together by powerful and new-generation actors, and more than 500 actors participated in the filming; There are 761 large and small scenes in the whole play, nearly 10,000 sets of costumes, involving 54,000 props. From spring to summer, the crew took 127 days and nights to create, with a total shooting time of 1,800 hours. Finally, with excellence ingenuity and outstanding perseverance, they completed this inter-generational relay response of idealists.
Based on the expression of the times
Exploring the poetic and realistic aesthetic character of major revolutionary dramas with youth writing
A hundred years ago, the mountains and rivers were in turmoil and the people’s livelihood was in decline; a hundred years later, the mountains and rivers are safe and the country is peaceful and the people are peaceful. What “Ask the Boundless” needs to face is not only how to tell the moving stories of the early walkers based on the present, but also how to play the role of megaphone and amplifier well and resonate with the current young audience. The average age of the creators of “Ask the Boundless” is less than 40 years old. They are an exceptionally young team, including many young people born in the 90s and even 00s. Youth and novelty shine on the screen. At the beginning of the crew’s preparations, a temporary party branch was established at the same time to give full play to the “battle fortress” of the party organization. The young creators are not only the creators, but also the “first batch” of young audiences of “Ask the Boundless”, feeling the spiritual nourishment of the revolutionaries during the filming. Jia Ze, the actor of Yang Kaihui in the play, even submitted an application for joining the party to the temporary party branch of the crew during filming, sculpting himself in the creative process, showing the realistic appeal of high-quality literary and artistic works reaching young people.
The entire creative team adheres to the principle of “the big things are true, and the small things are not limited”, establishes a big view of history and a big time, adheres to a correct view of party history, digs deep into the ideological connotation and spiritual power, accurately grasps historical figures, and finds room for imagination in the gaps. The handwritten letterhead and famous scenes restored from old photos convey a sense of historical reality throughout; the contrast between light and shadow, and warm and cold colors bears the vibrancy of an era and the passionate ideals of a group of people. The whole play seeks a balance and breakthrough between documentary and poetic romance.
During the filming period, the production and study of the crew were correct. Under the organization of the temporary party branch, they actively carried out the party class activities with the theme of “casting the soul with learning”, “increasing wisdom with learning”, “righteous style with learning” and “promoting action with learning”. After 127 days and nights of hard work, “Ask the Boundless” is about to deliver excellent answers to the audience who are looking forward to it.
“Ask the Boundless” is a key TV series of the State Administration of Radio and Television, directed by the State Administration of Radio and Television and the Propaganda Department of the CPC Hunan Provincial Committee, supported by the Hunan Provincial Radio and Television Bureau and the Propaganda Department of the Changsha Municipal Party Committee, produced by Hunan Radio and Television Group Co., Ltd. Produced and distributed by Film Industry Co., Ltd., it is one of the key literary and artistic creation projects of Hunan Radio and Television’s 2023 “New Journey and New Chapter” project, and has been included in Changsha’s 2023 key literary and artistic projects.