文︰楊兩全，影像無國界藝術家導師 | Text: Yeung Leung-chuen, All About Us Teaching Artist
這一年All About Us 的五段創作短片中，有三條以紀錄片作為表達形式（其中《Bibi, the Ghost》是仿紀錄片），兩條則是劇情短片。半數作品為紀錄片，頗出我意料之外的。筆者是這屆All About Us 的創作導師之一，過往也曾在不同中學或社區中心當短片創作導師，學員是香港本地青年，他們幾近本能地會以劇情短片作為他們的創作方向，甚少選擇紀錄片此一表現形式。這傾向並不令人意外，畢竟我們日常接觸的影像養份，均以電影、電視劇或網絡短片為主。因此，我對這屆All About Us 出現佔半的紀錄片作品感到驚喜及好奇。
或許與教學內容有關（這屆All About Us的創作營有專門教授「紀錄片」的環節，當中包括訪問對談技巧等），但創作者本身想要「被看見」這一點或許也是一個不應被忽視的要素。與一般紀錄片導演尋找想要紀錄的「他者」不同，他們的紀錄對象就是身邊的團隊成員。換言之，他們是有被訪的自覺，是自我紀錄，是一個自我揭露的過程。就如《US》，講述團隊裡六人的生活與夢想，當中有獨特南亞文化特色的板球夢，也有如一般香港本地青年無異的廚師夢、籃球夢、科學夢等等。創作者有意識地呈現自己的生活、自己的夢想，彷彿是一幅集體自畫像，想讓人「看見」自己。又如《Loving Your Life》，這短片更是觸及Windelyn的內心世界，呈現她因家庭所遭受的傷痛以及在同伴朋友間經歷的愛，內容相當私密與真實，是一次坦誠的剖白。
《Bibi, the Ghost》是一條仿紀錄片，訪問一隻鬼的生活的「紀錄片」，風格幽默風趣、創意令人眼前一亮。鬼，作為相對於人類的小眾，有著獨特的生活模式與文化，經常不被人類所理解，承受被邊緣化的孤獨。我不肯定這是不是創作者有意識的藝術處理，但這不期然令人解讀成少數族裔的自仿。以「鬼」作喻，訴說「鬼」的故事，也是訴說自己作為少數族裔的故事和心聲。
另外兩條是劇情短片《Not Even Close to Any K-Drama Ever》及《Not So Ever After》。相對《US》與《Loving Your Life》這類將自己以紀錄片方式直接呈現；創作者的影子在劇情短片中，通常都隱藏在故事背後，但我們還是可以從這些作品中窺見創作者的部分面貌。
在《Not So Ever After》中，貧窮的女主角、被同學欺負的校園生活、未能結果的青春愛情……這些元素都不時出現在過往All About Us的作品，也是香港本地學生作品的常見題材，畢竟這些事情很可能就是他們的日常生活，比較容易作為素材轉化成創作。至於《Not Even Close to Any K-Drama Ever》，從劇名的自嘲就可看出端倪——這條短片仿拍韓劇，以誇張的手法突出那些韓劇「經典」情節，藉此加以反諷，拍出一條饒有趣味的喜劇。由此可以想像，這短片的創作者與很多香港本地、以至世界各地的青年一樣，深受韓流文化影響，才會拍出這條戲仿之作。
Among the five creative short films for this year’s All About Us project, three are documentaries (of which “Bibi, the Ghost” is a mockumentary), and two are short dramas. I am one of the teaching artists for this year’s project and the fact that over half of the works are documentaries is quite beyond my expectation. I have teached creative short film production in various secondary schools and community centres where participants are local Hong Kong youths. Instead of documentary, they usually instinctively choose to present their creation in the form of short drama. Their preference is not surprising, after all, movies, TV dramas or online short videos are the main kinds of moving image we received in our everyday lives. Therefore, I felt surprised and curious when half of the works for this year’s All About Us are documentaries.
It may be a result of the set of teaching content (There was a special session on documentary in this year’s creative camp which includes interviewing skills); however, an important element which should not be overlooked is the wish of “to be seen” from the creators. Unlike general documentaries that the directors are trying to record the Others, the targets for recording in these short films are the creators’ team members around. They are, in other words, aware of being interviewed which made the filming a self-documenting and self-disclosing process. “US” describe the lives and dreams of the six team members: some dreams to be a cricket player which certainly is of unique Southeast cultural characteristics, others share common dreams as local Hong Kong youths such as to be a chef, a basketball player or a scientist. The filmmakers consciously present their own lives and dreams as if they are making a collective self-portrait, letting themselves to be “visible”. Another short film “Loving Your Life” that touches on Windelyn’s inner world, depicting the pain she suffered because of her family and the affection she experienced among her friends. With these private yet genuine content, the film is an honest confession to the audience.
Humorous, and dazzlingly creative, “Bibi, the Ghost” is a mockumentary that mimics the life of a ghost. Ghosts, as a niche relative to humans, have unique lifestyles and culture. Often they are misunderstood by humans and suffer the loneliness of being marginalised. I am not certain if it is a conscious artistic treatment by the creators, yet I can’t help interpreting the treatment as a self-imitation of ethnic minorities. With “ghost” as a metaphor, telling a “ghost” story is actually telling the creators’ own story and feeling as an ethnic minority.
Other than documentaries, the two short dramas are “Not Even Close to Any K-Drama Ever” and “Not So Ever After”. Comparing to “US” and “Loving Your Life” which directly portrayed themselves in the form of a documentary, creators of these short dramas usually hide their themselves behind the story, yet we can still glimpse some aspects of the creators.
“Not So Ever After” depicted a girl who faced difficulties in all aspects of life: poverty, school life full of bullies by classmates, a puppy love that bears no fruit … all these elements have frequently been found in past works All About Us, which are also common motifs in videos made by local Hong Kong students. After all, these issues are likely to happen in their daily lives, so it is easier to be put into their creation. The self-mockery in the title “Not Even Close to Any K-Drama Ever” hints that the film is copying a Korean drama. By featuring “classic” plots in Korean dramas with exaggeration, it makes a sarcastic comedy full of fun. By viewing the video, we can simply imagine how Korean culture deeply influenced not only the creation team of this short film, but also many young people in Hong Kong and the rest of the world.
Creation in itself is a process of “being seen”. Be it a self-conscious display of oneself, a metaphor or a story, we can see the creator in the work. I am delighted to know and understand their world through these works and are more delighted to realise that they are willing to be seen, and even longing to be seen, which is also the value of the project “All About Us”.