L-R: Desmond Tan, Ya Hui, Liu Kai-chi, Law Kar-ying, Sheila Sim and Jeffrey Xu
Toggle and ViuTV announced their inaugural co-production today with Bluetick, a 20-episode suspense drama, with each episode spanning 30 minutes. The co-production stars local actors Desmond Tan, Ya Hui, Jeffrey Xu and Sheila Sim, alongside Hong Kong celebrities Wong You Nam, Liu Kai Chi, Law Kar Ying, Bonde Sham, Scarlett Wong, Dixon Wong, Colin Chan and Hailey Chan.
Based on Hong Kong author Ray Leung’s novel SEEN, the plot revolves around 10 strangers who attend their mutual friend’s funeral. One of the attendees sends a message to that deceased friend and mysteriously receives a ‘blue tick’, indicating that the message has been read by the recipient.
Could there be a problem with the messaging application, or could it be something more sinister at play? Things get even tenser as the attendees get murdered one after another, with those still alive scrambling against time to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Speaking to Toggle after landing in Hong Kong today, Desmond, who will play the male lead, shared that he will first be filming for three weeks in China, before heading to Hong Kong to film for another three weeks. Following which, he will be back in Singapore for the Star Awards and will resume filming here until the production wraps in May.
He expressed, “I’m very grateful for this collaboration as I’ll be able to learn new things. I’m looking forward to working with the Hong Kong actors, especially the veterans such as Law Kar-ying and Liu Kai-chi.”
The cast of Bluetick at the Hong Kong FILMART 2018.
Desmond will be taking on plenty of action scenes in Blue Tick, which will include jumping off buildings, car accidents and gun fights, and shared that one of the biggest hurdles for him will be the language barrier, as he is not fluent in Cantonese. “In addition, the culture that they have on-set might be different, so I’ll have to adapt to it really quickly,” he said.
Ya Hui, who will also be heading to Shenzhen for filming after the press conference, shared that she’s also looking forward to working with the Hong Kong stars, in particular former TVB actor Liu Kai-chi. “He’s a veteran and I’d want to experience how they’re able to lead the rest of us. I don’t think I have many opportunities to share the same scenes as him, but that’s alright, because I can go down to the set even when I’m not filming,” she let on.
(Continued on next page: Sheila and Jeffrey tell us about their respective roles)
Jeffrey Xu, Sheila sim, Ya Hui and Desmond Tan “excited but nervous” for Singapore-HK drama
Unlike Ya Hui and Desmond, Sheila and Jeffrey will have most of their scenes shot in Singapore. “I’m quite excited about it because it’s a breath of fresh air working with a different group of people and learning how to work in the Hong Kong market,” Sheila gushed.
“Wong You-nam was in this band named Shine, which was really famous when I was [modeling] in Hong Kong, so it really brings back childhood memories for me,” she explained. “We watched Hong Kong shows while we were growing up so it’s going to be a very different experience working with them this time around.”
Jeffrey concurred, adding that he feels that he needs to “unleash his full potential because we’re representing the company in this production, so we definitely need to perform well.” He will be sharing the small screen with Wong You-nam the most, whom his designer character opens a business with.
“I’m most looking forward to working with Law Kar-ying. I’ll have a few scenes with him; I watched his shows when I was growing up, and once I saw his name in the cast list, I was so surprised that I screamed,” he chuckled. “I’m really honoured.”
This collaboration with ViuTV marks another milestone for Toggle and is a step to introduce Mediacorp’s wide content offerings to audiences in Hong Kong, said Anil Nihalani, Head Digital Products and Technology Mediacorp. It also reinforces Toggle’s “commitment to delight our audiences with quality original content” and “up the ante with international production and casts.”
Doreen Neo, Chief Content Officer, Mediacorp, added her hopes to bring production expertise and creative talents from Singapore into this production. “With the strength of both platforms, Toggle and ViuTV, and a combination of production and acting talents from both sides, I am confident that we can create content that will resonate with viewers not just in Hong Kong and Singapore, but across Asia.”
Lofai Lo, General Manager of ViuTV called this collaboration “a creative dynamic” between both countries’ production arms, and hopes to produce “a creative and unique drama series that blends the best of both cultures in Singapore and Hong Kong.”
Imaging for the drama is scheduled to commence tomorrow, and the series will be aired in Singapore and Hong Kong simultaneously via Toggle and ViuTV in September 2018. Bluetick is supported by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and is the first co-produced Toggle Originals programme.
Watch this space for more information about Bluetick.