Interview | Behind the scenes of "Save the Water": Xin Yunlai fiercely practiced flower swimming and flipped his nose.

Interview | Behind the scenes of "Save the Water": Xin Yunlai fiercely practiced flower swimming and flipped his nose.

Special feature of 1905 film network After the seven-day National Day holiday, the single-day film arrangement and single-day box office ranking of the film "Five Boys Drowning in the Water" rose against the trend, and many viewers praised the film as "the best domestic youth film this year", and the douban score gradually rose to 7.4 points after the score was opened.

Under the pressure of the government, the film didn’t get much attention during the National Day, and the box office was not as good as expected. However, as the first film focusing on synchronized swimming in China, it still involved the unpopular event of men’s synchronized swimming, which also brought the sport to the public.

Zhang Xi, a former national synchronized swimmer, is the synchronized swimming coach of this film, who is responsible for training five leading actors and designing the flower show in the film.

Synchronized swimming, known as "underwater ballet", is a water sports event that combines swimming, skills, dance and music. Zhang Xi introduced that this is a sport with a relatively high threshold. Flower-swimming athletes need not only the high cardio-pulmonary ability of swimmers, but also the flexibility of dancers, as well as the ability to appreciate music and count beats, which is comprehensive and cumbersome. "Many technical movements may be impossible for athletes to do when they retire."

It is an impossible task for these five young actors who are not good at swimming to learn synchronized swimming in two months to meet the requirements of performance and shooting. During these two months, they trained for about 8 hours every day, basically without rest. Finally, in their efforts, they succeeded in achieving their goals.

Zhang Xi revealed that the actor has the worst coordination among these five people, and he has to complete the highlight action of "back flip". He worked hard during the training period. Every morning from 5: 00 am, he first practiced somersault and then practiced water movements with others, and suffered a lot of injuries, but he didn’t shout bitterness or tiredness. "This is why every time I watch a movie and see Xiao Xin jumping on the rooftop, I will burst into tears." Li Xiaoqian, who plays the swimmer Gao Fei, can’t swim at all. He also learned to swim in two months.

At the end of the film, a group of male high school students finally completed the performance of group synchronized swimming after all difficulties. This big show has three links in total and more than 40 people participated in the performance. Zhang Xi said that the overall movement arrangement jumped out of the professional movements of traditional synchronized swimming, and highlighted the characteristics of "show". First, it was a uniform queue, then it was a hilarious dance on land, and finally it was arranged for the different personalities of the five characters.

In the general cognition of the public, synchronized swimming is a female sport, but in recent years, the situation of men’s synchronized swimming has also developed positively. In the 2015 Kazan World Swimming Championships, male synchronized swimmers were allowed to participate for the first time, and in the 2017 FINA World Championships, China also sent mixed doubles for the first time. Although there is no such event in the Olympic Games now, Zhang Xi believes that it will definitely be included in the future.

Zhang Xi is also the founder of the first synchronized swimming club in Beijing, and has trained many young synchronized swimming talents. She revealed that at present, the ratio of male and female students she leads is only 20 or 30 to 1, and the number is very small. In her view, men’s synchronized swimming also has its own unique beauty. "It’s just not promoted enough, and there is no need to emphasize gender in this project. It is definitely a particularly eye-catching glory for boys to join."

As a third-generation flower tourist in China, Zhang Xi witnessed the difficult development of synchronized swimming in China. "We have worked hard from generation to generation to climb to the current runner-up position, and the gap with Russia has gradually narrowed, which is not easy."

She thinks that the appearance of "Five Boys Who Save the Water" is a good opportunity to let more people know about synchronized swimming, change the prejudice against men’s synchronized swimming, and better appreciate the beauty and beauty of this sport.

[Interview Record]

1905 Movie Network: When did these "five teenagers" start to learn synchronized swimming, and what was the length and intensity of training?

Zhang Xi:From July 5 last year, we made a preliminary evaluation of their water-based and coordination. After the test, we found that strictly speaking, none of them could swim. When we met with the director, we thought it was an impossible task.

We trained for two months at that time, and it was really difficult to reach the level of shooting, but it turned out that we did it. The training intensity in those two months was quite strong, and I don’t remember any rest. Basically, their daily arrangement is 4 to 5 hours of water training during the day and 5 to 4 hours of physical coordination and dance training in the afternoon. In this way, there are at least about 8 hours of land and water training every day.

1905 Movie Network: The climax at the end of the movie is men’s collective synchronized swimming. What is the style pursued in action arrangement?

Zhang Xi:The whole show is divided into three parts. The first part is the feeling of "grand parade", which is neat and spectacular as soon as it comes up. It’s all a big queue and a large square, including the selection of the music "March of Iron and Steel", which is very exciting and exciting. I hope it will give people a sense of visual impact as soon as it comes up.

The second part focuses on the dance on land, which is a feeling that a high school student is relatively active, playful and noisy. When entering the water again, it is to arrange each action for each character separately according to their personality. For example, Zhang Wei, who is the captain, is persistent and hard-working, so the action is relatively serious, and the most lively is Ququ.

We didn’t design the movements so professionally. There are also women’s synchronized swimming and professional teams in the movies, which are all recognized as flower swimming in the traditional sense. Generally, there are eight people in the team competition of flower tour, and there are more than 40 people in our big show. We still have to jump out of the traditional concept of flower tour to express it.

1905 Movie Network: Zhang Wei, the leading actor, has a backflip action to complete. Why did he design this action?

Zhang Xi:At the beginning of the training, the director repeatedly asked me what action was representative in the flower swim, so the back flip was a relatively representative action with certain difficulty. Of course, in the professional arena, this is not a particularly difficult action, but it is also impossible for ordinary people to complete. In the action sequence of synchronized swimming, this is a throw-and-take lift, which is quite difficult, and he has to complete a week of somersault at the same time.

1905 Movie Network: Is it difficult for Xin Yun to practice this action?

Zhang Xi:Very big, because Xiao Xin’s personal physical condition can be said to be the most rigid among the five people, and his coordination is not so good. That’s why every time I watch a movie, I see Xiao Xin jumping on the rooftop, and tears come to my eyes. Because I fully knew how difficult it was for Xiao Xin when he was training at that time, and he suffered many injuries because of training, both his waist and wrist, including his nose, were smashed many times.

He never shouted tired, I can’t do it, I lost my temper, and I had to rest when I was injured, never. In the later period, he worked much harder than others, and others only had to complete normal training every day. In addition to these, he had to practice somersaults himself. From 5 o’clock every day, he came back to practice water movements with everyone after learning, and it took about two months to complete this movement. So he is not only the captain in this movie, but also a leading role among these five people.

1905 Movie Network: What is the training status of others? Did they train for two months before reaching the standard?

Zhang Xi:We were training every day in Beijing. At that time, Li Xiaoqian, who played goofy, was the worst swimmer. Compared with others, he couldn’t swim at all, but he was from a sports school and the best swimmer in the film, so the task given by the director at that time was to practice it within two months. He also worked hard, and it took him two months.

When we were training, there was a sports school team training beside us. Every day before class, I called several players to come and compete with him, so in the end, Li Xiaoqian’s level was basically the same as theirs, including seeing him compete with the swimming captain in the movie, which was all because he really swam.

1905 Movie Network: Synchronized swimming has always been a women’s sport. What do you think is the dilemma of men’s synchronized swimming?

Zhang Xi:Synchronized swimming only joined the mixed doubles in world-class competitions a few years ago, and some boys joined it, but it was not the mainstream. Men’s synchronized swimming is well developed in many European countries, and the event itself originated in Europe. People don’t know it so narrowly, including many competitions, such as the European Championship, where there are men’s single or double events.

The feeling of flower tour in our domestic public is still a feminized project that little girls are practicing, so when selecting talents and recruiting professional teams in various places, parents will think that little boys are not suitable for this.

However, boys have natural advantages in height, arm span and leg length, and the beauty shown in the water is no less than that shown by girls. His sense of existence is stronger, his sense of strength is stronger, and his visual impact is different. So I think we just haven’t promoted it enough, and there is no need to emphasize gender so much in this project. It is definitely a particularly bright glory for boys to join in.

For example, when we go abroad to participate in competitions, many of the opening performances are the fathers of the players. Because they train with their children, they will also do volunteer work in the team, and they will also form a father team of their own. Therefore, it is not necessary to have a particularly high professional direction at the beginning, so that everyone is willing to come in first and think this is a very interesting project.

1905 Movie Network: How many athletes are engaged in men’s synchronized swimming in China now, and has it increased in recent years?

Zhang Xi:There are more and more places, but on the whole, there are only a dozen in the country. Professional teams in various provinces and cities, including the national team, are recruiting all the year round, but the direction is relatively vertical. Instead of recruiting from the public, they go to some professional colleges, such as dance colleges and swimming teams. A few years ago, most of the selections were transferred from other teams, and now they are slowly starting from scratch. It doesn’t matter if there is no foundation for choosing this project. You can train if you meet the physical conditions.

Men’s synchronized swimming is less known in the society, so this film is just right, and when you watch it, it may open up a new idea.


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