Set up a group image for China's short track speed skating and shape the dreams of ordinary people - the chief screenwriter talks about the creation of the TV series "Beyond"

  On the evening of January 9, the TV series "Beyond" officially met with the audience.

In 18 months, the writing team and I have not been clear about the rules of short track speed skating, and today we have seen this group of fictional characters come alive on the screen, which in itself is quite a "transcendence". thing.

  The birth of "Beyond" is a very challenging thematic creation.

In order to welcome the Beijing Winter Olympics, all of us have broken through our personal experience, and we have received guidance from the State Administration of Radio and Television, and the support of the State Sports General Administration and the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee.

I think if it weren't for such an opportunity, I might never have the opportunity to understand and dig about such a very special subject of short track speed skating.

But once the door was opened, I felt like a treasure had been discovered.

  In fact, initially our proposition did not focus on short track speed skating, but was free to choose any ice and snow sports related to the Beijing Winter Olympics, and even not limited to competitions and competitions. The stories of people participating in ice and snow sports and the ice and snow economy are also within sight.

But after the early planning and demonstration, we and the production team decided to focus on professional competitive sports as the main genre of the series.

  Adhering to the type of competitive sports is to make the theme creation more close to the audience, more artistic and watchable.

Under the leadership of the TV Drama Division, our team went to the Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee to investigate and understand the history and characteristics of each ice and snow event. After rational analysis, we gradually narrowed the scope of topics selected, and finally focused on the field of short track speed skating.

Among all the competitions of the Winter Olympics, the short track speed skating competition has always been our most important gold medal. As of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, 10 of the 13 Winter Olympic gold medals in the history of the Chinese team have been awarded by the short track. The speed skating team won.

Since the introduction of short track events to China in the 1980s, the professional team of short track speed skating in China has had a very deep heritage and heritage after several generations of construction, and there are enough creative materials to explore.

But at the same time, the high-speed motion on ice with a speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour has undoubtedly added a higher difficulty to the already challenging countdown shooting task, which requires us to take into account the meticulous and efficient every step of the creation.

  In order to understand the subject matter as soon as possible, our screenwriting team went deep into the Heilongjiang provincial team and the Qingdao team to observe and experience life. It took three months to collect stories intensively, and then continued to supplement research throughout the creation process.

We have visited nearly 100 people in the field of short track speed skating, covering athletes, coaches, referees, team doctors, equipment dealers and other personalities, and formed more than 600,000 words of interview materials. The characters and stories of Beyond.

  I still remember that when we first learned about this field, we were deeply touched by the fate stories of Yang Yang, Li Yan and other legendary figures.

But as we interviewed more people and learned more about the development history of the project, we became firmer on one idea: not to make any personal biographies, but to have a real historical background and typical situations in the short track speed skating industry. Create new fictional characters based on reality.

What we want to write about is the historical changes and the people in China's short track speed skating for more than 30 years.

All the characters in the story have no direct corresponding prototypes, but the contradictions in them all reflect a general sense of destiny.

For example, the protagonist Chen Mian's "rolling ice" experience, although not very common among short track speed skaters, is by no means out of nothing. Qingdao team members An Kai, Li Xuan and other players have similar growth experiences.

For example, Chen Mian's background and the emotional entanglement between father and daughter are completely fictional. However, it is very common in this industry that the two generations have a common ice and snow complex and a family inheritance of the same career.

We wanted to write a protagonist with a slightly different growth path than most champions.

She switched from roller skating, started late, and has shortcomings in talent, but relying on her tenacious character and persistence, she has created miracles and surpassed the so-called "talent" theory.

This character is more legendary on the basis of reality. It is a little more ideal than reality. I think it can better hold the dreams of ordinary people and ordinary audiences.

  The protagonist Chen Mian has taken shape, but she is not the only protagonist.

In the narratives of all the interviewees, I found that what moved me the most was not the stories of how the champions won the championship, but the regrets, helplessness, dilemmas, and ultimately willingness to make sacrifices of countless ordinary athletes in their struggles. Complete other people's stories.

The past events outside the real halo have repeatedly impacted us, and relevant experts also suggested that we should open our horizons and pay more attention to the majority of ordinary people who have not reached the peak in the entire competitive sports.

Champions are always in the minority, but behind a champion, there are countless unsung heroes behind the scenes.

Therefore, our thinking has shifted from building core relationships around the most promising players to building a group portrait for the entire Chinese short track speed skating career.

  As our horizons opened, we gradually extracted similar themes from the many life stories we listened to.

We found that almost all middle-aged coaches have a moving past behind them.

They were all close to the championship dream in their youth, but for various reasons, they lost a key opportunity that may only appear once in a lifetime.

Some because of injuries, some because of missing age, and many because of sacrifices to become teammates.

In terms of athletic performance, these athletes may be "less successful."

But when they have gone through a mental journey, most of them still reluctant to give up this ice, choose to go behind the scenes to become a coach and continue to work for the short track with the rest of their lives, who can simply define their success in the mundane sense cause.

In particular, we also found that they often put more effort into teaching than they put into their own small family, and they often stare at their disciples more than their own children.

It can be said that along the way, there must be the word "sacrifice" in the theme of their life with short track speed skating.

  I feel that the theme of "sacrifice" actually accompanies the entire short track speed skating story. In this sport, there is often a trade-off between the realization of athletes' personal achievements and their mission and responsibility as the bearers of national honor.

The different ways of answering this choice have also differentiated the sports concept of Chinese sportsmen and Chinese society for more than 30 years.

This is actually the evolution of Chinese people's values ​​over the past 30 years, and it also reflects the changes and development of the entire China.

  Under the framework of winning glory for the country and personal growth, the three generations of short track speed skating people have inherited the fighting spirit of self-improvement, and the values ​​of the two generations of athletes have collided and evolved. There is an iterative tension in this continuation, so we finally found " The main structural form and thematic expression of "Beyond".

As a result, our story has evolved from a sports youth story about the young generation of athletes who struggled and grew up with passion, to a sports life story that transcends competition and highlights the times.

  Whether it is short track speed skating or competitive sports, in my opinion, it is a metaphor.

In fact, sports competitions are the best metaphor for the struggle and growth of people in all industries and destiny.

The Olympic motto: faster, higher, stronger, more united, these indicators all summarize the same pursuit, that is, "transcendence".

Sports is the most externalized expression of human's striving spirit of continuous transcendence.

  Compared with the transcendence on the field, we are more interested in the process of each person surpassing themselves, surpassing the past, and realizing their true value in their own life.

I think at this point, I really love sports themes.

  Author: Li Jia (Chief Screenwriter of "Beyond")