Director Louis Tan has provided inspiration for the rebel that lives inside all of us. After 15 years working within the relatively safe confines of the commercial world, the 47-year-old threw his hat in the ring with a bunch of controversial musicians half his age. Suddenly, instead of being surrounded by suits making advertisements for some of Hong Kong's most prestigious clients, Tan found himself dossing down in a rehearsal room, fighting for couch space and computer game consoles with the 10 members of local hip-hop crew LMF. He had entered their world to make a documentary telling their story. What started as a two- to three-month task eventually took 18 months as Tan followed LMF from studio to stage across Asia. But the chance Tan took has paid off. The resulting documentary, Dare Ya!, is open, honest, engaging and, in a rare move for the SAR, has found a commercial release. The film has been playing at Cine-Art House in Wan Chai for the past week (see review, right). Talking over a morning coffee, Tan is quick to explain his motivation for making this drastic career change. 'Maybe it is the rebellious side of me that could no longer be subdued,' he laughs. 'I think there is a rebellious attitude that has always been with me but, of course, it has been suppressed over the years because of being involved in commercial film-making.' Tan began his professional career with TVB in 1977 after studying TV and radio production in the United States and by 1980 he had started filming commercials. He produced his first feature film, the light-hearted love story Infatuation, in 1986 (it starred Cecilia Yip, who would later become his wife) but the commercial world came calling again soon after it was finished and he had been living back there until a fateful night early last year. 'Last March, I was in a friend's car as he was driving my wife and I home and he was playing an LMF CD,' says Tan. 'I asked what it was and he said, 'You are so backward! What's the matter with you? This is LMF!' I had been taken to a few of these underground band shows and I was intrigued by what I saw. I thought, 'Who are these people who dress the way they do, singing songs that I can not understand?' I wanted to know all about them. So it had planted a seed in my mind.' Tan went out and bought all the LMF CDs he could find. 'Some of them came with VCDs so I watched those and I saw there were 10 of them and each of them was a character. So I had this urge to know them, to know who they are,' he says. He had grown tired of making commercials. 'It is really like a service industry,' he says. Tan was looking for inspiration, and he had found it. 'Before I knew it I had contacted Warner Music and was invited up one night into their band room,' he says. 'And as soon as I walked in there, I knew I was in a different world.' LMF had been approached by film-makers before but had remained wary. The band have endured a love-hate relationship with the media in Hong Kong, who have, according to the band, been quick to focus on their profanity-laced lyrics rather than their music or the messages of their songs. 'My proposal was that they throw in their time, and I throw in my resources,' says Tan. 'There's no script - I didn't really know what I was going to do except shoot. Their inner space was opened for me, so I just followed them in and out of the band room, to concerts and on trips.' This process allows for a refreshingly honest look at the band members who, more often than not, are shot simply talking to the camera. They tell their personal stories and offer opinions on everything from the Chief Executive to the TV station that once paid Tan's bills. 'I don't think any of them had been interviewed in front of a camera before and as you can see from the film, they are not keen to be interviewed - unless it is about their music,' says Tan. 'They don't need the paparazzi, they don't rely on it, they don't give a damn. With them it is the philosophy of 'don't bother us, just let us be what we want'. If you take them apart, they are all very simple people. But in a collective sense, their chemistry is how they generate their power; it's there through their music. They don't play the game. They refuse to. And I think they will continue to refuse to.' And, Tan says, he might just do the same.