Award-winning movie director Andrew Lau Wai-keung is a veteran director in Hong Kong's action cinema. His work has spanned comedies to gangster movies to horror films. His latest hits, Infernal Affairs I and II, are among the best movies to come out of Hong Kong recently and could revitalise the ailing local film industry. 'Over the past two decades I have met all kinds of people - triads and policemen, millionaires and the penniless; no one is absolutely good or bad. Many triad bosses offer to help others, while some rich celebrities do harm to society. In my movies, I show that triads are human beings. They also have to struggle their way up to achieve success. But I didn't beautify them. They end up dead. My movies send a message that we are living in an inferno and going through the revolving door of life. I say this doesn't mean I'm pessimistic. I just want to warn the viewers to be alert. The toughest nut to crack was the investors. But I managed to persuade them with my new ideas. I'm happy to see that Hong Kong people are still keen on seeing movies, no matter what kind they are. I opened a new movie studio in 2000. People didn't understand me, saying Hong Kong's film industry had already died. But I did not give a damn about that. Making movies is my life-long profession, so I have to be optimistic. The first day I worked was for the Shaw Brothers company. I had decided to do commercial movies. My hope is to produce popular movies enjoyed by a lot of people. I don't think only art films are artistic; commercial movies also have artistic elements as well. I see European movies, most of which are art movies. But I was not influenced at all. I prefer Hollywood movies. They always feature glory and glamour. The look is always extravagant. I like that. I had a primary school classmate whose father ran a cinema. So I got the chance to see free movies ... every day after school until I moved from Yuen Long to Hong Kong island when I was in the fifth grade. But I had already got into the habit and kept seeing movies two to three times a week ... though it was expensive. At that time I had no idea what a director or screenwriter was, but I knew I wanted to do movies when I grew up. When I was 21, I knew that the Shaw Brothers film studio was recruiting for an assistant, I applied at once. I think my career path has been quite smooth. I started as a cinematographer assistant's assistant, but only three years later I became a real cinematographer, and the first movie I shot was nominated in the Hong Kong Film Awards. When I was 29, I became a director. Everything went naturally, so I was not very excited. When I was a green-hand cinematographer, in order to beat my competitors, I was bold to adopt a Japanese-style of filming. I used more natural rather than artificial light. No one supported me, but I didn't care. After one or two films, people accepted it, but the critics didn't like it. I was eager to gain awards in the late 1980s. I needed recognition from people in movie circles. To win an award now is no longer my priority. My hope is to make good movies that viewers like. But I don't make movies just to cater to their tastes. I lead them. I tell them what they should see. It's a revolution. And my experiences make me believe I will succeed. Hollywood invited me to be a cinematographer and director in the early 1990s, but I declined. In Hong Kong, I can make five movies a year, but in Hollywood only one every two to three years. That can't satisfy my appetite. I'm greedy. One of the biggest problems frustrating me now is that there are fewer young people in Hong Kong who have a passion for making films. They are too practical and money-oriented.'