The behind the scenes drama surrounding Ashes of Love 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 continues. We covered it last week. If you aren’t updated yet, read first before you proceed.
To sum it up, there have been many complains that the quality of the show went down midway due to additional scenes to the supporting cast while the main storyline got ignored. After all that hullabaloo, screenwriter Zhang Yuan’ang shared quite a lengthy explanation on her Weibo. (It’s really lengthy. Settle in. Hehe)
In her explanation, she says that her team signed on for 36 episodes of Ashes of Love last August 2016 but the client wanted 50 episodes of the story which might not be feasible so they have compromised on 43 episodes instead. She further added that the work done on the additional 7 episodes were “free of charge”.
Moreover, she explains that she turned over the final script on May 30, 2017 and had no contact with the client afterwards. It was when the show premiered that she learned that the drama will have 63 episodes and not 43 as was originally written. As the writer for the show, she naturally had concerns about the flow of the story and the quality of the drama with the additional 20 episodes.
She further adds that her team who has worked on 43 episodes were not given top bill crediting for writing the drama but instead, Ma Jia was billed as the Head Writer while Zhang Yuan’ang’s name was below the three producers from the client’s side.
Understandably, Zhang Yuan’ang and her team are pissed at what’s happening. She immediately had the production script examined to investigate how much of their script was used in the drama and the results yielded that by episode 18, their script was used almost in 80% of the show. She requested a professional evaluation from an accreditation committee to review the usage to gauge if it would yield the same results.
She explains further that the modification to her script was done between episode 18-34 where script usage of her work significantly decreased. There were also other modifications done to the script that she was not consulted for.
She continues to call out the production team by saying this is the first time that a screenwriter fails to make top billing for the work done and get bumped off by a virtual nobody. She even shared that in the 10 months of production, the production team has not gotten in touch with them for revisions or clarifications.
Producer Andy Liu Ning had something else to say on the matter. He explains that the original script was shown to the TV Station and the Streaming Sites. Their feedback is still with him, and it’s really indescribable (clearly, he meant it in a bad way). They had criticisms on odd character setup and excessive action scenes towards the last half of the story. They want a love story not an action movie. According to Liu Ning, she (Zhang Yuan’ang) always says that the first part was written well, but the script towards the end is so bad and she doesn’t say anything. 1-12 is from the novel, what about 13 onwards, does she not have an idea?
It gets more catty when Ma Jia posted this on her Weibo along with an explanation of her own.
In the post, Ma Jia calls out Zhang Yuan’ang and basically tells her that her script sucked and her attitude insincere and that is the reason why their team was replaced.
She provided an excerpt from the script that she found particularly laughable where fingerprints are the norm in a mythical tale.
She explains further that Zhang Yuan’ang was requested to modify the script and that she couldn’t come to Beijing to consult on the script and even declined to have Ma Jia’s writing team fly into Yunnan province, where Zhang Yuan’ang was based.
She blames Zhang Yuan’ang for taking the attention away from the show and onto herself.
In the end, Ma Jia posted a link for the public to view the script and judge for themselves.
I am honestly speechless. Whatever the truth here is, I believe this should have been dealt with privately rather than creating making a spectacle of themselves.