专访I 《Cinemawide Magazine》x小爱老师
2023年，导演 I编剧 I电影研究者、影视工业网签约电影课程导师 小爱老师 电影代表作《秋水水秋》（《Wish You Well》）、《寒夜李查德》（《 Run,Chad Run》）、《电影》(《The Film》）荣获包括瑞典电影学院奖最佳导演、迈阿密电影评论奖最佳导演、东京国际短片电影节最佳导演、罗马短片电影节最佳导演、日本国际电影节最佳导演、洛杉矶国际电影节最佳导演、柏林女性电影节最佳导演、萨格勒布国际电影节最佳导演、慕尼黑新浪潮短片电影节最佳女导演等海外电影节奖项。
Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a filmmaker/actor/screenwriter?
When I was kid, my parents always took me to watch Hollywood and European movies with them, and I think my interests and belief in movies were built since then. After graduation from university, I started my career in public relations and corporate communications in Fortune 500 companies such as GE and Sony, in my spare time, I do movie reviews in mainstream entertainment programs in CCTV, China Radio International, China National Radio, Beijing TV, etc., and I find myself are thirsty to create movies on my own as I talked about Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Stanley Kubrick, Theoforos Angelopoulos. I made my first step from marketing and publicity area in one of the biggest Hollywood names about ten years ago, and then I quit my job and started as an independent director and screenwriter while teaching filmmaking classes to help industry professionals to build up director's ideas and psychology ideas.
Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker/actor/screenwriter?
Well, that's a tough question since so many films have inspired me. :) "A Space Odyssey(1968)", "Citizen Kane", "Old Boy", "Blade Runner", "Landscape In The Mist", "No Country For Old Man", "Godfather", "Once Upon A Time in American", "Thelma & Louise", etc. I love them all. :)
Who is your biggest influence?
Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.
What were some of the challenges you had to face in making your films?
As an independent filmmaker in China, it's very difficult to finance my films with different aesthetic values from the local mainstream producers. Most of the time, you have to choose between sticking to your own expression and compromising with the market, and each work of my own is completed at an extremely low budget, precisely because I want to stick to self-expression and creative freedom.
Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite?
Currently, I do art films and Sci-Fi films. Starting from my first work "Wish You Well", I know making it an art film is the only way to get it done at my current stage. I've always had a deep love for Sci-Fi films since childhood, at present, I make my Sci-Fi works in arthouse style too. As an independent director, I have to find every possible way to complete my projects within the financial constraints. In fact, over the past decade, I've been studying commercial films, and I really hope to have the opportunity to make film noir and crime films.
What’s your all-time favorite movie and why?
"2001: A Space Odyssey", "Blade Runner", "Blade Runner 2049", "Dune", "Oppenheimer", etc. I always believe that a great director not only tells a great story, but also constantly creates and changes the audiences' emotions using audio-visual language, thereby conveying his/her profound thoughts towards life experiences. All these films are benchmarks.
If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?
Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Denis Villeneuve.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I worked in public relations and corporate communications area in multinational companies before entering into the film industry, and the project management and leadership skills I've gained from that period of time make my job much easier as an independent producer and director.
The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.
My dad. When I quit the dream job for most of the people and started from zero in film industry, he encouraged me to follow my heart and even ensured me that he can always support me at his best. I always think that all my works are dedicated to the memory of him.
What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker/actor/screenwriter?
Never stray far from life. Filmmaking is not simply creating imagination in isolated islands. As a director and screenwriter, the most important thing is to listen to the needs of ordinary people. We must pay attention to the weaks, and try to understand the world of the underprivileged. Making a movie is not simply about commercial success or festival awards, we can make it a tool to create love.
Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?
Getting started. My biggest challenge is always about finding the investment and getting started. My first film "Wish You Well" was shot under extremely difficult conditions. Due to China's Covid measures at that time and extremely low budget, my team and I, wearing masks along the way, went through all kinds of challenges such as the bans on shooting by the locations, quarantines, social isolation, etc. We just had only half of a tiny room as our shooting location, and most of the crew are not film professionals, to complete the shooting, I have to improvise on set according to what we have or what we can do, director's ideas really helped me.
What keeps you motivated?
How has your style evolved?
In different films I have different cinematographic strategy, and I think my personal style also adapts according to that.
On set, the most important thing is:
Understand what you want, and articulate that crystal clearly with everyone working with you. On set, a director is not only a director, but also a project manager, that said, project management skills and communication skills are truely important.
The project(s) you’re most proud of:
"Wish You Well", "Run, Chad Run" and "The Film", all of them are made under extremely low budget.
The most challenging project you worked on. And why?
Next one, because I want to make it the best. :)
What are your short term and long term career goals?
I have no particular goals in my career, but I hope that I can always make my own films without any compromise to the reality world.
Your next projects?
Another Sci-Fi film featuring humanity, and the title is "8568".
Please share with us where people can find you on social media, so our readers could keep track of your career.
It's not easy for me to use FB or Ins, so it's a bit tough for people to keep track of me on social media at the current stage. But I do have my homepage on FilmFreeWay, where people can find my latest works and updates.
课程上线来，已有超 5000+ 学员（包括但不限于导演、摄影师、剪辑师、美术师、灯光师、制片人、编剧在内的电影从业者，高校电影专业教师，各大电影学院的电影相关专业本硕博学生、电影专业备考生，资深影迷等）相互陪伴走过 1000 多个日夜。