SIFFORUM | Film Talent Cultivation under Industrialization: Initiate from Love, and Start from Basic
On the afternoon of June 21st, the "Film Education Innovation Forum: How to Cultivate Global Film and Television Creation & Production Talents" was held at the SIFFORUM of the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival.
Producer Michael Shamberg (works like DJANGO UNCHAINED, ERIN BROCKOVICH, PULP FICTION), Resul Pookutty, the sound designer and Oscar winner for best sound design whose work was SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Gong Geer, the producer of THE WANDERING EARTH, Yuan Ye, the co-founder of Light Chaser Animation (supervisor of WHITE SNAKE) and other people delivered keynote speeches on the construction of industrialization system and the issue of talent cultivation.
Richard Anderson, the producer and Oscar winner for best sound design, producer Philip Lee (works like THE REVENANT, CLOUD ATLAS); Gan Chao, the Vice President of Youku Business Group under Alibaba Entertainment Group, Chen Daming, the Art Director of Shanghai Vancouver Film School and other people participated in the round-table interlocution, and discussed the education and cultivation of film talents in the industrial age together with Jiang Weimin, the moderator and the Chief Executive Officer of Shanghai Vancouver Film School.
Quality of Industrial Systematic Talents: Love is Fundamental
In Michael Shamberg's view, in order to play one's own value in the film industry, there are three basic crucial qualities: First, the enthusiasm for finding a good story; second, the persistence of a good story; and third, strong execution. He also stressed that, those who are engaged in film, no matter what role they play in the industrialized system, must have a thought from the perspective of audience. "If you don't produce a work from the perspective of audience, you can't provide a work that they are satisfied with." Said Michael Shamberg.
As a representative of the rise of Chinese science fiction film, THE WANDERING EARTH has faced many challenges in the production process. Gong Geer revealed that, during the filming, the crew worked 18 hours a day, and director Guo Fan had only 30 minutes to 1 hour of rest every day during the 145 days of filming. "If you don't love it, I'm afraid it's hard to stick with." Said Gong Geer.
Resul Pookutty also talked about the importance of love. He said that the competition of Indian films was very fierce, and only 15 out of the 200 films per year could be successful at the box office, but still continuous films have been created and produced, and the number of films continued to rise. Resul Pookutty pointed out that the driving force behind this was still the love of film. "If you want your story to be classic, you must have a very crazy spirit."
Although Chinese animation industry still needs to be improved, Yuan Ye said that the production characteristics of the animation itself have naturally promoted the animation production in China to follow the industrialized system. Yuan Ye said that as far as the whole is concerned, the people who are engaged in the industry are basically driven by love. On the one hand, the animation production process is very complicated and detailed. On the other hand, the lack of professional settings in animation education in China makes the cultivation of talents continue to rely on the practice accumulation of frontline, so in addition to animation related professional skills, personal learning ability and creative ability are also very important. "This makes requests on comprehensive abilities." Yuan Ye concluded.
The Cultivation of Industrial Systematic Talents: Basic Practice is Essential
Jiang Weimin mentioned that, currently there are nearly 300 film & television universities in China, and key universities are up to 30. The number of examinees in film & television major is rising every year, but it is difficult for many of them to enter the industry after they graduate from school.
In view of the general problem of disjunction between industry and school for film talents, Richard Anderson said that the film school's education could really help individuals touch all aspects of film, but if they wanted to go deep into the industry and adapt to the operation of industrialized system, they should start from the basic level. "When the Hollywood system began to operate, there was no professional film school." Said Richard Anderson.
Chen Daming believed that, for those who study films, the real effort is not in school but outside the school. What they have learned at school is only basic knowledge, and if they want to have a foothold in the industry, they still have to find their own positions through various attempts.
Philip Lee also encouraged students to step out of school. He bluntly said that students can work while learning. He believed that, only in this way can they truly understand what is going on in the industry and be able to choose when the opportunity comes.
While emphasizing the need to actively participate in industry practice as early as possible, the guests also expressed their views on the present education conditions of film talents.
Gan Chao pointed out that, there are problems in current film talent cultivation, such as unclear specialized division as well as the lack of sufficient professional focus.
In this regard, Richard Anderson suggested that some large studios could strengthen cooperation with film school and create a training system that has rules to follow like the training of medical students, which would make the school's education more targeted, make the cultivation of professional talents more focused, and make the matching types of work more diversified.
In addition to the further subdivision of profession, both Yuan Ye and Philip Lee mentioned the need to cultivate aesthetic consciousness. "After actually entering the production process, basic production techniques and skills can be learned, but aesthetics is essential to decide if you can move forward and become an excellent talent." Yuan Ye said that they should make full use of the time in school to explore.
As an important part of the Shanghai International Film Festival, the SIFFORUM will be held from June 16th to 21st, with 10 forums and 4 Film Class activities. The 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival will take the theme of tribute for 70th anniversary of the founding of new China and of promoting China to transit from a big film country to a powerful film country, go deep into all aspects of the film industry, focus on topics such as film industrialization, industrial chain, sci-fi films, film education, mainstream film innovation and other topics for wisdom collision. In the meanwhile, it also takes the deep and proper implementation of "Belt and Road" film exchange and the presentation of film art as major directions, fully demonstrates the vitality of Chinese films, fully implements the platform mission, and helps Chinese films to march toward a better future.