A &Q at Explore Pro Courses for short video creators
The short video section under the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival opened the "Explore Pro Courses" for the first time to further pave the way for young video creation talents to get into film industry. From July 28 to 29, Director Zhou Ziyang, Screenwriter Yuan Yuan, Migu Video Editor Liu Qian met with young creators at Shanghai Vancouver Film School to answer their questions from their experience in film industry experience and shared their practice.
Take a little notebook
At this special event, Yuan Yuan said, “My supervisor once told me that the easy road becomes hard with time and the hard road becomes easy. This enlightened me at that moment”.
She was glad that she could seek the help of her supervisor when she was bewildered. In the first class of the Explore Pro Courses, she sincerely shared her creative path since graduation from the directing department, encouraging young creators who were at the initial phase of creation. Yuan admitted, “In this industry, what you can see is only the tip of the iceberg right now, you will wait for a very long time. However, what a core quality any creator needs, whether for a writer or a director, is your grit."
At the same time, Screenwriter Yuan, taking her own works as an example, emphasized the importance of daily accumulation, such as the amount of films and books she reads. She believed that an excellent creator should not only have strong tenacity and willpower to cope with uncertainties and pressures, but also be a good listener to accept different voices with the ability of communication, expression and empathy, while never rejecting to any possibility. She offered a specific advice to young creators: Keep a small notebook ready to record inspiration and golden sentences. She expressed, “This notebook is a little treasure box when you get to the point where you don't know what to do or don't know what to do with any problems. It will stimulate your imagination any time you open it.”
Zhou Ziyang said that during his drifting in Beijing for decades, he found that his fellow travelers were slowly leaving. "Some of them did business, and some didn't come back from their strategy of getting a goal in a roundabout way. Some were truly talented. In this sector, it's very hard to keep going without strong willpower."
While, a strong willpower sources from your firm and sincere expressions of faith, which means you should think what makes who you are now, and clarify what is truly important in your whole life and what is not. “For a film, I’d like to create what I want, and a film features its own aesthetic style and the desired theme, which makes audiences taste and think.” Zhou said.
Zhou admitted, “After OLD BEAST, I was approached by a number of big-budget commercial films with substantial content, but I refused them because I know it was not what I wanted to do most.”
Zhou advised young creators that they should always maintain a good creative mentality, endure loneliness and be brave to face their most real soul. He said, "As you grow up, your contacts, ideas & thoughts, all your choices and judgments will accumulate and focus into your work and make it unique."
In addition, Zhou Ziyang, as an untrained director, recommended books for young creators, including The Secret of Screenwriter, Image Can Speak and Compound eye image: Akira Kurosawa and I, and encouraged young creators with a quote from Hou Hsiao-hsien: "When you are working hard for a thing, others can see you with their eyes. This fact cannot be deceived or ignored, even awards neither."
Home to dreams
Liu Qian, Migu video editor in chief, took a VR themed sharing for young creators. Beginning with the new changes of the era in VR’s ground-breaking first year, he stressed that as 5G technology constantly developed, the combination of 5G and core technology will enable better VR experience. Liu expressed, "It is not easy to create, but your fear defines the boundary. Only pain makes you stronger."
Du Zhongkun, a young creator who won the honor of special recommendation by the mentor group of short video section last year, also came to the site of "Explore-Pro Courses". He was thrilled to come to the section again. He said, "This is where my dream began, where I obtain confidence to continue my work and the courage to move to the temple of cinema." In 2020, he specially directed a short film titled "You see light, you are the Light" to pay his respect to the 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival and the filmmakers.
It is worth mentioning that this event also invited excellent short video creators to record the trip of the Shanghai International Film Festival from their own perspective to make their short video themed of "Journey of Exploration". The selected excellent works will be recommended and promoted in the SIFF.