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An Interview with Guan fang and Jiayue-Yu

Tell us about yourself. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Fang Guan: Director, choreographer.Original works: Flowering, "Babel," "Nowhere To Set," "Dalai's Train, " "Wives and Concubines", “The Scene of Yellow River”, The final chapter of the night"...etc.; Dance film works: "Blue delusion"; Jury member of Utah Dance Film Festival; The original work "The Final Chapter of the Night" was invited to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Dance Week and the "Wangshu Appointment" project of Beijing Leidutian Modern Dance Company.

Jiayue-Yu: Director, choreographer. Original works: "kū, "A man and jade", "eternity·," "Wives and Concubines", “The Scene of Yellow River”, The final chapter of the night"...etc.; Dance film works: "Blue delusion"; Director of the large-scale red dance epic "Letter to the Family"; The original work "The Final Chapter of the Night" was invited to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Dance Week and the "Wangshu Appointment" project of Beijing Leidutian Modern Dance Company.

As partners, we have been devoted to the creation of stage works, in a very real sense, Blue Delusion is the first dancing film that we created and recorded.

We are good at dancing but relatively unfamiliar with film creation. Excellent short films can always attract our eyes, catching us into the dramatic bodies, performance, or visual sense of film texture. A wish in our heart like a bud, driving us to make a dance film, expressing dance with the format of film, telling a story with bodies in our way ...

Talk about your last work. What are some of the challenges you faced during production?

In the whole production process, we mainly feel difficulties on the operation of on-site equipment and the techniques on later on production, because this is our first creation.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

Novalis conveys a longing for the meaning of life that grows out of the mystical experience and triumphs over death in his unfinished novel, "Heinrich von Offterdingen". Longing is blue. It is connected with distance, far-away, like loyalty. The mysterious and romantic blue also depicts the hallucinatory and lost Neptune, symbolizing far-fetched ideals, as Plato described in The Republic...Simply put, we intend to mirror the "delusions" about people. The leading actor suffers from an inner entanglement with himself for his incredible thing done. Of course, this is not necessarily something that has already happened.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

For us,a new project,the early preparation and on-site improvisation are both of our main working ways. In early period, we will spend lots of time and energy to explore, seek, and make sure the style, recording plan, levels and paragraphs, recording places and the props, types, directions and dancing sections. But at the same moment, we will also leave some spaces and blanks for improvisation, quickly catching the relationship between characters and scenes depending on the site, layout and status of actors, striving for the “extreme creation” .

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

Maybe it was Christopher Nolan. I was initially attracted by the visual and technical means in his films and thought movies were really cool. Later, it hit me that I needed to express what I wanted to do in my own way.

"The Invisible Guest” .It is filled with incredible reversals. The surprising plot is indeed an expression worth learning for us. It must be very exciting if we can act it out through dance movements.

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

At present, the presentation forms of films have become more and more diversified, especially in the creation of fillets. We have seen various visual films with fresh experiences, such as dance, technology, VR technology, etc. However, from another side, the films are increasingly seeking after interests, but the films that can really strike people's souls is becoming rare. This seems to be an unavoidable problem.

For the independent creation of films, the emergence of COVID-19 is a hindrance, but it also has a positive side.

Due to the unstable COVID, the choices of filming locations and the number of staff people are quite limited. And because it is wreaking havoc, the subjects of movies are tending to be homogeneous over a period of time, which will leave a large number of movies about this subject in the market. At the same time, there are some directors too eager to follow the trend. Therefore, some movies have lost the "artistry" in their artistic creation; as for the positive side, I think it is mainly about the transmission of the movies. Thanks to the spread of COVID-19, people are now spending more time at home, which greatly increases the browsing and watching time for online movies.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

As young filmmakers, I hope that we are sincere, confident, creative, and adventurous enough in our creations, and unique tastes. We will not be influenced by the news (trends), and confirm our creative ideas.

Perhaps It can make a big difference in the world. It will first change the concept in some people’s minds, who may lead the change of the world. Every good film has what its directors want to say to themselves, to other people, and to the world, and these "words" are hidden in the movies. When the movie is over, we will get something we can't normally get, such as some feelings, some thoughts, or some changes, which might be from small as personal thoughts to big as social phenomena. We will find that these sentiments change us in a subtle way, and slowly change the world.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

It may be difficult for this problem to come to everybody's mind, but if you ask me, people's demand for watching movies are generated according to their life situation and moods, and their tastes at each stage are probably changing. In this era, most people are more playful with life and never think they need to consider more about metaphysical things, so they will choose to please themselves and watch a movie that makes them relax. Therefore, what I want to say is that the persons who are directors should really stick to themselves.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

We are preparing for the next work, which is a stage work for about one hour. Here, we will explore what we have long focused on, hoping that this will be a very creative start, and at the same time, we are preparing for the next dance film, and these two are parallel. This dance film, we hope it will continue to be experimental, adding more wonderful audio-visual elements, and expect and challenge to complete it.


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