I studied media production as a direct entry student and the film was our final project in 3rd year. I wrote the script and worked with a producer, director and actors. We wrote the script in May before we went the Berlin Biennale.
Coventry hosts one world week in the hub and when we went there we found that they had a lot of flags from other countries – U.K, Hong Kong but there was no Chinese flag and we were wondering why? This made us a little bit sad. We wanted to express the idea that Hong Kong and China are one and we developed the idea with the help of some of the things we saw at the biennale. We realised that we needed to focus on the story and not just the technique. The film is really about identity and existentialism.
We Chinese students are all foreigners here but there are some people from Hong Kong who emigrated from there with their parents and came to live in Britain. Some of them are conflicted about their identity – are they Chinese, Hong Konger or British. Before we wrote the script, we did a lot of research. We interviewed almost 30 people – some British and some from Hong Kong. When I asked one of my British class mates, if he knew if Hong Kong was part of China she said that she always saw Hong Kong as being British.
We wanted to explain the link between Britain, Hong Kong and China. We are now in our 20’s and we are confused about who we are – our lives, futures and who we are. We wanted to express in the film through this actor. The actor is not necessarily a criminal. He’s just trying to express his ager and frustration and to show that he’s alive and he wants to achieve something.
After we came back from the Biennale, we asked Clifton, our lecturer, what kinds of films could be entered into the Cannes Film Festival. He told us to do our research and watch films that had been entered in previous years. So we tried to focus our film on the short film format and because we had a very good producer, we managed to get the film entered in the short film competition. The whole film was shot in 20 days and involved only 4 people so it took a lot of work to get it done!
Now that I’m on the MA CCM, I want to develop my skills as a script writer. I’m working with the director from the film and we have written half of a script for a longer film and we want to start shooting this summer. I’m really enjoying the MA and when I graduate my final aim is to be a lecturer! That’s because my whole family – my father, mother, aunt and grandparents all teach at universities so I want to do the same eventually!
You can watch the full version of Zoie’s film here. Password: hxyguyichun