Rules and tips for making documentaries shared at festival’s master class
By Joyce Xu
Celebrated documentary producers and directors from China and abroad shared their experience in filmmaking and international productions at the Documentary Master Class at the ongoing 25th Shanghai TV Festival.
American documentary producer Mark Edwards, also Jury President of the fest’s Magnolia Award for Documentary, shared his insight and tips about managing international co-productions.
In his opinion, documentary co-production required several rules, including thinking about your audience, figuring out how much material you needed, assembling an international team and working together to gain access.
“Making a documentary film is complicated, as everything always goes wrong,” Edwards said.
Many details should also be taken into consideration, such as the documentary’s language versions and where to edit the film.
Japanese director-producer Ryota Kotani from NHK analyzed the new trends in documentary filmmaking.
He demonstrated his attempts to make nature documentaries in slow tempo. These documentaries could offer viewers an immersive experience as if they were just part of the scenery.
Kotani also mentioned the increasing popularity of short-length documentary pictures as many of today’s young viewers are attracted to Internet content.
“The short picture should stimulate audiences within a few minutes, otherwise they would easily get bored,” he said.
Kotani and his team usually have dozens of discussions merely about a good and attractive opening for the film.
Chinese documentary director and scholar Fu Hongxing suggested young filmmakers to tell heart-warming stories about humanity.
Dreams and emotions of Chinese people feature in new batch of TV series
By Joyce Xu
An impressive line-up of TV series will be presented in tribute to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, officials from Huace Group announced on June 11 at the 25th Shanghai TV Festival.
Zhao Yifang, founder and CEO, said the domestic TV industry was undergoing a critical period of transformation and upgrading and it will not stop telling powerful and touching real-life stories to audiences worldwide.
Among the planned new series are epic drama “Diplomatic Situation,” romance drama “Mr. Fighting” and urban dramas “Perfect Partner” and “The Light of Life.”
The dramas cover a wide range of genres and styles. Most of them reflect the dreams, lives and emotions of today’s Chinese people, particularly when they face career and romance problems.
“Diplomatic Situation” is an epic about China’s diplomatic achievements over recent decades. Many stories about the country’s diplomats will be celebrated.
“Perfect Partner” is the country’s first career drama about public relations professionals. Most of its crisis management cases will be inspired by “hot” news items.
“Mr. Fighting,” which is centred on young people’s pursuit of an acting dream, will also reflect the rapid changes in society.
“The Light of Life” revolves around China’s unsung heroes who rescue people’s lives from natural disasters.
Industry insiders anticipated that realistic dramas will take center stage on domestic screens.
Creative perspectives of human stories and in-depth portrayals of people from all walks of life will be encouraged for such productions.