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A Writer's Odyssey is a movie about the author of a fantasy novel series whose stories have somehow crossed over into the real world. Things get serious when one of the characters is tasked with killing the author. Set to release on February 12th, 2021, we were lucky enough to chat with the Writer/Director Lu Yang on making A Writer's Odyssey, which is out now and showing in select theaters.

Film Still from "A Writer's Odyssey"

What inspired you to adapt the novel, To Kill A Novelist?

Initially, it was just my impulse to create. After I finished reading the original novel, I really wanted to turn it into a film.

就是一种创作的冲动,看完小说就立刻希望能够把它拍成电影

Our protagonist, the author is such a relatable character. Why do you think international audiences will be able to relate to him?

I think both the father (Guan Ning), who is willing to sacrifice everything for his child, and the author Kongwen, who keeps writing despite many obstacles, are relatable for people around the world — they keep believing and persisting in their goals, even when the going gets tough. I think this is something everyone can appreciate and relate to.

我想无论是父亲对孩子的这种情感,这种不顾一切的牺牲和付出,还是一个对于创作者的这种意义,他为什么要坚持和相信,我觉得都是一个世界性的命题,是所有人都可以看懂的这样一个表达。

The themes of the film have to do with hope and believing in oneself. Can you tell us why these were important to the film?

When I was a teenager, I was really impacted by films that supported themes of hope. Because of that influence, I have wanted to make a film about hope for a very long time. I hope that I can make a film as meaningful as those that influenced me, to share the power of hope with more audiences.

在我少年时期曾经被探讨希望的电影影响过,所以在很长一段时间内我都希望去讲述这样的故事,因为我被讲述希望的电影改变,我也希望我能去做这样厉害的电影,也可以让更多的人感受到这种希望的力量。

Film Still from "A Writer's Odyssey"

VFX plays a big role in A Writer's Odyssey. Do you find filming those VFX sequences difficult? Is it more fun than directing traditional scenes?

It is indeed very interesting and fun! When you're producing a VFX film, you can use the most advanced techniques to create content that is impossible to be created otherwise. It’s like a superpower. But at the same time, when you gain more from it, you need to study more and put more effort into doing it right. It is a difficult task, and it gets more and more complicated, as film is an art that’s always changed and renewed by technology. No matter what kind of films we are making, we need to keep studying and improving ourselves to make sure we are using the new technology to tell stories in the way that we want.

非常的有趣,我们在制作特效电影的时候可以借助最新的科技去达到物理拍摄不能实现的很多有趣的内容,于是获得了很多超能力,但同时你获得越多,你要去付出的时间和精力以及学习也就越多,它一定会变得更复杂,因为电影总是被技术改变、被技术革新,无论我们做什么样的电影,我们都要去了解和学习这些技术。

There’s a lot of cool fight scenes in this film. How do you go about collaborating with a fight choreographer?

First, we analyzed the script in detail. Then, we bought a lot of toy models, and we used them to simulate different poses of the characters. We used those models to rehearse the shooting script of action scenes, then worked with the fight choreographer to further refine the plan and come up with more interesting details. We rehearsed and tested again and again with the small models. The fight choreographer would have some stunt actors to shoot a demo then we kept optimizing the results by comparing the models and the demos.

我们首先是要去仔细的分析剧本,然后买了很多玩具的模型,用这些小人来摆出各种动作,同时去演练分镜头里面可能需要实现的内容,然后再由动作导演进一步细化他的方案,去设计更多有趣的细节,我们就是通过这样的方式一遍一遍的去演练,通过小模型,动作导演也会请真实的动作演员先来拍摄小样,我们在几套模型和小样之间反复的去比较判断,然后再去修整

From start to finish, how long did A Writer's Odyssey take to get made?

Three years in total, starting from the time we finished the scriptwriting.

从剧本结束之后开始算应该是三年时间

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