SOMEONE WHO IS PUNCTUAL, 16min,. China
Directed by Haibo Wang
A woman who is highly punctual in her daily life encounters a series of paranormal phenomenons related to her partner, which ultimately forces her to confront the love tragedy she had long denied.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
The initial idea for this short film came from a concept for a series of horror shorts. However, my attention was drawn to the news of a girl taking her own life due to mental abuse. I felt sadness with several questions in my mind. Did she have a chance to live or to have a revelatory awakening? Could there have been a way for her to escape other than through suicide? The answer is disheartening that most of the time, individuals trapped in mental abuse find it incredibly difficult to redeem themselves. It's a despair-filled emotional abyss because mental abuse within intimate relationships are often conducted under the motivation of distorted love. Realizing these facts, I transformed the original idea into a horror story about mental abuse with only one simple reason: to make her find another way to relief and escape even the cost is inevitable.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this film?
I came up with the idea in the early 2020 and it took me several months to complete the script. I initially had a lot of discussions with Liu Cheng and Hu Jing, the producers of this short film, to develop the storyline, the plots and the undercurrent of the story. After the audition, I talked with the protagonist Du Xian and the supporting actor Lu Jiacheng to develop more believable characters and the lines. As a result there're many revisions have been made before the final draft.
We started pre-production from July 2020 and completed the shot-production at the end of August at the same year. However, when I finished the rough cut, the result is not expected with the lack of storytelling pace and background stories of the characters. My friends and workmates Yang Zhe with Yang Zizheng and Liu Shuo gave me some great comments and advice so we made second shot-production for additional shots in the early 2021. After this, we have been running out of the budget and even worse, the lockdowns during the pandemic continued. So I started to do the editing, color grading and even the sound design all by my own. Thanks to my friend Guo Yunzhong, who helped me to find a great VFX group to finish all of the visual effects in a very low price...I felt quite upset during the seemingly ever-lasting lockdown so all of the jobs are being done in a random schedule. When I found the composer Wang Zhiyang with the professional support of Zhao Xiaoyu, it had been the autumn of 2022. Wang Zhiyang did a great job on the original score and even gave me some great feedbacks on montage which quickly made me recover from the PTSD of the lockdown. In March 2023, with the invaluable support of my fiancee Cris Su, the film is finally delivered.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
At first thought, I took Low budget and The lockdown as two of the biggest obstacles.
But after I recalled all of the experiences for this short film, the balance and the fusion between genre elements design and the main storytelling is definitely the biggest obstacle.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?
Thrilled, Excited, ignited and Touched
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I felt so sad with many questions about the girl who took her own life because of the mental abuse, I decided to make a film on this topic.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
The Lust, Caution by Ang Lee. It's one of the most overwhelming stories I've ever watched in a film which made me know how cruel and terrified a chaotic world could possibly be to the individuals, just because it's a love story from the hell.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I'm really appreciated for this question. In my humble opinion, it would be great to see my short films could be live screened as many as possible for the audience in the cinemas and could be purchased by online and TV media services to make them more accessible for more audience.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
I think the film submission via online festival platforms is really an efficient way for the emerging filmmakers. It would be even better if those platforms can integrate more tools for the crowdfunding and marketing rather than through other respective sites.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Kidney Beans with pancake made by my mom!
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Absolutely. I'm currently working on a feature film story and my own fiction stories. Some of them are about domestic violence, others focus on different social groups and issues both in the US and China.