YO YO, 9min., USA, Drama
Directed by Shuyin Zheng
A 15-year-old girl, Lin, who stays home pretending to be sick, lost her best friend because of a sketch, which also exposed her unrequited love under the summer sunlight.
My writing professor once told me we had to struggle to find "what matters in our stories." From this perspective, struggles seem to be the one journey I will have to travel to become a true "Filmmaker." For me, life is not always what it looks like. People more or less pretend at some point. This was the first time I realized a "theme" in my writing, and then I created Yo Yo, my first film. It's a story about a failed attempt at pretending, derived from a phase of my high school.
I grew up mainly alone, living alone in a rented home across the street from the school. Endless schoolwork and a girlfriend, Lin, were everything I had during that time. We studied, hung out, and lived together sometimes. Projecting my memories and emotions onto her came naturally. I love the calm feeling that to have my life entirely around her. This beautiful relationship ended on a summer afternoon. My status quo was broken when Lin confessed her love to me. I didn't know what to do; cultural stereotypes tell me it's not allowed. I joined the group of pretending and intentionally alienated her. Everything went wrong after that. We never spoke again, and I lost my best friend forever.
For a long time, I refused to face this memory. As my writing career progressed, I realized that being quiet is even more brutal. I can't stay quiet about my fault anymore. I made this story to apologize to Lin, even if it might be too late.
Creating this script didn’t take me too long, but directing the movie was another story. “Is this what you want?” was the question every crew member asked and what I feared the most. They made me hesitant about my decisions. But inspirations also came from those questions. I had to face the facts and strive for the better. I realized that the director is a storyteller juggling different elements of sound, art, and photography to continually inspire the team to execute their responsibilities with in-depth perspectives. Irrespective of how many different voices emerge along the way, I, as a director, must be conscious of my own voice.