Around the campus of UIC, it is a common sight to see students in their groups using lights and microphones and then recording their own creative scenes. This is the familiar image of CTV students.

The Cinema and Television (CTV) programme is not just a place to talk the talk but also to walk the walk as several graduates have made their marks in this field with their extraordinary creativity.

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In recent years, UICers have brought surprises to the public by appearing on the silver screen as well as international film festivals. Among them, there are many important players in the behind-the-scenes team of excellent films such as ‘My People, My Country’ and ‘Wandering Earth’, and some have been winners of the Berlin Short Film Festival and the China University Student Film Festival.

 

Wen Ning: From graduate to seasoned screenwriter

During the National Day this year, many people were moved by the blockbuster ‘My People, My Country’. The screenwriter of the ‘Daytime Meteor’ chapter is UIC's 2010 CTV alumnus Wen Ning.

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Wen Ning

After graduation, Wen Ning gradually grew into a successful screenwriter in Beijing. His important script creations include 'The Monkey King 2', 'The Monkey King 3' and 'Jin Tailang's Happy Life'.

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‘Daytime Meteor’ pays tribute to the great aerospace feat of China and the story of poverty alleviation. The title ‘Daytime Meteor’ has multiple meanings and guided the young people in the film to build their country and pursue their dreams.

Wen Ning mentioned in an interview that the creation of ‘Daytime Meteor’ is about a fragment of the landing of the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft that descended from the sky on 18 November 2016. During this event, Wen Ning’s brain immediately took the word ‘Meteor’. This meteor is a ‘Daytime Meteor’ belonging to the two teenagers in the film and the whole nation.

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For the eager students with movie dreams, Wen Ning believes that "For four years, UIC has established my cultural self-confidence and helped my career development. I hope students can read more books as it is good for the body and mind. Discover your core competencies during college, and learn to get along with yourself. I hope that everyone can finally choose the life that they want through four years of study."

 

Liang Yuan: A good editor is the second eye of the director

After graduating from UIC's 2014 Cinema and Television Programme, Liang Yuan went to Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in the US, which is one of the top ten film schools in the US and Canada. She was then hired by CBS as soon as she left the campus. She became an editor of the prestigious and Emmy Award-nominated entertainment news section, Entertainment Tonight.

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Liang Yuan

In Liang Yuan's editing career, she has worked closely with many well-known Chinese and Hollywood film and television artists, such as the famous Hollywood director Renny Harlin who directed ‘Die Hard 2’, and the famous Chinese director Chen Kaige. Also, she has rubbed shoulders with sound editor Lon Bender, the Chinese film Golden Rooster Award and the Hong Kong Film Award-winning editor Yu Boyang, and famous Hollywood editor Wayne Wharman.

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 Chen Kaige and Liang Yuan

Wayne Wahrman commented on how Liang Yuan's editing rhythm is very superior, the selection and use of the lens are very tasteful, the editing of the works is very natural and smooth, and overall she is a knowledgeable and highly insightful editor.

Liang Yuan has worked as an editor for films such as 'Legend of the Ancient Sword' and 'The Monkey King Is in Town'.

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Liang Yuan with Wylie Stateman (left) and Harry Cohen (centre)

Liang Yuan’s work helped her stand out from hundreds of children's films, which resulted in her winning an award at the San Diego International Kids Film Festival. Her other films have also won the best editing award at the 2019 London Independent Film Festival and nomination of the Best of New York TV Festival.

Liang Yuan said: "Clipping is a crucial part of the film and television production process. A good editor is the second eye of the director. When the rhythm of the film is good, the story can be told smoothly, and the emotion is transmitted accurately to satisfy the audience’s most basic viewing needs."

 

Lin Binghan: The story comes from life

CTV 2015 graduate, Lin Binghan, worked as a screenwriter for ‘The Secret Child’, which was successfully selected in the 2019 Berlin Short Film Festival and will be shown in China.

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Lin Binghan

The Berlin Short Film Festival is a film festival with a special emphasis on independent short films, which annually takes place in Berlin, Germany. It screens German and international short films with a runtime under 50 minutes and awards them in various categories.

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Lin Binghan often said that watching what you do outside of your eight hours of work and study can determine what you will be. Most of his life is related to film. Born in Zhanjiang, Guangdong, Lin Binghan has had a “movie dream” since childhood. After graduating from UIC, he went to Beijing to work as a screenwriter and participated in the screenplay of the youth drama ‘Dear Mayang Street’.

‘The Secret Child’ tells the story of a daughter seeking her father in the early 21st century. After the death of her mother, Xiaosu went to the city to find her biological father. However, her father has already established a new family and had another child. The scene of the whole story is closely related to Lin Binghan’s childhood memories.


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The success of this film has helped Lin Binghan strengthen his place in the film and television industry. He plans to explore and learn more so that he can continue to produce top-quality content.

 

UICers behind the scenes of ‘Wandering Earth’

The film ‘Wandering Earth’ has done wonders for the Chinese film industry in the past year and is already being translated to be shown around the world. Behind the scenes there are also three UICers, they are Zhang Xinyu who graduated in 2016, Zhang Wanlin, who graduated in 2017 and Xia Zhongkai who graduated in 2018.

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Zhang Wanlin worked on the project of ‘Wandering Earth’ for more than a year. Her position was post-production, mainly in line with the quality and cost of post-production control. Xia Zhongkai was mainly responsible for film sound design and music while Zhang Xinyu participated in the film's visual effects coordinating work.

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Zhang Wanlin

Zhang Wanlin said that this project was extraordinary and huge. Many things were the first attempts of various departments in the industry, so the workload was huge, and there were new challenges every day. She also said that her participation in this film helped her continue to make new attempts and efforts with her predecessors.

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Zhang Xinyu (right) with famous actor Wang Zhiwen (left)

Zhang Xinyu joined leading South Korean visual effects company, Dexter, after graduating from UIC. She has participated in the production of several cinema films and television dramas such as the Chinese film ‘Journey to the West’ and ‘Wandering Earth’. She has served as a visual effect coordinator on these outstanding works. After participating in more challenging visual effects film production, Zhang Xinyu gradually became the pillar of the team to assist in the production of communication.

 

Cinema and Television at UIC

The CTV programme was established in 2006 and aims to nurture a new generation of graduates with a global vision, professional knowledge, and production and research skills needed for the robust development of the media and creative industries.

Excellent film and television students have won awards in various film and television competitions at home and overseas throughout the years.

 

Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Lauren Richardson (MPRO)
(with thanks to the ELC)