Interview: Sky Wang
Interview done by Nabadipa Talukder
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ky Wang’s “Lost in Apocalypse” delivers a strong message of sacrifice and survival which through most of the plot plays the titular role. It reflects a clear image of everything that is and everything that is yet to be seen in the never-ending circle of life. Sky gives us this light-hearted drama staying strong on the paths of the messages he wants to convey. Having lived in the UK, Canada and the USA, Sky grew up appreciating people and stories of all types and origins. Graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a film degree, and during the time of his studies, Sky directed numerous shorts and received many festival accolades. With one foot in the American film industry, Sky also pursues projects in the Greater China region, where he directed his first Chinese feature film in 2017.
1. Lost in Apocalypse highlights human emotions in its most raw form. Would you like to shed some small light on how the idea the for the film started?
Sky: This came completely out of a blue when the producer of the film, Iris Liu, called me while I was on vacation in Las Vegas, and told me that there was this project in the works, and wanted to see if I’d be interested in directing it. I had known her a bit from before, and I was fascinated with the direction they wanted to go, so I jumped on the earliest flight and went to China the next day. A few days later, we were in production.
2. What is the difference between films made in your home country and America?
Sky: I had never done a Chinese movie before, nor have I ever worked in China; also, this was my first feature. Needless to say, there are many differences between the experiences I had as a filmmaker. But I’d like to think the core of the filmmaking aspirations is the same, and it’s always about trying to tell a good human story within the confines of your circumstances, maybe even pushing the boundaries a little while you are at it.
3. What are the hurdles you’ve faced as a filmmaker?
Sky: As I’m sure many of my peers might say, your first outing is always the hardest. I can’t be certain if that’s true, but I have certainly had a lot of “firsts” in my career so far. The leap of faith you ask people to have in your projects might get smaller as one’s work portfolio builds, but I’m just grateful to have the opportunities to work and keep expressing myself.
4. Do you think it is easier to spread a message through feature films or short films in today’s age where everything is consumed faster than ever?
Sky: That is a fascinating question. Spreading messages is getting increasingly easier with every step we take in new technology, and I don’t necessarily think the differences between features and shorts matter that much in this particular debate. However, with all these new platforms for artists to express themselves on, the filmmakers need to be conscious of the outlets for your projects, so they can tailor the work more precisely to an audiences’ experiences.
5. Why did you go on to pursue your film degree in America and not China?
Sky: Well, I had moved to America when I was fairly young, so attending colleges in China was never an option on the table. That being said, having known some people now who had attended film schools in China, I think there are definitely differences in the experiences. While I can’t speak for others, I can say for myself that I am very proud of the education that I received, and hopefully I can bring some interesting new ideas on the table for Chinese cinema.
6. What factors are crucial in making a strong film like Lost in Apocalypse?
Sky: While I appreciate it, I’m not exactly sure what you mean by a “strong” film, exactly. What I can say is, as any other film that might find an audience, “luck” plays a big part in all of this. As the director, while it can be considered “my film”, ultimately, the fate of the film is affected by so many other factors that I can’t control, all the way from conception to the finish line. The people behind the scenes, other than myself, are the real heroes for this movie making as far as it did.
7. What kind of response have you received for “Lost in Apocalypse” so far?
Sky: As a sub-genre horror flick designated for the web, it wasn’t in our expectations for this film to garner too wide of a response. That being said, it has found quite a following in China, and the responses from the film industry and audiences alike have been more than encouraging and heart-warming. Though criticisms do manifest themselves, I believe it’s important to keep an eye on the positive feedbacks.
8. Tell us about your future plans.
Sky: After the experiences I had on “Lost In Apocalypse”, I find the playground in Chinese cinema is just at its infancy stages, and while I never planned to start my career there, I consider myself very lucky to have been thrown to the deep end on this project. In short, I want to keep developing new ideas for this market, and I have a couple of things in the works already. And maybe one day, I’ll work my way back home to America.
Dr. Nabadipa Talukder is a doctor by profession with a passion for creative writing and has been into digital content writing for almost 5 years now. She practiced as a dental professional for two years in Kolkata before she quit her job in order to pursue a career in writing. Nabadipa was exposed to the freedom to write for various fronts which opened up her mind and introduced her to the world of screenplay and script writing. She wishes to travel and understand various cultures and wishes to write their stories.