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An Interview with Film Director Yuchi Tian

NEW YORK, United StatesYuchi Tian is an award-winning film director based in Los Angeles who graduated from the New York Film Academy. After she came to America, she realized the conflicts between Eastern and Western cultures and hopes to use her artistic experience to speak for women. She said,I am willing to present female stories that may happen in reality from a female perspective, and I hope everyone can see women’s beauty in different aspects and hear their voices.

Speaking for Women Is Not Equal to Feminism

If I take her work, The Ray of Light, as an example the film was shot in 2019. In this film, Yuchi Tian conveys her thinking about women’s self-identity and self-consciousness. This work is adapted from a true story – the heroine’s mother died suddenly. She felt her spiritual support collapsed because her mother was the close one who encouraged her and accompanied her to learn piano. She cried day and night, even avoiding touching the piano for a long time. However, her older sister gives her warm encouragement, and the girl has decided to start playing the piano again, even going to participate in a worldwide piano competition. Yuchi hopes to convey that women will often burst out with incredible abilities when facing major changes and sufferings in life. An ordinary woman born in this world has her own talent.

However, Yuchi Tian believes that speaking for women does not mean that we have to stand on men’s opposite side. “I am not a person who advocates myself as a feminist. What I want to show is the inner strength of women,” she says.

“I am not a person who advocates myself as a feminist. What I want to show is the inner strength of women.”

When asked what kinds of opportunities inspired her to create works from female perspectives, she said it was because of a discussion with one of her professors in graduate school that inspired her. The professor told her that film production is rooted in the process of understanding culture and sharpening social contradictions. There are fundamental differences in many basic concepts between the East and the West. Therefore, filming should start from the familiar culture to create work.

Yuchi Tian has won eight awards for her masterful filming projects and scored twelve additional nominations. She knows that film is where her heart is and will continue this career path with no doubt.

Interview Yuchi Tian
Yuchi Tian

Behind The Scene: Interviewing The Film Director of The Ray of Light

Could you tell us the ideas about The Wasteland movie? What’s the core concept/value you want to tell to your audience?

I filmed The Wasteland in 2018. The core idea of this film is “no one can be against fate”.

Why did you choose Rachael Jane as the actress?

I remember over 30 actresses went to the casting on that day. Most of them were talented and beautiful. But it was quite apparent that Rachael is the one who matches the character. As a writer, Rachael naturally interpreted the story very well. It was smooth to communicate with her during the casting.

What do you think is the most difficult part of the creation?

The most difficult part is creating those major characters. I have never experienced their life, and I have to do research, ask around and think about how to even ‘become’ these characters. They are fictional characters and it is hard to take each of their perspectives. What is even harder is to explain the intricate emotional conflicts of major characters.

Interview Yuchi Tian
The Wasteland – Behind the Scene

What about The Ray of Light? What inspires you to film this project?

The Ray of Light is an interesting project. It is based on an actress’s real story. The main character’s archetype found me and asked me if I was interested in her story. After listening to her story, I knew it would be a fundamental part for a good movie. She was so honest with me and I want to present her idea to the audience through my camera.

You were a director of stage plays in China; why did you decide to move your career to the film industry?

I started to film short movies during my undergraduate and those experiences drove me to a new world in the film industry. I think filming is more challenging for me.

What is your plan within the next five years?

I am planning to shoot my own feature film and also finishing another two scripts. I hope I can make those two scripts into movies within the next few years. While being a film director, I also keep on stage plays. Sometimes, I work on stage plays with my former colleagues.

How do you comprehend the role as a director?

Being a director is not an easy job. You have to communicate with everyone on set, including the Property Master, the Production Designer, the Lighting Engineer, the Distributor, the Set Decorator, and so on.

What do you think is the most important in a film? The characters, script or budget?

Definitely, it is the script that tells a good story. Without a good story, the actors/actresses will be performing for no good reason, and we cannot turn the work into a good quality type.

Interview Yuchi Tian
The Ray of Light
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