Interview with Animator/Filmmaker Ran Sheng (STAR RUNNER)

STAR RUNNER played to rave reviews at the June 2018 Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Ran Sheng: I am a big fan of sci-fi novels and films, and I keep thinking about those classical philosophy questions, such as who am I? Where I came from, and where am I going? This film could be seen as my answer to these questions.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

This film belongs to the junior year film project of my college so it was in a pretty narrow time frame. I think it took me about 10 weeks.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Evolution + History

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I must say it was the very narrow time frame. 10 weeks sounds not bad but I actually have other 4 classes at the same time – that means a lot of work and time management skills.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was surprised by hearing how the host describes my film. It is always great to learn from other people’s perspectives. Also, I really enjoy having all the feedback from the audience. It is the first time my film been public screened, so all those feedback means a lot to me!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

It’s a long story. Basically, I was inspired by a short sci-fi novel written by famous Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin. It is a story about how much human being willing to pay for the ultimate truth and answer of our universe. If you are interested, I would suggest you watch this short film about the making of Star Runner.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I wasn’t really counting them but I think probably it is Terminator 2.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I love it and think it is a wonderful platform for filmmakers all over the world.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I have a wide variety of favored music so I really couldn’t tell. But I am very sure that during the making of Star Runner, the most listened song was Human, by The Killers.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Definitely, I am finishing my thesis film for my Animated Arts program in PNCA. It is another short animation film. I would love to share it with FEEDBACK. It would be great if I may have a discount on submit fee as a returning filmmaker, haha!

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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