Interview with Filmmaker Suyoung Jang (SHATTERED)

SHATTERED played to rave reviews at the April 2020 Female Film Festival.

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Suyoung Jang: Before I started to study computer animation at Ringling College of Art+Design, I had studied History at Ewha Womans University in South Korea, one of the oldest universities and the first women’s university in Korea. Studying and living in all female environment was unique experience in my life. There were so many talented women, but as soon as they had graduated school, they started to struggle only because of their gender. Lots of companies in South Korea rejected my friends’ application. We needed to put our photo and clarify our gender on resume, and it was not illegal at that point in Korea. Same as US, Korean society educated girls “your right is as important as man”, but right after we get out of the boundary of education, we are discriminated by our gender. And usually, people who help women in social, financial, or physical danger are women. I can’t even count how many direct and indirect experience women stood up together for each other. When I visited Europe, and studied in US, I realized my experience as a woman is not that different from other countries’ people’s life. It happens through the history. No matter how old they are, no matter where they live, we all females share similar experience. And the time comes to decide what I want to make for my thesis film at Ringling, I knew what I should make. That’s how Shattered came out.

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

Three semesters total, so one and half year.

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

Women Power

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

Making film as a single person team was the most challenging part of the production. Which means I couldn’t divide my work load unlike other people. From the idea generation to time management, every single part of pipeline depended on myself. It was a very lonely journey.

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

It was empowering. I was really happy to know my message was delivered. There are already bunch of good comments on my film on Youtube, but at the same time, some comments are really bad. Some people call my film as “FemiNazzi’s propaganda”. It didn’t hurt my feeling or confident at all, but I was frustrated because of the possibility of misreading or misinterpretation of my message. But watching audience’s facial expression and hearing voice was super powerful experience, and even I’ve never met the people in the video face to face, I felt strong connection with them. And the video, proof of my supporter’s existence, makes me relived and makes me stronger than before.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Film:

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

I wished my film as abstract as possible. The more abstract the character, the more people identify with the character. Even though the seed of story was came from East Asia, but I believe it can be a universal story for all female. It would be more abstract if my material was traditional animation, but since the program I was in was Computer Animation, that was not an option for the thesis film. And according to the reviews, I guess I was right J.

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

I watch Disney’s Mulan and 101 Dalmatians over and over again.

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

It’s very approachable, and easy to track of.

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

“You raise me up” and “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked.

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

For a while, I want to focus on my career as an animator. And someday, when I get enough resource – human resource, financial resource, and more idea for new story -, then I will come back to film again J


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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