Interview with Filmmaker Sheng-Ting Shen (BAD NEWS)

BAD NEWS was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the May 2022 WILDsound Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I’ve always enjoyed telling an impactful story in a few minutes. And ‘Bad News’ was the first film that I did out of my comfort zone.

Growing up, I saw how my parents dealt with relatives lost. Even though they wanted to keep a strong figure in front of me, they couldn’t hide their emotion of distress. In this short film, I wanted to capture the delicate feeling of both mother and daughter.

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

I remember writing this script before Covid, filming it a day before Covid hit and lockdown. It took around four months. Then another one and a half months of editing.

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

Delicate and quiet.

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

The film was shot on various one-takes since I didn’t want to cut during the emotion building. So it was a bit hard figuring out the pacing in editing. But I’m glad it turns out great.

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

I feel a lot of appreciation for the feedback. The feedback makes me emotional and makes me realize how powerful films are.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I started to make films when I was in high school. The films were usually scrappy during that time, but I had so much fun using moving images to tell stories. It’s a fun and satisfying experience seeing your film make people have different emotions.

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

I love comedy, especially dark comedy. That’s also the genre of the feature film I’m working on.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think what Wildsound Feedback Film Festival did was amazing. Letting the director really hear the feedback from the audience and also have a platform to talk about the journey of filmmaking is what makes me want to keep on making movies.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How have your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It is great. FilmFreeway gives filmmakers a collection of the festival and is organized really well.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I love all Asian food.

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

I’m working on two feature films. One of them is called ‘Hugo in the Pigpen,’ it was written by my screenwriter friend Jing-Ting, Shih. We are working on getting the film funded.

I’m also writing my first feature script, ‘Alice,’ a dark comedy slasher film. Both of the movies were very different from ‘Bad News.’


By matthewtoffolo

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

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