Interview with Filmmaker Chia-Hung Kao (YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW)

YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW, 1min,. Taiwan, Animation
Directed by Chia-Hung Kao
Ocean plastic pollution is not an abstract issue anymore. On the contrary, it is related to our lives and diets. Single-use plastics that are abandoned by humans often drift into the ocean, decompose themselves into microbeads which sea creatures often mistaken for food, and eventually put those lives in danger.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I took the “Short Film Script Design” course taught by teacher Tay-Jou, Lin in college.

We focused on shooting environmental protection themes, trying to discuss the issue of ocean pollution through ironic short films, so we completed this “YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW” movie.

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

It took three months from preparing the crew in class to filming, which included the expansion of basic knowledge given by Mr. Lin. The pre-work included planning, screenwriting, scripting, actual scene survey, shooting and editing. Although it is a one-minute short film, We also put a lot of effort into it.

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

I think it is “sarcasm” and “warning”. The title of our movie “YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW” was originally a positive proverb, but we adapted it to have a sense of irony and warning. This movie uses irony and black humor to present the issue of ocean pollution. Through the vicious cycle of plastic bags, the ultimate victim is still human beings, so it is full of “warning” meaning.

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

Our biggest obstacle is – we are a student crew and don’t have a lot of experience and enough budget, but nothing is difficult if you put your heart into it. I really appreciate everyone’s help to complete the whole film.

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

I think the organizer is very attentive. The FEEDBACK Film Festival has given us a lot of feedback. Audiences of different males, females, and ethnicities can grasp the concepts that our films want to convey. I think it is very important to receive these feedbacks, and to let us know that the film is real and enters the hearts of the audience.

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

I was studying in the department of stage playwriting and directing in college. Although I have some experience, I am still unfamiliar with filmmaking. I realized that making movies can also be very interesting, as well as supplementing us with short films from many countries, shooting skills, film and television planning know-how, etc., which laid a good foundation for us and urged us to produce a film. It let us really make the impossible possible.

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

It should be Taiwan’s national film. Taiwan’s film focuses on humanities and social issues. It is also full of gender issues and cultural content. It has a lot of room for deep reflection. For example, the master of Taiwanese film is Director Ang Lee, I will also aim to move forward with him.

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

Your organization has done a good job, and you give us real feedback by making feedback videos. If you can make more use of media streaming, IG, and youtube platforms, you can let more people see the videos!

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

I have experienced the convenience and speed, and the organizer has carefully arranged the website so that the information is clearly presented. We have experienced the exquisite website and professionalism.

10. What is your favorite meal?

We sincerely invite everyone to come to Taiwan and try the night markets and Street food in Taiwan. For example, my favorite Street food are beef noodles, Xiaolongbao, and Stinky tofu. The drink is pearl milk tea. These are must-eat delicacies when you come to Taiwan. If you have a chance, you can come to beautiful Taiwan to try it!

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

Because I am currently studying at the Institute of Visual Communication, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, my next goal is of course to finish my creative thesis. The topic of my thesis is to make environmentally friendly packaging. Maybe I can combine the description of the short film to let everyone understand the importance of environmental protection.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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