Wenya Chen, an independent filmmaker with a background in computer graphics, hails from a quaint town in China where her passion for storytelling and visual art blossomed during her tenure as a fashion editor. After a year of honing her craft, she made the bold decision to embark on her artistic journey in the vibrant city of New York.
Having poured her heart and soul into her debut short film, Wenya Chen's exceptional talents as a writer, director, and producer were duly recognized. Her work garnered accolades at prestigious events such as the Cole Harpur International Short Film Festival, and the London Music Video Festival. Fueled by this success, she embarked on a new creative endeavor—a captivating 3D short film that delves into the realms of self-growth and self-awareness.
Wenya Chen's passion lies in the fusion of artistic expression and technical prowess, as she skillfully brings captivating characters, immersive environments, and narratives to life. Eager to push boundaries and elevate the art of filmmaking, she remains resolute in her pursuit of new stories and innovative storytelling techniques.
What is the story behind your film?
In 'Extension,' my latest 3D animated film, the story behind it is a deeply personal journey. Inspired by my own experiences and a fascination with the human psyche, I wanted to explore the transformative power of facing inner struggles and past traumas. The film's creation was a challenging yet rewarding process, with a dedicated team bringing intricate characters and emotional storytelling to life. 'Extension' immerses audiences in a world where emotions are mirrored and unraveled, delving into the subconscious to reveal profound psychological landscapes. This film is a testament to the healing potential that comes from confronting our inner demons.
What should people take away, gain, realize after watching your film?
"Extension" offers a powerful message of self-discovery and resilience. Viewers should take away the idea that confronting one's inner struggles and past traumas is a courageous journey that can lead to personal growth and profound healing. The film aims to emotionally resonate with its audience, serving as a reminder that within the darkness of our challenges lies the potential for a stronger, more authentic self.
Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse?
The film "Extension" has the potential to change people for the better by inspiring self-discovery, resilience, and personal growth. It offers a message of courage and healing, emphasizing the transformative power of confronting inner struggles. While the impact may vary from person to person, its intention is to leave a positive and thought-provoking impression.
What creation style did you use in the production of your project? What cameraman elements did you use?
In 'Extension,' I used 3D animation with motion capture technology and Unreal Engine's real-time rendering for a visually striking portrayal of trauma. A combination of close-up and wide shots conveyed nuanced character emotions effectively. This approach seamlessly complemented the use of 3D animation, enhancing the film's authenticity.
How did you select the actors for your project?
In the casting process for my project, I opted to utilize avatars as characters to deliver dynamic and compelling animation. The decision to give these avatars an Asian appearance is rooted in my personal experiences. Specifically, I selected a protagonist whose physical attributes closely resemble my own, aiming for a fragile and unassuming appearance. This deliberate choice sets up a striking contrast with the character's inner turmoil and malevolent nature.
Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors?
I believed my film would appeal to distributors due to its universally relatable theme, high production quality, unique blend of realism and emotional depth, and potential to engage and captivate viewers.
At which festival has your film been screened?
None of festival has screened my film.
How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the film?
When my friends and professors first saw the film, their reaction was overwhelmingly positive. They provided me with great encouragement and recognition, particularly praising the impressive visuals. Alongside the praise, they also offered valuable feedback, highlighting the film's shortcomings. This feedback served as motivation for me to strive for improvement in my future projects.
If you could change something in your film, what would it be?
If I were to make a change in my film, I would opt for a different storytelling approach. Specifically, I would aim to infuse more mystery into the narrative, leaving viewers with lingering questions to ponder.
Which movies are your favorites and why?
One of my favorite films is 'Saw' because it masterfully delves into the darker facets of human nature using ingenious mechanisms. What's particularly intriguing about it is that the full story isn't revealed until the very end, keeping the audience in suspense throughout.
What topics do you like to address in your stories?
In my storytelling, I'm drawn to delving into the theme of pain and its impact on individuals. Exploring the complexities of pain and how it shapes characters' journeys allows for compelling narratives that can resonate deeply with audiences.
What is your motivation in making films?
I make films because I'm passionate about exploring human nature and storytelling. Film is a powerful medium to delve into the complexities of human behavior, emotions, and relationships. Through storytelling, I aim to provoke self-reflection, inspire empathy, and foster a better understanding of the world and its people. It's my way of sharing insights into the human experience.
Which contemporary filmmakers motivate you the most?
One filmmaker who has greatly influenced and inspired me is Alberto Mielgo, renowned for his work in directing "The Witness" and "Jibaro" in the "Love, Death & Robots" series. Mielgo's unique approach to animation has significantly expanded my perspective on the medium. His innovative visual style and the way he weaves storytelling have left a profound impact on my creative outlook. Mielgo's work not only pushes the boundaries of animation but also demonstrates the power of marrying striking visuals with captivating narratives, making him a compelling source of motivation in my filmmaking journey. It broke my understanding of animation and opened up new horizons.
What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
For my upcoming project, I intend to create interactive movies, aiming to offer viewers not only a more engaging but also a highly immersive storytelling experience. This approach will enable the audience to actively shape and explore the narratives according to their choices and preferences, adding a new dimension to the way stories are experienced.