“I like to make movies in some primitive and undeveloped places…” -Professor Qin Xiujie

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Photographed by Wang Biao
Photographed by Wang Biao

Exclusive Interview with Professor Qin Xiujie -Cinematographer

Professor Qin Xiujie, graduated from Fine Arts Department of Northeast Normal University in 1987, graduated from the 8th Seminar of Oil Painting Department of Central Academy of Fine Arts in1996; once taught at Fine Arts Faculty of Northeast Normal University, currently teaching at Fine Arts Faculty of MinZu University of China. He thinks art is important for us because it can help us avoid being destroyed by truth. Only in art can we meet ourselves.

NY Glam:How did you get started in your career? 

I started my career in the 1990s after watching a lot of movies.

NY Glam:What is your experience shooting with different tools? What are you to go to gadgets?

At the beginning of shooting, I just used ordinary home DVDs. With the advancement of technology, there are a lot of options. I generally like to choose a portable equipment with better quality. Sometimes I choose large machines like ARRI, BMG, etc. according to the needs of the project. I may try fs7 and a7s2 next.

NY Glam: Which specific requirements did you have to take care of when choosing your equipment?

First I need to consider the type of machine, model and the specific requirements for the project taken, and then the focal length and quality of the lens.  Also, the equipment should be able to facilitate post-production.

NY Glam: What are you currently working on?

Apart from art teaching, I’m working on experimental films.

NY Glam: Did you like the script?

Yes, I love it.

NY Glam: Did you have a particular shooting approach when making this film?

No, I didn’t use any particular shooting approaches. But I need to follow the shooting, to know where to sneak, where to insinuate the camera, when to freeze the action and so on.

NY Glam: Was there a scene in the film that was particularly challenging from conception to actual execution?

At the beginning of the film, it’s a challenge to make the long shot of the flock of sheep. The scene is changing greatly, and the flock is scattered, so it is difficult to control the composition of the picture and the moving line. Fortunately, the final effect is not bad.

NY Glam: What was the atmosphere like on the set?

It’s a little heavy and melancholy. I particularly like the scene at the closing part of the film. There is a pair of crutches in the river.  This scene is metaphorical and plays a good role in emotional rendering for the entire film.

NY Glam: How do you define the role of cinematographer?

A cinematographer is the second director.

NY Glam: What have been some of your recent/other projects?

Our next project is to make an experimental film.

NY Glam: How do you choose your movies that you want to shoot?

Mainly depends on script. Besides, shooting conditions, technical difficulties also need to be considered.

NY Glam: What are your preferred shooting locations?

I like to make movies in some  primitive and undeveloped places, or industrial ruins.

NY Glam: Is there a film or film maker that inspired you to pick up a camera?

Sokurov’s Russian Ark touched me a lot.

NY Glam: Describe your biggest accomplishment to date?

My biggest achievement was last year’s documentary 8341, which was an art project film about how a group of artists made a scheme for the statue on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in London.

NY Glam: Do you ever think about directing someday?

Sometimes I direct some works actually.

NY Glam: What are some of the projects that you are working next? Who are you working with?

Next I’m going to finish our experimental film and track and record some social events.

I work with an art group. It is composed of university professors and professional artists. They are great.

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