Indie online film from Wang Xiaofeng

Last Sunday in Beijing, Sanlian Life Week journalist and blogger Wang Xiaofeng premiered his online film called When a Child is Born in English and ‘你丫真狠’ in Chinese.

It’s Wang’s third such film or ‘DV’ as he calls them. Directed and written by Wang, the video features non professional actors, including guest appearances by many A-list Chinese bloggers such as the novelist Han Han.

After the screening of the film to an audience of hundreds of people last Sunday, Wang posted the video to his blog. Yesterday he posted the answers to some frequently asked questions including the meaning of the Chinese title 你丫真狠.

The profanity is old Beijing lingo derived from “son of a bitch” or “bastard,” explains Wang in the FAQ. An attempted translation of the Chinese title would be “You ruthless bastard” or “You ruthless SOB.” Below is an excerpt from the post.

FAQ on When a Child is Born by Wang Xiaofeng

Many people (including media) have asked me all kinds of questions about When a Child is Born: some of these questions I didn’t want to answer again. Below I have written down some of these FAQs.

Q: Why does Han Han only appear for 5 seconds?

A: Makes it more precious.

Q: I saw Teacher Luo Yonghao‘s name in the credits at the end. Why didn’t I see him in the video?

A: Teacher Luo’s face is too big, and the 16:9 widescreen that I shot in was too small, so he wasn’t in the video. Next time if I use the 19:19 widescreen then there’s hope that you might see Teacher Luo.

Q: Lao Liu and Tumotuo did not appear. Why?

A: Lao Liu has told me privately, more than once, that he wants to give his first time on screen to George Lucas. Whereas Tumotuo hopes to give his first time to porn.

Q: I don’t think that Li Dayong really loves Dai Fang in the film - he didn’t seem to try to stop his girlfriend from leaving.

A: Do you mean that you will be able to tell that they are in love if I wrote it like a Japanese or Korean soap opera?

Q: Why did you want to make a video?

A: No special reason. I wanted to do it, so I did it.

Q: Will you go make a feature film?

A: No.

Q: Did Chen Xiaoqing put on dental braces for her part in the film?

A: No. There were seven or eight girls with braces hoping to play this role. But now she doesn’t want to take them off.

Q: Why do you always use a copy of Sanlian Life Week in your videos?

A: Because Time magazine doesn’t pay me.

Q: Why do you use an out-of-date issue of Sanlian Life Week?

A: Because the backdrop of the story is 2006.

Q: Why is the English name of the video When a Child is Born?

A: I want every video to have an English name, which is also the title of a song, and at the same time related to the subject of the film. This story happens at the time when Faye Wong (王菲) was having a baby. This song title and name is most suitable.

Q: Are the events in the video real?

A: No, I made them up. The beginning of the film states, “This film is completely fabricated.” But in the future the events will all become real.

Q: The bridge that appears in the beginning and end of the video - where is it?

A: It’s in Changping district, Beijing. I thought it was very strange that they built such an impressive bridge where there was no river or water. They must have put it there so I could make the video.

Q: Who plays Li Dayong, the central male lead?

A: His name is Hu Litao: we all call him Fox (狐狸). He was a journalist for Lifestyle magazine, now he is a Tennis commentator for CCTV’s Fengyun channel.

Q: Will you ask famous actors to appear in your videos?

A: Number one, I can’t afford them. Number two, I don’t want to ask them. I make videos using my friends. They have to be unprofessional, and don’t know how to act. If they know how to act then they might direct me, which would be embarrassing.

Q: How do you direct or co-ordinate your actors?

A: I let them act freely. If it isn’t like how I imagined, then I will try my best to be like how they imagined it.

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