Who was Liu Shu before becoming a director?
Before becoming an independent director, I used to be a journalist at CCTV. Then I began to do a lot of promotional work for Chinese independent films in a NGO. After being exposed to a large number of independent films, I decided to devote myself to it, and choose it as my career.
Why did you choose this story for your debut film?
This film tells a common story for many youths around me. They left their hometown and went to Beijing to look for their dreams. However, they were finally defeated by reality. I chose this story because I want to express my sympathy for them.
How was working for the first time on a feature lenght film?
I used to work for TV stations, and I also shot some promos for a NGO. These were all working experiences I cherished so much, and that provided me with a lot of useful experiences for my future shooting.
How was the experience on the set? (Most satisfying and more difficult moment?)
The most satisfying part on the set for me is our teamwork. My colleagues paid much attention to this film, especially Tan Zhuo, the leading actress. She always grasps my intentions immediately and exactly expresses them.
The most difficult thing is the limitation of my funds. I was so nervous, and I had not enough time to reshoot those parts of the film which I deemed unsatisfying. Doing it again and again, would have taken quite a long time and my limited funds did not allowed me to.
At the moment, do you have any idea for future projects?
I have already start writing a new script. It aims to reveals cowardice and hypocritical aspects of Chinese intellectuals.
You are also the producer of this movie. Why did you choose this double role as both director and producer of your film?
To shoot this film, I had a lot of negotiation with many investors. I hoped to find some contributions to my film, but finally I achieved nothing. I used my own savings to shoot this work, thus I became the producer in the end.
What is the condition of female directors in present-day China?
In China, there are some female directors now choosing to do commercial films in their careers. However, there are few independent female directors in China at present. I suppose it may be because of the difficulties of independent works. It is not only a matter of money, but also of insistence and perseverance. Quite a few people quit halfway, like the main character of ‘Lotus’ . I hope I can hold on to express myself freely.