The only good photos I got during the red carpet was to shoot through the sea of heads and hands reaching up with their cellphones.
The red carpet was so hectic as all the fans swarmed around the perimeter of the red carpet. No press pass or volunteer (spelled valunteer that day :P) pass? No way of getting a good shot of any of the celebrities and board members. Finally over, everyone was escorted into the auditorium, where the fun part begins.
|The cute pose of Chinese American Arts Council Executive Director Alan Chow.|
|Chairmen Kate Lin's beautiful smile as she greeted us.|
Like all other film festivals, the Arts Council board members and other important figures greeted us with a speech. Afterwards, all the actors, actresses and directors were invited up to speak to us.
|A cute smirk from Donnie Yen whom I watched executing martial arts beautifully in Ip Man.|
Donnie Yen hugged Miriam Yeung as he walked up the stage.
The very humble Wu Xiubo who played a very caring and sweet character in Finding Mr. Right that I watched on the airplane :P
Vivian Dawson (a very handsome half Singaporean half New Zelander actor based in Taiwan) who stars in one of the films for the festival, Sorry, I Love You which looks very promising!
The supporting actress for the same film was Jade Lin Wan Her dress was so beautiful, makes me regret not buying this dress that I wanted which looks pretty much like it :/
Here they are next to each other, making an attractive pair.
One thing I learned from this photography event, stage/event photography's editing isn't an issue as lighting is always set up for you. You have to crop and clone other people's arms and legs out of the shots (an in this shot, the microphone line) as you just keep shooting non stop. I don't know how event photographers do it, halfway my eye and face was twitching from having to wink the whole time. And my arms... let's not even begin LOL
And the new director but a childhood actress of mine, Vicki Zhao (Zhao Wei). I grew up watching her in Princess Pearl 還珠格格. It was amazing to see her in person and watch her first director debut together!
The movie she directed for the first time is titled So Young, set in the 80s she apologized to viewers if they are shocked upon the opening of film of how old and dirty China looked. She assured that's not the case now. The first half of the film was about how the main characters meet in college (though for some reason their antics, language, behavior reminded me more of my high school life) and their promise to forever youth. It certainly brought a lot of laughter as the characters were really full of life and color, especially the main character Zhang Wei (whom Zhao Wei was supposed to act as but instead chose to direct, good thinking!). It also brought a lot of reminiscence as you watch her try to capture the attention of Chen Xiaozheng (Mark Zhao). Leading to a heartbreak that had us girls tearing as it reminded of us our past heartbreaks.
After the tear jerking moment, the mood of the movie swung 180 degrees. You can see the modernization of China, as well as the development of all the characters. The change in the color tone of the film helped showcase this change (from a more warm yellow-ish tone in the beginning, which did help make it look older, to a more cold blue-ish tone also symbolizing the now serious. They lost the childish behaviors as they face reality. Won't say anymore to give anything away, but there were so many twists that made us gasp, angry, laugh and cry. This movie really puts you through all the emotions.
Vicki Zhao did a really good job as a first time director. Some shots are so vivid and memorable in my mind; Ruan Guan crying in the train shot was so well done, as well as the scene where Zhang Wei confrots Xiaozheng in the bathroom. Both are very depressing scenes, I promise I'm not that much of a pessimist... They were just scenes that conveyed the most and strongest emotions in the movie.
I had a great time watching the film as well as photographing the event! I learned camera settings is so important during an event, I really have to learn it!!! Also, I feel bad that the lighting casted weird shadows on their faces so if you don't catch the right angle, they loose their neck :( I felt bad most of them had jet lag so didn't appear too cheerful, but did manage to capture their smiles and gratitude for attending. Hope to join again next year!