The spring of 2021 has finally arrived after an unsettling 2020, as everyone had struggled through the year while being constantly surrounded by darkness and murkiness. We want to welcome you with Wake Up, the first short film shot by MAVO Edge 8K . It marks that MAVO Edge as a brand-new large-format 8K cine camera with a whole-new carbon fiber camera body, and equipped with a stunning 8K 75P CMOS imaging sensor, is finally here!
Wake Up tells a story of a girl, as an incomer to Beijing, who discovers connections between herself and her neighbor while she was self-isolating due to the current pandemic.
Director: Hanbei Zhang; Director of Photography: Bochen Wan;
Camera: MAVO Edge 8K; Lenses: ARRI Signature Prime 25/29/40/47/58/95 T1.8;
Codecs: ProRes444 & ProRes 422HQ; Resolution: DCI 8K, 8192×4320 @25, 50fps
In late January 2021, despite the Chinese New Year was just a few weeks away, I felt the atmosphere surrounding me was dreary. My friends and I, as incomers to Beijing, were hearing news of film productions shutting down every day, and even the graduation exhibition in my school was being suspended as the pandemic was resurging.
During the time, I picked up lots of negative emotions from myself and my friends as the distressing impact of the pandemic accumulating in us for months. By then, we felt impotent and exhausted instead of being startled by the consequences of the pandemic when it first hit the world in 2020. I believe this was the universal feeling for lots of people or incomers like us, who were not able to go anywhere or do anything during the Chinese New Year due to the virus. People were not going out, and they began to store food and alcohol when the virus was resurging around them. We awoke by the sound of phone calls and deliveries, but we kept working and studying in an enclosed space while visioning a different future through thinking, planning, and writing.
We kept living our unsettling lives after telling parents that we are ok on the phone. The entire world seemed to loiter during the pandemic. The passage of time seemed to be freezing but accelerating in the next moment. The blazing flame on the burning charcoal has become imperceptible if one does not shove it. And this was my state of mind while I was writing the story for the Edge project.
I called the shoot Wake Up. It was named intuitively and also incorporated my wishes. I hoped that I could wake up from the chaotic state and have the passion to achieve my goals again. And I also wish people can break through their inner barriers by the intangible music in such a hard time.
Love is not the theme of the film. In fact, Wake Up tells a story of how lonely souls communicate with each other through imagination. The essence of the theme is that humans need to communicate with each other, due to our ability to perceive one another and the tendency of going through challenges by helping each other.
In the film, I deliberately designed the rhythm of the boy’s singing as hints for the imminent changing of the girl’s emotion, and connections between the rhythm and her emotion were steadily merging until she was inspired by them at her most vulnerable moment. She was finally awaked from the chaotic state. I think sometimes that the warmness coming from a stranger can be significant, and I think this revelation is the most interesting part of the story.
So, I used This is the Moment by Colm Wilkinson, a song that has been translated into different languages, to show such revelation to the audience because I was inspired whenever I listen to the other versions of the song. And it also happened to be the song that the male actor was very familiar with it. In the climax scene, the girl awoke by this song, and she felt the blood inside her were sizzling, as it reminded her of the energy that she used to had, and things that she will have to do in the future, which is becoming of the girl she dreamed in her dreams.
It is a little unfortunate that we mainly shot the film in one interior location, due to the limits of time and location. Despite all the limitations, I still saw Edge’s excellent performance in processing lighting in both day and night scenes. When it comes to camera movement, it fully demonstrated its capabilities when I shot realistic scenes that were rather gloomy and fantasizing scenes that needed vibrant handheld shots. As for me, it was a pleasure to work with Edge, and telling this story with the help of such an amazing camera. I am very looking forward to working with Edge again in the future.
——Director Hanbei Zhang
Full Launch Film