“I enjoy the iFLYTEK AI Notebook because it’s an easy and handy tool for storyboarding that saves me the trouble of taking paper and pens when traveling,” said Sangdao, a film director with the Chinese news agency The Paper.
After graduating from the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Sangdao has worked in editing, commercials, feature documentaries, live broadcasts, and some other director-related areas to eventually work as a writer and director for The Paper. Wherever he works, he is always serious about his work while featuring some unique shining qualities.
For filmmaking, he tried Luosifen (River Snail Rice Noodles) at seven different places over one night
The film industry is labor-intensive, and one single production may engage a multitude of people. For a director, the top two priorities are coordination and decision. As a commercial film director, Sangdao mainly works to produce original news-worthy video and is responsible for the entire process from content planning, filming, to final editing. Last year, Sangdao launched the series Produced in China and moved forward with another called Colorful China this year. When interviewed, he was busy filming about the Luosifen (River Snail Rice Noodles) industry in Liuzhou of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Scenery in Liuzhou filmed by Sangdao
“To find out the differences in the flavor, I tried Luosifen (River Snail Rice Noodles) at seven different places over one night. I’m from Shanghai, so I can’t stand spicy food and my mouth simply became numb. When I was new at work, a China Central Television (CCTV) director told me that when they were filming about water-injected beef, the production team had beef dishes for a whole week in a row at different restaurants. It was only when they had to all make a run for the restroom that they finally knew they had found water-injected beef. I think I have embarked on a similar path to that of the CCTV director,” Sangdao said.
Such a production often takes 3 to 6 months to finish and involves frequent business trips. Since getting the iFLYTEK AI Notebook X2, Sangdao has taken it throughout his constant travels around the country, using it for storyboarding or transcribing audio meeting records into texts. “It has done me a great favor and has greatly enhanced my communication with others,” he said.
Sangdao uses iFLYTEK AI Notebook X2 for work
How a “lazy ant” works
Sangdao said that he has finely arranged his schedules since childhood, but it bothers him that he can’t concentrate on his work sometimes, hence his inability to respond in a timely manner. “The producers even got mad at me when I looked distracted. I recently learned a word ‘lazy ant’, and I think it describes people like me well who may look useless and occupied by something else, but who can provide valuable ideas at crucial moments. I think that’s just me,” he said.
Sangdao works on iFLYTEK AI Notebook X2
“Katsuya Terada, my favorite painter, would spend half an hour sketching something before starting to paint every day, which he thinks is a necessary warm-up that shifts his attention from irrelevant things to his work. I often fail to get fully engaged before a warm-up, so I often walk around the studio before filming, watching and thinking, to immerse myself in the environment and concentrate,” the director said.
Never too old to learn
While he is 33 and is continuing to improve as a director, Sangdao believes that he still has much to learn. For example, to interact with different customers, he needs to learn some new ideas and techniques that are tailored for the different people that he may interact with.
Sangdao thinks that his age has given him more experiences than ideas. When communicating with bright, idealistic young aspirants, he says that he can feel stressed. “I used to be young and I’m happy for those younger than me. They will show you new perspectives whereas you can assist them with the experience they need. I always learn from the young when communicating with them,” he said.
Sangdao communicates with actors
To further improve his work, Sangdao said he needs great ideas in addition to his existing skills. Therefore, he chose to further his studies at the Shanghai Vancouver Film School. “Recently, I have been viewing the works of European artists such as Miller, as well as traditional Chinese art forms such as Chinese ink wash painting, mural, sculpture, etc. I have drawn inspiration from them, which greatly facilitates my work.”
A homebody who enjoys his life
Sangdao used to take with him notebooks and pens for sketching, though after adopting the iFLYTEK AI Notebook he has been able to create sketches on the move, in addition to being able to storyboard and write scripts. “I have recently been reading books on philosophy just like seniors with the iFLYTEK AI Notebook. I like it because it’s very easy to power on. You can also easily use it for drawing since there is no need to adjust the brush or mix the colors. All you need to do is choose from the three different brushes and use the eraser, and all the rest depends on your drawing skills. You can draw thin or thick strokes by just adjusting the force applied to the brush. I like such an experience and it’s just like drawing with a real brush.”
Sangdao’s work created with iFLYTEK AI Notebook
Apart from drawing, Sangdao also makes model figures. He would spend about a month in designing, modeling, 3D printing, and finally painting one figure.
At this stage in his career however, Sangdao is focused on directing films. Regarding of his future plans, he smiled and said, “I have a 15-year project, which is to raise my daughter. This is a very difficult long-term project. Compared with it, all other existing projects may seem short-term or ultra short-term ones. Maybe in the future, I will buy more iFLYTEK products for my daughter to improve her efficiency of taking lessons, taking notes, and learning.”
In his profile on social platforms, Sangdao describes himself as “inherently highly sensitive”, which is due to his multiple roles as an earnest, ambitious but modest director, a responsible father with his goals in mind.
Sangdao’s another role as the director of the iFLYTEK AI Notebook commercial
In fact, Sangdao is not only a user of the iFLYTEK AI Notebook X2, but also the director of the product’s commercial. Talking about the process of producing the commercial, he said: “We stuck to the basic understanding that we must do everything around the brand’s needs. I made many changes and produced multiple versions according to the clear needs. For each word I wrote for the script, I would imagine the scene that would be produced. After finalizing the script, I smoothly completed the storyboarding. I also made sufficient preparations in terms of the settings and blocking while efficiently mobilizing the staff. And finally, the commercial was successfully produced.”