The screenshot of "Walk in Tianjin"
Ms. Dabrowski: Hope you enjoy the stay in Tianjin and make more friends!
Ms. Relkov: I hope to travel to Tianjin in the future.
The documentary "Walk in Tianjin" became famous in the circle of Weibo and WeChat in last year. The documentary made by five students in senior high school displays varieties of Tianjin folk customs such as local snacks and commercial environment in five minutes, showing the characteristics of Tianjin to the world.
From "Completing the Homework" to "Accomplishing the Mission"
Speaking of the intention for making the documentary, 19-year-old Zhang Xuanhao, the initiator of the documentary, who studies in Vancouver Film School at present said, "It owes to the winter homework assigned by TEDA Maple Leaf International School. In every vacation, the school would assign us "investigative-study" homework. I was in the third grade at the time, and would graduate and further my study soon. Since it was my last period of stay in Tianjin, I was thinking of making a documentary telling the story of Tianjin. The homework could also become a piece of memory of my life in Tianjin."
Therefore, Zhang found several friends with the same goal, Zhang Yudi, Ye Ziqian, Chen Shixing and Chen Chengjun, then formed the five-people creation team. Five people had clear tasks depending on their own specialty and hobby: Zhang Xuanhao was in charge of the planning, Zhang Yudi who loves literature became the director and script writer, Ye Ziqian and Chen Shixing were in charge of the aerial photography, and Chen Chengjun became the chief photographer.
During the shooting, these students became aware that what they were doing was not only a homework task, but a mission indeed. The photographer Chen told the reporter, "As most of students in my school would study abroad in the future, when we leave our hometown, we would find that the place you got used to and maybe disliked is actually the most beautiful place ever. To record our hometown by the camera is probably our mission."
Go through Sufferings during Shooting
Unlike common documentary, "Walk in Tianjin" is not only an introduction and publicity of Tianjin, but also bears the reminiscence and feelings of students for the city, just like Zhang Yudi wrote in the preface: Tianjin is not as modern as Shanghai, is not as prosperous as Beijing, she has the unique charm, that is restraining and low-key, which is just like the characters of Tianjin people. You have to walk very slowly to experience her beauty…
The students went through sufferings during the shooting of the documentary that bears infinite loves of students. Ye Ziqian and Chen Shixing who were in charge of the aerial photography said, "After 2016 Spring Festival, we confirmed the script and shooting plan and officially started. The Century Clock Square was our first aerial photography scene. As we were actually amateurs in the aerial photography, we had shot more than 20 times for one scene but still couldn't meet the standard. At the time, it was freezing and the river was still frozen, but we didn't give up but insisted."
The expenditure was another big problem for the student group. They took different kinds of photography equipment from home and travelled to the photographing place by bus instead of taxi. Sometimes, they would simply have bread for lunch. The shooting procedure was a piece of unforgettable life experience for them as well.
The documentary had been completed at last regardless difficulties and sufferings, and obtained positive feedback from the society. So far, the click rate of the documentary has exceeded ten thousand, many "VIP people" on the Internet have forwarded and commented it.
It was learned that all scenes of the documentary had been completed in last year. During the Spring Festival of this year, the second season of "Walk in Tianjin" – "Architecture Episode" had completed its post-production and would be launched on the Internet soon. In the future, they will make the third and fourth season of "Walk in Tianjin" on a yearly base, to let more people know every aspect of Tianjin.
"Overseas Publicity" of Tianjin Story
Zhang Xuanhao who received the letter of admission from Vancouver Film School in last July travelled abroad along with this documentary and the story of Tianjin. He published this documentary on his Facebook and Twitter and discussed it with teachers and classmates in the class.
Mr. Lam who watched the documentary said, "This documentary is about the past, present and future of Tianjin. The delicate shooting and scene composition draw the attention of the audience, which makes me want to feel the unique charm of Tianjin."
Mr. Brown, another teacher said, "Many foreigners like to travel to tourism cities such as Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. But through this documentary, I feel that we have ignored the beauty of Tianjin. It is quite similar to my hometown, and I also want to experience her charm if having the opportunity."
Wang Yan, the deputy secretary general of Nankai District Writers' Association, also has high opinion of the documentary, "I cannot believe the documentary was made by several students of senior high school, as it has the same quality as professional documentary. These boys already traveled to Canada to further their study, what they carried are not only the love from their relatives and friends, but also the nostalgia of their hometown. These young men have seized the context of the city keenly, grasped every detail and kept chasing their dream steadfastly."
By Zhang Tong, A De