(online release MAY 2017)
Experimental / 10mins / 2017
In the small hours of an empty city, an introverted and misguided teenage boy falls into conversation over the phone with a reticent girl of whom he shared an innocent first love with years ago.
Starring / Riley Tseng as Jay, Nicki Wong as Claire
Writers / Ran Zhang, Jonathan Ho
Director / Ran Zhang
Producers / Ran Zhang, Cameron Target, William Park
DP / William Park
Production Sound Recordist / Cameron Target
Sound Design / Ran Zhang, Cameron Target
Editor & Colorist / Ran Zhang
Score Composer / -
Stills Photographers / Gabriel Lee, Willie Siau
Special Thanks / Killiney Café, The Beautiful City of Hong Kong
Why is the aspect ratio 4:3?
Inspired by Xavier Dolan's Mommy, I adopted the aspect ratio of Standard 4:3 in hopes of conveying the story as an intimate character study rather than an exhibition of spectacle.
Color adopts an associative role in the telling of this story, where the color blue is associated with Jay, more specifically, his identity. City lights, which are usually orange, will contrast Jay's blue denim jacket, creating a balanced image. In moments where Jay begins to lose his sense of self, there will be a lack of blue in the frame, and vice versa.
"Under a Blue Moon is somewhat of a passion project my friends Cameron Target, William Park and I decided to pursue during the summer of 2016. The film is an experimental romantic coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of a slumbering dystopian metropolis that is Hong Kong city in the year 2052. However as this is not the main focus of the story, it is implied subtly rather than stated. The story itself is a poetic commentary on loss, nostalgia, and missed relationships. The film draws a parallel between the city and the girl as both elements of the past that can never be revisited and only exist as fond memories.
We explored many other themes within the story. Identity, where Jay struggles with his idea of self, shown through the distorted reflections of himself throughout the film. Loneliness, shown through Jay's second hand communication with others and the stark contrast between his solitary self and the hauntingly empty city. Dreams, where a sense of surrealism is evoked through the non-linear edit, conveying the subjective and abstract notion of the passing of time. The past, the present, dreams, and reality all coagulate with one another. The story is essentially a collection of significant and insignificant moments that do not take on the conventional structure of plot progression and causality, but rather the unique consequences of the juxtaposition of visuals and sound, which ultimately shapes the identity and state of the character.
My hopes for this film is to place the viewer into the headspace of Jay, and have them experience the universal interludes of nostalgia and longing, a feeling that might not be apparent throughout the duration of the film, but will linger after its conclusion."
- Ran Zhang