It was our pleasure to interview Yuchi Tian. Her passion for the performing arts started early in life when she began writing stories for the stage and screen while she was still in high school. Her love for theater led her to a course of study at the prestigious Shandong University of Arts in Jinan, China where her stage experience expanded. After receiving her BFA from Shandong, she continued her studies and received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Shandong’s graduate theater program. After graduating from Shandong, Yuchi recognized that her true passion was film. She left China for the United States to purse an MFA in Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. While at NYFA, Yuchi wrote and directed several of her own short films and worked on numerous other films as a crew member. Her extensive production work across various film departments has given her a tremendous amount of film production experience.
In all of her work, Yuchi strives to combine the visual poetry of cinematic images with the dramatic and intimate poetry of human relationships, in order to create work that is visually stunning while remaining entirely reflective of both the beauty and tragedy of human experience.
The Wasteland is about ADA, a loving mother and devoted wife, who was cheated on by her rich and powerful husband. He took full custody of the children after the divorce. SAM is an introverted single man who is tired of getting bullied by life. He falls in love with his neighbor Ada, but their lives take another turn for the worst as tragedy hits their work lives as well. In a desperate attempt to end their pain, they drive up to the Wasteland to to end their life. When they arrive ADA realizes that she cannot go through with it, she does have something to live for after all. SAM, however, is unshaken, he means to end his life. After a long talk, they share their deepest secrets and truths with each other so that they can each find peace with their choices. It was our pleasure to interview Yuchi Tian, the director of the film.
What makes you fascinated with the cinematic language and why do you make films?
This meaning goes back to my childhood. In the summer, we always can watch free open-air movies in the plaza. That intrigued me into films.
I love listening and telling stories, I hope the whole world can hear my voice, know my stories.
What inspired you to work on The Wasteland?
Actually when I saw the location this story just popped up. I heard my friend’s story, combined with experiences, I think I kept it to myself for quite a while.
You went through a transition from theater to cinema, Tell us about this process.
I learnt some sample things from the movie during my time in the university, and made a short film. It opened a new world for me, I’d love to try!
Does cinema stand out more than the arts to you? Why?
They’re different. Each one has their own way to express themselves. But cinema is the one easy to understand, spread, remember.
What was the most challenging aspect of making The Wasteland?
Language, I mean the dialogue.
Sometimes I can’t find the best way to express what he/she is thinking.
Your short film has been selected in festivals and won awards. Do you plan to work on another short film or do you want to make a feature film at some point in your career?
Such an honor, thank you!
Yes, I have my feature film on hand, I’m preparing for shoot.
What is the most important thing in directing for you when it comes to the visuals of the film?
If I said the feeling, is it weird?
I learnt painting many years ago, and that skill has really helped me.
What is your goal in life as a filmmaker and where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In five years, I plan to shoot my own feature film, and also finish another two feature scripts. If I can make them into a movie that's the best. Yes, my goal is film. By any chance I will get back to stage. In 10 years, I hope I can be a real real film director.