Short Filmmaking: An Interview With Ien Chi

The Short Film Show has had the opportunity to interview Ien Chi, the director of ‘Tick Tock’, one of the most wonderful short films featured on the show. In this occasion, Ien Chi talks us though his creative process, how he creates a unique story and what he considers to be the key element of becoming a filmmaker.

If you would like to enjoy Ien Chi film along with the work of all of our talented featured filmmakers, you can watch every episode of The Short Film Show on Amazon Prime.

Interview with Ien Chi:

  • How did you get involved in the filmmaking industry to begin with?

Ien Chi: I began making films in 7th grade, my first ever film was for a school project, and that’s when the bug bit me. Ever since, I’ve been making films and just enjoying the process so much. In terms of being a professional, I graduated in 2014 from college and entered the workforce as a freelancer and have been making films ever since. I now work at Jubilee Media as the Creative Director and continue to make films.

  • What is the most challenging aspect when making a short film?

Ien Chi:  Every film is different, but I’d say getting the audience truly invested and creating a worthy payoff that works within a short time frame. To provide some true characterization within only a few minutes is a difficult thing to do!

  • How are you able to create a connection with the audience throughout the plot in such a short period of time?

Ien Chi: With Tick Tock, I think a lot of the novelty and unconventional entertainment that comes through the backwards narrative is key. It hooks you and piques curiosity, you wonder why this protagonist is doing what he’s doing and why he’s saying what he’s saying, and you want to stay for the whole ride to find out what the hell is going on. It’s kind of a gradual constant revealing of the entire situation, exposing details of what’s really going on progressively, so the audience stays interested

  • What makes the story and characters of your film special? and what is the key to creating a unique story?

Ien Chi: I don’t quite know what makes them special, other than the fact that they’re being true to who they are. I think we’re all special in that way, as long as we’re honest with ourselves and our feeling. The key to creating a unique story is honesty with myself, honesty with what I feel is worthy, valuable and interesting. It’s being honest about what I feel and what I want to say, over being motivated by external factors. We each have supremely unique combinations of life experiences form who we are, and anyone is the same. If each of us made an honest story expressing our own worlds within, every one of them would be unique.

  • What is your favorite part of creating short films?

Ien Chi: I like being on set with great people and having a good time. I feel like the process is just as important as the product, and it’s vital to be working with wonderful people on something larger than ourselves. The editing process it’s also nice, to see when things are coming together, or sometimes when they are not!

  • What advice would you give to up and coming filmmakers?

Ien Chi: Don’t aspire to be a filmmaker. Be a filmmaker. Make stuff. There’s no excuse, Literally.

  • Why did you apply to be featured on The Short Film Show? How did you feel when you were selected to be featured on Sky?

Ien Chi: I applied to share my work! And to serve you (the audience!). Of course, it felt awesome when Tick Tock was selected to be on Sky, it was good affirmation that I’m not crazy and that people out there enjoy the work that I create

  • What would it mean to you to win an award at The International Short Film Show Awards?

Ien Chi: It would be a wonderful affirmation, and a gift. A kind of affirmation that what I’m doing is valuable and people are seeing or acknowledging good things in the world.