Young director makes safety video creative

August 09, 2022 - 18:35
Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has released the new in-flight safety video, which received praise for its creativity in publicising cultural and scenic highlights of the whole country.
Director Vũ Thiên Phương. Photo

Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has released the new in-flight safety video, which received praise for its creativity in publicising cultural and scenic highlights of the whole country. The video was made by emerging director Vũ Thiên Phương. Việt Nam News reporter Nguyễn Bình chats with Phương about his latest work.

Vietnam Airlines' newly launched In-Flight Safety Video 2022 has gotten a great amount of attention. How does this make you feel?

I'm very glad. When I started working I was very worried, until I finished. But I feel good to read feedback from people. I'm really joyous.

How did you end up working with Vietnam Airlines? Is this your first big contract?

I was contacted by Vietnam Airlines two years ago. It is a big deal because Vietnam Airlines is the national carrier. It is an important project as the video is shown during the flight. The previous videos were made by experienced and established directors. I'm the youngest director to make the safety video for Vietnam Airlines. I felt some pressure in making it.

Viewers are surprised by the beautiful scenes in the video. Could you tell me more about how the video was shot?

We got the project last year and planned to release it in the same year. The crew went into pre-production but we had to delay because of COVID-19.

After the pandemic, we have to do it all again because everything changed.

Choosing the setting takes a lot of time but we only had the budget for three days. The crew includes 150 people with much equipment and we move from the south to the north.

We shot from 6am to 6pm. It is difficult for the 150-strong crew moving in the mountainous areas. Therefore, the shooting locations were only five kilometres from each other.

The settings in the video are not perfect but they suit all the scenes. I choose the locations intending to send flight safety messages to passengers and popularise the image of the country.

What was most difficult in carrying out the project?

I found everything difficult. Each stage, from pre-production to production and post-production, had its difficulties. Plus, ensuring safety for a shoot is also difficult.

Shooting depends on the weather. We always have a plan for sudden changes. If we begin a few minutes late the shooting will take longer than expected.

Additionally, I encountered many difficulties in choosing the dance and costumes to suit a flight safety message. It is very complicated.

One of the most important things is how to make a video that attracts both old and young people.

A still from Vietnam Airlines' new safety video by Vũ Thiên Phương.

What was most memorable about making the video?

All the stages were unforgettable. I learned a lot from this project. I had the chance to work with experienced people. Over the two years, we go a lot from every corner of the country.

In Pù Luông, in the central province of Thanh Hóa, we set up for shooting the Thái ethnic dance two days in advance, but it was completely destroyed by stormy weather.

Another time, we were in the Central Highlands in the morning but in Đồng Văn Town in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang in the evening. It was an amazing experience. I have the chance to learn about the traditional culture, ethnic dances and landscape of the whole country.

You said that you are the youngest person to make a safety video for Vietnam Airlines. What do you think you were selected?

The first requirement is that the video conveys essential safety emergency information. I think Vietnam Airlines chose me because they wanted me to make a vivid and creative video. It is difficult to feature traditional culture to young people. It needs harmonisation.

Vietnam Airlines and I worked together on how to reach our target audience, as well as convey a flight safety message and publicize the Vietnamese land and people. The video was completed when the pandemic is under control, so we wanted to spread positive energy to people.

After a long social distancing period, people will watch the video and be inspired to go travelling to scenic spots of the country.

What are your tips to make popular videos such as Biti’s Monster for Bitis Việt Nam, Thủ Đô Cypher and MV Together?

I don't have tips but I work hard and learn a lot. I work an average 18-20 hours per day. I love my work and I want to develop in my career.

As a director, I have a rule in my work that connect all members and lifts their spirit up. It is important to look in the same direction together.

How did you become a director?

I studied press photography. I used to take photos for my fashion brand with an iPhone. My dance teacher presents me with a digital camera on my birthday. It is a special present to me because it motivates me to become a director.

I like travelling and I have a fashion business. It seems these things are unrelated. However, I connect them to support my work. - VNS