New animation highlights legendary back-bikes

May 08, 2024 - 07:37
Chiếc Xe Thồ Điện Biên and Lời Hứa Điện Biên are made in commission by the State to celebrate the national ceremonies in 2024
Head of Việt Nam Animation Studio's Script Desk Phạm Thị Thanh Hà. Photo coutersy of Phạm Thị Thanh Hà

Việt Nam Animation Studio has released Chiếc Xe Thồ Điện Biên (Điện Biên Back-Bike) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Điện Biên Phủ Victory, one of two animations produced by the studio.

Việt Nam News reporter Nguyễn Bình interviewed the script writer for those animations, Phạm Thị Thanh Hà, who is also head of the studio's Script Desk.

Could you tell us about the new animations Chiếc Xe Thồ Điện Biên and Lời Hứa Điện Biên (Điện Biên Promise)?

Chiếc Xe Thồ Điện Biên and Lời Hứa Điện Biên are made in commission by the State to celebrate the national ceremonies in 2024.

Chiếc Xe Thồ Điện Biên was released on the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Điện Biên Phủ Victory. While Lời Hứa Điện Biên is still in production, it will be released at the end of this year.

What difficulties do you encounter writing different scripts for animations with the same theme?

I was assigned to write the script with the theme on Điện Biên a long time ago. It took me a lot research and time to find inspiration for the script and I only completed Lời Hứa Điện Biên after a year of writing at the end of 2022.

Last year, I was also assigned to write the second script on Điện Biên.

This time, I wrote faster thanks to a richer material source. I think the most important aspect for me is to find a way to tell historical stories and retell those events about real people within the animation.

Is the historical theme familiar to you? And what is the most difficult part of writing about this subject?

I love the historical theme and I have worked editing scripts for many historical-themed animations including Hào Khí Thăng Long; Mỵ Châu - Trọng Thủy; Kỳ Tích Đầm Dạ Trạch, Đinh Tiên Hoàng Đế and others.

Although I write often about history there is always something fresh to find and a lot of materials to exploit. The more I read and learn, the more I see many stories and historical figures who deserve to become popular with a new audience.

Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties when exploring historical topics is writing in a way that still respects the truth, while telling a story in a realistic way. Showing the historical spirit while still ensuring the attractive and engaging elements of an animation.

I always avoid boring writing, but also want to not be overly fictional so that history is distorted. It really challenges us as writers.

Are audiences attracted to historical fiction and who finds it most appealing?

I think that historical-themed animation is always attractive to audiences, because history and old stories themselves are an extremely rich source of material.

The only problem is to make sure we tell stories in an animation language which is creative and attractive enough for the audience to accept it as a work of art, which distinguishes it from short documentary types of historical works.

Animation is appealing to both children and adults, so the audience for historical themed animation is large. But animators need to make sure their work is targeted to ensure that is a best match to each audience in terms of their age, their understanding and their aesthestic.

What is the most important thing in your work, making sure of the accuracy and authenticity of historical elements or can history alone stimulate creativity?

Animation makers should be clear that they are making a movie - a work of art on an historical theme not just providing a historical document or a textbook.

So I always understand the importance of using historical elements and stories as material to highlight the artistic intention of the animation.

History is there to inspire creativity but there needs to be harmony between the truth and creativity that does not conflict with historical reality. This is a challenge but also stimulates me.

It is not only Việt Nam Animation Studio producing animations in this field, so what sets you apart?

Animation production is a field that receives strong attention and attracts labour forces. However, Việt Nam Animation Studio is still the only studio which produces animations for the state.

Other studios, such as private companies, have recently focused on the field of producing animated products on entertainment platforms and social networks.

The difference is between an animation movie and an animation product. Making an animation movie requires artistic quality, large financial investments in technology and professional qualifications of the creative team including scriptwriters, directors, painters and music. And capital recovery is difficult.

Creating animated products does not require the same level of investment in finance, human resources, technology or the same artistic commitment. The ability to recover capital is faster.

So the animation production sector is attracting investment and developers. VNS