What was the experience like creating Li Yuchin?
Creating this music video was for sure a remarkable experience. It was shot half in Beijing and half in Milan. The Beijing part was a true nightmare, having worked with a team that made my days very hard. The director and I thought to quit from the job many times because we were afraid to totally fail. We managed though to save the good bits and luckily in Milan we shot very good material and certainly had more support from the production company, even though the job was commissioned by a Chinese production company for a very big local pop star.
It was the first experience I had with the director, Marco Prestini, and I was very glad to collaborate with him. He’s the most talented young man I worked with. He is both a storyteller and an aesthete, with a very precise imagination. All of this is very challenging to me. Exchanging references and the challenges Marco has in his mind is always both an inspiration as a stimulus for my mind.
The Beijing part was just for shooting Chris Lee. We did the motorcycle shots and all the rest, which was set design constructed and lit in a stage. We asked for a Russian Arm, and by the time we had to shoot the motorbike scene, they told us we would have to shoot with a crane on a pickup car. So, we couldn’t speed for that scene and had again to improvise and hope it would have worked in the edit. We shot in Beijing for almost 24 hours straight. Fortunately, we were shooting exteriors and the sun came out, so we had to stop. So many production issues happened during preparation and we ended up on set frustrated and devastated.
The Milan part was more controlled. We shot on location for the sect part and on a stage for the part with the human tower. The Location was an old slaughterhouse in Milan which now is a squad. It was very hard to get the permits, but me and the director really aimed for it. That location was very tough and we couldn’t get in with heavy equipment because the floor wouldn’t carry a heavy load. Therefore, we decided to shoot with a normal crane on tracks what had to be done with a motion control or worst case scenario with a super technocrane. Obviously, it would have been better with precision equipment, but it wasn’t only a budget issue. This was our compromise. I am very happy with the final result of the “sect “scene.
Post-Production “ARTEA” did a very good job, considering the result we achieved on set due to technical limits. The rest of the scenes in the location were shot on Steadycam and we were incredibly rushed. With one pre-light day ahead, we could afford to shoot a long day and speed up everything since the main setup was the key light for every shot.
We decided to shoot the project on Alexa from the beginning, and I wanted to shoot spherical for more resolution and optical advantages for the post-production requirements. The look had to bee very fresh and sleek, so we shot with Zeiss Master Primes. I also wanted to have the same set of lenses in both countries and they were an easy option to find.
I am very happy everything took shape this way and I am very honored the project received sensible attention from around.
About the Artist
Giuseppe Favale is a cinematographer based in Milan, Italy. Giuseppe's work spans multiple genres including music videos, fashion, commercial, and narrative projects.