Discover the behind-the-scenes stories of the hit movie ‘White Snake 2’ – Filmy One

Discover the behind-the-scenes stories of the hit movie ‘White Snake 2’ – Filmy One

 

The Chinese animation film industry has grown in recent years, with a series of domestic animated films reaching cinemas in the country. Last summer, ‘White Snake 2: The Tribulation of Green Snake’ was one of the most anticipated films of this genre. The film has seen cumulative ticket sales rise to more than 580 million yuan ($90 million) since its July 23 debut, making it one of China’s top 10 highest-grossing domestic animated films.

“White Snake 2” is produced by the Light Chaser Animation Studios in Beijing. It is a sequel to the studio’s movie “White Snake” from 2019. Both are inspired by the Chinese folk tale “Legend of the White Snake”. The sequel revolves around the Green Snake spirit Verta, who portrays a modern independent woman.

“When we decided to make ‘White Snake 2’, we wanted to do something different from its predecessor, which was to build a story around the Green Snake. Then we all believe that Verta’s character is more suitable for an adventure story. She is straightforward , full of obsession and would sacrifice everything to save her sister,” director Amp Wong told CGTN.

A sketch of the Green Serpent Verta. /CGTN

A sketch of the Green Serpent Verta. /CGTN

Moviegoers were stunned by the opening scene – an action-packed spectacle in which the two serpent spirits summon a flood to confront the hostile Buddhist monk Fahai, who tries to track them down.

But the epic opening wasn’t the only plot challenge the team had to overcome. A duel between Verta and Fahai in the Black Wind tunnel was presented in an amazing watercolor style, which took the team three years to complete.

“In ‘White Snake’ a plot is presented through an ink wash painting style, which appeals to viewers. So we decided to use this kind of effect in the sequel, but with some twists and turns,” Wong said. “In our setting, time slows down in the Black Wind tunnel, and we wanted to find a way to make the audience feel it. So we chose the watercolor style to simulate the passage of time.”

A sketch of the Fox Spirit. /CGTN

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A sketch of the Fox Spirit. /CGTN

An additional scene revealed the studio’s latest production, “New Gods: Yang Jian,” slated for 2022. From the “White Snake” movies to the “New Gods” series, Light Chaser is committed to franchises.

“We are working on two franchises, one is the ‘New Legend’ series, such as the ‘White Snake’ features, and the other is the ‘New Gods’ series, from which we take characters from Chinese mythology to create ‘Chinese Heroes,’” Cui Di, producer of “White Snake 2,” told CGTN. “But rather than create a cinematic universe, our primary goal is to make every movie and its protagonists recognized by moviegoers.”

Cui said franchises will help audiences better understand the story, and movie studios should interact more with viewers to create better works.

Other movie studios in China are also working on creating animated franchises. In 2020, “Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification” was released in China. It is the follow-up to 2019’s “Ne Zha” Many see them as the Fengshen Cinematic Universe, a series that aims to become the Chinese counterpart to Marvel’s superhero franchise.

A photo taken at Light Chaser Animation Studios in Beijing. /CGTN

A photo taken at Light Chaser Animation Studios in Beijing. /CGTN

The release of “White Snake 2” came at a difficult time. Wong admitted that the COVID-19 epidemic had affected production. The dubbing actors, animators, and motion-captured actors on Wong’s team all worked closely together to complete the production.

Although the Chinese film industry took a major hit from the pandemic, Cui said it forced them to be creative.

“For us animation studios, we will be able to work more flexibly in the post-pandemic era, as compared to live-action films where outdoor shots and actor travel may be limited due to the pandemic, we have computer-generated functions in the studio or at home,” said Cui. “The pandemic also reminded the industry to strengthen our telecommuting management and improve our ability to withstand risk.”

From ‘Little Door Gods’ and ‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’ to ‘White Snake 2’, Light Chaser has six films to his name, and Cui said her studio will continue to fight, chasing the flickering lights where magic and mythology happen.

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