Gan Jianyu is a Chinese movie director. He was born in 1988 in Chongqing, central China.
He graduated from the Director’s department of the Communication University of Zhejiang for his bachelor’s degree, and he completed his MFA at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
He co-directed with Xu Xinxian, the feature film Sometimes Naive in 2015, a comedy about film-making, which won the best feature film at 8th FIRST International film festival and was selected at the 10th Hongkong Asian Film Festival.
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China-underground: What motivated you to become a director? Who influenced you as a person and film director?
Gan Jianyu: I became a director because I love movies. I used to be fascinated by some directors or actors, but I think that the real choice of making movies is based on the pure love of the film.
People will let you down, but movies will not.
Where did the idea for “Vortex” come from?
I had a certain type of film in mind that I wanted to shoot.
I wanted this movie to be seen and this genre was the best way to allow me to accomplish this.
I did a lot of research and collected various information from the criminal police in the early stages of production.
I think a kidnapping is a subject that is by nature dramatic and contradictory.
What were some of the biggest challenges of the movie? How was the film process?
The first problem is how a new director can gain the trust and be helped to make the film.
To make a film, you must necessarily think in advance of every possible connection so that it is as comprehensible as possible.
You gave everything to this project, and you have to make sure that everyone can understand your point of view and your commitment to make the film.
You have directed Da Peng, an actor who usually plays comic parts, into a dramatic and serious role. Can you tell us about your collaboration with him on the set?
He’s a very dedicated actor, and he did all the dangerous scenes himself. I think it’s easier for new directors to work with actors who are known for a certain kind of roles. I hope to surprise the audience and present the other side of the actors.
How was to direct Doo Ulantoya? Can you tell us how was to work with a little actress on an action crime set?
She is a genius, she started acting in the movie when she was 5 years old and she passed the 6th birthday with the crew.
She was the joy of the team. When you work with a child, you have to place her in situations in a special way. The most important part is to convince her.
The fight scenes are nimbly coordinates. Did you find unexpected moments during the shooting?
The fluidity of the action part comes from the preparation during the previous stage, and most of the shots are executed following the storyboard and rehearsing.
The most unexpected part is that actors didn’t need body double, and this gave us more space and perspective to present the character details during the action section.
Liu ends up having moral scruples after meeting Qiqi. Compassion, empathy, and morality. Do you believe that the personality of the individual can prevail regardless of social extraction and economic difficulties?
I believe that with regards to the murder of a man for money, we wanted to show that the two main characters are one the reflection of the other during their pursuit, they know each other gradually, and together they descend a spiral of events.
This is not only the story of a pursuit, but of a change.
The revelation of a negative character is even more fascinating.
Even if you are guilty, even if you have fallen into temptation, it is always one side of human nature to rise again after a moment of difficulty. It is people’s desire for love and warmth.
Thanks to Fortissimo Films
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