Rancho Zhu

BA (Hons) Film Production


Instagram: rancho_zhu

Email: [email protected]

Fish is trapped, yet it is free.

I’m Rancho Zhu, an ambitious writer & director with years of experience in visual & subtextual storytelling and aspiring to push the boundary of film. My recent graduation film THE FISH focuses on a poor but ambitious writer who lives with his old father who’s in vegetative state, his father’s illness breaks his spirit bit by bit making him finally accept his fate and makes him kill his father, and finally realises he is just the character in his own book, when in reality he is a famous and rich writer instead who is not strong enough to end father’s life, so letting the fictional himself fulfil his job.

The idea was developed from a single scene of man’s desperation from a friend of mine, as well as the phenomenon I captured which is that nowadays people tend to question and regret the path they’re choosing and putting too much tension to a single decision. I want to use the film to prove that there’re never good or bad choices, but only decisions with certain motivations behind, and those decisions will lead us to the road we deserve not the road we want, yet they always create the best route for our life. I took all its pessimist elements into the film and it shall awaken the public to rethink “Why my path brought me here and where I’m I going?”. Along with meetings with professors about vegetative state patients as well as one year of character building and disease investigation, this psychological tragedy script is created.

I’m deeply influenced by Requiem for a Dream by Darren Aronofsky about how tragedies are built by creating expectations and destroying it, and also Deconstructing Harry by Woody Allen about the relationship between writers and their written characters. In the film THE FISH, I used a fish as a MacGuffin, a symbol as well as a piece of the writer’s childhood memory to reflect something much bigger like death. As the plot develops, Darren alters from “having a bright vision of the future” to “accepting his fate and identity”, thus me and DP decided that the cinematography should change from subjective framing with in-face close-ups, to objective framing with distant and high angle shots. Along with anamorphic lenses, the distortion would help audience see the world through the protagonist’s eyes massively. The general mood for this film is one that is rather bleak and depressing, I want the film to be naturalistic with dark motivated lighting often shooting from the shadows, to create the type of conscious flow that’s between reality and fiction. Besides, a dolly and a Steadicam are used in calmer scenes, shaky and erratic movement are used when our character’s mental state has changed to one of heightened and more intense emotions.

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Film Poster
Rancho Zhu | Film & TV
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Film Stills
Rancho Zhu | Film & TV 3
Behind The Scenes
Rancho Zhu | Film & TV 2
Film Stills
Rancho Zhu | Film & TV 1
Behind The Scenes
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