The London Film School: Visual Introspection

The London Film School is the oldest-established international school of film technique in the world, at 60 as of October 2016. The school has contributed significantly to the development of film education in Britain and across the world. Ka Ki Wong, is currently studying at the London Film School, focusing on an MA in Filmmaking. She has been actively making short films about human relationships and is constantly filming with her own personal experiences with people. Aesthetica talk to the filmmaker about her most recent projects and being accepted into notable film festivals.

A: How has your time at LFS helped to inspire and develop your practice as a filmmaker?
KKW: Throughout the cooperation with diverse people from other countries, I learned various work styles or techniques, sometimes I learn from others or develop others with my own skills. The collaboration with others also meant I gather more opinions from others, I learned not to be defensive about my work, but to listen carefully and choose what is the best for the film.

A: Your new film Revolve has been accepted by the Reykjavik International Film Festival in the Iceland Shorts category; what does this accomplishment mean to you in terms of career development and showcasing your work within a larger industry-led event?
KKW: It is actually the third time I got into this film festival. I am very happy about it. I really like the film industry in Iceland, I think the film industry there differs from the UK. The country and population in Iceland is so small, there aren’t many production companies, allowing them to work closely together and understand each other. Instead of competing with one another, they seem to unite faster as one big team facilitating filming and production. Also, the Icelandic landscape is also amazing and it suits the types of films that I would like to make.

A: Where did the inspiration for your film come from, and how did you begin to execute this in terms of structure, composition and style?
KKW: It is inspired from the painting Surprised by Henry Rousseau. I wanted to represent the state of the tiger in the painting; it does not know whether it is hunting or being hunted. I represent it with a girl looking through a pair of binoculars, seeing herself. This illustrates the cycle of being watched and watching through a confined space.

A: How does nature interact within the narrative?
KKW: I hope to obtain a dreamy feeling throughout the film, and I think the location helps a lot. It makes one feel that the girl is isolated from what is going on in the real world, and hence, she is actually living within her own thoughts.

A: How does this piece compare to other works you have created in terms of style?
KKW: This piece is quite similar to the works I have done before. They are both quite open-ended in terms of meaning of objects and characters. It has strong visual elements and details, especially the vibrant colours and high contrasting primary colours.

A: Why did you choose to use 16mm film, and what qualities do you think it brings to the frames?
KKW: It is one of the requirement of The London Film School project. I think it brings a more disciplined workflow on set. I have to think through what I really want to achieve before I take the shot. Every shot is designed and planned carefully. We also rehearsal a lot; both for the actress and the camera operator before taking the shots. In terms of the look, it did add an organic texture to the film.

A: What do you have planned in terms of future projects?
KKW: I will continue working on this visual style and narrative. However, I would like to make the narrative more concrete and steady. So that when one is watching my film, they spend time with the character remaining with them, rather than asking too many questions of the character. However, the visual elements will always remain a strong element in my future films.

1. Still from Ka Ki Wong’s Revolve. Courtesy of the filmmaker.