Domestic sci-fi movies embrace the future (deep observation)

  In 2019, the birth of "The Wandering Earth" aroused keen attention from all walks of life to Chinese science fiction films. This year was also called "the first year of Chinese science fiction films" by fans.

In 2020, the State Film Administration and the China Association for Science and Technology issued "Several Opinions on Promoting the Development of Science Fiction Films", proposing to make science fiction films an important growth point and a new source of power for the high-quality development of films.

A few days ago, the news that "The Wandering Earth 2" is being filmed has sparked a new wave of attention to Chinese science fiction films both inside and outside the industry.

  On May 21, the theme salon "How Chinese Science Fiction Films Tell Chinese Stories Well" hosted by the Science and Technology Communication and Film and Television Integration Office of China Association for Science and Technology and Peking University Film and Television Drama Research Center was held online. The domestic science fiction films are discussed from the perspectives of technology and industry, and relevant suggestions are given.

  Formulate long-term strategic measures

  Experts pointed out that since my country's first sci-fi film "Sixty Years Later Shanghai Beach" was released in 1939, my country has produced dozens of sci-fi films, but only a small number.

Early and mid-stage sci-fi films developed slowly.

After the horn of reform and opening up, with the implementation of the strategy of rejuvenating the country through science and education, China's science fiction culture has grown from nothing and has continued to flourish. Science fiction films such as "Whimsical", "Dead Light on Coral Island", "Thunderbolt" and "The Atmosphere Disappear" continue to emerge. .

Entering the new century, China’s connection with the world film market has deepened, and the creativity and production standards of sci-fi films have been significantly improved. “Changjiang No. 7” and “Space Rescue” actively draw on Western masterpieces to maintain their own national characteristics.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China regards promoting technological innovation and building a strong country as an important strategy for national rejuvenation. "The Wandering Earth" and "Crazy Alien" have become popular in the Spring Festival in 2019. The peculiar conception, grand layout and realistic scenes of "The Wandering Earth" " marks the improvement of the quality of domestic sci-fi films.

  Zhang Wei, executive vice president of the China Film Critics Association, believes that in order to promote the further prosperity of domestic sci-fi films, the creation of sci-fi films should be considered in the overall strategy of national scientific and technological power and technological innovation, and should be understood from the height of human and future social development. .

Science and technology provide realistic soil for science fiction, and science fiction opens up space for bold imagination for the development of science and technology.

Many major inventions in the history of science and technology are inseparable from science fiction literature and art. Many scientists claim to have read science fiction literature before embarking on the road of technological innovation.

"We should enrich and upgrade the concept of film, and believe that science fiction films can convey positive values ​​such as justice, bravery, and responsibility, convey our core values, and demonstrate my country's cultural soft power." Zhang Wei said.

  Pay attention to the frontiers of world science and technology

  Classic sci-fi films often have reasonable and bold ideas and innovative images, pay attention to the frontiers of science and technology of the times, construct scientific and technological hypotheses that surpass the modern times, and tap the aesthetic charm of cutting-edge science fiction themes.

From the performance of space travel, extraterrestrial visitors, interstellar warfare, laser remote sensing, artificial intelligence, to gene cloning, time tunnel, parallel time and space, quantum entanglement, virtual world, etc., these films reflect the progress of human modern technology. It also reflects the creator's extraordinary imagination, creativity and control.

  Chen Xuguang, a professor at Peking University, believes that the rise of my country's science fiction films, including fantasy and magic films, in recent years is precisely because these films conform to the imagination of young audiences and can satisfy their "imaginative consumption" needs.

Domestic sci-fi films should also actively pay attention to the frontiers of modern science and technology, adopt the perspective of contemporary science and technology, and further explore Chinese stories in terms of theme selection, plot setting, and image building, and reconstruct the prototype of Chinese mythology.

For example, "Wandering Earth" contains Chinese mythological prototypes such as Yugong Moving Mountains and Kuafu Chasing the Sun. The core idea of ​​"Wandering with the Earth Homeland" is a typical embodiment of Chinese imagination and Chinese thinking.

  Improve the scientific literacy of the main creators

  An excellent sci-fi film is inseparable from a creative team with profound scientific literacy.

When Christopher Nolan directed Interstellar, he invited well-known physicists from the California Institute of Technology as scientific advisors.

Some experts pointed out that Guo Fan is a respectable "science fiction fan", and his "Wandering Earth" has raised the standard of domestic science fiction movies.

Jun Bing, a professor at Sichuan University, believes that improving the scientific literacy of the main creative team of sci-fi films and the high-quality sci-fi films produced by them can indirectly promote the improvement of the scientific literacy of moviegoers and the enhancement of the innovation consciousness of the whole society.

  At present, there is still a gap between the professional teams and overall resources for the creation and production of science fiction films in my country compared with foreign countries, and there are not many directors of science fiction films.

The film industry should attach importance to cultivating professional sci-fi film creative talents, strive to improve their scientific literacy, and hire relevant scientists to escort them during film preparation and filming to ensure that the film has rigorous scientific logic, accurate scientific basis and reasonable scientific innovation.

  Leverage science fiction literature

  Adaptation of literary works is one of the important sources of film plays.

For domestic science fiction films, it is very necessary to borrow resources from science fiction literature.

Experts pointed out that compared with domestic sci-fi films, Chinese science fiction literature is magnificent: since the first creative climax in the 1950s and 1960s, excellent works have emerged one after another, such as Xiao Jianheng's "Booker's Adventure" and Ye Yonglie's "Petroleum Protein". ", Zheng Wenguang's "Flying to Sagittarius" and so on.

In 1980, Tong Enzheng's short story "Dead Light on Coral Island" was adapted into a film of the same name and released, both the novel and the film were well received.

Liu Cixin has become one of the most influential science fiction writers in the contemporary era.

His short stories "The Wandering Earth" and "Rural Teacher" have been successively put on the screen and have been highly recognized by the audience; his novel "Three-Body Problem" has also been adapted to the screen, and countless fans and audiences are eagerly looking forward to it.

  Chen Xuguang highly appreciates the adaptations of Liu Cixin's original novels "The Wandering Earth" and "Rural Teacher" by the movies "The Wandering Earth" and "Crazy Alien". He believes that from Liu Cixin's novels to Guo Fan and Ning Hao's films, they all reflect the surging emotions. The ability to recreate, as well as Chinese stories, Chinese wisdom and Chinese imagination, "this is exactly what the development of domestic sci-fi films needs."

  Combining the analysis of the foreign sci-fi blockbuster "Dune" released in my country not long ago and its unsatisfactory situation in the Chinese market, Chen Xuguang believes that the adaptation of sci-fi movies to the original sci-fi novels involves copyright, investors' willingness, popularity of the original works, and fans. There are “no rules” for multiple and complex factors, such as the number of people’s social media, and should be “based on the present, based on the local area, and encouraged to keep pace with the times and re-create boldly.”

  Increase investment in special effects industry

  One of the important reasons for the popularity of foreign sci-fi films is that they have novel, outstanding and unique special effects technology, creating fascinating visual spectacles.

Many internationally renowned sci-fi film directors have created professional special effects companies for their sci-fi films, and participated in the production of works such as "Star Wars", "Avatar" and "Lord of the Rings".

  According to reports, the current special effects production companies for domestic films mainly come from China, South Korea and the United States.

my country's film industrialization has made rapid progress in recent years, providing a certain material basis for the creation of science fiction films in terms of hardware facilities.

Well-known Chinese special effects companies include MORE VFX, which participated in the production of "The Wandering Earth", Spotlight and Shadow, which participated in the production of "Wolf Totem", and Tiangonghui, which participated in the production of "Long-hunting".

  Jun Bing believes that it is necessary to continue to increase attention and investment in the sub-sectors of the film and television industry such as film special effects, and build a world-class domestic special effect production team or company. Only then can the future practice and technological breakthroughs of domestic sci-fi films be fully guaranteed. International communication will have more initiative and right to speak.