Since its release, "Animal World" has been well received by both the general movie-goers and film critics, for its well-constructed plot and fascinating visual effects. A joint production of Shanghai Ruyi Films, Shanghai Huolongguo Films, and Beijing Enlight Media, "Animal World" is a thriller starring Yifeng Li, Michael Douglas, and Dongyu Zhou, directed by Yan Han. The film was adapted from Japanese Manga Artist Fukumoto Nobuyuki’s work Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (Ultimate Survivor Kaiji) and tells the story of main character and vigilante clown, Kaisi Zheng, battling an array of monsters in a mysterious city.
"Animal World" is a manga film adaptation, what elements of this genre are attractive to you as a DP?
Yan Han is a director who puts a lot of effort into visuals. Even though his last film was a big hit, it’s very rare to find a film that focuses on visual storytelling in China. As is the case for most DPs, it is much more interesting to work on a film that has a lot of visual requirements along with having a good story. Personally, I love this kind of stylized film since it gives me the chance to really push the creative possibilities. We spent a lot of time on preparation and testing, many behind-the-scenes clips are online, and we did a walkthrough of our storyboard. We tried to make a film that’s both attractive and visually-compelling to the audience.
How did the use of storyboards come into play in this production?
The benefit of a storyboard is that you have the director’s viewpoints illustrated very clearly.; this is very important to me as a DP. We spent a lot of time making and revising the storyboard during the prep, and we stuck to the storyboard for most of the shoot. Language is generally not as detailed as storyboards when it comes to preproduction. It was more accurate to discuss ideas over a storyboard; that was the easiest and most effective way to coordinate with the director on this project.