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Lights, camera, retro action!

By Wang Ru | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-20 09:43

A series of short films produced by Shenlouzhi Studio takes viewers on a journey back to ancient China. An incredible amount of work goes into making each video, ranging from historical research and tailoring authentic costumes to tracking down era-appropriate furniture and accessories. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Preserving dialects

All Shenlouzhi stories are told in dialects of their geographical origin. In other words, the characters speak the dialect of the place where the plot is set.

In Fuzhou, for instance, the studio collaborates with a dialect-protection group, which translates the scripts into the local tongue. Performers learn to speak the dialect or the group dubs for them.

"If we are focusing on ancient culture, we cannot speak modern languages," Wu Xuan says.

Wu Yicheng adds: "Many of the amateurs use dialects in their daily lives. When they speak the same during performances, emotions naturally flow."

So far, the studio has uploaded a series of short films based in what is now Suzhou city, Jiangsu province, and Fuzhou. These cover the Ming Dynasty, Southern Song Dynasty and other historical periods.

When Wu Xuan edits a video, he often adds surreal effects. "The idea is to offer our audiences a narrative that seems like a dream. These are extraordinary stories about ordinary people who are far from us in time and space," he says.

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