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Producer Jamly Yang on never giving up and ‘The Screenwriter in the Restroom’

With every project Jamly Yang takes on, this renowned producer and director analyzes every aspect, making sure every single person can achieve their best work the moment they step onto her film set. This, she says, is the key to her success, as she is a detail-oriented filmmaker. Such an approach is vital to leading a cast and crew when working on a cinematic production, which is the most important aspect of her job.

Yang is a sought-after filmmaker both in her home country of China and abroad, and truly loves what she does. No matter the project, she knows how to transform it into a success, which she has done on award-winning films like The Invisible Superman and Billy’s Bear, as well as commercials for brands like Doritos, Nike, and Alpha Browser.

One of Yang’s first tastes of international success was the 2016 drama The Screenwriter in the Restroom. The film tells the story of a young screenwriter who is eager for the success of his career and hides in different toilets to eavesdrop on people's gossiping and jots them down in his notebook. However, when a young woman has a drug overdose and dies in front of the screenwriter, it changes his whole life.

Yang was the saving grace of the production, as she came in three days before shooting started after another producer quit. When she arrived on set, everything was in disarray and chaos after the change in leadership and lack of organization. This is when Yang’s attention to detail and superior problem-solving skills came into play. Immediately, she began tackling each and every issue head on.

“Looking back, this is the toughest project in my filmmaking career so far. It was so intense. After the first meeting, I found out there was no pre-production at all, all they had were casts and locations. I needed to do every other thing in three days. I stayed up two nights to get all the paperwork done, finding the crew and checking out cameras, making the schedule, doing wardrobe fitting for casts. I was almost burned out even before the shooting started, but as we always say in the industry, everyone in the crew can be in a panic, even the director, but not the producer. It was an enormous task, but at the same time, it was one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve ever had. I felt that there is nothing in filmmaking that I would be afraid of anymore,” said Yang.

Yang truly did swoop in and save the day. A project that before she arrived almost fell apart then became an international success, and even took home the award for Best Film at the Chandler International Film Festival, Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, and the Hollywood Boulevard International Film Festival, directly recognizing Yang and her outstanding work.

“Everything I went through was so worth it in the end. Not just because of these awards, but also the experience. The tight bond that formed between all crew members because of the tough time we had been through together just to achieve our dream will never be broken. The spirit of fighting for the same goal we were chasing for gave me a strong reason to keep going. I have a really deep connection and complicated emotion towards this project. It was frustrating and exhausting, but I completely loved it,” she concluded.

By Annabelle Lee
May 23rd, 2019

Producer Jamly Yang on never giving up and ‘The Screenwriter in the Restroom’ Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:19:00 AM Rating: 5
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