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Yuanhao Du directs and produces his award-winning film ‘On the Other Side’

Yuanhao Du still remembers the exact moment he fell in love with movies. He was only six years of age when he first watched RoboCop, a young Chinese boy who didn’t understand the words that were being said but was captivated by what he saw on the screen. He created his own story for the characters, imagining he was the one making the movie. Every time he watched, the story in his head change, and he became enchanted with the idea of one day making a movie of his own.

Now, as an internationally sought-after director and producer, Du is, in fact, living that dream that he set out on when he was only six. Known for films like his award-winning drama Patrick, as well as Speeches of Freedom, A Mother’s Love, and many more, Du’s versatility as both a director and producer make him a force to be reckoned with.

“Film is another kind of language. It is so powerful. It is magical how it makes people believe what the filmmakers want them to believe. You can talk to a man for the whole day, and he still might not believe you, but if he watches a film about what you try to tell him, he might find it easier to accept. Each department has their own way to communicate with the audience and make them believe the story they try to tell; camera, acting, lighting, editing, music, etc. All of these combine together and become fascinating magic – film language. If there is any real magic that exists in this world, then it must be filmmaking,” he said.

Du has recently had yet another success with his film On the Other Side. The film premiered last year and has gone on to impress fans and critics alike at film festivals all over the world. It took home the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2018 Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, and this year, it was an Official Selection at the SDC Film Festival and a Semi-Finalist at the Independent Talents International Film Festival.

On the Other Side tells the story of an old, sick man who goes to a bar to drink in memory of a special day when he meets a young photographer. They have a conversation about life and at the end, the old man realizes the young man is not just a photographer, but a guide. It is based off an urban myth that death uses photographs to take people’s lives.

“I like the idea of how death takes people’s life away. People usually think death is horrible and scary, but maybe it's beautiful. The reason why we are afraid of death is because we are disappointed with our life and we don't want to end just like that. It's wrong if you think about your life as terrible, because life is always beautiful. The best way to overcome the fear of death is by enjoying your every day and treasure the opportunities you have,” said Du.

In addition to directing and producing On the Other Side, Du wrote the film, making it his creative baby and greatly responsible for its continued success. Because he wrote the script, he had an exact understanding of how the film should be made. He designed the shots and the floor plan, made the storyboard, shot list, and reference book for lighting, camera, production design, and more, and led every department in his roles. Such detail earned him instant respect from the crew and made for a seamless experience during production, easily overcoming any obstacles that arose while filming.

“I met many friends while working on this project, and I’m still working with many of them today. At the very beginning, we were strangers, and then I earned their trust by my hard work,” he concluded. “Filmmaking is not just a job, it’s also a great place to make friends. It felt good to direct a script that I had wrote myself and then see the footage become a film; my words became a motion picture, just like I’d dreamed when I was a kid.”

By Annabelle Lee
May 6th, 2019

Yuanhao Du directs and produces his award-winning film ‘On the Other Side’ Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:59:00 PM Rating: 5
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