Hi, Xiangwu Xie. Thank you for speaking to us today. The film Wings you have produced is about childhood and education, responsibility, the generation gap and coming-of-age experiences. As a generation Z director and producer, how did you decide to deal with this parental topic, if we may ask?
The director Jane Xu wanted to focus on animal and pet topics. Then we decided to reveal this concept from a child's point of view cause the adult's world is more complicated. Also, cruelty to animals is usually a habit from childhood. So we would like to start from the beginning. After confirming the topic, we began to dig deeper into why this educational failure will happen. We created a family who used to fight and shirk responsibility.
JANUARY 2022 EDITION
It could be said that this short film vaguely takes its inspiration from Stand by me by Bob Reiner because it is a coming-of-age story. But that was back in 1986! What would be an inspiration for the film that would be closer to your generation? And now we have mentioned age, may we ask how old you are?
Bad Seed is a good inspiration. It talked about the malice of kids. Sometimes it comes from education and family, and sometimes it just comes from nowhere. We researched child crime and discovered that children's malice is scarier than we thought. I'm 26 now; back to my childhood, I find that children are more courageous to show their malice because they don't know it's malicious; it's just human nature.
As spectators, we are left to our own devices, apportioning blame for the demise of the budgerigar, which is clever because, as adults, we should know that the child is not responsible. The adults are. They let their child have a pet and experiment, taking responsibility and teaching by example. But the adults end up quarrelling and not teaching by example at all. What is pivotal in parental education in modern-day America? How well are parents doing in 2023?
No matter which country, the most important thing in education is communication. In the developing process, we shared our childhood experiences and learned that no one's childhood is perfect. All of us are trying to perfect ourselves step by step. As a member of an Asian family, the parent always wants to control your life, and they give themselves so much pressure and responsibility. Oppositely, some American parents insist on giving their children more freedom. Both extremes can lead to harmful consequences.
Although covid has brought many tragedies, the quarantine gave us more opportunities for communication. Understanding each other will be the key to avoiding the worst situation happens.
So many questions actually spring to mind? Why was the child left alone by her parents when she was looking after a friend's pet? Even more so, why was the little girl left alone with two other children her age? Where was the adult supervision?
As I said, companionship and understanding may be more important than education. Most parents only want to give their children material wealth but ignore spiritual support. So the child's room is full of toys, let her sleep alone at night, and spend money to buy another life to accompany her, all of which are evasion of education. But what a child needs most is for his parents are by his side. Children cannot think independently, and it is more important to stop them in time when they make wrong choices than to re-educate them afterwards. It is usual for children to make mistakes when they are young, and parents are sometimes not even qualified to blame because they have not taught their children what is right at all.
Do you think taking responsibility comes from being left alone as a child? We see that the girl protagonist is on her own again as she deals with burying her bird herself, a living experience essential in coming of age. However, the parents are at each other's throats when she goes about the burial and, again, do not play their part in their child's education. Have 21st Century parents totally given up?
I believe parents in the 21st century are now paying attention to this issue, probably due to the Internet's iteration and the information's popularity. Just like the parents in this film, they understand the existence of the problem and want to correct it their way, but they choose the wrong way again.
You are touching on the issue of peer pressure. Do you think peer pressure is vital from a very early age?
Yes, I think it is one of the human natures. It happens even in the wild, and I believe human education and civilization are the core of resisting the wrong side of nature.
You already have impressive filmography. Any upcoming projects you would like to share?
Now I'm working in a film production studio as a producer. We are a professional group with experience in producing commercials, music videos, and short films, and we desire to bring our fantasy to the real world. Welcome, all filmmakers, to contact us and do great projects together.
Xiangwu Xie is a bi-cultural film producer and artist passionate about storytelling. She has experience across different industries, and her work ranges from theatre drama to filmmaking. Xiangwu Xie earned her Bachelor's Degree in Performing Arts from Shenyang Conservatory of Music, Liaoning, China. Then, with enthusiasm for filmmaking, she went to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Atlanta to achieve a master's degree in film and television.
The acting experience gives her a precise vision for directing actors in her works. She has directed and produced dozens of short films, commercials, and music videos over the past few years.
As a producer, the film she produced, "Wings", has been nominated at the Cannes World Film Festival and entered as a finalist in Flicker's Rhode Island International Film Festival, NewFilmmakers NY Film Festival, and Student Los Angeles Film Awards.
Wings (Short film) - Producer (2021)
Remorse (Short film) - Director (2021)
How Are You (Short film) - Director (2020)
Rocketeer (Short film) - Producer (2019)
Fade (Short film) - Producer, Director (2019)
Dinner (Short film) - Producer, Director (2019)
See you (Short film) - Producer, Director (2019)
The Note (Short film) - Producer, Director (2019)
SCAD Safe Ride (Commercial) - Producer (2019)
Terre D'Hermes (Commercial) - Director (2019)
Under My Feet (Music video) - Producer, Director (2019)
ITW: Isabelle Rouault-Röhlich