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23/03/2022 - 14:46

Back to the Nguyen Dynasty by CGI technology

Being willing to spend his own money to make short films with the modernist method, a slice of the Nguyen Dynasty has been vividly re-created by the young guy Nguyen Phung Minh Luan.

Making trees and landscapes by CGI technology

Cultivating dream

15 years ago, CGI was an out-of-sight dream with Minh Luan. At that time, although CGI technology (Computer Generated Imagery) was no longer strange with the fans of blockbuster movies, in Vietnam, it was still a relatively new field.

He recalled: “For me, the images created from computer graphics bring about indescribable attraction. At that time, my decision of leaving the southern capital for Lasalle College of Arts (Singapore) was opposed and sneered at. However, it was not a reason making me give up the dream of conquering the field of cinematic effects”.

After months under training, Minh Luan worked in the field of animation production then continued to take a degree-by-examination on technique making. He has spent the whole 15 years in his life, 13 years in Singapore, 2 years in Australia, for hard learning and working. With an experience of more than 5 years working for the technique company called Double Negative, he started to be known after continuously making impressions in blockbuster movies such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Fast & Furious, Thor (season 2 – 3), Godzilla, etc. 

“After many years scurrying abroad, I still want to make and create something with my skills and effort, so that when it comes to my cultural root, I can be proud for trying to develop a new way, a new experience,” he confided.

To fulfill his dream, Minh Luan came back to Vietnam. With the expertise in using technology and high technique to create the most realistic scenes and details, the CGI technology has helped him to complete “Co Du”, his own movie product.

A time of glory

This was the first private project that the 8X guy has made after coming back to his hometown. The movie contains the film footage using CGI technology to re-create the scenes and stuff that have faded over the years, reviving a part of the daily life of the Nguyen aristocrats.

Coming to Hue and many other places to learn, he informed: “As a project related to history and culture, the trips and document collection are essential. Not only do I listen and take a look but I also have to take a deeper perceiving about the depth and cultural values of a time, especially Hue’s relics, architectures, and temples”.

Not only spending over half a billion VND from his own budget, the 8X guy has also been meticulous in 10 months for the film’s post-production process. From the tiny details such as decoration, couplets, to lighting setup, handling the green screen errors,… each background was meticulously elaborated by him. After nearly a year under processing, his 300-second “mental child was born”.

Wishing viewers to gain the most authentic emotions, the movie has no dialogues. The beauty of the movie was subtly shown through the harmony from both context and the actors’ honest performance.  The power of music, the sound of pouring water and bell ringing, as well as the image of the lanterns hung up on the wall to the way of wearing scarves and dressing Hue traditional costumes, all details have accurately and emotionally re-created a slice of the Nguyen aristocrats’ daily life.

Nguyen Phung Minh Luan also cooperated with La Quoc Bao, a young man who has the same passion for carrying out researching about Vietnam culture and traditional costumes. He said: ‘That was “Hoa Quan Le Phuc”, a series of projects enthusiastically re-creating the Nguyen Dynasty costumes that La Quoc Bao and I are carrying on. We introduced our first work which was inspired by the dress of Queen Nam Phuong, this was the first dress she wore in her wedding with Emperor Bao Dai in 1934. I hope to be able to re-create and restore the traditional values, as well as spread the love for our culture and root to young people.

Story: Mai Hue

Photo provided by the interviewer

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