action shot camera

More thoughts on ARTTL Part 1

I thought I would share more thoughts I had about the first movie for A Round Trip to Love, even though I had shared my initial thoughts about it before. However, after watching it so many times over, I have finally realised how great this production is, how amazing the cast and crew have been in their planning of every action, gesture, expression, camera shot, camera angle and more. I guess what I really want to express is, the novel may be different from the movie, but that doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t as good. A main difference would probably be Lu Feng, because we get to see his side of things now, and although events may be slightly different from the novel, I have to say, I truly admire how they’ve shown their love story in a whole new way. Before I continue, I’ll just say that this is going to be a long post, so let’s begin…

A gunshot is fired. What is going on? Who are they? Before we can understand what’s going on, we’ll have to look at their story that goes all the way back to their youth.

I want to focus on Lu Feng for this post today. Why? Well, there’s a variety of reasons, but I guess it’s mainly because I don’t think people see his pain as easily because of his personality. We’ll have to go back to the young teenage Lu Feng then. In his youth, we can see a bubbly, cheerful Lu Feng that wasn’t presented much in the novel. We see a silly side to him when he eats his yoghurt messily, sees his childish competitive spirit come out as he races with the stranger at the race track and a shy teenager in love as he hesitates to put his arm around the oblivious Yi Chen.

He goes a little far at times, especially that time at his house with Yi Chen as his anger gets the better of him, but we see a gentle side to him when he comforts Yi Chen, hugging him and carrying him home, all the while trying to express his feelings as best as he can, even though he’s not good with words. There’s a romantic side to him as well when he sneaks out with Yi Chen to give him the ring (that he designed) in a room he decorated, and although the moment is short-lived, in that moment, they are both content by just being together.

But people change, and we can see this gradual change in Lu Feng years after when they meet again.

The first shot we get of Lu Feng is this — a cold expression with a frightening sharp stare. It feels as if all the warmth has been sucked out of him. Why?

But then, Lu Feng makes a surprise visit. “Fix my computer,” he says. But he doesn’t seem to be all that bothered about it as he first questions where Yi Chen’s “girlfriend” is at. Here, we see hints of the teenage him when he says “I’m hungry”, obviously wanting Yi Chen to make him some food. Is this not similar to his whining in the past? He then leaves Yi Chen with his keys and tells Yi Chen to find him with those keys when he’s ready to start anew with him.

Alas, a misunderstanding pops up as Yi Chen finds out about the marriage. He doesn’t know that Lu Feng has been trying to cancel it. This is where we first see the beast in Lu Feng. Yi Chen hands him his resignation letter coldly, and he’s furious. Why was Yi Chen still refusing him after all these years? He doesn’t understand, he has tested Yi Chen a few times for his reaction, he knows he still has feelings for him, so why? The pain of the refusal then builds up on the pain of the lack of replies from all the letters he had written when he was overseas and Yi Chen’s words as he said that he had lost the ring. This pain is finally too much to take, and he releases it by trying to force himself on Yi Chen.

I think this was the most heartbreaking scene for me. Lu Feng’s confusion and pain was so clearly depicted in his silence when Yi Chen uttered the words “I don’t love you anymore”. That pause and silence had made my heart stop for a second there.

Then Yi Chen finds out about the letters he wrote, and you may think that everything’s going to be fine and dandy from then on… until you see the trailer for the second movie.

I have to say, his lines in the trailer still echo in my head from time to time. The image of him lying alone and hurt in bed while looking at the wedding invitation was painful, but what made it so powerful for me was probably his words. “All of you better watch out, one day, I, Lu Feng, will stand up again.” After giving up the world for the one that makes his world, Yi Chen betrays him by getting married. Of course, we know Yi Chen has his troubles too, he has to keep his promise to his mother, but the fury in Lu Feng is unleashed. It’s bone-chilling really, to even think about what he does to Yi Chen from then on, but let me go back to the start.

The gunshot. Lu Feng’s shocked expression when he sees Yi Chen shielding him. We see his worried self at the hospital, obviously having snapped out of his blinding anger. He realises what he has done, what he had been doing. But as to what happens next, we’ll have to wait for the next movie to be released or wait till I finish translating :-)

Of course, Yi Chen has suffered his fair share of pain as well. Both sides have been suffering throughout the years. When Lu Feng left, Yi Chen had to face everyone and everything alone, his teachers, his schoolmates, his family. To be stuck between your family and your lover is probably one of the greatest pain in the world. Not only that, he has to live as if nothing has happened, and that means no one to confide in, no one to rely on. His trust in the world and his confidence is shattered, as many of you would know from the novel, so I won’t drag this post any longer by elaborating. (Because his pain pains me too :’))

What I really wish to say is, we should give credit when we should, and this is definitely a production to appreciate. As the crew has said before countless of times, they have poured blood, sweat, tears and a heck lot of money into this, and I would say, this really deserves to be on the big screen. The actors have done a really good job, especially at expressing the characters’ emotions, so I’m really looking forward to see more from them. All in all, although this probably isn’t the best platform to do so, I want to extend a big thank you to them, and of course to all the viewers here accompanying me too. Let’s show them our support so that they know what they’ve been doing is worth it all and that the next movie can come out soon!

Birblr Photography: Harder Than It Looks

Sometimes the stars align, your camera is out, your bird wants to pose, and you capture that 24 parrot gold!

Most of the time though, bird owners are left with 90% of their pictures looking like some awful abstract art…

Or makes it appear as if your bird is morphing into another dimension…

Seriously, WTF is going on with Willa’s head?


Half the times, all the bird wants to do is eat your phone or camera…


And don’t forget, birds blink just like humans and ruin even the most seemingly perfect photo shoot…


Action shots on an outdated camera phone? Forget about it!


And just when you think you captured the perfect picture for your holiday card… the horrible lighting in your kitchen destroys it!

We are hard at work, trying for those perfect photos for you Birblr, but in the meantime, please enjoy some of these outtakes! 

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Master and Commander 

DOP - Russell Boyd
Format - Arriflex and Panavision Cameras 200T 500T
Lenses - Panavision Primos and Cooke Lenses
Aspect Ratio - 2.35 : 1 
Delivery - Digital Intermediate 2K, 35mm 

Notable Strengths - Aerial Cinematography, Use of Natural Light, Use of Limited Set, Wide Angles, Action Sequences, Medium Shots, Dynamic Camera Movement, Capturing of Practicals