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Yukiko's "Shanghai I Love You" Diary

22 December 2015

Yukiko Jauffret won the script competition for Shanghai I Love You. As she embarks on the process of transforming her script "The Canary" into a film, she writes this diary:

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Wow! I already have a feeling inside telling me that this project is going to be exceptional and a great experience for everyone involved. I feel really lucky to be a part of Shanghai I Love You. I was really amazed to have won the script competition; I was shocked but so happy at the same time. Especially to be the youngest, I thought it would feel pressurizing at first because I wouldn’t be able to stand up for myself and share my opinions, but it wasn’t that hard at all, all thanks to Mr Groark and his film team for supporting me. I think I have some really great people in my group.

At first, deep down I really wanted to be the director of my film but, at the same time, I wanted to give people a chance and I did. Now I have an amazing director, Jess Milsom. I think she’s going to be outstanding. She has really strong opinions and a very similar clear vision of the story to me and has already brought up many new ideas that I hadn’t thought through before. I will be working at her side as she asks me for my opinions, she really listens to me and I feel comfortable around her.

Basically, the main theme of my story is the connections between the generations in Shanghai. I did this by writing the story of a little girl living with her grandparents and her grandmother has passed away recently. Ever since, the grandfather has been depressed and uniquely taking care of his canary which was the last strand of his wife that he had. This made his granddaughter think, so she frees the bird thinking this would also free her grandfather to get out of his comfort zone. In the end, he is interacting with the outside world once again. My story is showing that it’s not always the older ones that need to help us, but we also need to help them.

I am extremely excited to start the project and I have already thought of lots of the visual ideas. I can’t wait to start producing the film, but I know that every bit of it will be fun and, if not, still a good experience to have had. I know that sometimes it might get tough, but we just have to keep going and fight through it, even to change to plan B if it’s not worth bugging on for so long. As I said before, we have a director with a very strong opinion; this can lead us both in and out of problems, but we will try our best to fix them. I think we will have to respect the complicated boundaries, but that will be hard because of the high creativity levels in our crew – not naming anyone, but Amiee Burlamacchi has been sourced as “creative.”

Film has never really lingered in my mind before but, as soon as I heard about this, I thought it would be really cool to produce a film. It’s obviously not going to be a “perfect and smooth” process, but I know for sure with the team I have it’s going to be a “perfect and smooth” result! Now that I am involved with film, I have little fairy lights flashing in my mind about it, but it’s not definite.

By Yukiko Jauffret