top of page
Award Winner

Festival Season:

March 2024

No More Gravity At Night

No More Gravity At Night

Directors:

Writers:

Producers:

Run Time:

Jaron Wong
Jaron Wong, Alexander Lee
Sabrina Jane
0:27:31

Awarded for the following Category(s):

Awarded Category(s)

In an abandoned cement yard in the southern suburbs, a group of workers living in a utopian memory plot a "demolition" to make a quick buck. Chen Qing, a young boy among the workers, hopes to use his actions and even sacrifice himself in order to take his uncle away from this place, in order to wake up his young heroic uncle. At night, his relationship with his uncle had become subtly close, rigid, and broken, and his quicksand memory was like this dusty cement factory, eventually buried in dust.


Submitter Statement

Director's exposition of No More Gravity in the Night Jaron Wong 


I. Explanation of the title and theme: 

In the story of "No More Gravity at Night", we try to explore: the memory of the past, forbidden love, the struggle of the past, the collapse of faith and so on. "Night" Chen Qing and Yang Ming relationship has had a subtle close to the rigid rupture, they are living in the memory of the past, even if each other have the idea of wanting to leave, will be again and again poured out. It was not until the moment of the "disappearance of gravity" really happened in reality that the roar of the explosion really woke up this group of people trapped in the memory utopia like the morning bell and the evening drum, and these people really began to get rid of the "gravity" that bound them. Xiao Li realized the true face of Yang Ming, decided to leave; Lao Jin's blasting work ended and he lost his rights; After Yang Ming loses Xiao Li and Chen Qing, he realizes that he‘s former glory is no longer there . Chen Qing realized that Yang Ming is no longer like the past, lost after putting down the obsession, alone with the past goodbye. 


2. Scene scheduling: 

Atmosphere element 

The mining fields of the southern suburbs are a primitive, chaotic and dangerous place. In late autumn and early winter, the outdoor light is softer, the light is relatively small, and the vegetation is yellow, so we try to use more beautiful large color blocks, such as yellow tarpaulin, green water tank, red parasol, hanging green wine bottles to enrich the color contrast, heating this relatively dim space, but we also want to retain the sand particles of the space, Therefore, more blue nets are embellished on the sand pile, so that there is a certain difference in visual temperature between the shed and the construction site outside the shed, and together to strengthen the "coarse grain feeling" we want. In Chen Qing's fantasy, we shaped the whole shed as "unreal", "crumbling", "dusty", making them like a group of newly unearthed cultural relics. 

The workers' dormitory is a private place for Chen Qing and Yang Ming. In the south, the interior is cold and damp, and the walls of the construction site dormitory are cold and gray. Here, more elements are needed to represent the characters and living habits of the two people. So we use some colorful furniture and decoration and even light to add a touch of warmth to the room, but the tone is still retained gray cold and damp, Chen Qing can produce some more delicate actions and communication with Yang Ming in this scene. But the bleak environment also indicates that his actions will not really change the status quo. The cellophane on the window beside Chen Qing's bed is like a kaleidoscope, which is also very much like Chen Qing will take the memory of the past to see the current Yang Ming. 

The ruins of Xiaoli and Yang Ming's private meeting are like a collapsed church, the ruins of the factory itself are the collapsed beliefs of Yang Ming, Xiaoli these workers, and also the place where Chen Qing, the teenager who is obsessed with Yang Ming, witnessed the collapse of his faith. The container of old Jin and Chen Qing making love is a secret place, it is cold, overgrown, hanging transparent plastic film on the window, also suggesting that Chen Qing wants to hide the secret, but the film was broken, Chen Qing's secret was found by Yang Ming, the lost Chen Qing walked out of the container in the pool side to look at himself, behind the fence on a large number of color blocks of clothes like a wall, Compress Chen Qing's space, showing his state of nowhere to hide in this space. 

Xiao Li and Yang Ming farewell pavilion can clearly look down to the construction site at the foot of the mountain, here is to bid farewell to the "besieged city" to the reality of the station, but also Xiao Li to Yang Ming's last chance. From the beginning to the end, the elements that run through Chen Qing's story line, whether it is the handkerchief of the art troupe or the military uniform, contain the good memory of young Yang Ming. Whether Chen Qing put on Yang Ming's "military uniform" or "get reparations for the injury", it is in order to awaken Yang Ming's "young memory" and thus promote the narrative. 


Spatial structure shaping: 

We made the main scene of the construction site into a threshold space with the sand pile as the axis, and scattered the green dot gauze on the sand pile to make the sand pile become a visual center. The opening machine is bent to the flat shooting Chen Qing standing on the sand pile to embrace the sand mountain. Cut to the mountain Yang Ming into the painting, the camera follows Yang Ming's back and slowly moves forward. After Yang Ming's painting, the camera continues to drop down to the sand pile on the axis, the workshed beside the sand pile, the scattered workers at the foot of the mountain, the blue-roofed pavilion on another hill and the workers' dormitory not far away, and the information of the whole space is included in a single lens. 

The space of the factory ruins is relatively independent, and we added density to the space to make the afternoon light more obvious through the room. Overhead shot Chen Qing through the woods, towards the whole space, the panorama suggests Chen Qing's negativity and loneliness. In the final panorama of the three people, we let them be separated by the spatial structure, because Yang Ming Xiaoli has just experienced unpleasant sexual intercourse, and Chen Qing has just witnessed the first collapse of his faith, and the three people are very lonely and decadent. The characters also arrange a pause on the schedule, which is a hesitation to think about the future, and in the later story, the three people also make different choices. 

The space of the workers' dormitory is divided by cellophane with kaleidoscope pattern until Chen Qing finally opens the window, and the stone piles inside and outside the dormitory are connected in space, so we use a shot and the scheduling of actors to let the camera pass through the window, so that Yang Ming's collapse is delayed from inside the dormitory to the stone piles. Strengthen the inner suffering of this middle-aged man, and witness Chen Qing's disappointment. 


Character scheduling guides the story: 

The characters begin the story from the main scene, and then start to appear in small scenes. With the development of the story, the characters return to the main scene from various small scenes. Based on the characteristics of each scene, we distribute the design and scheduling. Initially let people 

The actions of objects increase the scope to construct the world view, and use the "side lines" of character discovery to explore more on their own. Workers were Lao Jin rushed down from the top of the mountain to bully Chen Qing, Yang Ming heard the sound in the shed also went to the sand pile to save Chen Qing. Give another example 

For example, "in the drama of queuing for dinner", Lao Jin and his men were angry and dared not speak when they jumped the queue, and the resistance of other workers when Yang Ming jumped the queue was contrasted, showing that Yang Ming was not so authoritative as Lao Jin, and laying the foreshadowing for Yang Ming to be beaten by workers. 

By giving the characters information guidance, we let the characters act on their own, and reveal the next information while observing and acting. With the deepening of the "demolition work", the characters begin to return to the main scene, at this time, the relationships of the characters and the information that the characters learn have changed, until Chen Qing is injured by the explosion, and the plot is gradually narrowed in scope and advanced in depth. This scene takes place at the construction site, but the scene is divided into: at the foot of the construction site, on the way to the shed, and outside the shed. This better reflects the mind of the character shuttle, this spatial change, is to give the signal of the character. Lao Jin took the workers to Chen Qing back close to the shed after this we swung to Yang Ming, but the camera has been coming from the workers and Lao Jin's voice, let us wonder what is happening in the shed? Is Chen Qing safe now? At the same time, based on the character relationship previously foreshadowed, we will also wonder what Yang Ming will do? Whether he and Lao Jin will have conflicts again and increase the tension. Everything is based on the reaction of the characters, and the scheduling of the characters is also used to progress the space. 


The design idea of the place:

 In the setting of the scene where Yang Ming saves Chen Qing for the first time, we leave the problem to the scene itself, what you see is what you get. The scene of the first rescue of Chen Qing and the last crouching of Chen Qing was chosen in the main scene: the center of the construction site - the sand pile. 

 In the workers' dormitory, we separated a more private space for Yang Ming in the existing space, which deepened the gap between Chen Qing and Yang Ming and Yang Ming's dissatisfaction with Chen Qing's trouble in the morning. It was not until Chen Qing mentioned the brilliance of the art troupe that Yang Ming chose to walk out of the curtain and break the gap. And the second dormitory in the play: Chen Qing and Yang Ming's relationship rigid that, we in the era of Kanjing into the simulation of character mentality, sitting on the bed Yang Ming sleeping, side up slightly look up can see the deep corridor. Yang Ming got up very formally and rushed to Chen Qing who stayed at the door and said, "You make me feel sick", and then our camera slowly pulled back from Yang Ming to Chen Qing's prospect, which can let the audience see more intuitively, more empathize with and pity Chen Qing. 

 

 3. Narrative style: 

 The whole movie uses "blasting" as the key clue of the whole story. The fate and actions of each person before and after the explosion are closely related to the explosion. Chen Qing wants to get reparations through blasting, earn money to take his uncle away; Lao Jin wants to gain the respect of other workers by blasting; After the explosion, Xiao Li wants Yang Ming to marry her; Yang Ming wants his rights back after the explosion. But after "blasting", Chen Qing was injured and dying; Lao Jin began to reflect that his power was crumbling; Xiao Li disappointed Yang Ming, choose to leave; Yang Ming lost his self-esteem because he lost the people around him and the workers beat him up. They are awakened by the roar of reality, and the "gravity" that binds them to the "memories of the past" slowly fades. 

 

 4. Sound design: 

 In addition to Chen Qing's fantasy, the sound design of the whole film attaches importance to realistic expression techniques to restore the sound environment of the characters' lives. We use the sound effects of machines in the workplace to show authenticity, and we also pay attention to the expression of emotions. In Chen Qing's environment, we use the sound of beer bottles and bells hanging in the workshop to show the flow of emotions, and the magnificent strings will start slowly after this foundation, and Chen Qing's heart is like a hero: "Yang Ming from the past" comes on with an emotional burst of music, wiping away the "past pain" of Chen Qing and everyone here. In the last scene, Chen Qing was completely disappointed with his uncle. He returned to the sand pile in the morning, the only one that left him a good memory on the construction site. The wind blew over, the handkerchief got rid of gravity, and Chen Qing fell to the ground. 

 5. Creative inspiration: In the film, this mining place filled with a desolate and oppressive atmosphere is the portrayal of my inner hometown. I was born in Xinjiang, a place surrounded by deserts and full of various cultures. It is a gathering place of ethnic minorities. With the development of the west, a large number of southern Chinese moved here and the military began to be stationed here. People come from all over the world and have different beliefs, so it is inevitable that there will be conflicts. Moreover, the northwest has been a wild and bitter place since ancient times, and disputes often occurred. However, the resources in the Northwest were rich, and the rich resources and sufficient development opportunities allowed people to put aside disputes. At that time, the Northwest had an industrial era equal to that of the Northeast. 

 But as resources dwindled, some soes closed and laid off workers. This led to a resurgence of conflict and violence, and the government took extremely tough measures to quell the riots. Since then, police stations have lined up in Xinjiang, and police officers patrol the streets daily with live ammunition. Fireworks and knives are controlled, and public speech is monitored. The storm in the northwest returned to calm, but people's psychology began to suppress. 

 Large numbers of mainlanders moved out of Xinjiang after the riots, and other families who have settled down are raising their children to become adults and moving their hukou back to the south. People began to want to leave this place where it was no longer glorious. My grandfather, who used to work as a miner and repair electrical circuits in mines, told me that isolated places like mines and caves have their own rules, even their own polity. So I abstracted the elements of my hometown and put them here 

 A mine also surrounded by sand and gravel. Yang Ming Xiao Li Lao Jin is the experience of the end of the industrial age, they are just as obsessed with the glorious past as we are.

I was born in Urumqi, Xinjiang. As a child, I traveled with my parents back and forth between Xinjiang and the mainland, and the separation of two different cultures was painful to me. 


When I was very young, there were many immigrants in Xinjiang. Some of them fled to Xinjiang after the founding of the People's Republic of China because their ancestors were traitors and landlords. Some regiments were transferred to Xinjiang after the "War of Liberation", and some businessmen came to "rush for gold" during the Western development period. They speak different dialects and have different beliefs, such as Islam, Buddhism and Christianity. At that time, Xinjiang had a large population and abundant resources. However, with the closure and lay-offs of some state-owned enterprises and the dwindling of natural resources, security issues began to emerge and violence broke out. As a result, our everyday items, such as knives and fireworks, are controlled. People are always down. Middle school and high school teachers often say: "You must get a good score in the college entrance examination to leave the northwest" This repressed emotion has been accumulated until a fire during the new coronavirus. 


My grandfather, who also moved from the interior, was a miner in his youth, working on the electrical circuits in the mines. The mine, he told me, was like another world, or another country, with its own polity, rules and punishments. 


Inspired by these words and the experiences of my hometown, I decided to put the "repression, violence and former glory" of my hometown in an isolated mine, and from this I created No More Gravity in the Night.

Key Cast

Alexander Lee, Riven Wu, Cyril Chung, Mengyang Jiang, Zexin Nie

Other Credits

bottom of page