Teaser video of my hybrid feature film project "Falling Grief". The "theatre play" reflects the journey of the story and also my improvising filmmaking process.

Practical project description:


"Falling Grief" is a feature length hybrid film crossing over different media to tell a story about mental illness existing in our society. Almost every person with city life is suffering from a different level of mental problem, the matter is how to deal with it rather than suppressing it. The second key message is to question the boundary between reality and dream, in terms of ancient oriental philosophical interpretation.


The main similarity between the content of this film and my research about improvisation is that they are both hard to clearly identify.
I adopt the notion of oriental philosophy (mainly Taoism, together with some Shinto) to interpret what reality is in the film. It seems hard to explain scientifically and concretely because they involve supernatural and personal belief. Similarly, even I mention in the research that there are deliberate and coincidential  improvisations respectively, improvisation itself is still a subjective topic.
At the same time, my other message about mental problems can also be understood from the perspective of personal feeling and instinct. I believe those contents in the story somehow creates a cause and consequence effects, to let me unfold my journey with improvisation.


In regards of the format of the film, besides putting 2D footages of a theatre play, 16mm shots and digitally produced film, there is also about 10 mins VR video at the end of the film. The audience can choose either simply watching the edited version on the screen, or experiencing it through the VR headsets in an immersive way.

This exposition is divided into two parts (practice and research):




This page gives more details about the concepts of the story, the background of the starting point of the production, and the description of my method used with various technologies help to achieve the hybrid format.




This page contains information of the research questions, Improvisation reference in other films, and my process of improvising filmmaking with the reflection research outcome.

Self-made leaflet used in the film as the VR exhibition of a topic about reality and death. The Implication of the film content and my research pathway. 

Research project description:


Upon working on my hybrid film project "Falling Grief", I coincidentally explore the field of improvising filmmaking.
My research and master thesis is the reflection process of how I converted my problem solving skills to planned improvisation during the adverse filming condition.
I tend to undergo my reflection and research about the possibility of adopting improvisation concepts from development to postproduction. It appeared my film has been working in this way to a certain extent.

The turning point for me to change from coincidental (unplanned) improvisation (because it is needed in problem solving) to deliberate (planned) improvisation started from my second half of principal photography (or simply called production/filming) stage because more uncertainty emerged and I started to get used of such style.

At editing process, however, I tried to free myself from the script with improvisation, to cut a version improvised only from the footages I have filmed (i.e. without additional filming), select only the powerful shots and re-create a shorter but new narrative film, which is not as I planned from the script.


The result of an improvised edited film can be used to compare with the original film, so that audience can make a personal judgement of their favourite. 

For myself, I also try to compare this improvised version with the original version of the film, but at the same time, I personally also examine the footages I filmed under the influence of improvisation, and finally reflect my whole filmmaking process.