I have always been very attracted to China, as it is such an incredible Country.


Over the last few years, and ever more frequently, I've been working with people who have had a multitude of professional experiences in China - whether in the film industry or in other professions. The tales of their experiences have had the effect of stimulating ever more my curiosity towards the Country. So, when in 2006 I was asked to make a short film for the up-coming Olympics of 2008  - Vision Beijing - I accepted with much enthusiasm, and enjoyed several marvellous weeks while working with an amazing Chinese crew in Beijing. Since then, and since I have a great desire to go back, I began to think more recently about just this.


Thanks to production company Luminous Range Films and the enthusiasm of executive producer and company partner David Bush, together with the collaboration of the scriptwriter Marta Pasqualini - they discussed with me several different proposals for subjects and stories that had been researched in Bejing, Shanghai and Hong Kong over many months of research. Amongst these, and a story that managed to set fire creatively within me, kindling the desire to make it into a film - is Electrical Shadowplay.


The Film happens in a marvellous time - in the 1920s - a formidable moment of time for it’s intense fascination and the overflow of vital energy - spearheading cultural originality and all that had a huge impact on World Capitals such as Shanghai at the time. In my opinion, and in the storyline of Electrical Shadowplay, here lies a City with many hidden aspects that are crying out to be rediscovered. These are the years of the birth of Chinese Cinema - which emancipates itself from the Western Film Industry - with a freedom of expression that emerges from an absolute passion in story-telling.


This is a theme which it is very close to my heart, that Cinema has - right from its very origins - all of it’s potential expression.


Shanghai, so alive and cosmopolitan, and rarely seen in that particular historical period, in Electrical Shadowplay is the beautiful backdrop of a compelling story. An intrigue based on facts that really happened entwined with the very process of film-making itself. The protagonist is Ren Pegnian, a director who makes his first film, and indeed the very first feature in the history of Chinese Cinema - Yan Ruiseng - in which he tells us in a very original way the story of a notorius criminal case of it’s day which unravels while the police investigate it, and while he discovers the language of Cinema.


Beyond the “modern narrative” of this silent film there is also much more. Ren’s film-making research reflects and superceeds police investigations, and this is a very interesting trace which can make a silent film shot nearly a century ago very contemporary.


There are, of course, some more personal aspects for my interest in this story - the love that I have for Cinema, Films and the Stories behind them. Yan Ruiseng brought with it an interesting mystery: after the enormous success of public which it obtained when it was released theatrically, of those film reels every trace has since been lost, although they remain a testimony of the Chronicles of that time.


So, I believe that for every director to know if one can bring back the memory and images of a film that has disappeared, even though it was so innovative in the history of filmmaking, is part of his role and his mission.


It would be a beautiful dream to pass on to the development of the script, In the hope of making this into a very stimulating film.

© COPYRIGHT 2015 LUMINOUS RANGE FILMS