The Eye upon Skyline,
The Beauty beyond Infinity
Interview with Director Chi
(1) Besides photography, do you have any other hobbies that are helpful for your job?
Director Chi loves life science and ecology, since he was a child, which gave him basic knowledge when filming his documentaries. He also had other hobbies such as basketball and baseball. These hobbies wither away over time after director Chi worked as a civil servant.
(2) After filming Beyond Beauty, do you want to change a new style, or to try a more challenging subject?
The subject of the next documentary will focus on either the pollution caused by mankind in the underwater world, the issues relating to the environment in Taiwan, or other international issues. Director Chi is willing to dig deeper to explore more about environmental damage caused by human. Taiwan was very beautiful, but because of human destruction, the "Formosa" title has gradually gone away from us.
Besides aerial filming, Director Chi will invite professional photographers who are skilled on underwater photography. Oceans were once very beautiful, but because of human destruction, these beautiful scenes were destroyed.
(3) What do you think a good movie (or documentary) should include? What is the most difficult part of the production and filming process?
You need to film with passion and experience to deliver the idea you want to express. The director's own life experience need to be enough to establish relationships and interaction with the audience. There was one time when Director Chi was having a speech, but then the audience dozed off, which triggered Director Chi to produce a documentary, in order to express the ideas to people who don't like to listen to speeches. He wanted to divert his the frustration during the speech into the energy for shooting the documentary. Furthermore, if you live in your own world, it may be difficult to communicate with the audience. Director Chi thinks that the author needs to have a special linkage with the audience, how the audience thinks about the film must be similar to how the director thinks. The difficulty lies on how to convey this idea.
(4) Have you ever encounter challenges relating to lack of technology when producing the documentary?
At first Director Chi thought that aerial photography is interesting and fun, but soon he discovered aerial photography is a dull and boring work. However, the reason why Director Chi sustained is because of he and his company's high expectation on the beauty of our land.
(5) Can you please share and give some suggestions to younger people who are interested in filming a movie or a documentary?
Doing aerial photography needs high enthusiasm and perseverance. Director Chi used to have an assistant who thought aerial photography was interesting. He didn’t know that this is an activity that cost a lot of money and also, very dangerous. When he realize this is not a easy job, he left. The same thing happened to Director Chi but it came out in a different result. Due to his strong belief in protecting environment, he didn't give up. If young people are interested in doing aerial photography, they will need two important factors to succeed. First, they need to have the heart prepared to overcome struggles. Second, they need to have the enthusiasm to their profession. Nowadays since drones are invented, more and more people engaged in aerial photography, we can also use a different but easier way to have the same result as Director Chi.
(6) What is the difference between Director Chi and the other directors?
First of all, most directors are trained, but Director Chi is not. He did not take any lessons on filming. What has made him a successful director is the enthusiastic heart of achieving his goal. Every time he has a dream in his mind, he is there to achieve it. In the beginning of his career, he was not supported either by his family and friends. He was alone struggling to do what he had been dreaming of. Even though failure washed over him, he never had a single thought of giving up. Finally, people started to pay attention on what he was doing, and it gave him the inspiration to move on.
(7) What is the most remarkable memory when filming?
To Director Chi, the most memorable part of air photography is when he steps on to the helicopter. He said, “Humans can't fly, so it is always memorable to reach up into the air when others could only stay on the ground.” The director flew for a total of 2,500 hours, causing him to have a lot of deep memories flowing in his mind. One of those is when the helicopter was going through an unstable current. It is something that he could never experience on the ground. He also remembered the feeling when the pilot and co-pilot risked their lives to bring him up into the sky to do his job. According to Director Chi, he is starting a new documentary recently, and he wishes to express his thankfulness to his aircrew for helping him along the way.
(8) What is your goal in life?
In the beginning of his carrier, Director Po-Lin Chi had no idea on what he was doing. It was just before he decided to retire from the government, that he realized the importance to achieve his dream. He thinks he would never forgive himself if he didn’t produce the documentary. Finally, he did what he wanted to do, and thousands of people amazingly focused on his documentary. There are many other choices he had to decide on thoughout his career, but for now, he only wants to dedicate all his life to protect the environment.