Graduate wins prize for his education of Ming Ming

16 May 2013

Film Television and Media Studies graduate Beyond Wen has won the annual Images and Sound ‘Geoff Evans Memorial Prize for Excellence in Screen Production’.

His winning film The Education of Ming Ming is a comedy about an eight year old girl with an incredibly busy daily schedule supposed to help her achieve a “bright bright future”. He says he was inspired by some of his friends whose own childhood experiences were very similar to that of lead character Ming Ming.

“I had friends who would go to two or three after-school tutorials each day, then piano lessons and violin lessons and gymnastics and so on. I found it interesting because they felt so normal about these routines, and it was so different to my childhood where I just did whatever I wanted,” says Beyond.

Beyond wrote the script in 2008 knowing he wanted to direct the film himself. But it was not until 2011 at the beginning of his postgraduate studies that he felt the time was right to bring it to life.

“The most difficult thing was getting the ball rolling. I initially faced a lot of challenges with respect to finances, getting the right actors, a producer, and locations, alongside a script that had a lot of set ups and scene changes. For a long time I was very doubtful whether I would complete the film. Taking time to put things in perspective enabled me to get on track, and once I started things just fell into place.

“This was my first film made with a professional crew, and at such a scale. It involved a two month pre-production period, five days for actual production and a month on postproduction. It was a fun and successful five day production period and six year old lead actress Cameron did an incredible job for her age and experience,” he says.

“It is an honour and very encouraging to receive the prize after having struggled to get this film started. I feel the film still has a lot of work to be done in terms of sound design and editing. Perhaps a better colour grade, and some work on subtitles and graphics to polish it up so that it’s truly festival-ready. I would like to dedicate as much of the prize to those aspects as possible,” he says.