Award of Excellence – “Zero” (USA)

Title: Zero
Runtime: 9 min
Country: USA
Director: Hai Yao
Placement: Award of Excellence
Competition: March 31, 2018

Synopsis: An Asian high school basketball struggles to cope with his teammates for an upcoming competition by his anxiety until his coach decides to train him and give him a lesson about the philosophy of life.


GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

HY: I was a high school basketball player, and I wanted to play high school league. But, I never play the basketball game in my high school life. Since I graduated from my high school, I keep this story in my mind. Because I want to share and tell this story, I want to let the audience know my personal life. Also, I want to share my story to encourage and inspire people, anything is imposable nevertheless you keep going until you succeed. Then, I started to learn filmmaking in my college. However, my school didn’t give me a chance to make this story. Until I came to Los Angeles to study graduate degree. I can make my story for the thesis film. In addition, I love to watch sport and inspire the genre because those can give people more encouragement and hope, and let them grow up.

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

HY: Actually, I had this idea for 7 years since I graduated in the senior high school. However, my classmates didn’t support my idea because the budget wasn’t cheap for the student project. Then, I graduated the university and wanted to keep this idea and see it go into production. My parents supported my story and they helped me with the cost. Finally, I wrote the script so it could become a film.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

HY: Passion and heart. I think most filmmakers need to keep both to achieve the story need to have the challenge. Otherwise, time is more important because you need to spend your time and keep most important part of the story. Not like the feature film can build the long story. Also, creative and inspiration are the most challenging for young filmmakers since they have experience of frustration and life.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

HY: The main issue was budget. I don’t have cost for my thesis project. So, my producer helped my budget, and he found cheap location, crew, cast etc… The second challenging was location. Our production slot was in the summer. A lot of basketball courts were very busy, and their rental fee was ver experience. Luckily, we found the gym had three basketball court in La Puente. The owner was very nice and friendly because he helped us with the budget and schedule. The third thing was transportation. The travel time around one and half hours. Also, we shot overnight, and we offer the motel for my cast and crew to take a rest.

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

HY: Like I said, do not afraid you will failures because every fail will keep you growing up. Learn from your mistakes because everyone has defeated. If you keep your story and idea in your mind, keep your story become the real and believe your version.