Lost Mother tells a story about “love,” “lost,” and “healing.” I always want to make a maternal love theme film. The inspiration comes from a joke I used to play with my mom when I was a kid that I was dead, and what she saw was her illusion. Every time I said this, my mom would be furious and bet me, but I did not quite get the valid reason at that time. Growing up, I understood that talking about death is taboo in Chinese culture, especially among children’s mouths. Even if actual death happens, people often will tell white lies in the name of love and protection. Adults always self-absorbedly consider children for not understanding anything. On the contrary, they do know everything. However, I believe children should have the right to see the truth and make their own decisions because it is the most critical lesson in growing up.
One of the most important lessons I have learned from making Lost Mother is time management during shooting. Although I had as much pre-production as a new director lack of experience, I still needed more time to get all the shots I wanted, such as complicated long shots. I realized that I spent so much time on the secondary shots arranged in front of the complicated ones. Also, the shot list should be more specific because I realized several shots I would never use in post-production. If I had made it more specific before, I could save saved more time on set. The other significant lesson I learned is how to work with minor actors. Instead of giving them the explicit direction of their acting, directors should treat them equally as adults because they understand all the subtext and emotions of the story. They can give outstanding performances beyond expectations when they get enough trust from the director.
Directed by Zelong Liu (Chile)