This post was edited by RabbiMoMo at 2012-4-25 14:45|
Doctoral students are often stereotyped as dull bookworms in thick glasses. But recently, a series of online mini-dramas depicting the daily life of PhDs changed people’s mind.
The series of 10-minute videos were produced by doctoral students in the School of Information Science and Technology at Peking University last month.
The story is set in a laboratory, often considered the nerds’ domain.
Zhang Yushi, 24, a doctoral student majoring in microelectronics, wrote, directed and edited the dramas. He thinks it is misleading to stereotype people. The dramas turned out to be an Internetsensation.
During production, Zhang did not have professional help.
“I think it is the first time students majoring in science have shot a series of programs set in a lab,” said Zhang.
“We learned the production process as we went along with a kind of scientific spirit.”
Zhang previously only wrote short sketches and comic dialogue. This time, he wrote about 20,000 words for the drama series.
Most of the scenes involved dialogue between students and teachers. Scientific terms are used but are easy to understand.
However, in order to save time and money, he had to drop scenes which took place in different locations.
“We shot all the scenes in the lab to save money,” said Zhang.
They borrowed cameras from Peking University TV station and shot the series in three days.
It cost only 500 yuan for stage property and 10 videotapes. Most of the scenes were shot in two takes. The schedule was tight that they even skipped breakfast and lunch.
Zhang said it was fun to work with friends in a creative process. To complete the shooting as quickly as possible, all the actors were friends.
“It was not for profit, only for fun,” said Zhang, “so I had to find reliable, committed actors who got along with each other.”
When, after two weeks, he watched the final version of the series he was not excited but critical. Zhang says it is a doctoral students’ instinct to find flaws and then to fix them.
“I felt happy that we finished it. But I always want to improve,” said Zhang. “That’s typical.”