Micro Documentary- The Craftsman

Mar. 2017, The Craftsman, Documentary.

Position: director/writer.

A documentary of a former shoemaker in Jinan who now focuses on the craft of making micro shoes. Created by a team from Shandong university including Haowen long, Nana Yang, Yufan Che, Hongbin Dai and me.

We were asked to make a video of the Jinan city at first. I worked as director and writer in the team. In my opinion it’s unwise to just shoot landscape to reveal the city. In contrast we must focus on the details, using story of residents to illustrate the inner spirit of the city. So we chose the story of the shoemaker after investigation who is used to be a worker in a stated-owned factory. Unfortunately, during the wave of market economy the factory was bankrupt and he lost his job. But he never gives up hope. He earns his living by repairing shoes and tries to using the technology he learned in the factory to make micro shoes which are very tiny but have the same structure as normal shoe we see today. His works are recorded by the Guinness World Records now as the smallest shoe in the world. So I though his experience is quite similar with the fate of Jinan which is also struggling to find its way to develop when the high-tech industry rising and traditional industry falling. We shot the work and how the craftsman think about his life as well as people’s view of him to describe his image.

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