Zhou Yifu: a very real talent in the VR industry

China Plus Published: 2018-12-14 10:56:10
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Born in 1990, Zhou Yifu belongs to China's "post-90s generation", which refers to people who were born in 1990s. Unlike many of his peers who are still seeking for life goals, this young man is now leading a team to realize his Virtual Reality production dream in China.

Zhou Yifu: a very real talent in the VR industry

Zhou Yifu, Digital Domain VFX Supervisor, Vice President and Head of Studio in Beijing. [File photo: provided for China Plus]

After he and his team brought their highly original virtual-reality film to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, Zhou shared with us some of the stories behind its creation in our series "Deep Dive: Talks with Chinese Internationals".

You can also find the shows on Apple Podcasts.


The Oldest Post-90s Visual-Effects Artist and Supervisor

by Manling, host of China Plus

Because of "Micro Giants," Zhou Yifu caught our hunting eyes for being a good candidate on our podcast show, "Deep Dive: Talks with Chinese Internationals." Due to his busy schedule, our interview had to be postponed to the week after, which won some time for me to "deep dive" first into his unreal fantasy world. This was definitely the silver lining of a frustrating reschedule, which had won me time to learn and made it possible for me to be able to talk a bit of his language. Based on my research and what I learned from him in our interview, I now can distinguish the terminologies of VR, AR, MR, and CGI, etc., the language of the future that I only otherwise half-heartedly learnt and was superficially familiar with. According to Yifu, these technologies are there just to save money and to create the impossible. Just like the VR creation Micro Giants he directed, they lead viewers into a world that was previously beyond our exploration.

Zhou Yifu: a very real talent in the VR industry

Zhou Yifu, Digital Domain VFX Supervisor, Vice President and Head of Studio in Beijing. [File photo: provided for China Plus]

Micro Giants is a computer-generated VR experience that gives a highly engaging perspective of insect life. The short production was featured at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the US during the New Frontier exhibition. It was the first original creation from the Chinese mainland to be featured there. And Zhou Yifu is the director of the short movie and team leader of the production team of Digital Domain in China.

We played a trailer before our interview. It was simply amazing and awesome to see the small creatures being turned into such giants with their veins and hair so clearly magnified in front of our eyes. It was a world we never dared or had the courage to trespass and going into this unknown world of insects, all I felt was amaze while feeling not at all scared of the way these little creatures usually would inflict on me in real life.

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