Chenyun Huang: Producing Stories That Cross Borders

There are many titles which can be used to describe Chenyun Huang but the most fitting is producer. From films inspired by real people which are designed to effect society’s perspective to an inner glimpse of some of China’s biggest stars, Huang has contributed her immense talent to a wide variety of entertaining and informative productions. Though her work is seen by thousands, even millions, she’s never on screen; which is where Huang finds her comfort zone. Some of the greatest talent in the world is found in those like Chenyun who go unseen but whose effect is always felt.

Photo by Lindsay Huang. From left to right: Lun Sibo, Nana Ouyang, Moli, Xiaoyang Jin, Shiheng Xu, Cheng Jin.

  The documentary Ouyang Nana 90+1 is a momentary snapshot of this Taiwanese celebrity’s life in a land where she is still relatively unknown. Released on Sina Weibo, one of the biggest social media platforms in China, the program has received a massive 22.86 million views so far. Its 116,000 YouTube views hints at the difference between Nana’s popularity in China and outside it. Describing her work on this documentary as a line producer, Chenyun relates, “This is a documentary about an eighteen-year old-girl who just started her freshman year at Berklee College in Boston. We wanted to capture her real life moments instead of staged ones.

After communicating with the director and Nana, we believed that we should follow a regular first year college student’s weekend life in a new city. To this end, I decided to create an environment that could give the most freedom for Nana to interact with people around her, so she could feel comfortable and relaxed to just be an ordinary girl in front of the camera. The final film successfully demonstrates Nana as she truly is.” It’s this commitment to honesty while conveying the human drama which is Chenyun’s calling card throughout the industry and has made her a leading voice among her generation of filmmakers.

  As location manager for the “Makeup Episode” of a new Vice China series on Tencent (which boasts over 100 million daily users), Chenyun was a vital part of manifesting stories based on the youth culture. The current youth generation are experiencing a huge moment of integration with the rest of the world, blending their perspective with that of many others in foreign lands. Huang also served as location manager for this production which necessitated her coordinating in different cities across different time zones. From being in charge of public relations at the locations used, representing the production to the public, overseeing preparation, filming and wrap of each location, taking care of the requirements from director and cinematographer, etc., Chenyun was essential to the constant function of nearly every aspect of this production.Many of Tencent’s previous series have been viewed tens of millions of times; indicating that the company placed Huang in a position of great importance because they expect the best of this soon to be released series.

Every great talent invests something from themselves in their work. For Chenyun Huang this came to light in the film which she produced titled Leaving. This story mirrors her own experiences as her family dealt with aging and dying grandparents. Screened at the New Haven International Film Festival, Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival, and in the UK, the film took a big swing in a number of ways and was rewarded with incredibly positive responses from critics and audiences. Leaving depicts the daily life of three-generations of a Chinese family whose grandfather suffers through the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the eyes of a little girl named Huihui, the audience witnesses this family’s different emotional reactions to an irreversible dementia. More obviously than the other productions mentioned, Leaving indicates the investment and personal connection Chenyun Huang always brings to her work. There’s something of this in everything Huang does and it’s an essential factor to her desirable status in today’s international film community.

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