“Your Love” is an original song and music video written, recorded, performed, directed and produced by Tianyou Tian. As a young musician and director, Tianyou want “Your Love” to encourage everyone to always see their inner light and their hope in life. Tianyou wishes everyone to rise up like a phoenix from the darkness and be proud of their own uniqueness.
Born and raised in a family of artists, Tianyou Tian has always found his passion lies in music, artistic paintings and filmmaking. Tian’s grandmother Yuran Guo is one of the best composers and singers in China. Tian’s mother Miao Huo is a phenomenal and famous anchor and journalist in China. Tian’s father Wen Tian is one of the best documentary directors in the world. Ever since Tianyou was little, he has shown great natural talents for singing and painting. Tianyou has recently released his first single and music video “Your Love”. Within only three months, Tianyou has already received six awards from major festivals and ten official selection nominations for his first work. Tianyou described in his own words that the incredible achievements feel “surreal”. As a young musician and artist, Tianyou Tian’s journey and legend has just begun.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
I started making films and music six months ago and “Your Love” (“Galaxy Express”) was my first music video that brought me into the real world of filmmaking. “Your Love” is my first work but I am so greatful and honored to have received six international awards from major festivals and ten official selection nominations in just three months.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
The making of my music video “Your Love” was a very special journey for me. I was actually going through a very dark time in my personal life just as millions of others who were experiencing the huge effect of COVID-19 on their personal lives. As a young musician and filmmaker, I have always believed that we all have a purpose in life, an inner light that we need to follow throughout our years on earth. I feel it’s both of my purpose and my responsibility as a young musician and a young human being to bring the warmth of humanity, hope and true love to everyone through my work. Therefore I wrote and directed “your love”, for I have witnessed so many beautiful and young lives taken by COVID.
I have seen a lot of people being driven further and further away from their innocence and passion because of the pressure and the expectation that they are carrying. They become more “knowledgeable” with the countless apps on their phone but they have also missed so many beautiful and precious moments in their lives. I believe so many of us are losing our ability to perceive and observe the real beauty in life. We start to perceive ourselves as agents in a living mechanism, an isolated unit in a sophisticated algorithm or a working unit inside a huge machine. We all feel lost and alone living in the world of commercialization. Therefore we are only happy when we think we have produced certain commercial value throughout our life. We feel as if life’s real meaning is dependent on a commercialized structure that in itself is isolated from nature and every other species on earth. It is this kind of mentality that led to the endangerment of many species, pollution of the environment and the destruction of so many natural habitats.
In my heart, the uncontrollable pollution of nature by humans is at it’s core the pollution of our own soul because we as humans are all connected deeply with the root of every living species on earth. These thoughts have made me reflect on our path as human beings and I have realized that we have so much work to do to save our planet from pollution and finding our true meaning in life.
I have gradually realized that I can do more. I want my work to have a deeper message that can help unite and heal people regardless of their skin color, nationality, cultural backgrounds and gender. I want to encourage and empower everyone to embrace their own essence and uniqueness. I want to celebrate the resilience of life with my music, by doing so I wish we can all gradually find our meaning in this world and save our planet and our soul from pollution. “Your Love” is a love letter to this beautiful world.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker in the film industry?
The most challenging aspect for me so far is staying focused on my goal and never letting any obstacles affect my creativity and devotion as an artist. Being an independent filmmaker is extremely challenging nowadays because we all have multiple roles in life. Many people want to become entrepreneurs of everything as if it’s popular and within our human nature to conquer everything that is within our reach. Besides the roles that we need to play in our life, we are also living in an era where so much information constantly occupies our eyes, minds and hearts. Therefore being an independent filmmaker is just as difficult as any other job in our society because we have to constantly stay focused and motived in everything that we choose to pursue.
How difficult is it to fund indie films?
I am very lucky to have written, produced and directed my music video ‘Your Love” in a fairly low budget because I have the passion and energy to do everything myself. I wrote my own music and lyrics, recorded hundreds of vocal tracks and designed the placement of every layer of my vocals. I spent weeks arranging every pitch, emotion outlet, improvisation, and underlying vocal placement for my music. Then I went on to produce, direct and edit my own music video. Through this journey I had the opportunity to focus more on the content and the meaning of my work without any outside distractions.
Please name three of your favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?
My three favorite directors are Hayao Miyazaki, my father Wen Tian and James Cameron. Miyazaki’s films have taught me that we can all use our imagination to fly and there is always hope within the depth of our humanity. Miyazaki’s film “Castle in the sky” and “My neighbor Totoro” have filled so many of my weekends with joy, smile and hope. My father Wen Tian has taught me by his own example that my film and music would have the power to reach everyone if I gave all my passion, devotion and my pursuit for real beauty to the making of my film. My father, my mother Miao Huo and my grandmothers Yuran Guo and Lan Er are the people who taught me the real meaning of love, beauty and hope. They are the core and foundation of my life. I have always been fascinated with James Cameron’s films. His film “Avatar” inspired me to reach higher for my goals and has taught me that there is no such thing as limitation. As human beings we all have the capability to realize our full potential and our greatest ambitions.
How did your film go into production and how did you finalize the cast and the crew?
I am fully in charge of the making and the production of my music video “Your Love”. I directed, produced and edited all the content in my music video. Therefore the only thing I needed to focus on is making sure I was giving my all of my creativity and effort to my art.
How was the film received by major film festivals and what is your plan for further distribution of the film?
I am very greatful and honored to have already received six awards from major film festivals and ten official selection nominations. Including:
2021 Rome International Movie Awards for Best Music Video
2021 European Cinematography Awards for Best Song
2021 Canada Diversity Film Festival for Best Animation
2021 Los Angeles Cinematography Awards for Best Song
2021 Ediplay International Film Festival for Best Original Music
2021 Art Film Awards for Best Music Video
2021 New York International Film Awards Finalist
2021 Montreal Independent Film Festival Official Selection
2021 Los Angeles Film Awards Official Selection
2021 ARFF International Barcelona Awards Official Selection
I am planning on releasing my music and my music video on all major streaming platforms.
What do you recommend to other filmmakers regarding the making and the distribution of independent short films?
I would recommend filmmakers to release their films through social media and streaming platform such as vimeo so that other filmmakers and audiences can see their work.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
I have been reading Plato’s Symposium and I am deeply fascinated by it’s deep philosophical discussion around topics like love and happiness. I am working on the concept of my project and my next project will be released around October this year.
Why do you make films and music?
Making films and music has always been my dream ever since I was a little kid. I remember watching so many amazing vocalists, directors and extremely talented filmmakers on TV giving inspiring speeches and interviews on magazines on why do they enjoy make films and music so much. They would usually smile elegantly and tell the interviewer that filmmaking is something that they truly feel passionate about. Here I am, as a young musician and filmmaker who is in his early 20th, I am given the exact same question. I feel so greatful to achieve so much in such a short period of time with the support of so many amazing film festivals. Therefore I guess my answer to this question will be: “I am, I was, and I will be.” For I believe every secret of my life and my path has always been hidden in the past, the present and the future.