WeCreate is the new production service company on the block. Founded in 2017 by twin sisters Lynn and Lu Wang, it’s now a team of three producers, one creative director, and one director of photography. A small company, but with big projects on their hands: they’ve already produced commercial films for companies like Xiaomi, Korean Air, and Adidas.
WeCreate是一家在2017年新成立的影视制片服务公司，双胞胎姐妹 Wang Lynn 和 Wang Lu是创始人，现由三位制片人、一位创意总监和一位摄影总监组成。虽然公司规模不大，但已经为小米、大韩航空和阿迪达斯等知名客户制作过商业广告片。
Wang Lynn & Wang Lu
Lynn and Lu adopted a working style that’s rather uncommon for Chinese production companies and it seems to be the recipe for their success. We had a chat with Lynn to understand the basics of it all.
Lynn and Lu were born in 1987 in a small town in Sichuan Province. Lynn in particular grew up fascinated by how people communicate in different ways, so she went to study linguistics in Beijing. “I always knew that communication is not just about translation, it’s about getting to know people and understand cultural differences,” Lynn says. With this cultural awareness, she landed her first experience in the film industry, as a volunteer assistant director in a short comedy about the life of expats in Beijing, ‘This is Sanlitun.’
Lu & Lynn 6 years old
Lynn’s first proper job in the industry was the one that truly formed her as a producer; she worked as a coordinator for Studio Output, a London production company that used to have an office in Beijing. After that, she went into several years of freelancing, working in countries like Australia, England, and the United States—all places with mature film industries. Lynn noticed that, unlike China, companies in such countries paid as much attention to taking care of the crew as they did to taking care of the clients and there was an underlying respect for the process. It all resulted in a smooth working flow, without unrealistic changes, and with much less stress.
“The so-called ‘China speed’ is magical; it creates a lot of opportunities. But it usually implies that everything needs to happen in a short time and, more often than not, we end up neglecting the well being of the crew that’s operating the projects.”
Lynn is a strong communicator; Lu always knew how to take care of people. Based on their strengths and Lynn’s observations of mature practices, the two sisters drafted what would be the backbone of WeCreate: the combination of employee care and client awareness.
When it comes to the Chinese advertising sector, there’s a widespread notion that the client is the God Almighty; after all, they’re the ones putting the money on the table. The process is more often than not seen as a secondary factor to the client’s requests and last-minute changes are frequent and result in negative effects on the crew.
On produciton of MengNiu with Director Stuart Douglas
“The problem is not that the clients don’t respect the process, It’s that they were never trained on what is the process,” Lynn explains. “As a producer, you have to understand the entire process in a meticulous way so that you can also explain it to your client. Doing so, you’re also taking care of your crew and avoiding unnecessary stress” she adds.
On produciton of XiaoMi with Director Eli Sverdlov
Lynn always makes sure that all decision-makers involved are present for the initial briefing. This is the moment when the importance of time, budget, and process are discussed and because these factors are essentially interlaced, it’s also when you manage the client’s expectations. As Lynn explains, “In addition to understanding the steps, they need to understand what can happen, within what time frame, and requiring how much investment.”
Because of her straightforward communication methods, Lynn admits that conflicts can happen and that, occasionally, she has to refuse projects because both sides are not properly aligned. However, based on her experience, the strategy pays off and often results in a less stressful operation and ultimately saves time.
On produciton of XiaoMi with Director Eli Sverdlov
The company broadens the scope of conscious production into a humanitarian direction too, offering a share of the profit made with every production to local charity organizations. Lynn reveals that their ultimate goal is not to grow into a large scale company, but rather to continue to enable an environment where people can work in a solid and grounded way.
“One of the reasons I stayed in the commercial film sector is because it’s where I found the most amazing people in my life. They always give their best and will do impossible things for the sake of creativity. As long as they feel valued and respected, their potential is phenomenal” says Lynn.
WeCreate’s approach proved fruitful in productions of different sizes, some notable ones are the following spots for Jack & Jones, Xiaomi, and Refinery 29:
Jack & Jones — This sleek 90-second story takes place in a luxury hotel in Shanghai and it’s about the friendship between Chinese superstar Deng Lun and Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Due to their ability to understand and overcome cultural barriers, the WeCreate team was involved since the beginning, developing the storyline together with the ad company Motor Agency. They also had to build five different sets on the outskirts of Beijing in only six days. “It was a challenging project, but my entire team was excited about it,” says Lynn.
Xiaomi — The spot created for Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 smartphone is a mesmerizing combination of visual effects, colorful sets, modern music, and fast-paced cutting. Line produced for Balance Production, it took 2 days to shoot and it was directed by Eli Sverdlov. “He wanted to make everything seem as real as possible,” says Lynn. “We had to fit several real horses in a studio, build a moving robot from scratch, and even find a taxidermied albino peacock.”
小米——为小米Mi Mix 3智能手机制作的这支视频结合了视觉特效、彩色场景、现代音乐和快剪技巧，让人百看不厌。为平衡制作服务的这支片子花了2天时间，由Eli Sverdlov指导。Lynn说：“他（Eli）想让一切变得尽可能真实，所以我们找来了真的马匹，新造了一个机器人，甚至找来了一个像动物标本的白孔雀。”
Refinery 29 — As an episode of Refinery 29’s 60-second city series for Korean Air, the spot presents several Beijing attractions from a local perspective—which is, once more, one of the reasons why WeCreate was involved from the start. A production crew of five people shot in about 20 different locations over five days (that’s an average of four locations a day!). The piece was directed by Jack Pearce and entirely shot with an OSMO camera. They had to work from six in the morning to about midnight every day. Yet, the heavy work happened before filming, in the almost three weeks of pre-production: “We made sure to have the proper permits in hand for the public spaces and to agree on everything with the establishment owners. Filming was the fun part” says Lynn.
Refinery 29 ——作为大韩航空和Refinery 29合作的60秒城市系列片里的一集，这支视频从当地人的角度，展现了一系列北京的旅游景点——这也是为什么WeCreate又一次从一开始就参与到项目中。
一个五人的制作团队，在五天里完成了在约20个不同地点的拍摄（相当于平均一天跑四个地点！）。视频是由Jack Pearce 指导，全程用OSMO相机拍摄。
These are three examples of successful productions WeCreate made possible (and certainly a lot less stressful) based on a match of managing client’s expectations and taking good care of crew members. We can barely wait to see them in action again and learn how all this will be translated to the broader audience.
Lu & Lynn & Mads