Serena Ziqun Lin is the epitome of the current day film producer. This Chinese native has a passion for filmmaking in its most modern iteration. As the American and Chinese production industries have become more integrated, professionals like Serena continue to increase in value and influence. As part of companies like China’s Base Media (The Mandalorian, Captain America, Transformers) and Shein (special livestreams with Netflix/HBO for top collaborated IP appeals including Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Wednesday) Ms. Liu has further cemented the breadth and union of international cooperation that supports the growth of both countries. However, she’ll be the first to admit that this is all in the spirit of her passion for storytelling and working with other artists. She is just as happy to commit her immense skill and proficiency to smaller productions, as she explains, “With Base Media, I was the creative associate/producer in the company’s original content department. As part of the post creative team of The Mandalorian (Awarded fourteen Primetime Emmys, BAFTA nominated) and The Wish Dragon to help establish the tone and visuals as well as track the VFX calendar to make sure it would be delivered on time. Regardless of whether I’m working on productions like this that are global juggernauts, or smaller Indie films, the commitment and artistry of the creatives is inspiring to me. We all care so much and that’s the element that you can’t put a number on. It’s the essential and unquantifiable aspect we all have in common.”
Moments is a bold film by all counts. With a powerful philosophical overtone, the idea of how we as people fit into the mold of modern life is explored. The world is like a huge invisible factory where the people toil ceaselessly and are diverted from individual dreams while their years creep away. The transfixing look of the film was created by two VFX houses which Serena procured. Without her connections and commitment, Moments would have existed as an amazing concept that never reached fruition. She notes, “This film has a huge VFX portion, the whole city in the film was built by VFX. It’s a very interesting topic that I had wanted to discuss with a film for some time. When the director approached me, I understood that I knew how to get this made properly to tell such an important and relevant story. Sometimes the work finds you because you’re the right one to make sure it gets made. We have to ask ourselves, what’s the difference between me and the machine? Who is serving who?” Moments resonated profoundly with audiences, garnering awards for Best Experimental Film at the Independent Shorts Awards and Experimental Film Fest as well as Best Film at the Newfilmmakers NY festival. This success would be unthinkable without Serena’s guidance and contributions.
Ms. Lin’s latest project as a producer is writer/director Wendi Tang’s Fishtank. The notoriety of this film is high in the film community currently as it was the winner of Tribeca “THROUGH HER LENS” program 2022 which recognizes the brightest female filmmakers in the industry. Filmmaking is as much about trust as it is talent. That trust is in both “allowing” a vision to be created as well as in helping to define it. Serena once again proves her immense value as a producer with her work collaborating with this film’s director/writer in clarifying the vision. The producer confides, “I was excited the first time I read the script. It was such a strong story, using very interesting visual and storytelling methods to show a girl growing up and eventually breaking out the cage that always trapped her. Wendi had an interesting idea about showing the leading character’s fishtank in a strong vision but she had not very clearly defined what it should look like. I guided her to find a semi-dreamy way to show her relationship with fishes, one that required lots of VFX and excellent coloring work to properly manifest the ideas she had. I put my connections together and got a great VFX and color house for this project.” This is the daunting task of a producer; to make dreams come true. From the creative to the practical, Serena continues to exhibit the ability to engineer this with spectacular results. From her early work on the internationally beloved iQiyi series My Assassin Girlfriend (billions of streams) to the upcoming Fishtank, Ms. Lin is abundantly skilled and staunchly committed to this artform that she holds so dear. She declares, “I think what we do is so powerful. We tell stories, we build up different worlds for people to believe in, we give hope, and we change minds.” It’s both the story and the talent of those telling it that transports people to a place where they consider becoming a better version of themselves. Serena Ziqun Lin has already established this as her path while empowering others to do the same.