Hall Alumna Feature: Claudia Chong – Behind the UA Cinemas Award-winning Film ‘About Insomnia’ / 莊芷盈:《關於失眠》的背後故事

(按此看中文版)

“The bonds that I have with my floor-mates and hall-mates are irreplaceable. We learnt to get along with each other, shared countless memories together… Whenever I meet them, it is like going back home – they are like family.”

It is unusual to find students staying up late at night in the Student Residence. Studying, eating, playing video games, chilling out with friends… These sleepless nights have not only nurtured each of our hall cultures, and friendships among residence, but also inspired CHONG Tsz Ying Claudia, alumna of Hall 11, to create her FYP film About Insomnia, which won her an outstanding movie award by UA Cinemas.

Ah Teen gains new insights into his inner self through fighting insomnia in Claudia CHONG’s film “About Insomnia”. / 阿天在莊芷盈執導的《關於失眠》裡,藉著擺脫失眠的機會,重新探索自我。
Claudia makes a poetic commentary on the conflicts between personal desires and society expectations from her award-winning film. / 芷盈以唯美富詩意的夢境題材和畫面,在她的得獎影片中表達出對個人理想與社會期許間所可能發生的衝突。

About Insomnia evolves around an accountant named “Ah Teen” who suffers from insomnia. In attempting to cure the illness, he finds a professional who helps him delve into his subconscious thoughts to see what is bothering him. At first, he thought it was the breakup with his girlfriend that caused him to be depressed. However, it is more than that – the disturbance is about individuality and social conformity. Since he was young, society has been suppressing his dreams, and as he grew up, he turned into a person whom he doesn’t appreciate or like at all…

“This film is actually a genuine reflection of myself,” said Claudia. “There have been times when I have suffered from anxiety and insomnia due to  stress from school and other surroundings; and as a youngster, I had dreams and fantasies just like every one of us. So basically, I incorporated my own experience and personal desires into the film.”

As a hall alumna of CityU Student Residence, Claudia’s hall life has also contributed in part to her inspirations for the film. “The friends that I met at hall inspired me a lot,” she said. “At hall, you always come across  people of different majors. Yet, some of us share the same feeling of hopelessness towards our future, society and career.

“I have a friend who is an accounting major. When we were hall-mates, I learnt that he went through tremendous stress during his internship at an accounting firm. Even though I no longer live in hall, we still remain good friends. He helped me a lot in establishing the character of the protagonist”, she added.

The friendships nurtured during Claudia’s stay in hall have not only inspired her artic creations, but she also considers them one of the most precious rewards of her residence life. “The bonds that I have with my floor-mates and hall-mates are irreplaceable. We learnt to get along with each other, shared countless memories together… Whenever I meet them, it is like going back home – they are like family.”

Claudia misses the dear friends she made in hall. / 芷盈提到她宿舍的朋友時,充滿了暖暖的窩心回憶。

Claudia is a Creative Media graduate of year 2016. She was a resident from Hall 11 and worked for SRO as an outstanding student videographer for several years, editing and shooting videos including the Professor Edmond Ko Cup. “I really recommend residents to apply for SRO jobs. It allows you to practice your specialty and at the same time grants you working flexibility,” she said.

Claudia is now a full-time travel editor. Yet just like the message from her FYP film, she is not bound by society. When  asked about her future plans and career, this is what she said, “I am still open for new opportunities.”

(To view the trailer of About Insomnia, please visit: https://vimeo.com/171355942.)

Writer:   Michelle CHIANG (Hall 10)
Images:   Claudia CHONG (Hall 11 alumna)

~~~

「我跟同層、同堂宿友的關係不可取代。我們學習互相相處,寫下頁頁回憶。每當我再遇見他們,家的感覺油然而生,他們就正如我的家人。」

宿舍總有一班夜貓子,可能在溫習、吃飯、打遊戲或者在聊天。這些不夜天不但形成各個舍堂的獨特文化,為宿生帶來連繫感情的契機,也啟發了舍堂十一舊生莊芷盈(Claudia)製作出一部名為《關於失眠》的畢業電影,更榮獲娛藝院線頒授「優秀電影獎」。

《關於失眠》講述患有失眠的會計師阿天為了治好失眠,邀請一位專家鑽進潛意識,找出問題根源。起初,他以為是因為跟女朋友分手以致抑鬱。但實情不止如此,背後的矛盾點實為主角個人想法與社會期許的落差。自小,社會一直拑制著他的夢想。結果長大後,他成為自己不願成為的人,導致連自己也不喜歡自己。

The tense relationship between the professional dream reader and his artistic daughter also reflects Claudia’s message in jumping out of the box to pursue one’s dream. / 戲中解夢師兩父女間的情誼,也適度地反映出芷盈告誡觀眾要跳出框框尋夢的訊息。

電影其實是芷盈的人生寫照。「以前我常常因為學業和其他事務而感到焦慮、難以入睡。人人都有夢想和幻想,年少的我亦然。所以基本上,我只是將個人經驗和願望融入這部電影中。」

作為舍堂十一的舊生,宿舍生活亦為她啟發不少。「我在宿舍裡認識的朋友是我創作的靈感來源。」芷盈說:「在這裡生活的同學,主修的學科或有不同,但大家對於自身未來、社會和事業卻抱有一種共同的迷茫。」

「我有個朋友主修會計。當我們還住在同一舍堂時,他談到自己在會計公司的實習經歷有很大壓力。雖然我已不在宿舍居住,但我們仍是好朋友。是他幫助我構思出電影中的主角形象。」

在宿舍萌生的友誼除了賦予她創作靈感,更是宿舍生活中一份最珍貴的禮物。「我跟同層、同堂宿友的關係不可取代。我們學習互相相處,寫下頁頁回憶。每當我再遇見他們,家的感覺油然而生,他們就正如我的家人。」

“It was prepared for a video for a competition, it was so fun!” Claudia recalls the fun times she shared with her hall-mates from Hall 11. / 「和hall-mate為了準備參加某次影片比賽,拍下了這張經典照片,真好玩!」芷盈開心地回憶說。

芷盈是2016年創意媒體學院畢業生、舍堂十一的前宿生,曾替學生宿舍處當了幾年錄影師,拍攝了不少如高彥鳴教授盃賽事等好作品,是個得力好幫手。「我衷心鼓勵宿生申請到學生宿舍處工作,工時既彈性,又能一展所長。」

芷盈現任全職旅遊剪輯師。正如其畢業作品的背後訊息,她將不再受社會束縛。問到她將來事業有什麼計劃及發展,她輕輕說道:「隨遇而安,歡迎新挑戰。」

按此觀賞《關於失眠》的預告片

文: 蔣敏瑩 (舍堂十)
譯: 楊雅怡
圖: 莊芷盈 (舍堂十一校友)

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