Hoa Sen University – HSU

HSU student tells stories about making the movies “Hellbound Village” & “The Soul Eater” in -9 degree celsius weather

Although he is only a 3rd-year student (film produced in December 2022), Truong Minh Chanh – Student of Communication Technology Management, Hoa Sen University (HSU) has directly participated in the production crew of the movie “HELLBOUND VILLAGE” as Personal Assistant Director.

Poster for the movie Hellbound village. (Photo: Hellbound village fanpage)

The Hellbound Village is Vietnam’s first historical horror film and the highest budget horror series ever. The Hellbound Village series is 12 episodes long, made by director Tran Huu Tan and producer Nguyen Hoang Quan. The movie is being broadcast on K+. Even though it has only aired 3 episodes, the film has already impressed viewers with its investment in content and ‘goosebump’ context. Besides, the movie Soul Eater is expected to premiere on December 8, 2023.

Among the members of the film crew, Truong Minh Chanh – HSU student was fortunate to be accompanied as personal assistant to director Tran Huu Tan. With this job, Chanh closely followed the director and crew throughout many months of filming in Ha Giang. With cold weather, some nights reaching -9oC, the filming process for the movie faced many challenges.

Truong Minh Chanh – HSU student in the filming scene in Ha Giang under cold weather, white fog covering the mountains.

To get a realistic and vivid image of the “hell village” in the film, the crew spent a lot of time and effort setting the scene among the craggy mountains in the highlands of Ha Giang.

Minh Chanh shared that the filming process had countless memories, but the most memorable were the final filming sessions: “At that time in Ha Giang, it rained heavily for many days, leading to the filming location at waterfall No. 6 storing too much water.” and poured downstream like a fierce flood. Luckily, the crew finished filming before the flood hit. When filming ended, everyone had to go back to the hotel to return to Saigon, but they couldn’t cross the waterfall because the water was still very fast. The director led the actors and everyone on a circular walk through the forest for more than 3km to get to the main road and board the group’s 16-seat car to go to the hotel.

In addition, the entire film crew had to live in “3 no” conditions: no electricity, no water, and no shelter in the cold weather. The actors and crew members had to live, eat, sleep, and work together under makeshift canvas tents in the cold weather.

Image of Chanh and the film crew at the opening ceremony of the movie Soul Eater in Ha Giang.

Thanks to accompanying throughout the film production process and the guidance of director Tran Huu Tan, Minh Chanh learned how to operate a film crew, specialized terms and techniques used in the industry as well as how a crew leader reconciles when there is a conflict within the group…

Talking about the reason for choosing to study Media Technology Management at HSU, Chanh shared: “I chose to study communication at HSU because I like to create media products in general and want to work with many famous people in the profession. Participating in these projects helps me consolidate and practice what I have learned in school.”

Not only in the process of working, even during the learning process, HSU media students have been able to own film projects through final exams, subject projects… It is the practical experience from the learning process that helps them have all the skills and knowledge to join media companies or film crews right from 3rd and 4th year. Also from those experiences, students are increasingly mature and easily pursue their passion and work.

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