The CREATV Company's production and post coordinator Phoebe Tran on impressive new locations that combine Vietnam’s natural beauty and its high-tech modernity
Colossal wind turbines towering against majestic mountain backdrop…Vast fields of solar panels gleaming beneath a blazing sun, stretching far toward the horizon…These are panoramas one might not expect to find in Vietnam, but here they have emerged, quickly transforming the traditional, well-known vistas of Vietnam.
The country is still famous for its rustic landscapes with lush green paddy fields, alongside charming historical monuments and bustling urban centres. Yet, in recent years, as the world has become increasingly aware and adamant about sustainable development, the Vietnamese government and its industries have also begun to acknowledge the environmental impacts of its rapid modernisation. This has helped accelerate a wide range of businesses and industries, most notably, the swift rise of the renewable energy sector.
Thanks to economic incentives and policy support from both central and local governments, a large number of Vietnamese companies have taken this opportunity to invest in mega-projects in solar, wind and other alternative energy on an unprecedented scale within the last five years. What this exciting development has given birth to are first, novel landscapes with high-tech structures nestled between farm lands, rising above mountaintops, or planted along coastline. Second, a need has also arisen – a desire to tell more stories of innovation and determination of Vietnamese men and women who are taking charge of the most cutting-edge technologies from around the world for the betterment of their own country.
Construction time-lapses and expansive drone footage are still necessary, but beyond that, many corporate clients are now looking for more on-the-ground, nuanced human stories and emotions. And these production briefs are evolving from short-form TVCs and corporate films to longer narrative formats that require long shooting schedules and a particular sensibility for capturing the human factor behind big, spectacular machines.
We, at The CREATV Company, are privileged to have helped some of our clients to document these technical feats and emotional journeys. In particular, we have worked with Trungnam Group on a variety of projects, from short corporate videos to TVCs, and now longer narrative films. Catching the rising headwind of renewable energy, the company has pioneered many remarkable projects, from the launch of the first integrated wind and solar power farm in Vietnam in May 2019, to the completion of the largest solar power farm in Southeast Asia in September 2020.
This latest project, which consisted of building a 450MW solar power farm, together with a 500kV substation and transmission lines, took place in the record-breaking time of 4.5 months. As Trungnam was gearing up for construction in May 2020, The CREATV Company was given the task of documenting the highly technical, challenging project while capturing the intimate and emotional stories of all workers, engineers and managers involved.
Thanks to the close partnership we’ve developed with Trungnam, which has given us a deep understanding of the company’s evolution and its core DNA, we were fully entrusted with crafting the creative and production plan. Moreover, with our past experience in documenting the long history of Vietnam’s modernisation, we are familiar with shooting large-scale energy and infrastructure projects.
Over an arduous five-month period, our small, dedicated in-house team, who possesses technical skills and storytelling sensibilities, closely followed the construction progress. This has allowed us to best capture the project’s challenges and triumphs, as well as novel images of a modern, developing, sustainable Vietnam. While the Covid-19 pandemic created intermittent periods of restrictive travel and limited public gatherings, which had affected many large film shoots in Vietnam this year, our small, highly skilled crew was able to maintain the long filming schedule without sacrificing the quality of either our images, or our stories.
As the production world slowly regains its footing amidst a challenging pandemic, shifting our focus to servicing local clients is no longer a necessity but an opportunity to embrace new sights, sounds and stories, which will be of immense value to future international clients and partners. From the honing of our in-house team’s technical and creative filmmaking skills, to the discovery of new, impressive locations that combine Vietnam’s natural beauty and its high-tech modernity.
The CREATV Company, just like many other production companies worldwide, are turning existing challenges into new opportunities, some of which are still waiting to be realised.