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Animating Dreams: An Interview with the Creative Mind Behind DeeDee Animation Studio

Let’s delve into the inspiring story of DeeDee Animation Studio’s Co-Founder, CEO and Screenwriter, Quang Hai Dang. We’ll learn more about his decision to establish an animation company in Vietnam at a time when the national animation industry was still in its infancy, as well as the vision that guides him to lead the team of artists at DeeDee on their creative journey.


Quang Hai Dang

Job Title

Co-Founder - CEO - Screenwriter

at DeeDee Animation Studio

Based

Ha Noi, Vietnam

Education

Hanoi University of Science and Technology (2003-2008)

Electronics and Communications Engineering

University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) (2010-2011)

Screenwriting Certificate, Playwriting and Screenwriting

Project

Award-winning short film "Awaken"

Award-winning short film "Broken Being: The Prequel"

IP Series "Loving Kieu"

IP short film "Co tho co thieng"



Foundation

What motivated you to establish DeeDee Animation Studio, a company dedicated to producing animated films?

Animation is often considered as a genre meant only for children. Not only the audience but most professionals also believe in this notion. It's true that animation, with its stylized and colorful imagery, is an ideal genre for children. However, this does not mean that animation should be limited to the boundaries we have created. I aspire to create animation products that break away from traditional thinking and allow artists and creators to be more creative. This motivation led me to establish DeeDee Studio.

What were your initial direction and vision when you first founded the Studio? Have these aspects significantly evolved since the early days?

The name we chose for our studio says it all: DeeDee, meaning 'Keep going and you will reach your goal’. We strive every day to improve, to be more creative, and to produce more valuable work. We envision a Vietnamese studio with works that stand shoulder to shoulder with international studios, inspiring many artists and young people in Vietnam to pursue a career in animation. Until now, this remains our guiding principle as DeeDee confidently strides along its path to conquer the world of animation.



Narrative

Could you elaborate on your current role as the Screenwriter at DeeDee?

Screenwriting is one of my specialties. Being responsible for scripting a film means I'm involved from developing the initial idea to crafting the plot, expressing concepts, and creating characters. Much of a screenwriter's time is dedicated to creatively conceiving storylines, plot twists, and dialogues to captivate the audience. However, at DeeDee, screenwriting isn't done in isolation. Throughout the production process, I need to collaborate closely with artists to create films that are cohesive in content and presentation.

What's wonderful at DeeDee is that creativity permeates throughout. At each stage, the initial script undoubtedly becomes more innovative, vibrant, and engaging—and notably, ideas can come from any artist within the studio. That's our strength.

Where do you usually draw inspiration from when crafting scripts for DeeDee's films?

We often delve into cultural and historical details which have high evocation, then research for authenticity, various perspectives... to discover the uniqueness and philosophical depth of those details. Vietnam is a country with a highly diverse ethnic identity, hence it has a rich, complex, and distinctive cultural background, a profound history, providing numerous opportunities for exploration.


Among the projects you've been involved in writing scripts for at DeeDee, is there any project that stands out to you, and why?

It’s very difficult for me to choose one since all of them are my brainchild. But if I have to make a choice, maybe I will choose “Loving Kieu”. The storyline of “Loving Kieu” is quite simple: we aimed to clarify the historical and cultural context of 'The Tale of Kieu,' a famous masterpiece by the great poet Nguyen Du. However, the research process was far from simple. We had to explore numerous documents about the life of the character Kieu in ancient records from both Vietnam and China, understand different perspectives and events of that era, as well as the similarities with the period the author lived in. Then, the artists had to reconstruct architectures, costumes, accessories... to be as historically accurate as possible. To call this just a research project wouldn't be enough; indeed, we gained a lot of valuable knowledge throughout this endeavor.

Another impressive thing was the audience reception, which exceeded our expectations. As 'The Tale of Kieu' is part of the secondary school curriculum, many students, and even teachers, after watching the film, expressed gratitude to us for providing them with a clearer perspective on the story. This was a tremendous encouragement for our production team.



Roadmap

From your experience, what do you consider the most crucial element in establishing and maintaining a clear identity for your studio?

I believe the key factor is that everyone shares the same vision. At DeeDee, we have a clear understanding of where we are and where we want to go in our development journey. We don't want to stagnate. That's why everyone excels in their work.

How do you envision the future of your studio? Are there specific goals or plans that you and DeeDee's leadership are aiming for?

We aspire to become a creative studio with multiple well-known IP projects, not just within the domestic market but also on an international scale.



One of my personal long-term goals and a collective goal for the studio is to continue building and expanding our ‘Broken Being’ IP into an anthology series. Back in 2019 we produced the short film ‘Broken Being: Prequel’ to introduce our audience to the post-apocalyptic universe of Broken Being. We’re really thrilled that the film earned recognition from industry professionals both domestically and internationally. But it’s not the end yet, there is so much more we want our audience to see, experience and feel with this IP.



Do you have any advice for young individuals aspiring to pursue a career in the animation industry?

Pursuing a career in animation, as well as pursuing other professions, is a journey to seek one's purpose and meaning. Therefore, it's challenging to always feel happy and comfortable. This is a process that requires us to look at everything candidly and honestly. There are no shortcuts; you need perseverance, self-awareness, and the ability to adjust what needs to be adjusted at the present moment.

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