The TV series “Mother’s Life” was directed by Guo Jingyu and Ju Xingmao, starring Yue Lina and Yu Yi, Zhang Shaohua, Shi Ke, Liu Zhiyang, Xiao Yin, Ni Hongjie, Yang Kun, Wang Huichun and Zhang Yonggang. Produced by Beijing Perfect Jianxin Film & Television Culture Co., Ltd., Beijing Perfect Film & Television Media Co., Ltd., and Shanghai Jixiang Theater Square Movie & TV Production Co., Ltd.
On April 2016, “Mother’s Life” held a production ceremony in Beijing. Guo Jingyu and Guo Jiaban worked together to create an excellent production team. All the artistic scenes of Fuhua Road were carefully created. The spectacular scenery of the Yellow River, the solemnity of the deep house, the elegant interior layout, and the overall texture are calm and atmospheric. In order to present the story, Director Guo Jingyu used 4K shooting to ensure the exquisiteness of the picture. The scenes were shot in Beijing Huairou, Hebei Tianmo, Hubei Hong’an, and other places in order to create the best visual effects. Because of Beijing ’s continuous hazy weather, it severely affected the crew ’s location shooting plan. Director Guo Jingyu decided to lead the team to complete an “impossible task”. The whole crew used 15 extra large studios in Beijing, changing all the original location scenes to an interior shooting, and rebuilding the courtyards and streets in Shanxi, the Long Family House and the shrine. Because of this, they also won the Golden Horse Award for the best modeling design. Chen Minzheng who is the styling guide for the show, combined both Chinese and Western elements to tailor the costumes for the show. The artistic effect is outstanding, highlighting the luxurious and simple yet comprehensive texture.
After more than 10 months of shooting, “Mother’s Life” officially wrapped up before the 2017 Spring Festival. After the sophisticated production and careful post production in the later period, it premiered on Beijing Satellite TV and Jiangsu Satellite TV on September 2018, and simultaneously broadcast on Tencent Video, iQiyi and Sohu Video.
The TV series “Mother’s Life” tells a legend of a woman, a legend of a mother. The story focuses on the early years of the Republic of China and an ordinary woman Liu Yingniang and her five children. The story portrays the images of mothers who dedicate themselves selflessly to their family.
This is the most real and inspirational story on TV screens in 2018. The separation of mother and child, brothers against each other due to complicated relationships, framing by villain plots, and the unavoidable imprisonment. The drama has the seduction of materialistic crossroads and the desire of power and longing. After experiencing many separations and misses, betrayal and redemption, the ordinary Yingniang uses her strong faith and unrelenting persistence to build an indestructible wall of motherly love.
Since the premiere of “Mother’s Life” on September 2018, the ratings have been outstanding, and the ratings have broken for two consecutive days. Ranked the best in the 2018 annual TV series, the series was also broadcast the second round on Tianjin Satellite TV on June 2019.
On the Internet, “Mother’s Life” also triggered national discussions, repeatedly searched on the Weibo hot search list and continued to dominate the list for 24 hours. This was a result of the wonderful structure of the story, the dense plot, the three-dimensional characterization, the content includes emotional entanglement, family grudges, resistance to the Japanese national salvation, and other elements.
With its excellent production and ratings, the series achieved the “China TV Drama Production Industry Association Awards for Outstanding Drama in 2018” and “2019 Cultural Responsibility Impact · Annual TV Drama”.
Key Player of G.H.Y Culture & Media – Makeup & Costume Designer Master Chen Min Zheng Talks About “The Mother’s Life”
Graduated from Central Academy of Drama, Chen Min Zheng (陈敏正) is now China’s top makeup and costume designer. He started his career in styling for movie and drama characters in 1976 and has won many awards and accolades since …
From “Empresses in the Palace” (甄嬛传), “The Legend of Mi Yue” (芈月传), “The Empress of China” (武媚娘传奇), to 2018 big hit drama “Ashes of Love” (香蜜沉沉烬如霜), Chen Min Zheng undertook almost all the popular film and television characters styling in recent years. He also won the 55th Golden Horse Award “Best Makeup & Costume Design with Chinese Film Director Zhang Yimou’s movie “Shadow” (影).
Being a legendary period drama, this series span over a few decades time with contrasting characters’ traits. The characters each have their varied looks and style at different stages of the drama. As such, Chen Min Zheng has already made a clear direction since the initial conceptualising stage: “Though “The Mother’s Life” is a legendary drama, it has a realistic topic. The characters’ life and destiny are very much relatable to real life situations. When we design and produce, we still maintain the realism. For instance, when the role setting is based on family characteristics, we design on the basis of big family temperament.”
When it comes to the Long Family, the most impressive would be the costumes used for the ancestral hall and sacrifices ceremonies. Chen Min Zheng has his particular view on this set of costume design: “This family clan have a long family history, with its own house rules, traditions, etiquette, different sacrifice etc. Hence, the ceremonial costumes should be handed down from previous dynasties and family ancestors. So some classic elements have been factored in to make it look more ritual related.”
“The Mother’s Life” female lead, Ying Niang’s life span from young to middle to old age. In order to fully show the characteristic evolvement of this role, Chen Min paid much attention to many details: “She was a mother of several children when she first appeared. We try to keep her appearance as plain as possible. After all, she comes from a big family, thus her clothes are old but not dirty. Tidiness is the focus of this role. Losing her children at her middle age is equivalent to Ying Niang losing her world. We want to show the audience how distress she was.
When it comes to working with actors, Chen Minzheng has a long-standing professional code of practice: “It is a must to have artistic communication with the actors because this is the only way she can feel the role, and styling can then further enhance her performance and acting the right way. It is crucial for actors to find fit on their style and conform to her understanding of the role and psychological positioning.”
IChen Minzheng and Director Guo Jingyu had a tacit cooperation before in “Yangko Dance”, thus when comes to styling for “The Mother’s Life” this time, Chen Minzheng finds it more handy. “Director Guo has his own unique style in scripting and directing. He tends to amplify the entire design to let the characters stands out and look more standardized. “Perhaps it was the mutual understanding of the artistic pursuit of them two that created the outstanding and memorable costume design for the drama.”