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Submission date

15 December 2021 at 10:08:31 pm

First name


Last name



Tenured Associate Professor & Film Director, Ph.D. supervisor

USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry





Dr. Wen-Shing Ho is a filmmaker, writer and academic. Her experiences with multidisciplinary art works (Film, Music, and Dance) have allowed her to cultivate an interest in oriental aesthetics. Dr. Ho’ films have garnered acclaim through screenings at most prestigious film festivals. According to the VARIETY, Dr. Ho’s film “TAKAO DANCER offers a refreshingly playful break from cinematic storytelling conventions.” Dr. Ho’s dissertation “Musical Composition Techniques of Maurice Ravel and Toru Takemitsu to the Conception and Direction of Digital Cinema” is officially selected by peer reviewed LABS Abstract Leonardo database. Her Jo-ha-kyo three parts script writing “Tear Love Smile” was officially selected at Torino Script and Pitch workshop with project merit scholarship in Italy.

Dr. Ho received the Doctor of Science from Global Information and Telecommunication Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo Japan, the graduate credits in Film Music at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Electronic Media at School of Communications, American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Ho was assistant professor at the Department of Performing and Fine Arts, DeSales University, USA (2001-2004); the pioneer professor for the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2005-2010); associate researcher at Waseda University Tokyo Japan (2013-2014). She acted as a visiting professor/artist, most notably at NYU Tisch Asia, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China Academy of Fine Arts, and FAMU (Czech National Film-Art-Music University of Performing Arts and Theater, Department of Cinema and Photography). Currently, Dr. Ho is tenured associate professor at University of Southern California and Shanghai Jiao Tong University joint Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry in Shanghai, China.

Paper title

“Game-Mode” Improvisation: Composing Short Stories With Filmed Diaries


story telling, improvisation, notation, film language, and sonic arts


This paper aims to discover a creative outcome in storytelling by making three sequential film experiments to compose short stories with film diaries. Drawing from my professional background as a filmmaker and writer, I study and practice both verbal and visual literacy through concept writing with text in pre-production, followed by practice in game-mode improvisation with chamber-size film repertoire talents during all phrase of film-making as a means to articulate sonic and visual expression. Text serves as a blueprint for sound and image creation. The assumption of The game-mode improvisation arises from my practice in several precursors’ improvisation method for time-based media such as Film director Mike Leigh’s “Performance-Center Mode”, Federico Godfrid’s director-actor collaboration “Journey” during the pre-production rehearsal research on film site. This process lies in constantly seeking unique perspectives to subjects of interest. The compound forms of literature in moving images, animated sequences, soundscape and text are fundamental for telling stories. All the performances contribute to the composition under a situation, the rules of game, my job is to film my perspective by digital recording devices. The model of “filmed diaries” that the filmmakers Jones Mekas, and Robert Frank create in a mix of fiction and documentary back in 1960s inspires the recorded footage. The purpose is to tenderly observe the human behave and tell stories with an understanding of human’s sufferings. I would observe, re-construct and edit those improvised film diaries employing the composition techniques of cyclic time onto cinematic storytelling. The narrative form of those film dairies would therefore create meanings and manipulate emotions during the production and post-production. New technology brings new aesthetics. As a result, I am able to explore something like notating the short story with sound and imagery. The abstraction once belonged to music, but now to the visual, to the trans media form of literature.


I was one of pioneer scholar at School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technology University, and currently invited as a international scholar in VR Film storytelling for a Ministry of Education ACADEMIC RESEARCH FUND TIER 2 *Principle Investigator: Professor Oh Soon Hwa of Nanyang Technological University Research Title: “Creation and Analysis of a Digital Asset with the Gibson-Hill Photographic Collection” ; I hope to present this paper when I will be in Singapore in 2022.

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