Interview with Jennifer Fung: Flight Attendant and Stewardess Pocket Watch Disney


A well-known independent director who has become a virtuoso on television, Jennifer Phang (pronounced “Pong”) talks about her latest work on the TV series “Flight Attendant” for HBO Max and how her technical experience will help create an exciting new vision in the upcoming fourth part of the universe “Heirs” from Disney, “Pocket Watch”. . As one of the busiest directors on television, Fang has a versatile set of skills that have helped propel her career forward. In particular, she is engaged in a unique production experience in the second season of “Flight Attendant”.

In the second season of the stylish series, the main character Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco) often explores her innermost thoughts through her “mind palace”, in which she argues with various incarnations of her personality. There is “Cassie’s Golden Dress”, the seductress of the darkest desires of “Ordinary Cassie”, and a new character that Fung came up with “The Perfect Cassie of the Future”. There were not only serious technical problems, but also creative ones, as Fang supported Kayleigh in her transitions between these versions of herself.

By topic: Everything We Know about Season 3 of the Flight Attendant

Screen Rant also talked about the recently announced The Pocketwatch project, which Fhang is to become a co-executive producer and director for Disney. Fung’s not-so-hidden love of musicals is obvious, which makes her a perfect fit for the franchise. Jennifer has some interesting ideas that she hopes will inspire fans by taking song and dance routines to a whole new level.

Screen Rant: How did “Stewardess” creatively differ from some of the other major shows you worked on?

Jennifer Fung: I came from independent cinema; I came from a very visual background. I approach filmmaking primarily through storytelling… But my passion also extended to camerawork and editing. And what I like most about the episodes, especially in this space, is that there is a lot of time to delve into the psychology of this stewardess, Cassie Bowden. What we discover is that she is a bit of a narcissist who has a little problem with alcoholism, but she is also investigating a spy murder mystery. And the style of the show in the first season was so tempting that I said, “Let me have a hand in this!”

And, of course, they do really funny things with split screens, and creating an inner world with the halls of the mind, in particular, was special for me. And I was so excited to find myself working on a season in which Kaley Cuoco played four versions of herself. It was a really great opportunity for me to start playing with motion control in a very sophisticated way…

For me, it meant taking my visual effects experience to the next level, as well as being there to support Kaylee in an extremely grueling process where she had to transform into multiple characters, and really hitting her grades and timing in relation to camera movement really well. So it was just a wonderful challenging experience and we were so excited when we did it.

As a television director, it should be interesting, but at the same time it is difficult to enter and imitate the tone of each show. What creative instincts did you use to make sure you were following the delicate balance of comedy and thrills in a Flight Attendant?

Jennifer Fung: I had really great producers. It was one of my best experiences on television. Silver Tree was our production director and directed most of the episodes. She came, giving me a lot of freedom, as well as some great reviews. We referred to Hitchcock, we referred to Brian DePalma.

As for me, what I started to own in my few episodes was the separation of diopters, which I am strangely obsessed with, and you will see this in many of my works! [Laughs] I knew it was a great opportunity to use the split diopter because of the psychological state Cassie was in when she was fighting for her sobriety. Many times we played with the foreground; alcohol in the background and Cassie’s temptation. It was a very simple idea, which I thought was quite effective.

And just for our readers, can you explain the technical use of split diopter?

Jennifer Fung: I’ll try. [Laughs] Yes, diopter separation is what you add in front of the lens, which creates an image that allows the background and foreground to be in the same focus. You’ll see this in a lot of De Palma movies… so when you have a deep background plane and a foreground plane, you often just switch focus between those two planes.

In this case, you didn’t have to rack your brains because you could see them in focus at the same time… it shows you an image very quickly that offers an emotional and expressive idea. So in our case, it was all about what Cassie was struggling with throughout her trip to Iceland and back.

In the third episode, we get to know this new version of Cassie, the “Perfect Cassie of the Future.”