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INTERVIEW: Jingyi Shao Breaks Down ‘Chang Can Dunk’

Chang dunking in Chang Can Dunk

Chang Can Dunk is challenging the ideas of what a Disney Channel movie can do. It’s emotional driven, and despite the title telling us what the movie is about right out the gate, you still are on the edge of your seat watching. And we spoke with director and writer Jingyi Shao about the film and what made it so special for him as a creative.

I told him that this was one of those Disney movies that felt like it was made for everyone, that it didn’t want to label itself as a “pre-teen” or kids movie. It’s for the dreamers in all of us and it really pushes what audiences think about movies from growing up with Disney. And for Shao, it was about his own journey as a director and a writer paired with Chang’s journey to dunking.

“In writing this film I drew a lot from my journey to make a film, you know?” He said. “My version of this would be Jin Can Direct. And a movie is made up and you can make things happen. And a lot of times it’s great in the moment when you watch it, but then when the movie’s over and you look back at your own life, it’s hard to pull those things that you saw in the film into your real life. And what I want to do with this is I wanted to create something that had that sort of inspirational, you feel amazing, you love this character, but then they also go through some things that you have to face on the daily and they really have to tackle those things, that self-doubt, those questions of feeling unseen and invisible, struggles that you have in your relationships that aren’t ideal with your parents, for example.”

He went on to talk about how the movies really tackles all those things. “And really just sort of address those issues in a real way. And I think what happens is as you’re watching it is you’re like, ‘wow, this is real. It’s not just an entertaining experience, which I think great movies do, and that’s what I’m trying to do with this.”

You can see our full interview here:

Change Can Dunk is now on Disney+!

(Featured image: Disney)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.