The Tale of Qiao is a masterpiece. It's not a coincidence that the scholar Pham Quynh said "As long as The Tale of Qiao still persists, the Vietnamese language persists". Not only is it an amazing story, it also has such an eloquent and inventive way with words and imageries in Vietnamese. Not only so, if you dig a little deeper into it, readers will see through the emotions and personality of the storyteller (Nguyen Du). But such an enormous work of art doesn't draw a lot of readers. On one hand it's because it's too long for the people of today since it requires too much patience. On the other, the amount of knowledge about the historical settings, cultures, as well as Chinese folktales are no longer familiar for most people nowadays. Seeing it go to waste like that is such a shame. That's why DeeDee decided to create a more simplified, easy to understand, easy to watch, with a pinch of comedy to help the audience understand even a little more about The Tale of Qiao.
During the production of this series, DeeDee doesn't have any outside pressure, thus we were free to be as creative as we could be. All of our staff had different ideas and inputs for the story. If you pay attention, you'll pick up some interesting easter eggs and cameos: Ngo Thua An looks like Luc Tieu Linh Dong, Duong Ba Ho is none other than Chau Tinh Tri, or things like Cu Giam, Cong Giam, etc are all designed as direct translations from the original wordings to help the readers remember it.
The process of researching took a lot of effort and time from us, from finding real life information about Qiao, the era she lived in, the historical figures surrounding her, to records about architecture, fashion, etc, as well as geography. DeeDee's team of artists and content creators spent quite some time in finding out about all of these to the best of our knowledge.
Making an animated series that takes inspiration from a literature masterpiece gave us a great opportunity to look deep into the work itself, not only the original but also other related writings as well. One of those many perspectives was Thich Nhat Hanh's opinion about it. This helped us discovering many fascinating facts such as how Tu Hai used to be a monk, or before becoming an official of the Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Du had 10 years of traveling across China. This has been the most informative project for DeeDee.
The narration was something that DeeDee was working really hard on. The whole series is 15-minute long, with the narration taking 5 pages full of information, not only to tell the story. It requires an actor with a special type of voice that's not only easy on the ears, but can also delivering the information without getting boring. DeeDee contacted many different partners, just to realize that Quang Thang is the best choice out there, since he has had quite a career being part of the Tao Quan program, which is also full of information and depths. Fortunately for us, Quang Thang is a really down to earth guy, very enthusiastic, and professional. Realizing the potential of the project, he accepted the call. He came to the recording studio, studied the script and got to work right away, and didn't mind redoing some of it from time to time. The success of the project owes a lot to Quang Thang.
Most of the audience's feedback have been positive. Some of them even found goofs and flaws, showing our mission of getting more attention to The Tale of Qiao is accomplished. Some teachers even shared their gratitude and appreciation, showed their supports which made us extremely happy.
The media also received our series with a lot of positive energy. Some websites have reported on Loving Qiao include Lostbird, Ngoisao.net, etc. Saigoneer even put the series among Top 10 most worth watching videos during the Stay At Home period of the Covid-19 pandemic.